Using instrumentation libraries

When you develop an app, you might use third-party libraries and frameworks to accelerate your work. If you then instrument your app using OpenTelemetry, you might want to avoid spending additional time to manually add traces, logs, and metrics to the third-party libraries and frameworks you use.

Many libraries and frameworks already support OpenTelemetry or are supported through OpenTelemetry instrumentation, so that they can generate telemetry you can export to an observability back end.

If you are instrumenting an app or service that use third-party libraries or frameworks, follow these instructions to learn how to use natively instrumented libraries and instrumentation libraries for your dependencies.

Use natively instrumented libraries

If a library comes with OpenTelemetry support by default, you can get traces, metrics, and logs emitted from that library by adding and setting up the OpenTelemetry SDK with your app.

The library might require some additional configuration for the instrumentation. Go to the documentation for that library to learn more.

Use instrumentation libraries

If a library doesn’t include OpenTelemetry support, you can use instrumentation libraries to generate telemetry data for a library or framework.

For example, the instrumentation library for Ecto automatically creates spans based on queries.


Each instrumentation library is distributed as a Hex package. To install an instrumentation, add the dependency to your mix.exs file. For example:

def deps do
    {:opentelemetry_{package}, "~> 1.0"}

Where {package} is the name of the instrumentation.

Note that some instrumentation packages might have prerequisites. Check the documentation of each instrumentation package for further instructions.

Available instrumentation libraries

For a full list of instrumentation libraries, see the list of Hex packages.

You can also find more instrumentations available in the registry.

Next steps

After you have set up instrumentation libraries, you might want to add your own instrumentation to your code, to collect custom telemetry data.

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