Monitor Traces in Trace Explorer

You can monitor traces and spans that are uploaded using Application Performance Monitoring data sources in Trace Explorer.

Traces are used to track the time spent by an application processing a request and the status of the request. Each trace consists of one or more spans, and the list of traces in Trace Explorer is a list of root spans, which is the beginning of a transaction. For example, a page upload trace could consist of AJAX call spans, page update spans, and so on. Spans, in turn, have dimensions, which are key-value pairs attached to the span to provide additional information and context about the operation performed in the span. In Trace Explorer, you can use dimensions to query and filter traces and spans.

To monitor traces:

  1. Sign in to the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure console.
  2. Open the navigation menu, click Observability & Management. Under Application Performance Monitoring, click Trace Explorer.
  3. On the top right of the Trace Explorer page, select a compartment and an APM domain. Optionally, you can change the default time period (Last 60 minutes) to view all the traces with spans that started within the selected time range.

The Trace Explorer displays trace data determined by an out-of-the-box query. This page has the following main components, which enable you to run or edit out-of-the-box queries and customize the view to display trace data pertaining to the application area that you want to monitor.

  • Fields on the left lists the dimensions available for Traces and Spans, which include:
    • Out-of-the-box dimensions that are available in Application Performance Monitoring and configured by data sources, such as Service Name and Operation Name. Irrespective of the selected APM domain, the same set of out-of-the-box dimensions are available in the Fields list.
    • Custom dimensions that you can add based on your requirements when configuring the data sources. The set of custom dimensions are specific to the selected APM domain.

    You can use the Fields list as a resource to view the available dimensions that you can add to a query. For information on queries, see Work with Queries in Trace Explorer.

  • Quick Pick tabs such as Traces and Services, which come with an out-of-the-box query. The out-of-the-box queries are based on some of the likely trace data searches. The queries in Trace Explorer follow a simplified SQL-like syntax that include clauses and dimensions to filter, categorize, and display trace data, and enables you to filter huge amounts of trace data and view the information you're interested in. For example, here's the out-of-the-box query in the Traces Quick Pick tab, which uses clauses and out-of-the-box dimensions to display information pertaining to traces:
    show (traces) TraceStatus as Status,
        TraceFirstSpanStartTime as "Start Time",
        ServiceName as Service,
        OperationName as Operation,
        TraceDuration as Duration,
        span_summary() as Spans,
        ErrorCount as "Span Errors"
      where (ApmrumPageUpdateType <> 'Click' or ApmrumPageUpdateType is omitted)

    Based on this query, a list of a 100 traces is displayed with the following columns for the selected time period:

    • Service: Operation: Displays the root span of the trace, namely the service and the operation where the request starts. As specified by the where clause in the query, root spans in which the user activity operation (ApmrumPageUpdateType) is Click or where the value is not defined, are not displayed.
    • Status: Displays the status of the trace:
      • Complete: Indicates that the root span is available in Trace Explorer, but information regarding errors is not.
      • Incomplete: Indicates that the root span is not available in Trace Explorer, so the trace is incomplete.
      • Success: Indicates that the root span is available in Trace Explorer, and the error code and type denote success (HTTP 200).
      • Error: Indicates that the root span has errors.
    • Start Time: Displays the time when the root span started.

      The list of traces is sorted by the Start Time column, however, you can sort the list by any of the available columns. For example, you can sort the trace list by Duration to view the traces that took the longest time on the top of the list.

    • Duration: Displays the duration of time between the beginning of the first span and the end of the last span. The bar graph in the Duration column helps identify the trace which has been running for the longest time.
    • Spans: Displays the total number of spans in the trace. If you hover the mouse over the bar graph in the Spans column, a breakdown of the number of spans in each service in the trace and the number of errors, if any, are displayed.
    • Span Errors: Displays the number of spans with errors.

You can also click the Actions icon (Actions icon) for each trace or span and perform the following actions:

  • Show Trace Details or Show Span Details
  • Show Trace Topology
  • Show Traces or Show Spans

Note that the Show Trace Topology option is displayed in the Actions menu only if the query supports the Topology view. The Show Trace Details or Show Span Details options are displayed when a list of traces or spans is displayed and the Show Traces or Show Spans options are displayed for results of aggregate queries that have the group by clause.