Sometimes you might want to have your logs at designated logging service, like logbook.me or logworm.com, because for example, your hosting environment is limited in keeping logs, like Heroku. At least one solution you could try is a setting config.logger for Rails application to your custom logger:

#lib/my_special_logger.rb
class MySpecialLogger
def info(message)
LoggingService.info(message)
end
end

#config/application.rb
config.logger = MySpecialLogger.new

The LoggingService above is some imaginary interface to some external service. It is all great, however frequently enough you want to watch for special kind of events like exceptions or access to some URLs or communication with external API etc. In other words you either want to have a separate log for these events or to have an ability to filter your log by certain criteria. For example, the logbook.me has a feature such as facility, i.e. you could create categories for your entries. To log something to logbook.me you have to install a gem logbook_gem and execute:

Logbook.debug 'facility', {:message => "some important message"}

Later you may filter by that ‘facility’ using web interface. This could be convenient for analyzing entries you are interested in. Unfortunately you cannot take an advantage of this feature by replacing Rails.logger with your custom logger, simply because the standard logger interface is different and the only way to manage granularity of what goes into your logs is to use severity: - DEBUG, INFO, WARN, ERROR, FATAL or UNKNOWN. However you are not out of luck here, you may use the tagged_logger gem to add categorization to your entries without modifying your code, so whenever you have a call:

logger.info "something..."

the logger capture a context where it is being called from and you could use this context as a category. The context is the class whose method does such call. For example to create a special category for MyController one could write:

#my_controller.rb
class MyController
def index
logger.info "very important operation! :)"
end
end

#config/initializers/tagged_logger.rb
TaggedLogger.rules do
#rule with regular expression:
info /MyController/ do |level, tag, msg|
Logbook.info(tag, :msg => msg)
end
end

You may have various rules for different models or controllers or any other classes, you may also combine them in groups and assign special tag for that group. The DSL provided by tagged_logger gem is very flexible about how you could define your rules. Now imagine you want to redirect logging from ActionController::Base:

TaggedLogger.rules do
#rule with class name:
info ActionController::Base do |level, tag, msg|
Logbook.info(tag, :msg => msg)
end
end

If you expect to see your regular Rails log entries get redirected you would be disappointed. The reason is that logging inside Rails 3 is mostly done via instrumentation mechanism, here is a demonstrating snippet:

module ActionController
module Instrumentation
def send_data(data, options = {})
super
end
end
end
class Base < Metal
include Instrumentation
end
class LogSubscriber < ActiveSupport::LogSubscriber
def send_data(event)
logger.info("Sent data %s (%.1fms)" % [event.payload[:filename], event.duration])
end
end
end

The Notifications.instrument method signals an event to ActionController::LogSubscriber which in turn ‘translate’ the event into LogSubscriber.send_data call and logs it. Therefore the context where #logger call is made is ActionController::LogSubscriber, so rule for ActionController::Base would not be triggered. Luckily the tagged_logger is aware about these details in Rails 3, and it gives an option to create such rules by using a few predefined tags:

#config/initializers/tagged_logger.rb
TaggedLogger.rules do
debug /actioncontroller.logsubscriber$/ do |level, tag, msg| Logbook.send(level, tag.to_s, :msg => msg ) end end You may also use active_record.logsubscriber, action_mailer.logsubscriber, action_view.logsubscriber and rack.logsubscriber tags or if you want to redirect all Rails logging: debug /\.logsubscriber$/ do |level, tag, msg|
Logbook.send(level, tag.to_s, :msg => msg )
end