Ad Service

This service determines appropriate ads to serve to users based on context keys. The ads will be for products available in the store.

Ad service source


This service relies on the OpenTelemetry Java Agent to automatically instrument libraries such as gRPC, and to configure the OpenTelemetry SDK. The agent is passed into the process using the -javaagent command line argument. Command line arguments are added through the JAVA_TOOL_OPTIONS in the Dockerfile, and leveraged during the automatically generated Gradle startup script.

ENV JAVA_TOOL_OPTIONS=-javaagent:/app/opentelemetry-javaagent.jar


Add attributes to auto-instrumented spans

Within the execution of auto-instrumented code you can get current span from context.

Span span = Span.current();

Adding attributes to a span is accomplished using setAttribute on the span object. In the getAds function multiples attribute are added to the span.

span.setAttribute("", req.getContextKeysList().toString());
span.setAttribute("", req.getContextKeysCount());

Add span events

Adding an event to a span is accomplished using addEvent on the span object. In the getAds function an event with an attribute is added when an exception is caught.

span.addEvent("Error", Attributes.of(AttributeKey.stringKey("exception.message"), e.getMessage()));

Setting span status

If the result of the operation is an error, the span status should be set accordingly using setStatus on the span object. In the getAds function the span status is set when an exception is caught.


Create new spans

New spans can be created and started using Tracer.spanBuilder("spanName").startSpan(). Newly created spans should be set into context using Span.makeCurrent(). The getRandomAds function will create a new span, set it into context, perform an operation, and finally end the span.

// create and start a new span manually
Tracer tracer = GlobalOpenTelemetry.getTracer("adservice");
Span span = tracer.spanBuilder("getRandomAds").startSpan();

// put the span into context, so if any child span is started the parent will be set properly
try (Scope ignored = span.makeCurrent()) {

  Collection<Ad> allAds = adsMap.values();
  for (int i = 0; i < MAX_ADS_TO_SERVE; i++) {
    ads.add(Iterables.get(allAds, random.nextInt(allAds.size())));
  span.setAttribute("", ads.size());

} finally {


Initializing Metrics

Similar to creating spans, the first step in creating metrics is initializing a Meter instance, e.g. GlobalOpenTelemetry.getMeter("adservice"). From there, use the various builder methods available on the Meter instance to create the desired metric instrument, e.g.:

  .setDescription("Counts ad requests by request and response type")

Current Metrics Produced

Note that all the metric names below appear in Prometheus/Grafana with . characters transformed to _.

Custom metrics

The following custom metrics are currently available:

  • A counter of ad requests with dimensions describing whether the request was targeted with context keys or not, and whether the response was targeted or random ads.

Auto-instrumented metrics

The following auto-instrumented metrics are available for the application: