Filtering App Insights Server-side Trace messages

Previously I posted about using a Log4Net Appender to record Sitecore logs to Application Insights. That code will write Trace Messages to App Insights. I’m already filtering the messages to WARN or above using standard Log4Net <filter>s – but what if I need to filter more particular messages. Well, I wrote a telemetry processor to do this, just like Requests and Dependencies.

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Filtering App Insights Server-side Trace messages

Filtering App Insights Server-side Dependency messages

So, previously I’ve written about filtering out all the successful Dependency messages going to App Insights. What about unsuccessful ones, though?

My Sitecore instance seems have a failing dependency that is clogging up my logs. It’s the same as mentioned in this StackExchange question. It doesn’t seem to cause any issue, though… and it isn’t every environment either. Anyway, I’d like to block it. Telemetry processors to the rescue…

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Filtering App Insights Server-side Dependency messages

Filtering App Insights server-side Health Check requests

So, again, I’m trying to tame Application Insights. My logs are filling up with various requests for different health-check URLs. These get requested, over and over, day after day, and all are recorded in App Insights as Requests. However, I don’t care about these requests if they’re successful. In fact, I only care about if they fail. Can I exclude them?

Yes, I can. I’ll build a telemetry processor to filter them out.

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Filtering App Insights server-side Health Check requests

Filtering App Insights Successful server-side dependencies

Application Insights can record the performance of your dependencies – so things like requests to SQL server, MongoDB, etc.. That’s great – but it can become VERY verbose. I find frequently that most of my allocation of data is spent tracking every damn SQL statement run – and there could be hundreds in a single page load.

You can just turn on Dependency tracking completely – but that seems a bit of nuclear option. What if there IS a problem? I want to know about it!

Well, you can create your own Telemetry filter instead:

public class SuccessfulDependencyFilter : ITelemetryProcessor
{
	private readonly ITelemetryProcessor _nextProcessor;

	public SuccessfulDependencyFilter(ITelemetryProcessor nextProcessor)
	{
		_nextProcessor = nextProcessor;
	}

	public void Process(ITelemetry telemetry)
	{
		DependencyTelemetry dependencyTelemetry = telemetry as DependencyTelemetry;
		if (dependencyTelemetry != null)
		{
			if (dependencyTelemetry.Success == true )
			{
				return;					
			}
		}

		_nextProcessor.Process(telemetry);
	}
}

This ITelemetryProcessor will check if the telemetry is a successful Dependency, and if it is, end processing (i.e. don’t write anything to App Insights).

To use it, add it to the ApplicationInsights.config in the TelemetryProcessors section:

Obviously, this means that if you have problems like a slow dependency that is still eventually successful then you won’t have any telemetry to show you that – but it VASTLY reduces the data being captured.

Filtering App Insights Successful server-side dependencies

Filtering App Insights Client-Side successful dependencies

So, I found that our client JavaScript was recording quite a lot of successful dependency messages for loading 3rd party scripts:

These are all analytics tools, and to be honest, I don’t care about them. Sure, it can be useful to know how long they take to load, but these are loaded after the page is ready, so even if they are slow they shouldn’t impact performance. And I don’t really think I need to know every time a user loads these analytics tools.

Therefore, I wrote a telemetry filter to block sending them. I could just use sampling – but I’d prefer to have none.

onInit: function (sdk) {
	/*	Once the application insights instance has loaded and initialized this method will be called 
	    This filter will block successful remote dependency requests being logged. */
	sdk.addTelemetryInitializer(function(envelope) {
		if (envelope.baseType === 'RemoteDependencyData')
		{
			if (envelope.baseData.success)
			{
				return false;
			}
		}
	});
},

From my testing, if the user blocks loading of a remote dependency I don’t see any kind of message being returned – even a failure, which is good.

Filtering App Insights Client-Side successful dependencies

Filtering App Insights Client Exceptions from 3rd party JavaScript

So, we are using App Insights, and when we moved the client side script for recording JavaScript errors to our integration test instance we started to get a lot of errors of the form:

Script error: The browser’s same-origin policy prevents us from getting the details of this exception. Consider using the ‘crossorigin’ attribute.

There were a lot of these errors:

… and investigating them showed that the problems came from 3rd party JavaScript. All of these are inserted by Google Tag Manager, and aren’t in the site, or local development.

Well, I’m not going to be able to fix JavaScript written by 2 third-parties, and that isn’t even loaded directly by my page – so instead I’m going to ignore that error…

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Filtering App Insights Client Exceptions from 3rd party JavaScript