Effective Logging Practices in Swift

In the world of software development, logging is an invaluable tool for diagnosing issues, understanding application behaviour, and ensuring system reliability. For Swift developers, implementing an effective logging strategy can dramatically simplify the process of maintaining and debugging applications, especially after deployment. This blog post explores the importance of logging in Swift applications, how to set up a logging framework, and best practices for logging. We’ll use an expense split app as an example to demonstrate practical implementations.

Why is Logging Important?

Logging provides visibility into an application’s runtime behavior and is crucial for troubleshooting errors and anomalies that might not be reproducible in a development environment. It helps developers track down where things went wrong and understand the application’s state at the time of an issue.

Setting Up a Logging Framework in Swift

Swift does not include a built-in logging framework like some other languages, but there are several third-party libraries available that can be used to add sophisticated logging capabilities to your applications. For this example, we’ll use SwiftLog, an open-source logging API that provides a flexible and performant logging solution.

  1. Integrating SwiftLog
  • Add the SwiftLog package to your project via Swift Package Manager.
  • Import Logging in the Swift files where you need logging.
import Logging

let logger = Logger(label: "com.yourdomain.expensesplit")
  1. Configuring the Logger
  • Set up the logger in your application’s entry point, configuring the log level and log handler as necessary.
LoggingSystem.bootstrap { label in
    var handler = StreamLogHandler.standardOutput(label: label)
    handler.logLevel = .debug
    return handler

Best Practices for Logging in Swift

  1. Use Appropriate Log Levels: SwiftLog supports different log levels (trace, debug, info, notice, warning, error, critical). Use these levels appropriately to indicate the severity of the messages being logged.
  2. Include Contextual Information: Always log enough contextual information to understand the circumstances under which the log was generated. This might include user identifiers, error codes, or state descriptions.
  3. Avoid Sensitive Information: Never log sensitive information such as passwords, personal identifiable information, or security tokens.
  4. Log Errors and Exceptions Thoroughly: Whenever catching errors or exceptions, log them with detailed messages and stack traces if applicable.

Example: Implementing Logging in an Expense Split App

Consider an expense split app where logging can help monitor the flow of adding expenses and handling errors:

struct ExpenseManager {
    func addExpense(name: String, amount: Double) {
        logger.info("Adding new expense: \(name) for amount: \(amount)")
        do {
            try database.saveExpense(name: name, amount: amount)
            logger.debug("Expense \(name) successfully saved.")
        } catch {
            logger.error("Failed to save expense \(name): \(error.localizedDescription)")

In this snippet:

  • Info Log: Logs a high-level action of adding a new expense.
  • Debug Log: Confirms the successful saving of an expense.
  • Error Log: Catches and logs any errors that occur during the save operation.


Effective logging is an essential component of modern software development, providing a critical resource for troubleshooting and ensuring the health of an application post-deployment. By implementing a robust logging system in your Swift applications, you ensure that you have the necessary visibility into your app’s operations, which is invaluable for maintaining and debugging live systems. Remember, good logging practices can mean the difference between spending hours debugging an issue and solving it in a few minutes.


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