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.

The OpenTelemetry PHP extension includes instrumentation libraries for many common PHP frameworks. For example, the Laravel instrumentation automatically creates spans based on the application activity.


Each instrumentation library is a Composer package. To install it, run the following command:

php composer.phar install {name-of-instrumentation}:{version-number}

Where {name-of-instrumentation} is the Packagist reference for the specific instrumentation you want to use.

You can turn off any instrumentation by adding its identifier to the OTEL_PHP_DISABLED_INSTRUMENTATIONS environment variable.

Available instrumentation libraries

For a list of available instrumentations, see OpenTelemetry instrumentation packages on Packagist.

Next steps

After you’ve set up instrumentation libraries, you might want to add additional instrumentation 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.

You can also check the automatic instrumentation for PHP for existing library instrumentations.