When running applications as a service you don’t get a window which updates in realtime spewing out all the info the service prints like you do when you open the application from the command line. In order to see all that information, you open up log files which when you open them up in a regular text editor like notepad do not update in realtime hence the reason for a real time log viewer.
The list below are my thoughts on the real time logger applications i found.
1) ABLog - open source, works well, only problem i had is it couldn’t be controlled by command line which was a requirement for me.
2) baretail (free version) -
Pros: best UI out of all of them. No installer (just an exe), command line support
Cons: has an annoying spash screen (can be removed for $25), no timestamping, no search capabilities, and no filtering capabilities.
3) baretail (pro) - all the pros as above + timestamping, searching, filtering but costs $45.
3) Hoo WinTail - has a ton of features which i’d probably never use. Didn’t work with my particualr log file which i was creating with hyperterminal capturing data. So, i didn’t fiddle with it too much.
4) Log Viewer by brinesoft - ran into the same problems i did with Hoo WinTail. One neat thing about their program is it is intended to color code by groups.
After a little more experimentation with the programs listed above, i ended up buying baretail pro. The standard version of baretail as i mentioned above has the best UI out of all of them, it just lacked the ability to filter out entries based on keyword. So, I ended up buying baretailpro and baretailgrep pro as a bundle for $50. I like and use both fairly often.