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What Is a Log Trigger?

T.S. Adams
T.S. Adams

A log trigger is a predetermined circumstance or set of circumstances that signal a software application to create a log report of recent occurrences on the system. Included in software by its original programmers, log triggers typically assist end-user of a program by generating meaningful error reporting data, in addition to providing other relevant messages including debugging and conflict information. While largely meaningless to those without at least a basic technical background, a log trigger can typically aid computer specialists when serious problems arise, allowing him or her to see exactly what happened within a program prior to a major crash or other unanticipated event.

Log triggers generate event logs on computers' hard drives. An event log is a file generated by a program to provide end users with a timeline of significant events within the software. Think of these like the list of minutes from a meeting: a summary of the most relevant matters is included. The end user can normally access the event log like any other file on the system, allowing them to review the day's or week's events.

Man holding computer
Man holding computer

Software programmers generally include a log trigger within their crash sequences or error sequences. When a program detects an error, it defaults to the crash sequence, aiming to shut down without doing any significant damage to the computer or its files. At this time, it runs the trigger script, writing the root cause of the error to file so the user can store the information for troubleshooting purposes.

Without a working log trigger, the root cause of an error would be difficult to be discover. Using a log trigger, the end users can rely on the log files to detect patterns over a longer period of time, searching for commonalities behind program failures. For example, the end user might discover conflicts between two or more programs, discerning the situations in which crashes are much more likely to occur. In the absence of this level of dedicated analysis, however, log triggers are not overtly useful to software users.

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