Logging heartbeats from ASP.NET Core

The Heartbeats feature is currently in closed beta and highly experimental.

ASP.NET Core offers a feature called Health Checks from version 2.2 and forward. For more information about health checks, check out our blog post: ASP.NET Core 2.2 Health Checks Explained. The Heartbeats feature on elmah.io support health checks too, by publishing health check results as heartbeats.

To publish health checks as elmah.io heartbeats, install the Elmah.Io.AspNetCore.HealthChecks NuGet package:

Install-Package Elmah.Io.AspNetCore.HealthChecks -IncludePrerelease

Then configure the elmah.io health check publisher:

services
    .AddHealthChecks()
    .AddElmahIoPublisher(options =>
    {
        options.ApiKey = "API_KEY";
        options.LogId = new Guid("LOG_ID");
        options.HeartbeatId = "HEARTBEAT_ID";
    });

Replace the variables with the correct values as explained in Set up Heartbeats. Remember to use an API key that includes the Heartbeats - Write permission.

Additional options

Application name

Much like the error logging integration with ASP.NET Core, you can set an application name on log messages produced by Heartbeats. To do so, set the Application property when adding the publisher:

services
    .AddHealthChecks()
    .AddElmahIoPublisher(options =>
    {
        ...
        options.Application = "My app";
    });

If Application is not set, log messages will receive a default value of Heartbeats to make the messages distinguable from other messages.

Callbacks

The elmah.io publisher offer callbacks already known from Elmah.Io.AspNetCore.

OnHeartbeat

The OnHeartbeat callback can be used to set a version number on all log messages produced by a heartbeat and/or trigger your own code every time a heartbeat is logged to elmah.io:

services
    .AddHealthChecks()
    .AddElmahIoPublisher(options =>
    {
        ...
        options.OnHeartbeat = hb =>
        {
            hb.Version = "1.0.0";
        };
    });

OnFilter

The OnFilter callback can used to ignore one or more heartbeats:

services
    .AddHealthChecks()
    .AddElmahIoPublisher(options =>
    {
        ...
        options.OnFilter = hb =>
        {
            return hb.Result == "Degraded";
        };
    });

The example ignores any Degraded heartbeats.

OnError

The OnError callback can be used to listen for errors communicating with the elmah.io API:

services
    .AddHealthChecks()
    .AddElmahIoPublisher(options =>
    {
        ...
        options.OnError = (hb, ex) =>
        {
            // Do something
        };
    });

The elmah.io publisher already logs any internal errors through Microsoft.Extensions.Logging, why you don't need to do that in the OnError handler. If you are using another logging framework and don't have that hooked up on Microsoft.Extensions.Logging, the OnError is a good place to add some additional logging.

Period

As default, ASP.NET Core runs health checks every 30 seconds when setting up a publisher. To change this interval, add the following code:

services.Configure<HealthCheckPublisherOptions>(options =>
{
    options.Period = TimeSpan.FromMinutes(5);
});

There's a bug in ASP.NET Core 2.2 that requires you to use reflection when setting Period:

services.Configure<HealthCheckPublisherOptions>(options =>
{
    var prop = options.GetType().GetField("_period", System.Reflection.BindingFlags.NonPublic | System.Reflection.BindingFlags.Instance);
    prop.SetValue(options, TimeSpan.FromMinutes(5));
});

If setting Period to 5 minutes, you should set the heartbeat interval on elmah.io to 5 minutes and grace to 1 minute.

Ignoring heartbeats on localhost, staging, etc.

Monitoring hearbeats is important in your production environment. When running locally or even on staging, you probably don't want to monitor heartbeats. ASP.NET Core health checks doesn't seem to support a great deal of configuration through appsettings.json, Azure app settings, etc. The easiest way to tell ASP.NET Core to log heartbeats to elmah.io, is to avoid setting up health checks unless a heartbeat id is configured:

if (!string.IsNullOrWhiteSpace(Configuration["ElmahIo:HeartbeatId"]))
{
    services.AddHealthChecks().AddElmahIoPublisher();
}

In this example, we only configure health checks and the elmah.io publisher if the ElmahIo:HeartbeatId setting is defined in config.

Troubleshooting

Here's a list of things to check for if no heartbeats are registered:

  • Did you include both API_KEY, LOG_ID, and HEARTBEAT_ID?
  • The publisher needs to be called before the AddElmahIo call from Elmah.Io.AspNetCore:
services
    .AddHealthChecks()
    .AddElmahIoPublisher();

services.AddElmahIo();
  • If you are using Health Checks UI, it needs to be configured after the AddElmahIoPublisher-method:
services
    .AddHealthChecks()
    .AddElmahIoPublisher();

service
    .AddHealthChecksUI();

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