Event Sourcing: A Better Way To Audit

Event Store Team  |  17 February 2023

Does your operational database (relational, NoSQL, graph, document, etc) solve the auditing requirements you have today?

What are Audit Logs?

Audit logs are records of events or transactions that occur within a software system. They provide a detailed history of all changes made to the system, including who made the changes, when they were made, and what was changed. In software development, audit logs play a critical role in ensuring the quality, security, reliability of software applications, and complying with regulatory requirements. 

The Problem With Change Logs

Many developers think a simple change log is all you need; however, this isn’t always the case. Here’s why:

Lack of Immutability:

Traditional databases are not designed to maintain a complete, accurate, and unalterable record of changes. This makes it difficult to perform audits and troubleshoot issues, as the history of changes may have been modified or lost over time.

Limited Retrieval Capabilities:

Legacy databases can make it difficult to correlate queries and retrieve information about specific events or transactions. This can make auditing and reporting more time-consuming and resource-intensive.

Performance Issues:

As more data accumulates, performance can degrade. This impacts auditing and reporting, as the database may not be able to provide the necessary information quickly enough.

Scalability Challenges:

Systems built on top of traditional databases pose challenges when it comes to changing requirements or an increased load. Whilst some traditional databases can handle large amounts of data, they face issues around scaling the system as a whole.

How does Event Sourcing solve these problems?

Event sourcing is a way to persist state in a different way to relational, document, or graph databases. Rather than just storing the current state, your database will store an immutable sequence of events, ideal for audit purposes. 

When you adopt this pattern with EventStoreDB, a new category of database built for Event Sourcing, you achieve:

An immutable Record of Changes

Event sourcing ensures that every change to the system is recorded as an event, creating an immutable record. This makes auditing easier and more reliable, as it provides a complete and accurate history of changes.

Ease of Retrieval

With event sourcing, it is easy to retrieve events based on specific criteria, such as time, user or type of change. It’s simple to search for specific events that are relevant to an audit.

Event sourcing provides a complete and accurate record of all changes made to a system, not just a subset of changes. Auditors can therefore have a complete view of the system, making it easier to verify compliance and explain deviations.

Easier Reconciliation

Reconcile data between different systems and processes easily, as you’ll have a complete record of changes. This makes it possible to detect any discrepancies and resolve them quickly.

Learn more about Event Sourcing with our 'Beginner's Guide To Event Sourcing'.

You'll now be able to see how EventStoreDB provides a powerful solution for auditing purposes by offering a complete and immutable record of changes, improved data privacy, and easier reconciliation. 

Get started with EventStoreDB here.