Manual Instrumentation

Manual instrumentation for OpenTelemetry PHP

Manual instrumentation is the act of adding observability code to an app yourself.

If you’re instrumenting an app, you need to use the OpenTelemetry SDK for your language. You’ll then use the SDK to initialize OpenTelemetry and the API to instrument your code. This will emit telemetry from your app, and any library you installed that also comes with instrumentation.

If you’re instrumenting a library, only install the OpenTelemetry API package for your language. Your library will not emit telemetry on its own. It will only emit telemetry when it is part of an app that uses the OpenTelemetry SDK. For more on instrumenting libraries, see Libraries.

For more information about the OpenTelemetry API and SDK, see the specification.

Installation

The following shows how to install, initialize, and run an application instrumented with OpenTelemetry. Telemetry data will be displayed in the console.

To use the OpenTelemetry SDK for PHP you need packages that satisfy the dependencies for psr/http-client-implementation and psr/http-factory-implementation. Here we will use Guzzle, which provides both:

composer require guzzlehttp/guzzle

Now you can install the OpenTelemetry SDK, and OTLP exporter:

composer require \
  open-telemetry/sdk \
  open-telemetry/exporter-otlp

Setup

The first step is to get a handle to an instance of the OpenTelemetry interface.

If you are an application developer, you need to configure an instance of the OpenTelemetry SDK as early as possible in your application. Here we will use the Sdk::builder() method, and we will globally register the providers.

You can build the providers by using the TracerProvider::builder(), LoggerProvider::builder(), and MeterProvider::builder() methods. It is also recommended to define a Resource instance as a representation of the entity producing the telemetry; in particular the service.name attribute.

Example

<?php

use OpenTelemetry\API\Common\Instrumentation\Globals;
use OpenTelemetry\API\Logs\EventLogger;
use OpenTelemetry\API\Logs\LogRecord;
use OpenTelemetry\API\Trace\Propagation\TraceContextPropagator;
use OpenTelemetry\Contrib\Otlp\LogsExporter;
use OpenTelemetry\Contrib\Otlp\MetricExporter;
use OpenTelemetry\Contrib\Otlp\SpanExporter;
use OpenTelemetry\SDK\Common\Attribute\Attributes;
use OpenTelemetry\SDK\Common\Export\Stream\StreamTransportFactory;
use OpenTelemetry\SDK\Logs\LoggerProvider;
use OpenTelemetry\SDK\Logs\Processor\SimpleLogRecordProcessor;
use OpenTelemetry\SDK\Metrics\MeterProvider;
use OpenTelemetry\SDK\Metrics\MetricReader\ExportingReader;
use OpenTelemetry\SDK\Resource\ResourceInfo;
use OpenTelemetry\SDK\Resource\ResourceInfoFactory;
use OpenTelemetry\SDK\Sdk;
use OpenTelemetry\SDK\Trace\Sampler\AlwaysOnSampler;
use OpenTelemetry\SDK\Trace\Sampler\ParentBased;
use OpenTelemetry\SDK\Trace\SpanProcessor\SimpleSpanProcessor;
use OpenTelemetry\SDK\Trace\TracerProvider;
use OpenTelemetry\SemConv\ResourceAttributes;

require 'vendor/autoload.php';

$resource = ResourceInfoFactory::emptyResource()->merge(ResourceInfo::create(Attributes::create([
    ResourceAttributes::SERVICE_NAMESPACE => 'demo',
    ResourceAttributes::SERVICE_NAME => 'test-application',
    ResourceAttributes::SERVICE_VERSION => '0.1',
    ResourceAttributes::DEPLOYMENT_ENVIRONMENT => 'development',
])));
$spanExporter = new SpanExporter(
    (new StreamTransportFactory())->create('php://stdout', 'application/json')
);

$logExporter = new LogsExporter(
    (new StreamTransportFactory())->create('php://stdout', 'application/json')
);

$reader = new ExportingReader(
    new MetricExporter(
        (new StreamTransportFactory())->create('php://stdout', 'application/json')
    )
);

$meterProvider = MeterProvider::builder()
    ->setResource($resource)
    ->addReader($reader)
    ->build();

$tracerProvider = TracerProvider::builder()
    ->addSpanProcessor(
        new SimpleSpanProcessor($spanExporter)
    )
    ->setResource($resource)
    ->setSampler(new ParentBased(new AlwaysOnSampler()))
    ->build();

$loggerProvider = LoggerProvider::builder()
    ->setResource($resource)
    ->addLogRecordProcessor(
        new SimpleLogRecordProcessor($logExporter)
    )
    ->build();

Sdk::builder()
    ->setTracerProvider($tracerProvider)
    ->setMeterProvider($meterProvider)
    ->setLoggerProvider($loggerProvider)
    ->setPropagator(TraceContextPropagator::getInstance())
    ->setAutoShutdown(true)
    ->buildAndRegisterGlobal();

Throughout the following examples we will usually obtain the globally registered providers via OpenTelemetry\API\Globals:

$tracerProvider = \OpenTelemetry\API\Globals::tracerProvider();
$meterProvider = \OpenTelemetry\API\Globals::meterProvider();
$loggerProvider = \OpenTelemetry\API\Globals::loggerProvider();

Shutdown

It’s important that each provider’s shutdown() method is run when the PHP process ends, to enable flushing of any enqueued telemetry. In the above example, this has been taken care of with setAutoShutdown(true).

You can also use the ShutdownHandler to register each provider’s shutdown function as part of PHP’s shutdown process:

\OpenTelemetry\SDK\Common\Util\ShutdownHandler::register([$tracerProvider, 'shutdown']);
\OpenTelemetry\SDK\Common\Util\ShutdownHandler::register([$meterProvider, 'shutdown']);
\OpenTelemetry\SDK\Common\Util\ShutdownHandler::register([$loggerProvider, 'shutdown']);

Traces

Acquiring a Tracer

To do Tracing you’ll need to acquire a Tracer.

A Tracer is responsible for creating spans and interacting with the Context. A tracer is acquired from a TracerProvider, specifying the name and other (optional) identifying information about the library instrumenting the instrumented library or application to be monitored.

More information is available in the specification chapter Obtaining a Tracer.

$tracerProvider = Globals::tracerProvider();
$tracer = $tracerProvider->getTracer(
  'instrumentation-library-name', //name (required)
  '1.0.0', //version
  'http://example.com/my-schema', //schema url
  ['foo' => 'bar'] //attributes
);

Important: the parameters used when acquiring a tracer are purely informational - these values will be emitted as part of the scope of any telemetry emitted by that tracer. All Tracers that are created by a single OpenTelemetry instance will interoperate, regardless of differences in these parameters.

Create Spans

To create Spans, you only need to specify the name of the span. The start and end time of the span is automatically set by the OpenTelemetry SDK.

$span = $tracer->spanBuilder("my span")->startSpan();
//do some work
$span->end();

It’s required to end() the span, otherwise it will not be sent.

Create nested Spans

Most of the time, we want to correlate spans for nested operations. OpenTelemetry supports tracing within processes and across remote processes. For more details on how to share context between remote processes, see Context Propagation.

For a method parent calling a method child, we can relate the spans by making the parent span active before creating the child span:

$parent = $tracer->spanBuilder("parent")->startSpan();
$scope = $parent->activate();
try {
  $child = $tracer->spanBuilder("child")->startSpan();
  $child->end();
} finally {
  $parent->end();
  $scope->detach();
}

You must detach the active scope if you have activated it.

Get the current span

Sometimes it’s helpful to do something with the current/active span at a particular point in program execution.

$span = OpenTelemetry\API\Trace\Span::getCurrent();

And if you want the current span for a particular Context object:

$span = OpenTelemetry\API\Trace\Span::fromContext($context);

Span Attributes

In OpenTelemetry spans can be created freely and it’s up to the implementor to annotate them with attributes specific to the represented operation. Attributes provide additional context on a span about the specific operation it tracks, such as results or operation properties.

$span = $tracer->spanBuilder("/resource/path")->setSpanKind(SpanKind::CLIENT)->startSpan();
$span->setAttribute("http.method", "GET");
$span->setAttribute("http.url", (string) $url);

Create Spans with events

Spans can be annotated with named events (called Span Events) that can carry zero or more Span Attributes, each of which itself is a key:value map paired automatically with a timestamp.

$span->addEvent("Init");
...
$span->addEvent("End");
$eventAttributes = Attributes::create([
    "operation" => "calculate-pi",
    "result" => 3.14159,
]);
$span->addEvent("End Computation", $eventAttributes);

A Span may be linked to zero or more other Spans that are causally related via a Span Link. Links can be used to represent batched operations where a Span was initiated by multiple initiating Spans, each representing a single incoming item being processed in the batch.

$span = $tracer->spanBuilder("span-with-links")
    ->addLink($parentSpan1->getContext())
    ->addLink($parentSpan2->getContext())
    ->addLink($parentSpan3->getContext())
    ->addLink($remoteSpanContext)
    ->startSpan();

For more details how to read context from remote processes, see Context Propagation.

Set span status and record exceptions

A status can be set on a span, typically used to specify that a span has not completed successfully - SpanStatus::ERROR.

It can be a good idea to record exceptions when they happen. It’s recommended to do this in conjunction with setting span status.

The status can be set at any time before the span is finished:

$span = $tracer->spanBuilder("my-span")->startSpan();
try {
  // do something that could fail
  throw new \Exception('uh-oh');
} catch (\Throwable $t) {
  $span->setStatus(\OpenTelemetry\API\Trace\StatusCode::STATUS_ERROR, "Something bad happened!");
  //This will capture things like the current stack trace in the span.
  $span->recordException($t, ['exception.escaped' => true]);
  throw $t;
} finally {
  $span->end();
}

Sampler

It is not always feasible to trace and export every user request in an application. In order to strike a balance between observability and expenses, traces can be sampled.

The OpenTelemetry SDK provides four samplers:

  • AlwaysOnSampler which samples every trace regardless of upstream sampling decisions.
  • AlwaysOffSampler which doesn’t sample any trace, regardless of upstream sampling decisions.
  • TraceIdRatioBased which samples a configurable percentage of traces, and additionally samples any trace that was sampled upstream.
  • ParentBased which uses the parent span to make sampling decisions, if present. This sampler needs to be used in conjunction with a root sampler, which is used to determine if a root span (a span without a parent) should be sampled. The root sampler can be any of the other samplers.
// Trace 50% of requests
$sampler = new TraceIdRatioBasedSampler(0.5);
// Always trace
$sampler = new AlwaysOnSampler();
// Always sample if the parent is sampled, otherwise only sample 10% of spans
$sampler = new ParentBased(new TraceIdRatioBasedSampler(0.1));
$tracerProvider = TracerProvider::builder()
  ->setSampler($sampler)
  ->build();

Additional samplers can be provided by implementing OpenTelemetry\SDK\Trace\SamplerInterface. An example of doing so would be to make sampling decisions based on attributes set at span creation time.

Span Processor

Different Span processors are offered by OpenTelemetry. The SimpleSpanProcessor immediately forwards ended spans to the exporter, while the BatchSpanProcessor batches them and sends them periodically.

$tracerProvider = TracerProvider::builder()
  ->addSpanProcessor(new SimpleSpanProcessor(new ConsoleSpanExporterFactory()->create()))
  ->build();

Transports

All exporters require a Transport, which is responsible for the sending of telemetry data:

  • PsrTransport - uses a PSR-18 client to send data over HTTP
  • StreamTransport - uses a stream to send data (eg to file or stdout)
  • GrpcTransport - uses gRPC to send protobuf-encoded data

Exporter

Span processors are initialized with an exporter which is responsible for sending the telemetry data to a particular backend:

  • InMemory: keeps the data in memory, useful for testing and debugging.
  • Console: sends the data to a stream such as stdout or stderr
  • Zipkin: prepares and sends telemetry data to a Zipkin backend via the Zipkin APIs.
  • Logging Exporter: sends the telemetry data to a PSR-3 logger.
  • OpenTelemetry Protocol Exporter: sends the data in OTLP format to the OpenTelemetry Collector or other OTLP receivers. The following formats are supported:
    • protobuf over HTTP
    • protobuf over gRPC
    • JSON over HTTP

Metrics

OpenTelemetry can be used to measure and record different types of metrics from an application, which can then be pushed to a metrics service such as the OpenTelemetry collector:

  • counter
  • async counter
  • histogram
  • async gauge
  • up/down counter
  • async up/down counter

Meter types and usage are explained in the metrics concepts documentation.

Setup

First, create a MeterProvider:

<?php

use OpenTelemetry\Contrib\Otlp\ConsoleMetricExporterFactory;
use OpenTelemetry\SDK\Metrics\MeterProvider;
use OpenTelemetry\SDK\Metrics\MetricReader\ExportingReader;

require 'vendor/autoload.php';

$reader = new ExportingReader((new ConsoleMetricExporterFactory())->create());

$meterProvider = MeterProvider::builder()
    ->addReader($reader)
    ->build();

Synchronous meters

A synchronous meter must be manually adjusted as data changes:

$up_down = $meterProvider
    ->getMeter('demo_meter')
    ->createUpDownCounter('queued', 'jobs', 'The number of jobs enqueued');
//jobs come in
$up_down->add(5);
//job completed
$up_down->add(-1);
//more jobs come in
$up_down->add(2);

$meterProvider->forceFlush();

Synchronous metrics are exported when forceFlush() or shutdown() are called on the meter provider.

View output
{
  "resourceMetrics": [
    {
      "resource": {},
      "scopeMetrics": [
        {
          "scope": { "name": "demo_meter" },
          "metrics": [
            {
              "name": "queued",
              "description": "The number of jobs enqueued",
              "unit": "jobs",
              "sum": {
                "dataPoints": [
                  {
                    "startTimeUnixNano": "1687332126443709851",
                    "timeUnixNano": "1687332126445544432",
                    "asInt": "6"
                  }
                ],
                "aggregationTemporality": "AGGREGATION_TEMPORALITY_DELTA"
              }
            }
          ]
        }
      ]
    }
  ]
}

Asynchronous meters

Async meters are observable, eg ObservableGauge. When registering an observable/async meter, you provide one or more callback functions. The callback functions will be called by a periodic exporting metric reader whenever its collect() method is called, for example based on an event-loop timer. The callback(s) are responsible for returning the current data for the meter.

In this example, the callbacks are executed every time that $reader->collect() is executed:

$queue = [
    'job1',
    'job2',
    'job3',
];
$reader = $meterProvider
    ->getMeter('demo_meter')
    ->createObservableGauge('queued', 'jobs', 'The number of jobs enqueued')
    ->observe(static function (ObserverInterface $observer) use (&$queue): void {
        $observer->observe(count($queue));
    });
$reader->collect();
array_pop($queue);
$reader->collect();
View output
{"resourceMetrics":[{"resource":{},"scopeMetrics":[{"scope":{"name":"demo_meter"},"metrics":[{"name":"queued","description":"The number of jobs enqueued","unit":"jobs","gauge":{"dataPoints":[{"startTimeUnixNano":"1687331630161510994","timeUnixNano":"1687331630162989144","asInt":"3"}]}}]}]}]}
{"resourceMetrics":[{"resource":{},"scopeMetrics":[{"scope":{"name":"demo_meter"},"metrics":[{"name":"queued","description":"The number of jobs enqueued","unit":"jobs","gauge":{"dataPoints":[{"startTimeUnixNano":"1687331630161510994","timeUnixNano":"1687331631164759171","asInt":"2"}]}}]}]}]}

Logs

As logging is a mature and well-established function, the OpenTelemetry approach is a little different for this signal.

The OpenTelemetry logger is not designed to be used directly, but rather to be integrated into existing logging libraries. In this way, you can choose to have some or all of your application logs sent to an OpenTelemetry-compatible service such as the collector.

Setup

First, we create a LoggerProvider:

<?php

use OpenTelemetry\API\Logs\EventLogger;
use OpenTelemetry\API\Logs\LogRecord;
use OpenTelemetry\Contrib\Otlp\LogsExporter;
use OpenTelemetry\SDK\Common\Export\Stream\StreamTransportFactory;
use OpenTelemetry\SDK\Logs\LoggerProvider;
use OpenTelemetry\SDK\Logs\Processor\SimpleLogRecordProcessor;
use OpenTelemetry\SDK\Resource\ResourceInfoFactory;

require 'vendor/autoload.php';

$exporter = new LogsExporter(
    (new StreamTransportFactory())->create('php://stdout', 'application/json')
);

$loggerProvider = LoggerProvider::builder()
    ->addLogRecordProcessor(new SimpleLogRecordProcessor($exporter))
    ->setResource(ResourceInfoFactory::emptyResource())
    ->build();

Logging events

An EventLogger can use a Logger to emit log events:

$logger = $loggerProvider->getLogger('demo', '1.0', 'http://schema.url', [/*attributes*/]);
$eventLogger = new EventLogger($logger, 'my-domain');
$record = (new LogRecord('hello world'))
    ->setSeverityText('INFO')
    ->setAttributes([/*attributes*/]);

$eventLogger->logEvent('foo', $record);
View sample output
{
  "resourceLogs": [
    {
      "resource": {},
      "scopeLogs": [
        {
          "scope": {
            "name": "demo",
            "version": "1.0"
          },
          "logRecords": [
            {
              "observedTimeUnixNano": "1687496730010009088",
              "severityText": "INFO",
              "body": {
                "stringValue": "hello world"
              },
              "attributes": [
                {
                  "key": "event.name",
                  "value": {
                    "stringValue": "foo"
                  }
                },
                {
                  "key": "event.domain",
                  "value": {
                    "stringValue": "my-domain"
                  }
                }
              ]
            }
          ]
        }
      ]
    }
  ]
}

Integrations for third-party logging libraries

Monolog

You can use the monolog handler to send monolog logs to an OpenTelemetry-capable receiver. First, install the monolog library and a handler:

composer require \
  monolog/monolog \
  open-telemetry/opentelemetry-logger-monolog

Following on from the logging example above:

$handler = new \OpenTelemetry\Contrib\Logs\Monolog\Handler(
    $loggerProvider,
    \Psr\Log\LogLevel::ERROR,
);
$monolog = new \Monolog\Logger('example', [$handler]);

$monolog->info('hello, world');
$monolog->error('oh no', [
    'foo' => 'bar',
    'exception' => new \Exception('something went wrong'),
]);
View sample output
{
  "resourceLogs": [
    {
      "resource": {},
      "scopeLogs": [
        {
          "scope": {
            "name": "monolog"
          },
          "logRecords": [
            {
              "timeUnixNano": "1687496945597429000",
              "observedTimeUnixNano": "1687496945598242048",
              "severityNumber": "SEVERITY_NUMBER_ERROR",
              "severityText": "ERROR",
              "body": {
                "stringValue": "oh no"
              },
              "attributes": [
                {
                  "key": "channel",
                  "value": {
                    "stringValue": "example"
                  }
                },
                {
                  "key": "context",
                  "value": {
                    "arrayValue": {
                      "values": [
                        {
                          "stringValue": "bar"
                        },
                        {
                          "arrayValue": {
                            "values": [
                              {
                                "stringValue": "Exception"
                              },
                              {
                                "stringValue": "something went wrong"
                              },
                              {
                                "intValue": "0"
                              },
                              {
                                "stringValue": "/usr/src/myapp/logging.php:31"
                              }
                            ]
                          }
                        }
                      ]
                    }
                  }
                }
              ]
            }
          ]
        }
      ]
    }
  ]
}

Error Handling

By default, OpenTelemetry will log errors and warnings via PHP’s error_log function. The verbosity can be controlled or disabled via the OTEL_LOG_LEVEL setting.

The OTEL_PHP_LOG_DESTINATION variable can be used to control log destination or disable error logging completely. Valid values are default, error_log, stderr, stdout, psr3, or none. default (or if the variable is not set), will use error_log unless a PSR-3 logger is configured:

$logger = new \Example\Psr3Logger(LogLevel::INFO);
\OpenTelemetry\API\LoggerHolder::set($logger);

For more fine-grained control and special case handling, custom handlers and filters can be applied to the PSR-3 logger (if the logger offers this ability).

Next steps

You’ll also want to configure an appropriate exporter to export your telemetry data to one or more telemetry backends.

Last modified November 28, 2023: Update manual.md (#3606) (89f26eb1)