What is recorded in PowerFactory log files?


PowerFactory log files are found in the Workspace area, which normally contains the database, results files and log files, and whose location is configurable by the user. Their primary purpose is to record information that can be used by DIgSILENT to resolve customer problems raised as support queries. The log files are automatically included in a PowerFactory support package. Please see the Advanced Installation and Configuration Manual for the full list of contents of the support package.

When are log files created?

A log file will be created for each PowerFactory user when someone logs on for the first time as that user. For example, you may find in your workspace an Administrator.log and a User0002.log. Since version 2019, the log files have been “anonymised”, but the related PowerFactory username can be determined from within PowerFactory by looking at the User ID number.

When a log file reaches 10MB in size, a new log is started. No more than five previous log files are retained for any one PowerFactory user, the older ones being deleted.

Startup log: In addition to the main PowerFactory log file, there is also a short “startup” log file created each time the user logs on, before logging is transferred to the main PowerFactory log file once the PowerFactory user name is authenticated.

Parallel Processing: When the user executes processes, such as contingency calculations, making use of the parallel computation functionality, additional log files are created, one for each of the parallel processes.

What is recorded in the PowerFactory log file?  Is it configurable?

The details below refer to PowerFactory 2019. Users will find that in earlier versions of PowerFactory more information was recorded, but the logging is now restricted to just essential information, so as to comply with GDPR (Datenschutz-Grundverordnung) legislation.

The logging level is defined in the PowerFactory_logging.ini file, which typically looks like this:

=WARN  (general logging level)base.LoggerFactoryImpl=INFO  (this is information relating directly to the  generation of the log files)
base.main.LoggerHeartbeatTask=INFO   (these entries indicate that PowerFactory processes are running)
base.main.MainImpl=INFO  (these entries indicate that PowerFactory has been started or stopped)
sgl.drawing.gl=INFO  (information about the use of OpenGL graphics)

DIgSILENT may from time to time change what is recorded in the log files, as required.

Users can also make changes to their PowerFactory_logging.ini files themselves, but such changes require Windows administrator rights.  

The general logging level can be adjusted by changing the first line to “=ERROR” or “=WARN” for example. The subsequent lines are overrides to this level. The existing lines can be changed, or additional lines can be added for any category of message that appears in the log. For example, adding a line that says “Output=INFO” will extend the logging of Output Window messages to include all information messages.

The Audit Log

Because the PowerFactory logs are quite accessible, it is important to restrict the information included and avoid recording data that directly identifies individuals.

With PowerFactory 2019, Audit logging was introduced. This is designed for customer use, and can be activated by the PowerFactory Administrator user. The log contains more detailed information about a range of things including user authentication, database configuration changes and data export. The log is held securely in the database and is designed to be tamper-proof. Only the Administrator can access the log, by setting up a command to export the log, generate reports from the log, or run a check on its integrity.

The “User Accounts, User Groups, and Profiles” chapter of the User Manual gives some information about the Audit log, but for details of what is included in the log please see the Advanced Installation and Configuration Manual, which can be found in the user installation folder, or accessed via a link in the relevant section of the User Manual.