The OpenTelemetry project uses terminology you may or may not be familiar with. In addition, the project may define the terminology in a different way than others. This page captures terminology used in the project and what it means.
- Aggregation: The process of combining multiple measurements into exact or
estimated statistics about the measurements that took place during an
interval of time, during program execution. Used by the
- API: Application Programming Interface. In the OpenTelemetry project,
used to define how telemetry data is generated per
- Application: One or more
Servicesdesigned for end users or other applications.
- APM: Application Performance Monitoring. Typically a back-end of the
Used by the
Data Sourceto attach name/value pairs to a
- Baggage: A mechanism for propagating name/value pairs to help establish a causal relationship between events and services.
- Client Library: See
- Collector: A vendor-agnostic implementation on how to receive, process, and export telemetry data. A single binary that can be deployed as an agent or gateway.
- Contrib: Several
Instrumentation Librariesand the
Collectoroffer a set of core capabilities as well as a dedicated contrib repository for non-core capabilities including vendor
Data Sourcesto share an underlying context mechanism for storing state and accessing data across the lifespan of a
- DAG: Directed Acyclic Graph.
- Dimension: See
Tracks the progression of a single
Request, called a
Trace, as it is handled by
Servicesthat make up an
Distributed Tracetransverses process, network and security boundaries.
- Event: Something that happened where representation depends on the
Data Source. For example,
- Exporter: Provides functionality to emit telemetry to consumers. Used by Instrumentation Libraries and the Collector. Exporters can be push or pull based.
name/value pairs added to
Log Records(similar to
- gRPC: A high-performance, open source universal
- HTTP: Hypertext Transfer Protocol.
Libraryfor which the telemetry signals (
Logs) are gathered.
Librarythat provides the instrumentation for a given
Instrumentation Librarymay be the same
Libraryif it has built-in OpenTelemetry instrumentation.
name/value pairs added to
Metricdata oints (similar to
- Language: Programming Language.
- Library: A language-specific collection of behavior invoked by an interface.
Sometimes used to refer to a collection of
Log Records. May be ambiguous, since people also sometimes use
Logto refer to a single
Log Record, thus this term should be used carefully and in the context where ambiguity is possible additional qualifiers should be used (e.g.
A recording of an
Event. Typically the record includes a timestamp indicating when the
Eventhappened as well as other data that describes what happened, where it happened, etc.
- Metadata: name/value pair added to telemetry data. OpenTelemetry calls
Records a data point, either raw measurements or predefined aggregation, as
- OpenCensus: a set of libraries for various languages that allow you to collect application metrics and distributed traces, then transfer the data to a backend of your choice in real time. Precursor to OpenTelemetry.
- OpenTracing: Vendor-neutral APIs and instrumentation for distributed tracing. Precursor to OpenTelemetry.
- OTel: OpenTelemetry.
- OtelCol: OpenTelemetry Collector.
- OTLP: OpenTelemetry Protocol.
- Processor: Operation performed on data between being received and being exported. For example, batching. Used by Instrumentation Libraries and the Collector.
- Propagators: Used to
serialize and deserialize specific parts of telemetry data such as span
- Proto: Language independent interface types.
Term used by the
Collectorto define how telemetry data is received. Receivers can be push or pull based.
- Request: See
Captures information about the entity for which telemetry is recorded. For
example, a process producing telemetry that is running in a container on
Kubernetes has a pod name, it is in a namespace and possibly is part of a
deployment which also has a name. All three of these attributes can be
included in the
Resourceand applied to any data source.
- REST: Representation State Transfer.
- RPC: Remote Procedure Call.
A mechanism to control the amount of data exported. Most commonly used with
- SDK: Software Development Kit. Refers to a telemetry SDK that denotes a
Librarythat implement the OpenTelemetry
- Semantic Conventions: Defines standard names and values of
Metadatain order to provide vendor-agnostic telemetry data.
- Service: A component of an
Application. Multiple instances of a
Serviceare typically deployed for high availability and scalability. A
Servicemay be deployed in multiple locations.
Represents a single operation within a
- Specification: Describes the cross-language requirements and expectations for all implementations.
- Status: The result of the operation. Typically used to indicate whether an error occurred.
- Tag: See
Spans, where the edges between
Spansare defined as parent/child relationship.
Responsible for creating
- Transaction: See
- zPages: An in-process alternative to external exporters. When included, they collect and aggregate tracing and metrics information in the background; this data is served on web pages when requested.
Last modified January 29, 2021: Update org links to use main, prepare change to main branch (#366) (537434d)