Setting up Cloudwatch for Custom logs in AWS Elastic Beanstalk

Amazon Cloudwatch monitoring services are very handy to gain insight to your application metrics,  besides metrics and alarms you can use this to go through your application logs without logging into your server and tail the logs.

I ran into few issues when I was initially setting up Cloudwatch for my custom logs in the Elastic Beanstalk  Tomcat Application.  I will walk you through the whole process in this blog.

Setting up your application

In this example I am using a Spring boot Application which will be deployed in ElasticBeanstalk Tomcat container.

.ebextension file

First you need to create a .ebextention file for your application
Here is a working sample of the .ebextension file

"/etc/awslogs/config/mycustom.conf" :
mode: "060606"
owner: root
group: root
content: |
log_group_name = `{"Fn::Join":["/", ["/aws/elasticbeanstalk", { "Ref":"AWSEBEnvironmentName" }, "var/log/tomcat8/mycustomlog.log"]]}`
log_stream_name = {instance_id}
file =/var/log/tomcat8/mycustomlog.log*

The above configuration will create a custom configuration to copy logs from /var/log/tomcat8/mycustomlog.log to a log group named for my application  and will copy over all the logs with the pattern mycustomlog.log

This line creates a configuration file mycustom.conf in the /etc/awslogs/config/mycustom.conf location. Once deployed you can SSH into this location to view your configuration.

"/etc/awslogs/config/mycustom.conf" :

The following lines creates the log groups and create the scripts to copy over the files to cloudwatch

content: |
log_group_name = `{"Fn::Join":["/", ["/aws/elasticbeanstalk", { "Ref":"AWSEBEnvironmentName" }, "var/log/tomcat8/mycustomlog.log"]]}`
log_stream_name = {instance_id}
file =/var/log/tomcat8/mycustomlog.log*

Make sure that you check your .ebextension is a valid yaml before deploying this to your appliction environment.  I use to check the validity of my YAML’s 

Place your .ebextension file in the /src/main/resources/ebextensions/ folder of your project


Gradle Script

Now you need to update your gradle scripts to make sure that you package your .ebextnsion file along with your war file

Update your Gradle Script to include the ebextension in the root of the file

war {
       from('src/main/resources/ebextensions') {
       into " .ebextensions";

With this gradle script your war file should have a .ebextensions folder in the root and should have the mycustom.conf file in it.

Now lets prepare your Elastic Beanstalk to enable the cloudwatch

Prepping up your Elastic Beanstalk  Environment

To enable Cloudwatch for Elastic Beanstalk you need the following

  1. Permission for Elastic Beanstalk to create log group and log stream
  2. Enable the Cloudwatch on the Elastic Beanstalk application

Login to your AWS Account, go to IAM and create a new Policy  simillar to the following

Grant Permission to Elastic Beanstalk


    "Version": "2012-10-17",
    "Statement": [
            "Sid": "CloudWatchLogsAccess",
            "Action": [
            "Effect": "Allow",
            "Resource": [

Now attach this policy to “aws-elasticbeanstalk-ec2-role”

Enable CloudStream on your Elastic Beanstalk application

Go to your Elastic Beanstalk Application, Edit Software Configuration in the Configuration Menu

Configuration 2017-12-10 16-21-55

Enable Cloudwatch Logs from the settings

Configuration 1 2017-12-10 16-21-55

Once you do this the AWS will re-configure the sytem, now you deploy the war file created from the gradle script.

Usually AWS picks up the configuration after you deploy the new war file. if not restart the environment.

Go to the cloudwatch to verify your log stream

Troubleshooting Tips

As I said before i had issues while i was setting this up, if your configurations are not getting picked up go ahead with the following steps to  trobleshoot this issue

  • Make sure that your YAML is valid.
  • SSH into the Environment and make sure that the file created in the location /etc/awslogs/config/mycustom.conf is valid.
  • Check eb-publish-logs.log to see if it has any errors
  • Finally if nothing works rebuild your environment.

Using Java reflection to reduce Code and Development time in DFS

Java reflections is one of the most powerful API’s of Java Language, this can be used to reduce code significantly.

Most of the Current Enterprise application consists of different layers and they uses Value objects to transfer data from one layer to another. Inefficient way of using getters and setters of the attributes of Value objects can increase code and development time of application. Effective use of reflection can reduce code and development time significantly.

So lets take a Scenario,  I have a Object type MyObjectType extending from dm_document with 50 additional attributes, so dm_document as of Documentum 6.5 has 86 attributes adding additional 50 attributes that means we have 139 attributes for this object type. Consider a standard Web Application using DFS behind which needs to manipulate (add or edit) instances of this object type, The Service needs to add all these attributes to the PropertySet  of the DataObject representing that instance. Then need to call the appropriate service.

Considering that the bean instance name of MyObjectType is myObjectBean the Standard code will  be something like this

          ObjectIdentity objIdentity = new ObjectIdentity("myRepository");
          DataObject dataObject = new DataObject(objIdentity, "dm_document");
          PropertySet properties = dataObject.getProperties();
          properties.set("object_name", myObjectBean.getObject_Name());
          properties.set("title", myObjectBean.getTitle());


objectService.create(new DataPackage(dataObject), operationOptions);


In the above code you have to explicitly set individual attributes for the object , the more the number of attributes the more complex and messy code.

Take another Example, where you have to retrieve an Object information and pass it over to the UI layer.


This operation can be more complex if you decide to use match the Data Type of your bean with the Object type.


So what is the best approach to reduce this complexity? the answer is effective use of reflection API.

Lets take a step to step approach to handle this issue.


To understand this better consider the below as the attributes of mycustomobjecttype


Attribute Name Attribute Type
first_name String
last_name String
age integer
date_purchased time
amount_due double
local_buyer boolean


Java Bean

Create a Java Bean that matches the Object Type

public class Mycustomobjecttype {
  protected String first_name ;
  protected String last_name  ;
  protected int age;
  protected Date date_purchased  ;
  protected double amount_due  ;
  protected boolean local_buyer ;
  public int getAge() {
    return age;
  public void setAge(int age) {
    this.age = age;
  public double getAmount_due() {
    return amount_due;
  public void setAmount_due(double amount_due) {
    this.amount_due = amount_due;
  public Date getDate_purchased() {
    return date_purchased;
  public void setDate_purchased(Date date_purchased) {
    this.date_purchased = date_purchased;
  public String getFirst_name() {
    return first_name;
  public void setFirst_name(String first_name) {
    this.first_name = first_name;
  public String getLast_name() {
    return last_name;
  public void setLast_name(String last_name) {
    this.last_name = last_name;
  public boolean isLocal_buyer() {
    return local_buyer;
  public void setLocal_buyer(boolean local_buyer) {
    this.local_buyer = local_buyer;

Getting the Values from PropertySet (Loading Java Bean)


List<DataObject> dataObjectList = dataPackage.getDataObjects();
DataObject dObject = dataObjectList.get(0);
Mycustomobjecttype myCustomObject = new Mycustomobjecttype();


// See the Reflection in Action here 

public void populateBeanFromPropertySet(PropertySet propertySet, Object bean)
  throws Exception {

BeanInfo beaninformation;
beaninformation = Introspector.getBeanInfo(bean.getClass());
  PropertyDescriptor[] sourceDescriptors = beaninformation.getPropertyDescriptors();
  for (PropertyDescriptor descriptor : sourceDescriptors) {

    Object result = null;
    String name = descriptor.getName();
    if (!name.equals("class")) {
      if (propertySet.get(name) != null) {
        if (descriptor.getPropertyType().getName().equals(
            "int")) {
          result = new Integer(propertySet.get(name)
        } else if (descriptor.getPropertyType().getName().equals("double")) {
          result = new Double(propertySet.get(name).getValueAsString());

        } else if (descriptor.getPropertyType().getName().equals("boolean")) {
          result = new Boolean(propertySet.get(name).getValueAsString());

        } else if (descriptor.getPropertyType().getName().equals("java.util.Date")) {
          DateProperty dat = (DateProperty)propertySet.get(name);
          result = dat.getValue();
        }else {
          // none of the other possible types, so assume it as String
          result = propertySet.get(name).getValueAsString();
        if (result != null)
          descriptor.getWriteMethod().invoke(bean, result);

Setting Values to Property Set


public DataPackage createContentLessObject(Mycustomobjecttype myCustomType) throws Exception {
ObjectIdentity objectIdentity = new ObjectIdentity("testRepositoryName");
DataObject dataObject = new DataObject(objectIdentity, myCustomType.getClass().getName());

PropertySet properties = populateProperties(myCustomType);
properties.set("object_name",myCustomType.getFirst_name()+myCustomType.getLast_name() );

DataPackage dataPackage = new DataPackage(dataObject);
OperationOptions operationOptions = new OperationOptions();

return objectService.create(dataPackage, operationOptions);



// Reflection in Action  
public PropertySet populateProperties(Object bean)throws Exception {
BeanInfo beaninfo;
PropertySet myPropertyset = new PropertySet();
  beaninfo = Introspector.getBeanInfo(bean.getClass());
  PropertyDescriptor[] sourceDescriptors = beaninfo
  for (PropertyDescriptor descriptor : sourceDescriptors) {
    String propertyName = descriptor.getName();
    if (!propertyName.equals("class")) {
        // dont set read only attributes if any
        // example r_object_id 
      if (!propertyName.startsWith("r")) {
        Object value = descriptor.getReadMethod().invoke(bean);
        if (value != null) {
          myPropertyset.set(propertyName, value);



  return myPropertyset;