Log4j 2 API


One of the primary purpose of a logging framework is to provide the means to generate debugging and diagnostic information only when it is needed, and to allow filtering of that information so that it does not overwhelm the system or the individuals who need to make use of it. As an example, an application desires to log its entry, exit and other operations separately from SQL statements being executed, and wishes to be able to log queries separate from updates. One way to accomplish this is shown below:

import org.apache.logging.log4j.Logger;
import org.apache.logging.log4j.LogManager;
import org.apache.logging.log4j.MarkerManager;
import java.util.Map;

public class MyApp {

    private Logger logger = LogManager.getLogger(MyApp.class.getName());
    private static final Marker SQL_MARKER = MarkerManager.getMarker("SQL");
    private static final Marker UPDATE_MARKER = MarkerManager.getMarker("SQL_UPDATE").setParents(SQL_MARKER);
    private static final Marker QUERY_MARKER = MarkerManager.getMarker("SQL_QUERY").setParents(SQL_MARKER);

    public String doQuery(String table) {

        logger.debug(QUERY_MARKER, "SELECT * FROM {}", table);

        String result = ...

        return logger.traceExit(result);

    public String doUpdate(String table, Map<String, String> params) {

        if (logger.isDebugEnabled()) {
            logger.debug(UPDATE_MARKER, "UPDATE {} SET {}", table, formatCols());

        String result = ...

        return logger.traceExit(result);

    private String formatCols(Map<String, String> cols) {
        StringBuilder sb = new StringBuilder();
        boolean first = true;
        for (Map.Entry<String, String> entry : cols.entrySet()) {
            if (!first) {
                sb.append(", ");
            first = false;
        return sb.toString();

In the example above it is now possible to add MarkerFilters to only allow SQL update operations to be logged, all SQL updates to be logged or to log everything in MyApp.

Some important rules about Markers must be considered when using them.

  1. Markers must be unique. They are permanently registered by name so care should be taken to ensure that Markers used in your application are distinct from those in the application's dependencies, unless that is what is desired.
  2. Parent Markers can be added or removed dynamically. However, this is fairly expensive to do. Instead, it is recommended that the parents be identified when obtaining the Marker the first time as shown in the examples above. Specifically, the set method replaces all the markers in a single operation while add and remove act on only a single Marker at a time.
  3. Evaluating Markers with multiple ancestors is much more expensive than Markers with no parents. For example, in one set of tests to evaluate whether a Marker matched its grandparent took 3 times longer than evaluating the Marker itself. Even then though, evaluating Markers is inexpensive compared to resolving the callers class name or line number.