I have a log that has time expressed like this
20151218111015. So that would be December 18th, 2015 11:10:15. However, sometimes it doesn't have the seconds. So, the props.conf TIME_FORMAT could be either
%Y%m%d%H%M. If I put in the first, then the events without seconds don't get the correct time ... they just get the time that the event was indexed. If I put in the second, then none of my events have seconds. Is there any way around this? I would like it to keep the seconds if they exist.
It's a tricky one. If you have any control over the log format try to fix that first. It should be consistent.
If that's not possible then I would go for the one without seconds in your universal fw and then capture the seconds with regex and overwrite the timestamp before indexing. I can't remember whether this is possible or not for the timestamp but it's definitely doable for other meta fields such as host or source type.
Keep in mind this is going to add an unnecessary load in your indexer or heavy forwarder but if your time is not consistent you don't have that many options I'm afraid.