System Event Logging

The WebSphere Portal Server generates two types of information one is messages and other is detailed trace information.

Important Note: Starting from WebSphere Portal Server Version 6.1, the location of log and trace file is changed. Now these files get generated under wp_profile\logs\WebSphere_Portal folder.


WebSphere Portal provides the logging of messages that report errors and status information.

  • Informational:A condition worth noting but does not require the user to perform an action.

  • Warning: An abnormal condition has been detected. The user may have to take action. However, WebSphere Portal code is able to handle the condition without failing.

  • Error: A serious failure in the execution of the application that requires further action.


Portal provides the logging of debugging messages called traces. These traces are useful for fixing problems.

Important Note Enabling trace is resource intensive so traces are disable by default.

You can enable traces either temporarily or permanently(Enable trace across server restart.)


When it comes to enabling tracing for temporary period of time you have two options you can use either the Portal Admin Section or WAS Admin Console.

Enable Tracing Portlet

You can enable trace for particular component by going to Portal Admin Console -> Portal Analysis -> Enable Tracing. You should get screen like this. By default it will have trace string "*=info". If you want to enable trace for say access control enter "*=all" and click on add.

WAS Administration Console
You can enable tracing using the WAS Admin console too. Follow these steps for that

  • Log in into WAS Admin console. By default it is available at https://localhost:10041/ibm/console.

  • Go to Trouble Shooting -> Log and Trace. Select WebSphere_Portal or whatever is your server name.

  • Click on the Diagnostic Trace it will open Diagnostic Trace Service page.

  • Switch to Runtime tab. Which looks like this.

  • Now Click on Change Log Details Level link on the right hand side.It will open a page like this. On this page you have two options either click on the package that your interested in and it will open context menu select Messages and Trace Level -> Finest in that or you enable trace string by entering the trace string directly in the Text Area where it says *=info.

  • Click Ok and your changes should take effect immediately.

Once you enable trace you will trace.log file in wp_profile\logs\WebSphere_Portal folder thats the file which you should use for looking at the trace information.


If you want your trace changes to persist across server restart then you will have to use the WAS Admin Console.

Follow the same steps as turning on the trace for turning on temporary trace but click on the Change Log Details level link on Configuration tab instead of Runtime tab. Your changes would be persisted in wp_profile\config\cells\sunpa\nodes\sunpa\servers\WebSphere_Portal file.

<services xmi:type="traceservice:TraceService" xmi:id="TraceService_1226779529755" enable="false" startupTraceSpecification="**=all" traceOutputType="SPECIFIED_FILE" traceFormat="LOG_ANALYZER">
<traceLog xmi:id="TraceLog_1226779529758" fileName="${SERVER_LOG_ROOT}/trace.log" rolloverSize="20" maxNumberOfBackupFiles="3"/>

Open the server.xml file and search for traceService you will see the trace service related configuration.

Important NoteAny changes that you make on the Configuration tab or in the server.xml file directly wont take effect unless you restart the server.

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