These are projects posted by the students of Dr. Gove Allen at Brigham Young University. These students have taken one semester-long course on VBA and generally have had no prior programming experience

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Log Parser

Log files are everywhere in today’s technological world. Even some users of software products may need to consult log files. Some of the more prevalent log files are associated with websites and the web servers that host them.

Apache is a widely used HTTP server that hosts websites, and for each and every request to the Apache web server a log entry is recorded. This results in millions of log entries for just one web server. Sometimes it is necessary to look through these log files in order to understand why a certain website is failing, or who may be accessing the website, or to identify IP addresses that have attempted a denial of service attack.

The problem is trying to parse through the countless lines of log entries in each log file to find what is needed. At my job I was asked to specifically find which websites are being hit and how much.

I built an Excel workbook that can parse through log files and return a count of how many similar matches have appeared in the log files. You are able to use regular expressions, which are a simple way of specifying what pattern to look for, to dissect the log files. You are able to parse through multiple log files. And you can specify the groups and which ones you want to count.

I found that this application could be used for not only log files, but anything that might need regular expressions to parse through text.


Excel Workbook:
http://files.gove.net/shares/files/15w/yoshutch/Log_Parser_final.xlsm

Sample log file:
http://files.gove.net/shares/files/15w/yoshutch/access_log

Final Report: http://files.gove.net/shares/files/15w/yoshutch/VBAFinalReport.pdf

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