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You can also add fields directly to the logger using logger.withFields for contextual logging:

var loggerWithFoo = basicLogger.withFields(fb -> fb.string("foo", "bar"));

// will log "foo": "bar" field in a JSON appender."JSON field will log automatically") 

This works very well for HTTP session and request data such as correlation ids.

One thing to be aware of that the popular idiom of using public static final Logger<MyFieldBuilder> logger can be limiting in cases where you want to include context data. For example, if you have a number of objects with their own internal state, it may be more appropriate to create a logger field on the object.

public class PlayerData {

  // the date is scoped to an instance of this player
  private Date lastAccessedDate = new Date();

  // logger is not static because lastAccessedDate is an instance variable
  private final Logger<BuilderWithDate> logger =
          .withFields(fb ->"last_accessed_date", lastAccessedDate));


Because values may be tied to state or variables that can change between method calls, the function call made by withFields is call by name i.e. the function is called on every logging statement for evaluation against any conditions and the logging statement will contain whatever the current value of lastAccessedDate at evaluation.

It's important to note that context evaluation only happens after enabled checks. For example, isInfoEnabled will not trigger context evaluation by itself. However, any implementation specific markers attached to the context will be passed in for the enabled check, as both Logback and Log4J incorporate marker checks in isEnabled.

// will not evaluate context fields
// will evaluate any impl-specific markers (Logback or Log4J)
boolean enabled = logger.isInfoEnabled();

The way that context works in conjunction with conditions is more involved, and is covered in the conditions section.

Thread Context

You can also resolve any fields in Mapped Diagnostic Context (MDC) into fields, using logger.withThreadContext(). This method provides a pre-built function that calls fb.string for each entry in the map.

Because MDC is thread local, if you pass the logger between threads or use asynchronous processing i.e. CompletionStage/CompletableFuture, you may have inconsistent results.

org.slf4j.MDC.put("mdckey", "mdcvalue");
myLogger.withThreadContext().info("This statement has MDC values in context");

This method is call by name, and so will provide the MDC state as fields at the time the logging statement is evaluated.

Thread Safety

Thread safety is something to be aware of when using context fields. While fields are thread-safe and using a context is far more convenient than using MDC, you do still have to be aware when you are accessing non-thread safe state.

For example, SimpleDateFormat is infamously not thread-safe, and so the following code is not safe to use in a multi-threaded context:

private final static DateFormat df = new SimpleDateFormat("yyyyMMdd");

private static final Logger<PresentationFieldBuilder> logger =
        .withFields(fb -> fb.string("unsafe_date", df.format(new Date())));