Introduction to the Trace API

New Relic's Trace API lets you send distributed tracing data to New Relic from a variety of sources. The API also lets you report Zipkin JSON v2 data.

To get started quickly, go to Start reporting data.

Why use New Relic's Trace API?

New Relic's Trace API makes it easy to consolidate distributed tracing data from multiple instrumentation sources in New Relic. The Trace API is a web service; to send data, you send POSTs to our HTTP endpoint.

Reasons to use our Trace API:

  • You have your own custom distributed tracing tool and want to see that data in New Relic's distributed tracing interface without changing your instrumentation.
  • You want to report distributed tracing data to New Relic without needing to install software.
  • You use Zipkin and want to see that data in New Relic without changing your instrumentation.

In the future, New Relic will provide integrations for open-source tracing tools besides Zipkin (like the OpenCensus exporter).

Want language-specific help? See our Telemetry SDKs: these are client libraries built on top of the Trace API that ensure best practices when sending trace data.

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 entire Trace API, for all trace data types, 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:

Want to understand how New Relic structures trace data? See How distributed tracing works.

Having problems getting data to report? See Troubleshooting.

Query trace data via API

You can use NerdGraph, New Relic's GraphQL API, to programmatically query your trace data.

For more help

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