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Logback Appender for writing data into a Kinesis Stream
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Logback Appender for Amazon Kinesis

This Logback Appender for Amazon Kinesis enables Java applications to send their logs in a structured format to an Amazon Kinesis stream.



This appender makes use of the Kinesis Producer Library for seamless integration with Kinesis:

  • Automatic retry mechanism
  • Log aggregation and batch Kinesis writes

The log messages are sent to Kinesis in the structured format below:

    "app_name": "myApp",
    "environment": "staging",
    "level": "ERROR",
    "logger_name": "com.hyp3r.myApp.MyClass",
    "event_type": "test_event",
    "context": "event creation",
    "description": "this is an error message",
    "stacktrace": "\\n",
    "timestamp": "2017-10-31T20:40:36+0000",
    "metadata": {
        "key1": "value 1"

To facilitate adding the extra fields (event_type, context, metadata). This library also contains a KinesisLoggerFactory that follows the logger factory convention so you can initialize like:

private static final KinesisLogger LOGGER = KinesisLoggerFactory.getLogger(MyClass.class);

can be used to create a Logger that has all the regular logging methods that come with a logger as well as accompanying versions kDebug, kInfo, kWarn, kError that allow you to pass the eventType,context, and a metadata map like:

Map<String, String> metadata = new HashMap<>();
metadata.put("key1", "value 1");
if (request.getDebug()) {
    LOGGER.kDebug("test_event", "event_creation", metadata,"This is a debug message");

if (request.getInfo()) {
    LOGGER.kInfo("test_event", "event_creation", metadata,"This is an info message");

if (request.getWarn()) {
    LOGGER.kWarn("test_event", "event_creation", metadata,"This is a warn message");

if (request.getError()) {
    try {
        throw new ValidationException("This is a ValidationException message");
    } catch (ValidationException e) {
        LOGGER.kError("test_event", "event_creation", metadata,"this is an error message", e);

Additional convenience methods

You may have metadata values that convey context surrounding multiple logging events and wish to avoid passing them repeatedly in each logging call. Or you might just find the code easier to read if the metadata setup is separate from the call to the logger. For that, we have a method bindMetadata which adds a key-value-pair to the logging context and returns and auto-closeable MetadataBinding object that can be closed to remove it from the context again.


        KinesisLogger.MetadataBinding k0 = LOGGER.bindMetadata("k0", "v0");

        try (KinesisLogger.MetadataBinding k1 = LOGGER.bindMetadata("k1", "v1")
                                                               .and("k2", "v2")) {

            // Here, the metadata emitted will contain k0, k1, and k2
            LOGGER.kInfo("my_event", "This is the note for my event");

            // Same here.
            LOGGER.kInfo("my_event", "This is the note for my event");


        // Here the only metadata emitted will be k0.
        LOGGER.kError("my_error", "Something bad happened.", myThrowable);

There is also a convenience method for emitting events about the duration of an activity:

        try (KinesisLogger.EventTimer timer =  LOGGER.timer("api_fetch")) {
            Map data = fetchDataFromAPI();
        // At this point, the timer is closed, and an event is emitted of type "api_fetch", with a key "took_millis
        //       added to the metadata along side any other active metadata bindings.

Lastly, you may want to set a permanent metadata binding that applies to every thread in your application (the bindings shown up to now are all thread-local). You can do that too:

        KinesisLogger.addGlobalMetadata("server_id", "");

        //server_id will appear amongst the metadata for the remainder of the application's lifetime.
        LOGGER.kInfo("my_event", "This is the note for my event");

        //And you can clear all global metadata if you really want to:

Sample Configuration

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
    <appender name="KINESIS" class="">
    <appender name="stdout" class="ch.qos.logback.core.ConsoleAppender">
            <pattern>%5p [%t] (%F:%L) - %m%n</pattern>
    <logger name="KinesisLogger" additivity="false" level="INFO">
        <appender-ref ref="KINESIS"/>
    <root level="INFO">
        <appender-ref ref="stdout"/>

Sample: logback-sample.xml

Appender Options

Option Default required Description
appName yes The name of the service using this appender. This value is added to the event object so you can filter events.
environment yes Environment of the service using this appender. This value is added to the event object so you can filter events.
streamName yes Kinesis stream that events will be sent to
awsRegion yes AWS Region of the Kinesis stream
eventsOnly true no To reduce noise in your Kinesis stream, you can set this flag to true and only logs that have an event_type (i.e. used the KinesisLogger) will be sent to Kinesis.

Amazon Credentials

The Amazon Credentials are picked up automatically from environment variables. In order to properly authenticate make sure to set these environment variables:


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