Logging vs Auditing

The difference between logging and auditing is a subtle yet important distinction.

Logging

The primary users of logging should be the development team when developing and testing. Additional the team should use logging for daily monitoring and support. Effective log monitoring can produce trends or highlight problem areas well before users report them as issues. The use of a good monitoring system can also remove and reduce the need for complex and unstable system tests, this will be the subject of a future post.

Auditing

Auditing is a feature in itself. There is no point introducing this additional complexity unless the system requires this. Other concerns auditing introduces include where to store the data? For how long? And what potentially sensitive data can be stored?

The key lesson here is that logging and auditing are two very distinct concepts and should be treated as such.