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A Façade for Simple and Framework-Independent Logging in .NET

, 2 Dec 2009 CPOL
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Logging is an important aspect of every application, but you probably don't like to have dependencies on a specific logging framework all over the place. This logging façade provides you with a common interface that decouples the logging framework of your choice from your code.

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Before you start reading: Based on this project, we started (and released) SLF, the Simple Logging Façade. SLF is a bit bigger than this project, but much more flexible, while maintaing the goal of simplicity. You can read about it here:   


Logging is an important aspect, but I don’t like to have dependencies on a specific logging framework all over the place. This is where a logging façade comes in handy. Basically, a façade just provides you with a common interface that decouples the used logging framework from your code:

//ILogger is the facade. Behind the scenes,
//a framework of your choice is used
ILogger logger = LoggerService.Logger;
logger.Log("hello world"); 

The idea of a logging façade isn’t exactly new, but I thought I’d share this one with you for a few reasons:

  • It is dead easy to use.
  • It provides quite a few overloads when it comes to logging.
  • The core library has no dependencies on other libraries at all.
  • There are two façades (separate DLLs) that log through the Enterprise Library Logging block or the BitFactory logger. And hopefully more to come!
  • Writing your own façade is as simple as overriding one single method.
  • It’s not part of another project (completely standalone), and there is no license attached to it. Do with it whatever you want.
  • It is dead easy to use.



(click on image to enlarge) 


Here’s one way to create a file-based logger (using the BitFactory façade) and make it globally accessible. This only takes you a few lines of code:

//create a new logger instance
string file = @"C:\logfile.txt";
ILogger logger = BitFactoryLogger.CreateSingleFileLogger(file);

//use the global LoggerService to store the logger


//this will store the info in the log file
LoggerService.Logger.Log("This is an information"); 


Logging via ILogger

The whole purpose of this project is to shield your libraries from the actually chosen logging framework. Accordingly, you are always logging through the ILogger instance. ILogger provides quite a few overloads of the Log method, here are a few of them:

public void LogData(ILogger logger)
  logger.Log("An information");
  logger.Log("Something Happened", TraceEventType.Warning);

  //LogItem is the most verbose version
  LogItem item = new LogItem();
  item.Message = "My Message";
  item.EventId = 999;
  item.Priority = 10;

  catch(Exception e)
    logger.Log("Additional message.", e);
    logger.Log("Additional message.", e, TraceEventType.Critical);


Initializing an ILogger Implementation

During the initialization of your application, you will have to specify the the logger implementation that is supposed to be used. This might happen declaratively or directly in code. Here’s the initialization code from NetDrives, which makes a logger available through the AutoFac IOC container.

Note that I’m registering a ConsoleLogger for debug builds, while release builds write into a log file. These are completely different classes, but it doesn’t matter - they both implement the ILogger interface:

//init IOC container builder
var builder = new ContainerBuilder();

//register single logger instance
ILogger logger;

#if (DEBUG)
  logger = new ConsoleLogger();
  logger = BitFactoryLogger.CreateSingleFileLogger(AppUtil.LogFile);

//register logger


Registration and Access through LoggerService

I prefer to initialize and access my logger through an IOC container, but you can do it however you like. If you’re lacking a place to make your ILogger globally accessible, you can use the static LoggerService class:


public void InitApp()
  //create a file logger (use BitFactory facade)
  string logFile = @"C:\MyLogFile.txt";
  ILogger logger = BitFactoryLogger.CreateSingleFileLogger(logFile);

  //register as globally used logger

private void Foo()
  catch(Exception e)
    //get registered logger and log exception
    ILogger logger = LoggerService.Logger;

A nice thing about LoggerService: It guarantees you always a valid ILogger instance. If no logger is set, it just falls back to a NullLogger implementation that does not create any output at all. Here’s the implementation:

namespace Hardcodet.Util.Logging
  /// <span class="code-SummaryComment"><summary>


Creating a new Logger Façade

In case you want to use another logging framework (e.g. NLog or Log4Net), creating a new façade is very easy. Basically, you create a new project, set a reference to the base library and write a class that either

  • implements ILogger directly
  • or, even simpler, derives from the abstract LoggerBase class.


Feel like sharing your own façade? Just contact me and I’ll happily include your implementation :-)


As a sample, here’s the code of the ConsoleLogger (part of the core library) and the Enterprise Library façade:

using System;

namespace Hardcodet.Util.Logging
  /// <span class="code-SummaryComment"><summary>


using Microsoft.Practices.EnterpriseLibrary.Logging;

namespace Hardcodet.Util.Logging.EntLibFacade
  /// <span class="code-SummaryComment"><summary>


The download contains the core library, two external façades (BitFactory, Enterprise Library), and a sample project. Hope you’ll like it :-)


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)


About the Author

Philipp Sumi
Architect I'm a gun for hire
Switzerland Switzerland
Philipp is an independent software engineer with great love for all things .NET.
He lives in Winterthur, Switzerland and his home on the web is at

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Comments and Discussions

GeneralMy vote of 5 Pin
Oshtri Deka13-Apr-11 2:57
memberOshtri Deka13-Apr-11 2:57 
QuestionCould you provide me with some event viewer logging sample code please? Pin
Willem Le Roux29-Jul-09 8:27
memberWillem Le Roux29-Jul-09 8:27 
GeneralThis is why we wrote the Blog aggregator Pin
Chris Maunder15-May-09 14:43
adminChris Maunder15-May-09 14:43 
GeneralRe: This is why we wrote the Blog aggregator Pin
Philipp Sumi15-May-09 14:46
memberPhilipp Sumi15-May-09 14:46 
GeneralNice work [modified] Pin
Colin Eberhardt15-May-09 5:12
memberColin Eberhardt15-May-09 5:12 
GeneralRe: Nice work Pin
Philipp Sumi15-May-09 8:34
memberPhilipp Sumi15-May-09 8:34 
GeneralRe: Nice work Pin
Colin Eberhardt17-May-09 22:45
memberColin Eberhardt17-May-09 22:45 
GeneralRe: Nice work Pin
Philipp Sumi17-May-09 22:54
memberPhilipp Sumi17-May-09 22:54 
GeneralRe: Nice work Pin
Colin Eberhardt19-May-09 4:52
memberColin Eberhardt19-May-09 4:52 
GeneralRe: Nice work Pin
Philipp Sumi19-May-09 22:10
memberPhilipp Sumi19-May-09 22:10 
GeneralPerformance and the [Conditional] Attribute Pin
JaredThirsk1-Jul-10 20:56
memberJaredThirsk1-Jul-10 20:56 
Jokeeasy+nice (dead easy ^^) Pin
datacore15-May-09 4:00
memberdatacore15-May-09 4:00 
GeneralRe: easy+nice (dead easy ^^) Pin
Philipp Sumi15-May-09 4:02
memberPhilipp Sumi15-May-09 4:02 
QuestionWhy invent another logger? Pin
Robert Taylor14-May-09 23:18
memberRobert Taylor14-May-09 23:18 
AnswerRe: Why invent another logger? [modified] Pin
Philipp Sumi14-May-09 23:31
memberPhilipp Sumi14-May-09 23:31 
GeneralRe: Why invent another logger? Pin
Robert Taylor15-May-09 0:07
memberRobert Taylor15-May-09 0:07 
GeneralRe: Why invent another logger? Pin
Trent Tobler22-May-09 6:33
memberTrent Tobler22-May-09 6:33 
GeneralRe: Why invent another logger? Pin
Philipp Sumi22-May-09 11:04
memberPhilipp Sumi22-May-09 11:04 
GeneralRe: Why invent another logger? Pin
Trent Tobler25-May-09 14:40
memberTrent Tobler25-May-09 14:40 

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