Introduction to the Trace API

Our Trace API is used to send distributed tracing data to New Relic: either in our own generic format or the Zipkin data format. This API is also how trace data from some of our integrations and exporters is reported to New Relic.

To get started quickly, go to Start reporting data.

What is the Trace API?

The Trace API is how trace data is sent to New Relic, whether it's sent to the API directly or if it's sent by integrations that use this endpoint. Here are some examples:

  • Our open source integrations, such as the OpenCensus and Istio exporters.
  • Our Telemetry SDKs, which are client libraries built on top of our data-ingest APIs. They help you ensure best practices when sending telemetry data to us.

The Trace API makes it easy to consolidate distributed tracing data from multiple sources, and see and query that data in New Relic.

Reasons to use the Trace API:

  • You have your own custom distributed tracing tool and want to see that data in New Relic without changing your instrumentation.
  • You want to report distributed tracing data to New Relic without the use of our installed solutions.
  • You use Zipkin and want to see that data in New Relic without changing your instrumentation.

Want to understand how trace data fits in with other New Relic data? Read about our data types.

Requirements and limits

For requirements and rules that apply to the Trace API, see Trace API rules and limits.

Start reporting data

The Trace API accepts trace data in these two JSON formats:

  • zipkin: the Zipkin JSON v2 trace data format (learn what Zipkin is).
  • newrelic: our general format. If you don't have Zipkin-format data, use this.

Get started sending data:

Having problems getting data to report? See Troubleshooting.

Find data

You can find data sent via the Trace API, or from integrations that use this API, in these locations:

Next steps

Potential next steps:

For more help

If you need more help, check out these support and learning resources: