Structured Logging

Structured Logging makes Liquibase operation data easily available and machine-readable. You can use monitoring and analysis tools to read, query, and act upon this data in automated workflows. Liquibase not only does the tricky work of database schema versioning and management, it also helps you understand the data around these operations and how they fit into your overall DevOps and CI/CD performance.

Tools you can use with Liquibase Structured Logging include AWS Cloudwatch, Granfana, Opensearch, Sematext, Splunk, ElasticSearch and other analysis instruments. Monitoring and analysis tools can easily determine and act upon both real-time and long-term trend data for Liquibase usage with Structured Logging. Other data that Liquibase can use are performance, errors, security, tracking for auditablility and outcomes, and even standard DORA DevOps metrics.

Liquibase uses a Mapped Diagnostic Context (MDC) to generate structured logs in a JSON format.

Enable Structured Logging

  1. Set the --license-key property using your Liquibase Pro license key. See How to Apply Your Liquibase Pro License Key.
  2. Set the --log-format property to JSON or JSON_PRETTY:
    • CLI: liquibase --log-format=JSON or JSON_PRETTY
    • Properties file: liquibase.logFormat=JSON or JSON_PRETTY
    • Environment Variable: LIQUIBASE_LOG_FORMAT=JSON or JSON_PRETTY
  3. Set the --log-level property to a value other than OFF. Use this to define what to include in your structured logs. Valid values are FINE, INFO, WARN, and SEVERE.
  4. (Optional) Set the --log-file properties so the log data is sent to a file rather than to the console. This is useful if you want to capture a file to be ingested by your log analysis tool, such as Elastic or Cloudwatch, etc.

    To do so, set the --log-file property equal to the log file of your choice in the file, as an environment variable, or in the CLI.

    Example: liquibase --log-format=JSON_PRETTY --log-level=INFO update --log-file=mylogfile.log

Structured Logging is enabled successfully!

Note: By default, console messages are included in your log. If you need to disable this, set mirror-console-messages-to-log to false.

Disable Structured Logging

To disabled structured logging, do one of the following:

  • Set --log-format to TEXT to explicitly use unstructured logs
  • Omit the --log-format parameter and Liquibase reverts to the default value of TEXT

Supported commands

You can get structured logs from the output of the following commands:

Note: Structured Logging affects log output, not command output. Commands like status, history, and diff deliver command output directly in the console. Log output is fine-grained and often is code or meta information related.

Also, not all commands are yet structured, and these command will still produce a structured log, but there will not be additional data or content in these log objects. The new content that is available in structured logs includes things like deploymentID, command parameters, label filter settings, nested objects, and more.


For a list of keys that Liquibase includes in the JSON output, see Structured Logging Keys.