SharePoint generates multiple log types. Logs in SharePoint require three basic steps like all other logs: Logging, Processing and Reporting. The logging can take place to file locations on front-end servers or to the associated content databases for each Site Collections (including SSP). Processing happens via Timer Jobs on the front end servers and the SSP server (if different) using the Timer Service at various configurable intervals. Reports are available via the web browser at Site, Site Collection, Web Application or Farm Level. MOM packs are available both for WSS 3.0 and MOSS 2007 and help administrators in maintaining the entire farm from a central location.
All file based logs can be read by text editors and can be parsed by using popular log parsing tools (Log Parser 2.2 from Microsoft or Funnel Web). It will also be a good idea to read the IIS Logs which are generally saved at (System Drive):\WINDOWS\system32\LogFiles
a) Diagnostics Logs
- Event Throttling Logs – These end up going to the Windows Event Log and can be viewed in the Event Viewer. They show Errors and Warnings.
- Trace Logs – These show detailed line by line tracing information emitted during a web request or service execution. They end up being stored at a known location on the front-end server. Default Location: (System Drive):\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\12\LOGS\
b) Audit Logs – They end up in the associated Content Database tables and can be viewed at Site Collection Level as well as Site Level using the web browser. WSS 3.0 and MOSS 2007 use different pages to show Audit Log Reports.
c) Usage Logs – They get stored locally on the front-end servers and get processed both locally and at farm level via SSP (this is based on the setup as I understand the results from the local processing are merged by SSP) and can be viewed at both the Site Level and Site Collection Level. Default Location: (System Drive):\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\12\Logs
d) Search\Query Logs – These are saved in the associated SSP database but can be viewed at SSP level via the Web Browser and in MOSS at Site Collection Level by going to the settings page.
e) Information Management Logs – Stored in the associated Content Database and can be viewed at the Site Collection Level.
f) Content and Structure Logs – This option is only available after one enables the publication feature. This store is saved in the Content Database associated with the Site Collection and can be viewed at Site Collection level by going to the settings page.