The opentelemetry-sdk gem provides the reference implementation of the OpenTelemetry Ruby API. Using opentelemetry-sdk, an application can collect, analyze, and export telemetry data such as distributed traces and metrics.

What is OpenTelemetry?

OpenTelemetry is an open source observability framework, providing a general-purpose API, SDK, and related tools required for the instrumentation of cloud-native software, frameworks, and libraries.

OpenTelemetry provides a single set of APIs, libraries, agents, and collector services to capture distributed traces and metrics from your application. You can analyze them using Prometheus, Jaeger, and other observability tools.

How does this gem fit in?

The opentelemetry-sdk gem provides the reference implementation of the OpenTelemetry Ruby interfaces defined in the opentelemetry-api gem. That is, it includes the functionality needed to collect, analyze, and export telemetry data produced using the API.

Generally, Ruby applications should install opentelemetry-sdk (or other concrete implementation of the OpenTelemetry API). Using the SDK, an application can configure how it wants telemetry data to be handled, including which data should be persisted, how it should be formatted, and where it should be recorded or exported. However, libraries that produce telemetry data should generally depend only on opentelemetry-api, deferring the choise of concrete implementation to the application developer.

How do I get started?

Install the gem using:

gem install opentelemetry-sdk

Or, if you use bundler, include opentelemetry-sdk in your Gemfile.

Then, configure the SDK according to your desired handling of telemetry data, and use the OpenTelemetry interfaces to produces traces and other information. Following is a basic example.

require 'opentelemetry/sdk'

# Configure the sdk with default export and context propagation formats.

# Many configuration options may be set via the environment. To use them,
# set the appropriate variable before calling configure. For example:
# ENV['OTEL_PROPAGATORS'] = 'ottrace'
# OpenTelemetry::SDK.configure
# You may also configure the SDK programmatically, for advanced usage or to
# enable auto-instrumentation. For example:
# OpenTelemetry::SDK.configure do |c|
#   c.service_name = something_calculated_dynamically
#   c.add_span_processor(
#     )
#   )
#   c.use 'OpenTelemetry::Instrumentation::Net::HTTP'
# end
# Note that the SimpleSpanExporter is not recommended for use in production.

# To start a trace you need to get a Tracer from the TracerProvider
tracer = OpenTelemetry.tracer_provider.tracer('my_app_or_gem', '0.1.0')

# create a span
tracer.in_span('foo') do |span|
  # set an attribute
  span.set_attribute('platform', 'osx')
  # add an event
  span.add_event('event in bar')
  # create bar as child of foo
  tracer.in_span('bar') do |child_span|
    # inspect the span
    pp child_span

For additional examples, see the examples on github.

How can I get involved?

The opentelemetry-sdk gem source is on github, along with related gems including opentelemetry-api.

The OpenTelemetry Ruby gems are maintained by the OpenTelemetry-Ruby special interest group (SIG). You can get involved by joining us in GitHub Discussions or attending our weekly meeting. See the meeting calendar for dates and times. For more information on this and other language SIGs, see the OpenTelemetry community page.


The opentelemetry-sdk gem is distributed under the Apache 2.0 license. See LICENSE for more information.