A glossary of common terminology you may encounter as a New Relic user.

account dropdown

New Relic account dropdownAfter you sign in to the New Relic UI, your account name appears on the right of the New Relic menu bar. To use available account functions, such as changing your password or other user preferences, selecting a different New Relic account, or logging out, select the dropdown.

Depending on your role, from the account dropdown you may also view or change other account settings, such as account users, subscription and pricing levels, credit card and other billing information, account usage, etc.


A user role that can access all features of New Relic except billing information. Administrators manage New Relic account settings, including API access, integrations, and other users. Admins can also enable and configure features, and delete data.

For more information, see Users and roles.


The monitoring software New Relic users run on their app servers or inside their mobile apps. The agent monitors local transactions and host information. The agent then caches this data and reports it to the New Relic collector once each harvest cycle.

The form of the agent software for New Relic APM varies:

agent API

The New Relic agent API allows you to extend New Relic's functionality. You can use the API to control, customize and extend the functionality of the New Relic agent.

For more information, see the agent-specific API documentation:

agent SDK (software development kit)

New Relic supports many of the most popular languages in use today, including Go, Java, .NET, Node.js, PHP, Python, and Ruby. However, users who want to extend New Relic to gain insights into web apps written in other languages and environments can do so by using the C agent SDK.

The C agent SDK allows you to add most of New Relic's key features to any language. The C agent SDK is currently in beta.

aggregated metrics

Aggregated metric data summarizes calls to specific methods in your application, including how many times each one was called and response times. In the New Relic UI, you see the class and method names along with their aggregate numbers. Metric data aggregation depends on the New Relic product and your subscription level. For more information, see New Relic's documentation about data retention.


An alert communicates an event or incident that designated personnel can track through New Relic Alerts.

For definitions of New Relic Alerts terms, see the Alerts glossary.

alert condition

An alert condition contains the criteria for New Relic Alerts to create an incident record, including the threshold that is set for a New Relic or custom metric over time on a chosen target.

For definitions of New Relic Alerts terms, see the Alerts glossary.

alert policy

A collection of one or more conditions that, if violated, can send alerts through user-defined notification channels.

For definitions of New Relic Alerts terms, see the Alerts glossary.


Apdex is an industry-standard way to measure users' satisfaction with the response time of an application or service. New Relic rates each response as Satisfied, Tolerated, or Frustrated, and uses these ratings to calculate an overall user satisfaction score.

For more information, see Apdex: measuring user satisfaction.


The response time above which a transaction is considered "frustrating." Defaults to four times apdex_t.

  • Requests which complete in less than apdex_t are rated satisfied.
  • Requests which take more than apdex_t, but less than four times apdex_t (apdex_f), are tolerated.
  • Any requests which take longer than apdex_f are rated frustrated.

For more information, see Apdex: measuring user satisfaction.


The response time above which a transaction is considered "tolerable." The default value is 0.5 seconds, but this can be changed in your Apdex settings.

  • Requests which complete in less than apdex_t are rated satisfied.
  • Requests which take more than apdex_t, but less than apdex_f, are tolerated.
  • Any requests which take longer than apdex_f are rated frustrated.

For more information, see Apdex: measuring user satisfaction.

API (application programming interface)

API may refer to the agent API or to New Relic's REST API, which is used to programmatically extract data (primarily metric timeslice data) from your New Relic account.


For New Relic purposes, any program instrumented by New Relic.

application ID

Each app instrumented by New Relic is assigned an application ID, often abbreviated to app ID. This ID is used to uniquely identify it, and to retrieve data about that app via the REST API.

You can find this ID by viewing the app in the New Relic UI and checking the URL:

For more information, see Listing your app ID.

You can also find your app ID via the API Explorer.

application name

The name that New Relic combines with your license key to uniquely identify a particular app. For more information, see Name your application.


Attributes are key-value pairs attached to events reported by New Relic. Their purpose is to provide detail about an event. Examples:

  • New Relic APM reports a Transaction event. This includes timing data for the transaction in a duration attribute, which might have a value of .002.
  • New Relic Infrastructure reports a ProcessSample event. This includes a variety of CPU usage attributes, including a cpuSystemPercent attribute, which might have a value of .01.

You can explore events and attributes using the event data dictionary.

Events and attributes are used in some out-of-the-box charts and dashboards, and you can also use NRQL to query events and attributes to make your own custom charts. Some product subscription levels allow you to collect custom attributes to further enhance your monitoring.

For more information about attributes in New Relic APM, see Agent attributes. For more information about how New Relic Insights uses events and attributes, see Send custom data to Insights.

availability monitoring

See Types of Synthetics monitors.


New Relic's user interface supports most browsers. For more information, see Supported browsers.

For New Relic's end-user browser monitoring product, see New Relic Browser.

browser trace

A browser trace provides detailed information about a single page load, similar to the way a transaction trace provides details about a single web transaction. New Relic collects browser traces for slow end-user transactions. For more information, see Browser traces.

cloud-based integration

New Relic Infrastructure integrations allow you to send data from your services or systems to New Relic products. New Relic offers cloud-based integrations with providers such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure. New Relic Infrastructure also offers on-host integrations.


The component of New Relic that collects data from New Relic agents running on an app server, mobile device, or end-user browser. While the agent is installed on a user's app server, the collectors are centrally located in New Relic's data center. In order to contact the collector, the agent must be able to reach New Relic's domains and IP addresses (the exact domain or IP depends on the New Relic product). The collector receives and interprets this data, and stores it in a database. The data is then retrieved and presented by the New Relic UI and by New Relic's various REST APIs.

compute unit (CU)

A unit of measurement that determines your pricing for some New Relic products. For more information, see Compute unit pricing.

CPM (calls per minute)

The number of calls your application receives each minute. This usually corresponds to the number of page views or external connections, and is usually the same as RPM.

CPU burn

The time consumed by code minus the wait time for a transaction. This is the time actually spent processing the transaction. It appears in the New Relic UI at the top of the transaction view for the agents that provide it (Ruby and PHP only).

custom attribute

A key-value pair added to a transaction or event in order to gain additional information about the event. For more information, see custom attributes.

custom dashboard

A customizable dashboard with charts and tables that includes data from multiple New Relic data sources. Custom dashboards are also the only way to view custom metrics. For more information, see New Relic Insights dashboards and Custom dashboards.

custom event

An event, in New Relic terms, is a data object with attached attributes. New Relic reports default event types, like Transaction and TransactionError, and you can also create your own events. Events can be queried in Insights and are used in many other New Relic features.

You can generate custom events with APM agents with the Browser agent, with the Mobile agent, and via the Insights REST API.

Alternatively, you can add custom attributes to some existing default New Relic events.

custom instrumentation

Custom instrumentation allows you to extend New Relic's monitoring to instrument code elements New Relic doesn't automatically instrument. Custom instrumentation is useful when your framework is not supported by New Relic, or when New Relic fails to pick up some element of your program. You can also use custom instrumentation to block a transaction from being reported entirely. For more information, see Custom instrumentation.

custom metric

Metric timeslice data that is manually recorded via an API call. Custom metrics allow you to record arbitrary metrics; for example, timing or computer resource data. All custom metric names must be prefixed with Custom/. For more information, see Custom metrics.

Not to be confused with custom instrumentation data.

data collector

See collector.


An open platform for distributed applications, which allows you to assemble multi-container portable apps. New Relic Infrastructure includes integrated Docker monitoring. For more information about Docker, see the Docker website.


The period of time when customers cannot access your site and your app is not reporting to New Relic. For more information, see New Relic Synthetics and Types of Synthetics monitors.


In New Relic, an entity is anything we can identify that has data you can monitor. An entity can be something you monitor directly, like applications and microservices, or indirectly, like data centers.

established release

New Relic defines an established release as one that has been successfully deployed and extensively used in production by New Relic APM customers. The release is not known to have any critical issues, and all the known issues have been documented.

New Relic currently has established releases for Java and .NET. In general, an established release may not be the most current agent version and therefore may not include the latest set of features and capabilities.


At New Relic, the word event can have several meanings:

  • At New Relic, event data is a fundamental data type. Event data represents a record of a single event at a particular moment in time. Events can vary by type (for example, Transaction or Mobile, and will have associated attributes (for example, timestamp or transactionName). Events and their attributes can be queried in New Relic Insights using NRQL, and used to create charts and alert conditions. Some New Relic products give you an option for creating your own custom events, and for adding custom attributes to existing events.
  • For New Relic Infrastructure, the word event can be used to refer to important system and host activity. For example, a configuration change for a monitored host would be registered on Infrastructure's Events UI page.
  • In New Relic Alerts, the Events UI page displays a list of alert-related incidents for your monitored entities.
expected error

An common error that you do not want to affect your Apdex score or error rate. For more information, see Manage errors in APM.


A framework is a structured collection of pre-defined functions, into which an application builder inserts their own code to build their application. A framework is not the same as a library. While a library is a collection of functions you can call as needed, a framework is a skeleton for your application. The functions in that framework then call your functions. For more about the distinction between a framework and a library, see What is the difference between a framework and a library? .

New Relic automatically instruments many common frameworks. For more about the frameworks New Relic supports, see the following agent-specific documentation:

harvest cycle

The period of time between each connection from a New Relic agent to the collector. Between harvest cycles, an agent collects and caches data. At the end of the cycle an agent reports those data to the collector, then begins a new harvest cycle.

health status indicator

A colored bar (generally green, yellow, red, or gray) indicating the status of your app or other entity monitored by New Relic. It also indicates whether the entity has any alert policies assigned to it with New Relic Alerts and whether there are any policy violations. The color-coded health status indicator appears next to the app or other entity's name in every New Relic product index except New Relic Insights.

In general, the colored bar will be green, yellow, red, or gray to indicate the health status. Exceptions:


At New Relic, a host means one of the fllowing:

  • A physical machine is a hardware-based device with dedicated physical resources, including memory, processing, and storage. Each machine has its own OS which applications run on.
  • A virtual machine (VM) is the software implementation of a physical machine that executes programs like a physical machine. One or more virtual machines can run on a physical machine. Each virtual machine has its own OS and allocated virtual machine resources such as RAM and CPU.
  • A cloud instance is a type of virtual machine that is run in the public cloud. In this context, virtual machines and cloud instances are different from Java Virtual Machines (JVMs) and containers.
host ID

Each host identified by New Relic APM is assigned a host ID. This ID is used to uniquely identify it, and to retrieve data about that host via the REST API. For more information, see List host ID.

ignored error

An error that you have told the New Relic APM agent not to report to the collector. For more information, see Manage errors in APM.


An incident is a collection of one or more violations to a condition defined in an alert policy. An incident record includes all of the open and close time stamps for each violation, as well as chart snapshots of the data being evaluated around the time of each violation.

You can view detailed information from the Incidents indexes in the New Relic Alerts user interface. You can also select your preference for how New Relic Alerts rolls up policy violations into the incident.

Infrastructure integration

New Relic Infrastructure integrations allow you to send data from your services or systems to New Relic products. New Relic offers both cloud-based and on-host integrations. For more information, see Introduction to Infrastructure integrations.

instance ID

Each instance identified by New Relic is assigned a unique instance ID. Instance IDs are most commonly found for JVMs (Java Virtual Machines), but can exist for each agent. This ID is used to uniquely identify it, and to retrieve data about that instance via the REST API. For more information, see List instance IDs.


The collection of data from an application or host. When New Relic instruments a framework, it detects the methods and calls used by that framework, and intelligently groups them together.


In New Relic Mobile, an interaction is a specific code path initiated by a user interaction (usually a button press). An interaction is the mobile equivalent of a transaction, and like a transaction an interaction can be traced and monitored.

interaction trace

An interaction trace is a complete picture of a single interaction. With interaction traces, New Relic gives you much deeper visibility into a single slow interaction, which can help you understand a broader problem. Interaction traces are the mobile equivalent of a transaction trace. For more information, see Creating interactions (iOS) and Creating interactions (Android).

key transaction

A web transaction that the user has marked as particularly important. Common key transactions are key business events (such as signups or purchase confirmations), or transactions with a high performance impact, such as searches. Key transactions have their own pages and other customized values. For more information, see Key Transactions.

master account

A master account is a New Relic account with related subordinate accounts, called sub-accounts. This is useful, for example, to limit users so they can view specific applications and not others.

The option to create master and sub-accounts depends on your New Relic subscription level. For more information, see Creating sub-accounts.

metric timeslice

A metric timeslice is a statistical measure that consists of three parts: A metric name, associated numeric values, and a segment of time (a "timeslice") associated with those data points. For more information, see Metric timeslice and event data.

metric grouping issue

A metric grouping issue occurs when an account sends too many differently named metric timeslices to New Relic, and those individual web transactions are not properly aggregated. For example, rather than a single /user/controlpanel/ metric name, you might see /user/controlpanel/alice, /user/controlpanel/bob, and /user/controlpanel/carol. For more information, see Metric grouping issues.


The software that accepts monitor jobs from a private location. A minion is a packaged virtual appliance that runs in your hypervisor. For more information, see Private locations overview and install and configure private minions.


In New Relic Synthetics, a monitor ensures your website or API endpoint is available. For more information, see Adding and editing monitors.

New Relic APM

New Relic APM (Application Performance Monitoring) provides monitoring of your web or non-web application's performance. New Relic APM supports apps using several languages, including Go, Java, .NET, Node.js, PHP, Python, and Ruby.

New Relic Browser

New Relic Browser allows you to monitor browser-side code performance. New Relic Browser includes standard page load timing, which measures the overall time to load an entire web page. New Relic also goes beyond timing, by monitoring AJAX request performance and JavaScript errors.

New Relic Infrastructure

By connecting changes in host performance to changes in your configuration, New Relic Infrastructure provides real-time metrics and powerful analytics that reduce your mean-time-to-resolution (MTTR). Hosts are automatically added and removed from the Infrastructure interface as they are created and destroyed, and a powerful UI lets you see every change and make intelligent business decisions about your environment.

Infrastructure is specifically designed for complex environments that need flexible, dynamic server monitoring, from a physical datacenter to thousands of Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances and other types of integrations.

New Relic Insights

New Relic Insights is a software analytics tool to gather and visualize data from your software, and query that data in real-time. While you use APM to optimize your apps, you use Insights to monitor your business and optimize your bottom line.

New Relic Mobile

New Relic Mobile allows you to monitor and manage the performance of your apps on iOS, Android, tvOS, and other systems. New Relic Mobile provides end-to-end details, including errors, throughput, HTTP requests, error traces, and more.

Not to be confused with New Relic's own mobile apps for Android, iPhone and iPad, and Insights.

New Relic Plugins

New Relic Plugins provides an open platform to monitor critical information about your entire stack. New Relic partners, PaAS and SaAS providers, third-party vendors, and plugin users can:

  • Quickly install and use publicly available plugins in Plugin Central.
  • Develop your own plugin agents to collect the metric data that matters most to your business.
  • Publish your plugins for public or private access.
New Relic Synthetics

New Relic Synthetics allows you to monitor your website or API endpoint via automated, scriptable tools. Use free ping monitor to ensure your website is accessible, or expand your monitoring with browser monitors, which test your website with real browsers. Go further with scripting, to script browsers or API monitors for sophisticated testing.

NRQL (New Relic Query Language)

NRQL is a query language similar to SQL that allows you to make calls against the New Relic Insights events database. Use NRQL to make real-time queries to your New Relic data and to refine your queries to get the data you want.

non-web transaction

New Relic APM identifies transactions as either web or non-web. When New Relic does not detect a transaction was initiated by a web request, this is called a non-web transaction. For more information, see New Relic's documentation about background processes and other non-web transactions.


The message sent for a specified alerting event. The type of notification is defined by the alert policy's channel.

notification channel

A channel allows New Relic Alerts to notify you when a condition in an alert policy passes the defined Critical (red) threshold. Available channels include email, mobile push notifications, webhooks, and more.

on-host integration

New Relic Infrastructure integrations allow you to send data from your services or systems to New Relic products. On-host integrations refer to integrations with New Relic Infrastructure that are not cloud-based. Instead, they reside on your own servers or hosts. For more information, see Introduction to on-host integrations.


The user role that initially creates the New Relic account. The owner has complete access to all account information, including billing information. Owners receive all billing queries. Owners can manage all New Relic account settings, including API access, integrations, and other users. Owners can also enable and configure features, and delete data.

For more information, see Users and roles.

page load timing

With page load timing, New Relic monitors the full load time for end-user browsers. New Relic's application agents dynamically inject JavaScript into the page, then capture the following key load points:

  • Navigation start: The user initiates the transaction.
  • First byte: The browser receives the requested page.
  • DOM ready: The browser has finished parsing DOM.
  • Page ready: Page loading is complete.

Page load timing is sometimes referred to as RUM, or real user monitoring. Unlike standard RUM, page load timing also captures JavaScript errors and AJAX requests. For more information, see Page load timing process.


Deprecated term; see attribute.

A unique URL that links to a view of your application at a specific point in time. Permalinks are useful for troubleshooting and for sharing interesting time windows with colleagues. For more information, see Permalink.


The component of New Relic that connects to your website to verify your website is accessible. New Relic has pingers in Europe, Asia, and the United States. Each pinger attempts to contact your website at least once every two minutes. If enough pingers are unable to reach your website, your application will be considered down.

For in-depth scriptable testing, including real browser tests and tests of API endpoints, see New Relic Synthetics. Synthetics includes free ping monitoring, which allows you to monitor your website from locations around the world. For more information, see Types of Synthetics monitors.

polling interval (AWS)

New Relic Infrastructure Amazon integrations query your AWS services according to a polling interval, which varies depending on the integration. Each polling interval by New Relic occurs for every AWS entity. For example, if you have thirteen Elastic Load Balancers (ELB), each one will be polled every five minutes.

Depending on the AWS integration, New Relic Infrastructure may experience delays in the timing between the API request and the metric data returned. If you notice unusual delays, follow the integration troubleshooting procedures.

PPM (pages per minute)

The number of pages per minute your application serves.

private location

A New Relic Synthetics feature that allows you to run Synthetics monitors from within your own systems by creating private minions. Private locations allow you to extend your New Relic Synthetics coverage to new geographical locations, and to monitor websites behind your firewall such as an intranet site. For more information, see Private locations overview.


Plugin authors who make their plugin publicly available in Plugin Central, so that other users can install and run the plugin agent and view the data in the plugin UI. For more information, see Publishing your plugin.

response time

The duration of time between a request for service and a response. For more information, see Response time.

restricted user

A user role that can view (but not set up or change) New Relic features. The restricted user role is useful for demos or kiosks.

For more information, see Users and roles.


Using the same application name for multiple applications. This allows you to combine data in APM, either from multiple applications, or from multiple instances of an application. For more information, see Rolling up app data.

root span

For distributed tracing, the root span is the first span in a trace. In many cases, the root span duration will represent the duration of the entire trace, or be very close to it.

However, for more complex, modern systems that use a lot of asynchronous, non-blocking processes, this will not be true. For those systems, the root span’s duration may be significantly less than the duration of the trace.


The term RPM usually refers to the number of requests per minute your application receives from users. This is usually the same as CPM (calls per minute).

For some New Relic products like APM and Browser, RPM is also part of the product URL. For example: This usage originally stood for "Rails performance management" because the first New Relic agent monitored Ruby on Rails applications. Now, of course, New Relic monitors many languages and systems.

RUM (real user monitoring)

See page load timing.


A runbook contains standard procedures and operations typically used by system administrators, network operations staff, and other personnel to handle outages, alert incidents, and other situations. If your organization stores runbook instructions as URLs, you can link this information to New Relic Alerts so your personnel has easy access to this information when an alert incident violates the defined policy thresholds.

SAML (Security Assertion Markup Language)

SAML is an XML-based data format for sharing authentication data between two parties. SAML creates end points that give an organization's users a single sign on (SSO) URL. Once logged in, users can select any applications they are authorized to use. This provides an additional level of security and simplifies user authentication. In New Relic, owners must obtain a SAML certificate in order to enable Single Sign On. For more information, see SAML service providers.

SDK (software development kit)

See agent SDK.


Selenium is an open-source browser testing suite. Synthetics uses Selenium to test monitored websites with real browsers. For more information, see monitor types.


In a distributed trace, a span is a "named, timed operation representing a contiguous segment of work in that trace" (from definition).

For New Relic's distributed tracing feature, spans are displayed in the distributed tracing UI, and the event type Span is available for querying via Insights.

See also root span.

SSL certificate

SSL certificates encrypt data that is being transmitted. While New Relic refers to security certificates as SSL because it is a more commonly used term, all certificates adhere to industry standards for secure encryption in transit.

SSO (single sign on)

SSO (single sign on) allows you to manage user authentication in New Relic using an external SSO provider. This allows your users to login at one place for multiple applications (for instance, HipChat, Gmail, and New Relic). SSO provides an additional level of security and simplifies user authentication. Enabling SSO requires SAML. For more information, see Setting up SSO.


See master account.


A target is a resource or component monitored by a New Relic product that has been identified in an alert policy's condition. When the condition for that target crosses the defined Critical threshold, New Relic Alerts will create an incident record and send a notification through the defined channel.


The threshold is the value you define for an alert condition, including an optional Warning (yellow) and required Critical (red) level. The threshold includes what value to alert on, the item it monitors, and what point must pass within the specified frequency or time frame.

The entity's health status indicator in the New Relic UI will change to yellow or red when the threshold is passed for the defined time period. In addition, a Critical (red) threshold's violation will create an alert incident and trigger an alert notification from New Relic Alerts.


Throughput is a measurement of user activity for a monitored application. New Relic APM throughput and New Relic Browser throughput are measured in different ways: requests per minute (RPM) for APM, and page views per minute (PPM) for Browser.


A tier represents how New Relic categorizes or visualizes the various agent language ecosystems that we support. For example:

  • In New Relic APM, the color-coded categories that appear on your app's main Overview chart show response time spent in various functions, processes, or agents as tiers; for example, request queuing, garbage collection, Middleware, JVMs, etc.
  • In New Relic labels, TIER could be used to define or classify the client-server architecture; for example, front-end and back-end tiers.
time picker

By default the New Relic UI shows data for the past 30 minutes, ending now. To change the time window, use the time picker below the New Relic menu bar. For more information, see Time picker.

time range or timeslice

A time-unit division of metric timeslice data, as displayed in the UI or extracted via the REST API. The time range has "resolution," which corresponds to the steps shown in a chart. For example, when viewing a half-hour time window, New Relic will display the data in minute increments. New Relic displays the time range appropriate for the period you select in the time picker.

For more information, see Extracting metric data.

timeslice data

The New Relic collector records timeslice data once a minute. Over time, this data is aggregated into longer timeslice data records for more efficient storage. Data is initially aggregated into hourly values, then into daily values. For more information about how New Relic aggregates data, see Data aggregation.

traffic light

See health status.


A transaction is defined as one logical unit of work in an application. This term primarily refers to server-side transactions monitored by New Relic APM. For more information, see New Relic's documentation about web transactions and non-web transactions.

The term transaction is also sometimes used in New Relic Browser. For Browser, it primarily refers to activity beginning with a browser-side web request and ending with a complete page load.

transaction trace

A transaction trace is a complete picture of a single transaction, down to the database queries and exact invocation patterns. With transaction traces, New Relic gives you much deeper visibility into a single slow transaction, which can help you understand a broader problem. For more information, see Transaction traces.


The New Relic user interface. For more information, see Standard page functions.


A user role that can add, edit, and use New Relic features. Users manage the app's performance, but cannot access account or billing information. Typically, this role is appropriate for a developer or operations person.

For more information, see Users and roles.

With New Relic Plugins, "user" refers to any consumer of a New Relic plugin.


Universal Time Coordinated (UTC), or Coordinated Universal Time, is a standard timestamp for synchronizing time around the world. With New Relic Alerts, you can view data as UTC, or you can switch to your time zone (defined from accounts > User preferences). You can also offset UTC when using the New Relic REST API (v2).

value function (metrics)

The numeric value obtained from metric timeslice data; for example, an average, minimum, maximum, total, sample size, etc.


A violation is an event that occurs when an alert condition's value crosses the defined threshold. You can view a summary of the violations for a selected incident in New Relic Alerts. You can also view the violations for a specific entity from the New Relic product's UI.

web external

Web external is the term applied to the portion of time spent in transactions to external applications from within the code of the application you are monitoring. That time can be a call to a third party company (a payment provider, for example) or it could be a call to another microservice within your own company. Web external demonstrates how performance is impacted by your code executing outside the application you are measuring.


WebDriver is a Selenium component, used to control Synthetics scripted browsers. Specifically, Synthetics uses WebDriverJS, a Node.js-based flavor of Selenium. For more information, see Writing scripted browsers and Scripted browser examples.

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