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    3.3.1 • Public • Published

    r7insight_node: Insight Platform Client

    Allows you to send logs to the Insight Platform (or Logentries) account from Node.js.

    This client is not backwards-compatible with Le_Node.
    An upgrade guide can be found on the wiki.

    There’s a separate client intended for use in the browser, called r7insight_js, which uses http and is optimized for browser-specific logging needs.


    const Logger = require('r7insight_node');
    const logger = new Logger({ token: '<token>' , region: '<region>'});
    logger.warning("I'll put this over here, with the rest of the fire.");


    Workflow is as follows:

    • Fork the repository
    • Clone it locally
    • npm install for installing the packages
    • Add unit testing for desired functionality - npm test for testing
    • Work on functionality
    • Bump relevant version when finished npm version [major|minor|patch]
    • Update typescript definitions if necessary
      • # You can simply paste all this into your terminal
        npm uninstall -g r7insight_node
        npm pack
        npm i -g r7insight_node-*.tgz
        npm install -g dts-gen
        dts-gen -m r7insight_node -f index.d.ts -o
    • Push and open a pull request


    The options object you provide to the constructor only requires your access token, but you can configure its behavior further.

    All of the following except token, levels and secure can also be configured after instantiation as settable properties on the client. They are accessors, though, and invalid values will be ignored.


    • token: String. Log token for the Rapid7 Insight Platform.
    • region: The region of ingestion endpoint to be used. Examples: eu, us etc.


    • console: If truthy, log events also get sent to console.log, console.warn and console.error as appropriate. Default: false.
    • levels: Custom names for the 8 log levels and their corresponding methods. More details on this below.
    • minLevel: The minimum level to actually record logs at. String or Number. Defaults to 0.
    • takeLevelFromLog: If truthy, will take log message level from message. Default: false.
      E.g. if true:
      // Rather than call different functions based on level:
      logger.warn({message: 'hello'});
      // You can call the same function with different levels within object:
      logger.log({level: 'warn', message: 'hello'});
    • bufferSize: The maximum number of log entries that may be queued in the internal ring buffer for sending at a given moment. Default: 16192.
    • secure: If truthy, uses a TLS connection. Default: true.
    • inactivityTimeout: The time, in milliseconds, that inactivity should warrant closing the connection to the host until needed again. Defaults to 15 seconds.
    • disableTimeout: Sets the socket timeout to 0. Should not be used with inactivityTimeout option.
    • reconnectInitialDelay: Initial wait time in milliseconds while reconnecting. Default: 1000
    • reconnectMaxDelay: Maximum wait time in milliseconds while reconnecting. Default: 15 * 1000
    • reconnectBackoffStrategy: Backoff strategy to be used while trying to reconnect. It can be either fibonacci or exponential. Default: fibonnacci

    Log Processing Options

    • flatten: Convert objects into a single-level object where the values of interior objects become dot-notation properties of the root object. Defaults to false. More details on this below.
    • flattenArrays: If flatten is true, you can also indicate whether arrays should be subject to the same process. Defaults to true if flatten is true; otherwise meaningless.
    • replacer: A custom value-transform function to be used during JSON serialization. Applied before error transformation.
    • timestamp: If truthy, prefix entries with an ISO timestamp (if strings) or add the same as a property (if objects). Default: false.
    • withLevel: Will prepend (string) or add property (object) indicating the log level. Default: true.
    • withHostname: Will prepend(string) or add property (object) indicating the hostname from which the log was sent. Default: false.
    • withStack: If an object is or contains an Error object, setting this to true will cause the stack trace to be included. Default: false.


    • host: Optional host to send logs to. Normally you would not want to set this, but it may be useful for mocking during tests. The value may be just the host or the host with the port specified.
    • port: As above. This will default to 80 if secure is false, or 443 if it’s true.
    • debug: Setting this to true will enable debug logging with a default stdout logger.
    • debugLogger: Use this to override default stdout logger. New logger must implement a log method.

    Log Levels

    The default log levels are:

    1. debug
    2. info
    3. notice
    4. warning
    5. err
    6. crit
    7. alert
    8. emerg

    You can provision the constructor with custom names for these levels with either an array or an object hash:

    [ 'boring', 'yawn', 'eh', 'hey' ]
    { boring: 0, yawn: 1, eh: 2, hey: 3 }

    In the former case, the index corresponds to the numeric level, so sparse arrays are valid. In either case, missing levels will be filled in with the defaults.

    The minLevel option respects either level number (e.g. 2) or the name (e.g. 'eh').

    The level names each become methods on the client, which are just sugar for calling client.log(lvl, logentry) with the first argument curried.

    Since these names will appear on the client, they can’t collide with existing properties. Not that you’re particularly likely to try naming a log level ‘hasOwnProperty’ or ‘_write’ but I figured I should mention it.

    So the following three are equivalent:

    logger.notice('my msg');
    logger.log('notice', 'my msg');
    logger.log(2, 'my msg');

    It’s also possible to forgo log levels altogether. Just call log with a single argument and it will be interpreted as the log entry. When used this way, the minLevel setting is ignored.


    Logger Events

    These events are also exported in the Logger, so you can access them using Logger.errorEvent, Logger.bufferDrainEvent etc. Example:

       logger.notice({ type: 'server', event: 'shutdown' });
       logger.once(Logger.bufferDrainEvent, () => {
          logger.on(Logger.disconnectedEvent, () => {


    The client is an EventEmitter, so you should (as always) make sure you have a listener on 'error'. Error events can occur when there’s been a problem with the connection or if a method was called with invalid parameters. Note that errors that occur during instantiation, as opposed to operation, will throw.


    Triggered when a log is about to be written to the underlying connection. The prepared log object or string is supplied as an argument.

    'connected' and 'disconnected' and 'timed out'

    These indicate when a new connection to the host is established, destroyed or timed out due to client side inactivity. Inactivity timeout is normal if the connection is inactive for a configurable period of time (see inactivityTimeout); it will be reopened when needed again. Disconnection can be either a result of socket inactivity or a network failure.

    'drain', 'finish', 'pipe', and 'unpipe'

    These are events inherited from Writable.

    'buffer drain'

    This event is emitted when the underlying ring buffer is fully consumed and Socket.write callback called. This can be useful when it’s time for the application to terminate but you want to be sure any pending logs have finished writing.

       logger.notice({ type: 'server', event: 'shutdown' });
       logger.once('buffer drain', () => {
          logger.on('disconnected', () => {

    RingBuffer Events

    'buffer shift'

    Buffer shift event is emitted when the internal buffer is shifted due to reaching bufferSize of events in the buffer. This event may be listened for security/operations related reasons as each time this event is emitted, a log event will be discarded and discarded log event will never make it to the Insight Platform.

    logger.ringBuffer.on('buffer shift', () => {
        // PagerDuty or send an email 

    Log Entries

    Log entries can be strings or objects. If the log argument is an array, it will be interpretted as multiple log events.

    Object Serialization

    In the case of objects, the native JSON.stringify serialization is augmented in several ways. In addition to handling circular references, it will automatically take care of a variety of objects and primitives which otherwise wouldn’t serialize correctly, like Error, RegExp, Set, Map, Infinity, NaN, etc.

    If you choose to set withStack to true, errors will include their stacktraces as an array (so that they are not painful to look at). Be sure to turn on "expand JSON" (meaning pretty print) in the options in the Insight Platform:

    ![stack trace as seen in logentries app][screen1]

    You can adjust this further by supplying your own custom replacer. This is a standard argument to JSON.stringify -- See MDN: JSON > Stringify > The Replacer Parameter for details. In the event that you supply a custom replacer, it is applied prior to the built-in replacer described above so you can override its behavior.

    Optional Augmentation

    Two options are available, timestamp and withLevel, which will add data to your log events. For objects, these are added as properties (non-mutatively). For strings, these values are prepended. If the name of a property would cause a collision with an existing property, it will be prepended with an underscore.

    Flattening Log Objects

    In some cases it will end up being easier to query your data if objects aren’t deeply nested. With the flatten and flattenArrays options, you can tell the client to transform objects like so:

    • { "a": 1, "b": { "c": 2 } } => { "a": 1, "b.c": 2 }

    If flattenArrays has not been set to false, this transformation will apply to arrays as well:

    • { "a": [ "b", { "c": 3 } ] } => { "a.0": "b", "a.1.c": 3 }


    In addition to log and its arbitrary sugary cousins, you can call closeConnection to explicitly close an open connection if one exists; you might wish to do this as part of a graceful exit. The connection will reopen if you log further.

    Also, because the client is actually a writable stream, you can call write directly. This gives you lower-level access to writing entries. It is in object mode, but this means it expects discreet units (one call = one entry), not actual objects; you should pass in strings. This is useful if you want to pipe stdout, for example.


    If there’s a problem with the connection (network loss or congestion), entries will be buffered in an internal ring buffer to a max of 16192(bufferSize) entries by default. After that, internal ring buffer will shift records to keep only last bufferSize number of records in memory. A log that indicates the buffer was full will be sent to internal logger "once" this happens. If console is true, these log entries will still display there, but they will not make it to the Insight Platform.

    You can adjust the maximum size of the buffer with the bufferSize option. You’ll want to raise it if you’re dealing with very high volume (either a high number of logs per second, or when log entries are unusually long on average). Outside of these situations, exceeding the max buffer size is more likely an indication of creating logs in a synchronous loop (which seems like a bad idea).

    Connection Handling

    If the connection fails, it will keep retrying with a fibonacci backoff by default. Connection retry will start with a delay of reconnectInitialDelay and the delay between each retry will go up to a maximum of reconnectMaxDelay with each retry in fibonacci sequence. Backoff strategy can be changed to exponential through constructor if necessary.

    A connection to the host does not guarantee that your logs are transmitting successfully. If you have a bad token, there is no feedback from the server to indicate this. The only way to confirm that your token is working is to check the live tail in InsightOps. I will investigate this further to see if there’s some other means with which a token can be tested for validity.

    Using as a Winston ‘Transport’


    • winston and winston-transport installed

    Code Example

    const winston = require('winston');
    // If Winston is included in your package.json dependencies,
    // you can just require the Insight Logger
    // to initialize it.
    const token = '00112233-4455-6677-8899-aabbccddeeff';
    const transports = [];
    	new winston.transports.Console({
    		format: winston.format.simple(),
    		level: 'debug',
    	new winston.transports.Insight({
    		region: 'eu',
    		level: 'debug',
    const logger = winston.createLogger({
    });'hello there');

    The Insight client will place the transport constructor at winston.transports, even if Winston itself hasn’t yet been required.

    const Logger = require('r7insight_node');
    const winston = require('winston');
    • Winston is an optional dependency in r7insight_node and and if included it requires winston-transport for the InsightTransport to extend it.

    • When adding a new Insight transport, the options argument passed to Winston’s add method supports the usual options in addition to those which are Winston- specific. If custom levels are not provided, Winston’s defaults will be used.

    winston.add(new winston.transports.Insight({ token: '<token>', region: '<region>' }));
    • In the hard-to-imagine case where you’re using Winston without including it in package.json, you can explicitly provision the transport by first requiring Winston and then importing and calling provisionWinston like this:
    const winston = require('winston');
    const Logger = require('r7insight_node');

    Using with Bunyan

    For Bunyan it’s like so:

    const bunyan = require('bunyan');
    const Logger = require('r7insight_node');
    const loggerDefinition = Logger.bunyanStream({ token: '<token', region: '<region>' });
    // One stream
    const logger1 = bunyan.createLogger(loggerDefinition);
    // Multiple streams
    const logger2 = bunyan.createLogger({
    	name: 'my leg',
    	streams: [ loggerDefinition, otherLoggerDefinition ]

    As with Winston, the options argument takes the normal constructor options (with the exception of timestamp, which is an option you should set on Bunyan itself instead). Bunyan uses six log levels, so the seventh and eighth, if provided, will be ignored; by default Bunyan’s level names will be used.

    The object returned by bunyanStream is the Bunyan logging ‘channel’ definition in total. If you want to futz with this you can -- you can change its name or get the stream object itself from here.

    Using with Ts.ED Logger

    For Ts.ED logger it's like so:

    import {Logger} from "@tsed/logger";
    import "@tsed/logger-insight";
    const logger = new Logger("loggerName");
    logger.appenders.set("stdout", {
      type: "insight",
      level: ["info"],
      options: {
        token: "the token",
        region: "us"
        // other options of insight

    As with Winston, the options argument takes the normal constructor options.

    See more details on Ts.ED logger


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