Last December I took the lid off of Seq, a log server for .NET that is built with first-class support for structured events. Well, in a great example of agile planning, the “Release Seq 1.0” ticket came in a long way ahead of “Announce Seq 1.0” so here, three weeks after our official release, is the post to let you know it has happened.

2014-03-23 11_23_35-Seq - .NET Structured Event Server

What does this mean?

It’s now safe to say that Seq is “going to fly” – we’ve had enough feedback to be confident that Seq is ready for use in anger, and commercially we’ve had enough interest, enquiries and sales to know that it is worth our while to keep driving the product forward.

What’s Seq and where’s it going?

Fundamentally, Seq helps you, your team and your stakeholders gain visibility into your applications - even when they’re distributed across multiple machines or locations.

Releasing our preview started a lot of conversations that ultimately shape how we see Seq going forward. This is the picture today:

  • Seq is driven by structured data – structured logging is an opportunity to get the visbility benefits of techniques like messaging or event sourcing, but without the deep architectural commitment. The time for structured logging is here, with better tools available than ever before, and Seq is going to be the #1 complement to those tools in the .NET world.

  • Seq is for development and operations – while there are great opportunities to use structured log data for analytics and data mining, Seq is primarily about removing friction when developing and operating systems. Integration points like Seq apps, email and tabular export make analytics and BI easy, when you need to surface data to other stakeholders.

  • Seq is on-premises – vendors love to provide cloud services, because recurring revenue and customer data retention make for a nice stable business model. This works well for many things, but when it comes to log data developers and the companies they work for value choice, and the right choice is often to store data on-premises or in fully-owned data centres. We feel so strongly about this that we’ve adopted it as a tag-line: “Visibility, your way.”

  • Seq is quick to set up – the foundations of good instrumentation are laid when the very first line of code in an app is written. At that point in the development cycle, YAGNI reigns supreme, so Seq comes with an MSI installer, a client on NuGet, and fits in to development with no more overhead than writing to traditional log files. 0-to-go in literally 5 minutes, and we’ll stay that way.

  • Seq is .NET – one of the great things about the diversity of software available these days is that there’s usually a solution that works well with your chosen tools. If you use .NET, Seq will be transparent, friendly and unsurprising for you.

These are going to be our guiding principles as Seq evolves, but we’re not limited by them. Seq already supports NLog and log4net as clients, despite neither of them having the deep structured logging support provided by Serilog. Similarly, we want to keep setup and maintenance of Seq simple, but an elastic storage/archival subsystem is definitely on the cards for a future release.

Who are “we”?

Continuous IT is a “micro ISV” based in Brisbane, Australia. Our team of two comprises me, covering product/technology, while Suzi (formerly an animation producer, and in all things manager extraordinaire) covers business development and keeps the wheels turning.

We’re in no small part influenced by the “sustainable start-up” model epitomised for me by Octopus Deploy where I spend most days. (Octopus’s founder Paul is a source of inspiration without which Seq may never have seen the light of day – thanks, Paul!) Our focus is on building a great product that we support wholeheartedly, rather than clocking up numbers the way many start-ups seem prone to doing.

Want to know more?

You can’t have a 1.0 without a Twitter stream, and as of last week we have this one. Head on over and follow us to stay in the loop! If you visit the home page you can find a few more contact options, including an email newsletter that we’ll send out as new features land.

We’ve been busy - the “Release Seq 1.1” ticket has been and gone, and a preview of Seq 1.2 is already on the site; there are some strong usability improvements in there - make sure you check it out!