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Backtrace Node SDK

Backtrace captures and reports handled and unhandled exceptions in your production software so you can manage application quality through the complete product lifecycle.

The @backtrace-labs/node SDK connects your JavaScript application to Backtrace. The basic integration is quick and easy, after which you can explore the rich set of Backtrace features.

Table of Contents

  1. Basic Integration - Reporting your first errors
  2. Error Reporting Features
  3. Advanced SDK Features

Basic Integration

Install the package

$ npm install @backtrace-labs/node

Integrate the SDK

Add the following code to your application before all other scripts to report node errors to Backtrace.

// Import the BacktraceClient from @backtrace-labs/node with your favorite package manager.
import { BacktraceClient, BacktraceConfiguration } from '@backtrace-labs/node';

// Configure client options
const options: BacktraceConfiguration = {
    // Submission url
    // <universe> is the subdomain of your Backtrace instance (<universe>
    // <token> can be found in Project Settings/Submission tokens
    url: '<universe>/<token>/json',

// Initialize the client with the options
const client = BacktraceClient.initialize(options);

// By default, Backtrace will send an error for Uncaught Exceptions and Unhandled Promise Rejections

// Manually send an error
client.send(new Error('Something broke!'));

Upload source maps

Client-side error reports are based on minified code. Upload source maps and source code to resolve minified code to your original source identifiers.

(Source Map feature documentation)

TBD: Link to source upload doc ?>

Error Reporting Features


Custom attributes are key-value pairs that can be added to your error reports. They are used in report aggregation, sorting and filtering, can provide better contextual data for an error, and much more. They are foundational to many of the advanced Backtrace features detailed in Error Reporting documentation. By default attributes such as application name and version are populated automatically based on your package.json information. If Backtrace cannot find them, you need to provide them manually via userAttributes attributes.

There are several places where attributes can be added, modified or deleted.

Attach attributes object to BacktraceClient

It is possible to include an attributes object during BacktraceClient initialization. This list of attributes will be included with every error report, referred to as global attributes.

// Create an attributes object that can be modified throughout runtime
const attributes: Record<string, unknown> = {
    release: 'PROD',

// BacktraceClientOptions
const options: BacktraceConfiguration = {
    url: '<universe>/<token>/json',

    // Attach the attributes object
    userAttributes: attributes,

// Initialize the client
const client = BacktraceClient.initialize(options);

You can also include attributes that will be resolved when creating a report:

// BacktraceClientOptions
const options: BacktraceConfiguration = {
    url: '<universe>/<token>/json',

    // Attach the attributes object
    userAttributes: () => ({
        attribute: getAttributeValue(),

// Initialize the client
const client = BacktraceClient.initialize(options);

Add attributes during application runtime

Global attributes can be set during the runtime once specific data has be loaded (e.g. a user has logged in).

const client = BacktraceClient.initialize(options);

    "clientID": "de6faf4d-d5b5-486c-9789-318f58a14476"

You can also add attributes that will be resolved when creating a report:

const client = BacktraceClient.initialize(options);

client.addAttribute(() => ({
    "clientID": resolveCurrentClientId()

Add attributes to an error report

The attributes list of a BacktraceReport object can be directly modified.

const report: BacktraceReport = new BacktraceReport('My error message', { myReportKey: 'myValue' });
report.attributes['myReportKey'] = 'New value';

File Attachments

Files can be attached to error reports. This can be done when initalizing the BacktraceClient, updating the BacktraceClient, or dynamically for specific reports. When including attachments in BacktraceClient, all files will be uploaded with each report.

// Import attachment types from @backtrace-labs/node
import { BacktraceStringAttachment, BacktraceUint8ArrayAttachment  } from "@backtrace-labs/node";

// BacktraceStringAttachment should be used for text object like a log file, for example
const stringAttachment = new BacktraceStringAttachment("logfile.txt", "This is the start of my log")

// Buffer attachment is an attachment type dedicated to store buffer data
const bufferAttachment = new BacktraceBufferAttachment('buffer-attachment.txt', Buffer.from('sample'));

// File attachment is an attachment type dedicated for streaming files
const fileAttachment = new BacktraceFileAttachment('/path/to/sample/file');

// BacktraceClientOptions
const options = {
    url: "<universe>/<token>/json",

    // Attach the files to all reports
    attachments: [path.join('/path/to/attachment'), stringAttachment],

const client = BacktraceClient.initialize(options);

// Later decide to add an attachment to all reports

// After catching an exception and generating a report
try {
    throw new Error("Caught exception!")
} catch (error) {
    const report = const report = new BacktraceReport(error, {}, [fileAttachment])


Breadcrumbs are snippets of chronological data tracing runtime events. This SDK records a number of events by default, and manual breadcrumbs can also be added.

(Breadcrumbs feature documentation)

Breadcrumbs Configuration

Option Name Type Description Default Required?
enable Boolean Determines if the breadcrumbs support is enabled. By default the value is set to true. true
  • - [ ]
logLevel BreadcrumbLogLevel Specifies which log level severity to include. By default all logs are included. All Logs
  • - [ ]
eventType BreadcrumbType Specifies which breadcrumb type to include. By default all types are included. All Types
  • - [ ]
maximumBreadcrumbs Number Specifies maximum number of breadcrumbs stored by the library. By default, only 100 breadcrumbs will be stored. 100
  • - [ ]
intercept (breadcrumb: RawBreadcrumb) => RawBreadcrumb | undefined; Inspects breadcrumb and allows to modify it. If the undefined value is being returned from the method, no breadcrumb will be added to the breadcrumb storage. All Breadcrumbs
  • - [ ]
import { BacktraceClient, BacktraceConfiguration } from '@backtrace-labs/node';

// BacktraceClientOptions
const options: BacktraceConfiguration = {
    // ignoring all but breadcrumbs config for simplicity
    breadcrumbs: {
        // breadcrumbs configuration

// Initialize the client
const client = BacktraceClient.initialize(options);

Default Breadcrumbs

Type Description
Console Adds a breadcrumb every time console log is being used by the developer.

Intercepting Breadcrumbs

If PII or other information needs to be filtered from a breadcrumb, you can use the intercept function to skip or filter out the sensitive information. Any RawBreadcrumb returned will be used for the breadcrumb. If undefined is returned, no breadcrumb will be added.

Manual Breadcrumbs

In addition to all of the default breadcrumbs that are automatically collected, you can also manually add breadcrumbs of your own.

client.breadcrumbs?.info('This is a manual breadcrumb.', {
    customAttr: 'wow!',

Application Stability Metrics

The Backtrace Node SDK has the ability to send usage Metrics to be viewable in the Backtrace UI.

(Stability Metrics feature documentation)

Metrics Configuration

Option Name Type Description Default Required?
metricsSubmissionUrl String Metrics server hostname. By default the value is set to
  • - [ ]
enable Boolean Determines if the metrics support is enabled. By default the value is set to true. true
  • - [ ]
autoSendInterval Number Indicates how often crash free metrics are sent to Backtrace. The interval is a value in ms. By default, session events are sent on application startup/finish, and every 30 minutes while the application is running. If the value is set to 0. The auto send mode is disabled. In this situation the application needs to maintain send mode manually. On application startup/finish
  • - [ ]
size Number Indicates how many events the metrics storage can store before auto submission. 50
  • - [ ]

Metrics Usage

// metrics will be undefined if not enabled

Offline database support

The Backtrace Node SDK can cache generated reports and crashes to local disk before sending them to Backtrace. This is recommended; in certain configurations Node applications can crash before the SDK finishes submitting data, and under slow internet conditions your application might wait in a closing window until the HTTP submission finishes. In such an event occurs cached reports will be sent on next application launch.

With offline database support you can:

  • cache your reports when the user doesn't have Internet connection or the service is unavailable,
  • capture crashes,
  • manually decide when to send them or not.

By default the offline database support is disabled. To enable it, please add "enable: true" and the path to the directory where Backtrace can store crash data.

const client = BacktraceClient.initialize({
    // ignoring all but database config for simplicity
    database: {
        enable: true,
        path: '/path/to/the/database/directory',
        captureNativeCrashes: true,

// manually send and keep the data on connection issue
// manually send and remove all data no matter if received success or not.

Database Configuration

Option Name Type Description Default Required?
enabled Boolean Enable/disable offline database support. false
  • - [x]
path String Local storage path for crash data. -
  • - [x]
createDatabaseDirectory Boolean Allow the SDK to create the offline database directory.. true
autoSend Boolean Sends reports to the server based on the retry settings. If the value is set to 'false', you can use the Flush or Send methods as an alternative. true
maximumNumberOfRecords Number The maximum number of reports stored in the offline database. When the limit is reached, the oldest reports are removed. If the value is equal to '0', then no limit is set. 8
retryInterval Number The amount of time (in ms) to wait between retries if the database is unable to send a report. 60 000
maximumRetries Number The maximum number of retries to attempt if the database is unable to send a report. 3
captureNativeCrashes Boolean Capture and symbolicate stack traces for native crashes if the runtime supports this. A crash report is generated, stored locally, and uploaded upon next start. false

Native crash support

The Backtrace Node SDK can capture native crashes generated by a Node application such as Assert/OOM crashes. In order to collect them, the SDK uses the Node's API. After setting up the native crash support, your settings may be overridden and your crash data might be created in the database directory.

Database records sent in the next session may not have some information about the crashing session such as attributes or breadcrumbs. To reduce database record size, attachment support was limited only to file attachments.

Manual database operations

Database support is available in the client options with the BacktraceDatabase object. You can use it to manually operate on database records. Options are detailed in BacktraceDatabase Methods.

Advanced SDK Features

Manually send an error

There are several ways to send an error to Backtrace. For more details on the definition of client.send() see Methods below.

// send as a string
await client.send('This is a string!');

// send as an Error
await client.send(new Error('This is an Error!'));

// as a BacktraceReport (string)
await client.send(new BacktraceReport('This is a report with a string!'));

// as a BacktraceReport (Error)
await client.send(new BacktraceReport(new Error('This is a report with a string!')));


BacktraceClient is the main SDK class. Error monitoring starts when this object is instantiated, and it will compose and send reports for unhandled errors and unhandled promise rejections. It can also be used to manually send reports from exceptions and rejection handlers.


The following options are available for the BacktraceClientOptions passed when initializing the BacktraceClient.

Option Name Type Description Default Required?
url String Submission URL to send errors to
  • - [x]
token String The submission token for error injestion. This is required only if submitting directly to a Backtrace URL. (uncommon)
  • - [ ]
userAttributes Dictionary Additional attributes that can be filtered and aggregated against in the Backtrace UI.
  • - [ ]
attachments BacktraceAttachment[] Additional files to be sent with error reports. See File Attachments
  • - [ ]
beforeSend (data: BacktraceData) => BacktraceData | undefined Triggers an event every time an exception in the managed environment occurs, which allows you to skip the report (by returning a null value) or to modify data that library collected before sending the report. You can use the BeforeSend event to extend attributes or JSON object data based on data the application has at the time of exception. See BeforeSend
  • - [ ]
skipReport (report: BacktraceReport) => boolean If you want to ignore specific types of error reports, we recommend that you use the skipReport callback. By using it, based on the data generated in the report, you can decide to filter the report, or send it to Backtrace.
  • - [ ]
captureUnhandledErrors Boolean Enable unhandled errors true
  • - [ ]
captureUnhandledPromiseRejections Boolean Enable unhandled promise rejection true
  • - [ ]
timeout Integer How long to wait in ms before timing out the connection 15000
  • - [ ]
ignoreSslCertificate Boolean Ignore SSL Certificate errors false
  • - [ ]
rateLimit Integer Limits the number of reports the client will send per minute. If set to '0', there is no limit. If set to a value greater than '0' and the value is reached, the client will not send any reports until the next minute. 0
  • - [ ]
metrics BacktraceMetricsOptions See Backtrace Stability Metrics
  • - [ ]
breadcrumbs BacktraceBreadcrumbsSettings See Backtrace Breadcrumbs
  • - [ ]
database BacktraceDatabaseSettings See Backtrace Database
  • - [ ]

BacktraceClient Methods

Name Return Type Description
addAttribute(attributes: Record<string, unknown>) void Add attributes to the BacktraceClient reports
addAttachment(attachment: BacktraceAttachment) void Add an attachment to the BacktraceClient reports
initialize(options: BacktraceClientOptions) BacktraceClient Initializes a new BacktraceClient (returns the same instance on subsequent calls)
builder(options: BacktraceClientOptions).build() BacktraceClient (Advanced) Sets up a new BacktraceClient for reporting
send(data: BacktraceReport | Error | string, reportAttributes: Record<string, unknown> = {}, reportAttachments: BacktraceAttachment[] = []) Promise Asynchronously sends error data to Backtrace

BacktraceDatabase Methods

Name Return Type Description
enabled Boolean Determines if the database is enabled
start() Boolean Starts the database
add(backtraceData: Backtracedata, attachments: BacktraceAttachment[]) BacktraceDatabaseRecord | undefined Adds manually a data object to the database. If the database is not available or the record cannot be stored on the hard drive, the add method can return undefined.
get() BacktraceDatabaseRecord[] Returns all records stored in the database
count() Number Returns the number of records stored in the database
dispose() void Disables the database integration
remove(record: BacktraceDatabaseRecord) void Removes the record from the database
flush() Promise Sends all records to Backtrace and remove them no matter if the submission was successful or not
send() Promise Sends all records to Backtrace. If the submission process fails, the retry information is being increased by the records are not removed from the database.
dispose void Disposes the client


A Backtrace Report is the format that ultimately gets sent to Backtrace. Its structure can be found in BacktraceReport.ts.

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