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 does not come with OpenTelemetry out of the box, you can use instrumentation libraries in order to generate telemetry data for a library or framework.

For example, if you are using Rails and enable opentelemetry-instrumentation-rails, your running Rails app will automatically generate telemetry data for inbound requests to your controllers.

Configuring all instrumentation libraries

OpenTelemetry Ruby provides the metapackage opentelemetry-instrumentation-all that bundles all ruby-based instrumentation libraries into a single package. It’s a convenient way to add telemetry for all your libraries with minimal effort:

gem 'opentelemetry-sdk'
gem 'opentelemetry-exporter-otlp'
gem 'opentelemetry-instrumentation-all'

and configure it early in your application lifecycle. See the example below using a Rails initializer:

# config/initializers/opentelemetry.rb
require 'opentelemetry/sdk'
require 'opentelemetry/exporter/otlp'
require 'opentelemetry/instrumentation/all'
OpenTelemetry::SDK.configure do |c|
  c.service_name = '<YOUR_SERVICE_NAME>'
  c.use_all() # enables all instrumentation!

This will install all instrumentation libraries and enable the ones that match up to libraries you’re using in your app.

Overriding configuration for specific instrumentation libraries

If you are enabling all instrumentation but want to override the configuration for a specific one, call use_all with a configuration map parameter, where the key represents the library, and the value is its specific configuration parameter.

For example, here’s how you can install all instrumentations except the Redis instrumentation into your app:

require 'opentelemetry/sdk'
require 'opentelemetry/instrumentation/all'

OpenTelemetry::SDK.configure do |c|
  config = {'OpenTelemetry::Instrumentation::Redis' => { enabled: false }}

To override more instrumentation, add another entry in the config map.

Configuring specific instrumentation libraries

If you prefer more selectively installing and using only specific instrumentation libraries, you can do that too. For example, here’s how to use only Sinatra and Faraday, with Faraday being configured with an additional configuration parameter.

First, install the specific instrumentation libraries you know you want to use:

gem install opentelemetry-instrumentation-sinatra
gem install opentelemetry-instrumentation-faraday

Then configure them:

require 'opentelemetry/sdk'

# install all compatible instrumentation with default configuration
OpenTelemetry::SDK.configure do |c|
  c.use 'OpenTelemetry::Instrumentation::Sinatra'
  c.use 'OpenTelemetry::Instrumentation::Faraday', { opt: 'value' }

Next steps

Instrumentation libraries are the easiest way to generate lots of useful telemetry data about your Ruby apps. But they don’t generate data specific to your application’s logic! To do that, you’ll need to enrich the instrumentation from instrumentation libraries with your own instrumentation code.