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OpenTelemetry quick start

OpenTelemetry is a flexible toolkit that you can implement in a variety of ways. We recommend a basic four-step approach for setting up OpenTelemetry with New Relic. Here's an overview of the process, followed by details for each step.

  1. Prerequisites
  2. Instrument your service with OpenTelemetry
  3. Export your telemetry data to New Relic
  4. View your data in the New Relic UI

Step 1. Prerequisites

First things first:

Step 2. Instrument your service with OpenTelemetry

To get started, you instrument your service with OpenTelemetry. OpenTelemetry has language-specific products and SDKs to help you. Many languages offer out-the-box instrumentation for common libraries and frameworks. Each language also provides an API for further instrumenting your service manually.

Go to the repository for your language and follow the instructions to instrument your service. When you're done, return here to complete Step 3. Export your telemetry data to New Relic.

Step 3. Export your telemetry data to New Relic

The OpenTelemetry Protocol, or OTLP for short, is a general purpose telemetry data delivery protocol designed for the OpenTelemetry project. This protocol describes how to encode and transmit telemetry data, which makes it a natural choice for data transport. Each language SDK provides an OTLP exporter you can configure to export data over OTLP.


Our support of OTLP ingest is currently in pre-release. To particiapte in the pre-release program, please complete this form, and we'll send you details.

In this step, we focus on how to configure an OTLP exporter in your service to export data directly to New Relic:

Diagram showing OpenTelemetry using New Relic's OTLP endpoint.


If you prefer to export your data to an OpenTelemetry collector, see our instructions below.

To complete this step, you'll follow the OTLP exporter documenentation for your language. Before you go to this external documentation, keep in mind you'll need to configure the OTLP exporter to send data to New Relic. This includes setting the header and configuring the endpoint:

  • Configure the OTLP exporter to add a header ( api-key ) whose value is your Account License Key.
  • Configure the endpoint for the exporter to point to New Relic. You'll receive the endpoint URL when you sign up for the pre-release program.

Now, follow the instructions for your language:


Make sure you are following the instructions for the OTLP gRPC exporter for your language. New Relic doesn't currently support OTLP HTTP exporters.

Step 4. View your data in the New Relic UI

Once you’ve instrumented your service and configured it to export its data to New Relic, watch the New Relic One interface for your traces, metrics, and logs!

The UI for OpenTelemetry has some similarities to the APM agent UI, so if you are familiar with that, you can go right to the UI. If you need help understanding your OpenTelemetry UI options, see View your OpenTelemetry data in New Relic.

What's next?

After you do your initial setup, check out our best-practices guide for tips about various configurations to improve your use of OpenTelemetry and New Relic.

For more help

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

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