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OpenCensus for Node.js

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OpenCensus Node.js is an implementation of OpenCensus, a toolkit for collecting application performance and behavior monitoring data.

The library is in alpha stage and the API is subject to change.

Please join gitter for help or feedback on this project.


Install OpenCensus with:

npm install @opencensus/nodejs


Instrumenting an Application

OpenCensus for Node.js has automatic instrumentation for HTTP and HTTPS out of the box. This means that spans are automatically created for operations of those packages. To use it, simply start the tracing instance.

const tracing = require('@opencensus/nodejs');

Similarly for Typescript:

import * as tracing from '@opencensus/nodejs';

Manually Instrument an Application

In addition to automatic tracing, it is possible to manually create your own root and child spans.

const rootSpanOptions = { name: 'your root span' };
tracing.tracer.startRootSpan(rootSpanOptions, (rootSpan) => {

    // You can create as many child spans as needed
    childSpan = tracing.tracer.startChildSpan('name of your child span');
    // Do some operation...
    // Finish the child span at the end of it's operation

    // Finish the root span at the end of the operation

Tracing Options

Tracing has many options available to choose from. At tracing.start(), you can set the following:

Options Type Description
bufferSize number The number of traces to be collected before exporting to a backend
bufferTimeout number Maximum time to wait before exporting to a backend
logger Logger A logger object
logLevel number Level of logger - 0: disable, 1: error, 2: warn, 3: info, 4: debug
samplingRate number Determines the span's sampling rate. Ranges from 0.0 to 1.0
propagation Propagation A propagation instance to use
maximumLabelValueSize number The maximum number of characters reported on a label value
plugin PluginNames A list of trace instrumentations plugins to load
exporter Exporter An exporter object


OpenCensus can collect tracing data automatically using plugins. Users can also create and use their own plugins. Currently, OpenCensus supports automatic tracing for:


OpenCensus collects distributed tracing. It is able to do so by propagating span data through services. Currently, OpenCensus supports:


OpenCensus can export trace data to various backends. Currently, OpenCensus supports:

If no exporter is registered in the tracing instance, as default, a console log exporter is used.

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