Introduction to service maps

Service maps are visual, customizable representations of your application architecture. Maps automatically show you your app's connections and dependencies, including databases and external services. Health indicators and performance metrics show you the current operational status for every part of your architecture.

Service maps help you:

  • Understand how apps and services in your architecture connect and talk to each other.
  • Quickly see the current health and operational state of your entire environment.
  • Troubleshoot operational issues and understand the impact of problems down to the host and instance level.
  • Collaborate and drive shared understanding of an architecture.

Access to this feature depends on your paid subscription level.

[video link] Watch this video from New Relic University for a tour of the service maps UI (approximately 7 minutes).

Or, go directly to the full online course Performance monitoring with New Relic.

Access service maps

To access service maps:


The ability to use service map features in New Relic APM depends on your New Relic agent version:

Feature Requirements
App visibility

In order to appear in service maps, your app must be running the minimum agent versions required for cross app tracing with cross app tracing enabled, not distributed tracing.

Host and instance visibility

To view specific hosts, instances, and types of database information, your agent must meet the same minimum agent versions as the APM database and instance feature and use any of the compatible database drivers.

Database-only visibility

New Relic APM's service maps feature includes the ability to opt out of the deeper, host and instance level view. However, to view databases in service maps without the instance-level details, you must still meet the same minimum agent versions as the Database and slow queries features.

Understand your architecture

Use service maps to visualize what talks to what. Start by adding apps to your map that make sense to you. Architecture examples include:

  • Closely monitored app or service (the app that your New Relic account users are most interested in)
  • Central app or service (app with a lot of connections)
  • Highest traffic app or service (app with highest throughput)

Once you have an app node on the map, you can begin to add its connections to the map, including New Relic Browser apps, databases, or external services (for example, third-party APIs). Every node you add is automatically connected into the map, so you can see the shape of your app's architecture emerge.

Mouse over nodes to highlight their connection paths between entities. Select nodes to see performance metrics and all of their connections, including any external services they are connected to.

AP - Service maps - overview > Service maps > (select a map): Use service maps for a visual overview of your system architecture, and to see the health of each entity in your architecture at a glance.


Use service maps to visualize and monitor complex architectures. For a tutorial introducing the latest features, select the service map's question question-circle icon.


Nodes are the basic building blocks for your map. You can add a variety of node types including:

Node type Description
New Relic APM-monitored app Add your app to the map to view their connections to databases, Browser apps, external services, and other instrumented apps.
New Relic Browser apps

Automatically detected for each app and added via the incoming connections widget. Only displays Browser apps linked to an APM app (standalone browser apps are not supported).

New Relic Mobile apps

Automatically detected and added via the app/service list panel.

Plugins, including Databases

Automatically detected for each app and added via the connections widget. Databases in service maps require the same agent versions as the new Database page features.

External services

Service maps automatically detects external services (visible in the connections widget), to track your app's external dependencies and monitor the health of those connections.

Custom nodes

Add custom nodes via the app/service list panel to include apps and services not automatically instrumented by New Relic (for example, load balancers, implementation planning, and so on).

Group nodes

A group node contains multiple other nodes. For apps, group nodes include a summarized health status indicator for all nodes in the group.

Node arrangement and grouping

Click and drag a node to move it around the map, for a customizable view of your architecture.

App nodes can also be grouped together into a single node to better organize related apps and services. Grouped nodes include summarized health status indicator for all nodes in the group. To remove items from a group, mouse over the group and select the pencil pencil icon, then select the minus minus-circle icon to remove the item from the group.

Incoming and outgoing connections

Service maps automatically detects incoming and outgoing connections based on HTTP calls between entities. Mouse over a node to highlight the node's connections. Widgets at the end of each node display a count of that node's connections, and you can click on those widgets to add related entities to the map:

View performance summary

Click on an app to view its performance over the last 30 minutes. The chart defaults to Response time, but you can view other metrics by selecting any of the available Apdex, Throughput, or Error rate links. While charts use the last 30 minutes of performance data, the service map as a whole is based on the last five minutes.

View the app in APM or Browser and view its labels by selecting the overflow ellipsis-v icon. Click the app name again to hide the summary charts, and select the overflow ellipsis-h icon again to hide other details.

Map list and app/service list panels

Select the Map list panel to:

  • Search for and view your maps, and access other users' shared maps.
  • Create a new map.

Select the App/Service List panel to:

Health status and performance metrics

You can see health status indicators for most nodes. Except for external services, entities use the health status indicators used by New Relic Alerts.

For external services, the health status indicator measures the health of the connection to the external service.

View all connected apps and services

The Discover your environment feature allows you to view all of your apps, services, and dependencies together with a single click. This feature detects all connected applications and services (including externals and databases) to give you a comprehensive view of your overall software architecture environment.

To view all connected apps and services:

  1. In APM, select Service maps.
  2. From your Map list, select Discover your environment to display all of your nodes.
  3. Hover over any node to view its dependencies and how it connects to other parts of your service map. Click on individual nodes to zoom in and view their details.

The Discover your environment feature may not be available if you are using an older New Relic agent version. See Troubleshooting cross application tracing for version information. This feature may also not be available for highly complex service maps with many elements.

APM - Service maps - Show all
Service maps > Map list > Discover your environment: Select Discover your environment to view all of your nodes and their dependencies in one place.
Traffic light mode

Traffic light mode lets you view the health status of your entire architecture at a glance. This feature helps you quickly find service and app problems, even within a complex environment with many nodes. To toggle this mode, select the Views tab, then select Traffic light mode.

When traffic lights mode is On, zooming out far enough on a service map eventually causes the nodes to switch from displaying textual information, to only health status colors. Click on individual nodes to zoom in and view more details. Traffic light mode is on by default.

When traffic lights mode is Off, service map nodes retain their textual information and do not switch to health status colors, No matter how far you zoom out.

Zoom out of your service map to view in traffic lights mode > Service maps > Views > Traffic light mode: When traffic light mode is enabled, zooming out of your service map displays nodes in health status colors.
Midnight mode

Midnight mode inverts the screen's colors, going from a white background to a dark background. Midnight mode reduces eye strain, especially in low light environments.

To toggle this mode, select the Views tab, then select Midnight mode.

Identify operational issues

Health status indicators provide a quick look at the current status of your environment. Select nodes on the map to view additional performance metrics, and a full list and health check of each node's connections. Add connections to the map for apps or services you want to monitor more closely. The map automatically connects nodes into the map, so you can see which apps on the map talk to which.

Identify host or instance-level issues

You can use service maps to troubleshoot and assess the impact of a performance problem between a calling application and a specific database instance. To view specific hosts, instances, and types of database information, your agent must meet the same minimum agent version requirements as the APM database and instance feature and use any of the compatible database drivers.

Identify issues with external services

If your app connects to an external service that New Relic does not monitor (for example, a third-party API), New Relic watches the service for a week in order to baseline its response time. If New Relic can collect a statistically significant number of data points (more than 100), New Relic compares the current response time to this baseline and uses this to set the health status indicator:

  • square Green: Response time from the service is less than 1.75 times the baseline.
  • square Yellow: Response time from the service is longer than 1.75 times the baseline.
  • square Red: Response time from the service is longer than 2.5 times the baseline.
  • square Gray: Alerts concluded it does not have enough data to determine the health status.
  • square Purple: Alerts cannot yet conclude if it has enough data to determine the health status.

For more help

Additional documentation resources include:

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