We’ve got a really exciting update to Seed that we’d like to share. We’ve completely redesigned how Seed displays your Lambda and API Gateway logs.

Seed Serverless Logs

Just some quick background before we dive into the details.


One of the biggest complaints we hear from Serverless developers, revolves around debugging. Due to the inherently managed nature of Serverless, debugging issues has always been a hassle. To make matters worse, CloudWatch (the primary way to work with logs in AWS) just isn’t very user friendly. This can make the development experience for Serverless needlessly painful.

At Seed we not only build for other startups that are using Serverless, we use it ourselves as well! Seed is built entirely on Serverless. So we know firsthand how painful it can be to work with logs in your Serverless app.

We spent the last couple of months thinking from the ground up, what the ideal Serverless logs experience would look like. It lead us to working on supporting a couple of key development workflows really well. We rolled out this update over the holidays but we wanted to wait till the new year to announce it.

So without further ado, I’d like to walk you through the new and improved logs interface in Seed.

Lightning fast navigation

Any reasonably sized Serverless app has scores of Lambda functions. This means that navigating to the logs you are looking for needs to be really fast.

Simply start typing the name of the Lambda function (or service name) to filter through all your functions and API Gateway endpoints to navigate to the logs you are looking for.

Autocomplete Lambda and API Gateway log groups

Seed will also remember all your recent searches. This comes in handy when you are developing and going back and forth between a couple of Lambda functions.

Recent log group searches

Live logs

Once you navigate to the logs you wanted to see, Seed will give you a live view of the logs as they come in.

Live Lambda logs

Lambda requests

By default CloudWatch will show you a single log per line. And a few logs put together would give you a single Lambda request. Seed by default groups Lambda requests together.

Grouped Lambda request

By grouping the requests together, Seed can show you all the logs related to that request. This ends up being valuable because you might be logging quite a few things in a single request.

So for example, you might log a JSON object to debug what is going on in your Lambda function. Seed will automatically format this and display it alongside the rest of the request.

JSON formatting in Lambda logs

Seed will also format stack traces for you.

Stack trace formatting in Lambda logs

Lambda logs errors and warnings

Seed will highlight any Lambda errors. This makes it really easy to scan through your logs and identify the ones that are causing a problem.

Lambda logs errors highlighted

In Node.js anything you logged using console.error will also get highlighted. While, the console.warn gets highlighted as a warning.

Lambda logs warnings highlighted

Sharing logs

The automatic grouping of Lambda log requests allows us to fix one of the biggest issues of working with logs, sharing log with your team!

Lambda requests (and API Gateway access logs) comes with a permalink that you can share with anybody on your team.

Lambda log request permalink

This is almost indispensable when working within a team. Once you finally track down that pesky issue through the logs, you’ll have a permalink that you can share with your co-workers.

Lambda log single request

AWS X-Ray Trace

If you have AWS X-Ray enabled for your Lambda functions, Seed will show you a direct link to the trace for that Lambda request.

Lambda log request X-Ray link

Simply, click through to view the X-Ray trace over on your AWS Console.

AWS X-Ray trace

API Gateway Access Logs

In your Serverless app, you want to make sure to enable access logs. It’s a great spot to start debugging any issues. Seed will neatly format all the fields that are being logged as a part of your access log.

View Access log formatted fields

And just as Lambda logs above, access logs with errors get highlighted.

Access logs errors highlighted

Filter by time

Seed also makes it really easy to look up logs around a specific date and time. We’ve taken extra care to support some key use cases.

For example, you might have received an alert for an error and want to check the logs for it. You can easily look up the logs from the past few minutes.

Logs from few minutes ago

We also support a variety of date and time formats. Including ones with an explicit UTC timezone. This is typically what you might receive from other error reporting services, like Sentry.

Logs for time with UTC timezone

You can also use a Unix timestamp.

Logs for time with Unix timestamp

And finally, look up logs within a given time range.

Logs within a time range

Filter by search terms

You can filter logs with a variety of search terms. For example, you can search for a single term.

Filter by single term

You can search for a phrase using quotes.

Filter by a phrase

Or search for multiple terms or phrases.

Filter by multiple term

You can even exclude certain terms in your search.

Filter by excluding a term

Finally, Seed will highlight the filtered logs with your search terms.

Highlight search terms in filter

A couple of neat tricks

We also have a few really handy tricks to help with your workflow.

Look up logs around a given time

Often you’ll be looking for logs around a given time but you might find yourself wanting to expand the range just a little bit more. Seed allows you to easily look up logs around a given time.

Look up logs around a given time

Switch timezones

You’ll also find yourself comparing your log timestamps to another service and it might use the UTC timezone. Simply click the start times to toggle between your local timezone and UTC.

Toggle timezones of logs

Important notes

A couple of things to note with this new logs interface.

  1. It is immediately available to all Seed users.

  2. Seed internally uses the CloudWatch Insight APIs.

  3. This means that you get unlimited log retention!

  4. Viewing logs live is completely free.

  5. However, AWS will charge you based on the amount of logs that are queried. When you filter your logs you are charged $0.005 per GB of log data scanned (depending on your region). So if you are querying large production apps, it’s important to be aware that there is a cost. Make sure to check for CloudWatch Analyze (Logs Insights queries) pricing for your region.

  6. If you are viewing logs for high traffic Lambdas and API endpoints, it might skip some requests as it can be hard to keep up with the live updates.

    Skipping logs sign

  7. For access logs of high traffic endpoints, some of the live logs might come in slightly out of order.

    Out of order logs sign


We’ve been using and improving the new logs interface internally for a while now. It’s become a key part of our development workflow. It helps us quickly track down issues and debug them. We hope you can give it a try with your apps. And we’d love to hear what you think!