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0.42.0 • Public • Published

OpenTelemetry AWS Lambda Instrumentation for Node.js

NPM Published Version Apache License

component owners: @carolabadeer

This module provides automatic instrumentation for the AWS Lambda module, which may be loaded using the @opentelemetry/sdk-trace-node package and is included in the @opentelemetry/auto-instrumentations-node bundle.

If total installation size is not constrained, it is recommended to use the @opentelemetry/auto-instrumentations-node bundle with @opentelemetry/sdk-node for the most seamless instrumentation experience.

This module is currently under active development and not ready for general use.

Compatible with OpenTelemetry JS API and SDK 1.0+.


npm install --save @opentelemetry/instrumentation-aws-lambda


Create a file to initialize the instrumentation, such as lambda-wrapper.js.

const { NodeTracerProvider } = require('@opentelemetry/sdk-trace-node');
const { AwsLambdaInstrumentation } = require('@opentelemetry/instrumentation-aws-lambda');
const { registerInstrumentations } = require('@opentelemetry/instrumentation');

const provider = new NodeTracerProvider();

  instrumentations: [
    new AwsLambdaInstrumentation({
        // see under for available configuration

In your Lambda function configuration, add or update the NODE_OPTIONS environment variable to require the wrapper, e.g.,

NODE_OPTIONS=--require lambda-wrapper

AWS Lambda Instrumentation Options

Options Type Description
requestHook RequestHook (function) Hook for adding custom attributes before lambda starts handling the request. Receives params: span, { event, context }
responseHook ResponseHook (function) Hook for adding custom attributes before lambda returns the response. Receives params: span, { err?, res? }
disableAwsContextPropagation boolean By default, this instrumentation will try to read the context from the _X_AMZN_TRACE_ID environment variable set by Lambda, set this to true or set the environment variable OTEL_LAMBDA_DISABLE_AWS_CONTEXT_PROPAGATION=true to disable this behavior
eventContextExtractor EventContextExtractor (function) Function for providing custom context extractor in order to support different event types that are handled by AWS Lambda (e.g., SQS, CloudWatch, Kinesis, API Gateway). Applied only when disableAwsContextPropagation is set to true. Receives params: event, context
lambdaHandler string By default, this instrumentation automatically determines the Lambda handler function to instrument. This option is used to override that behavior by explicitly specifying the Lambda handler to instrument. See Specifying the Lambda Handler for additional information.

Hooks Usage Example

const { AwsLambdaInstrumentation } = require('@opentelemetry/instrumentation-aws-lambda');

new AwsLambdaInstrumentation({
    requestHook: (span, { event, context }) => {
        span.setAttribute('faas.name', context.functionName);
    responseHook: (span, { err, res }) => {
        if (err instanceof Error) span.setAttribute('faas.error', err.message);
        if (res) span.setAttribute('faas.res', res);

Specifying the Lambda Handler

The instrumentation will attempt to automatically determine the Lambda handler function to instrument. To do this, it relies on the _HANDLER environment variable which is set by the Lambda runtime. For most use cases, this will accurately represent the handler that should be targeted by this instrumentation.

There exist use cases where the _HANDLER environment variable does not accurately represent the module that should be targeted by this instrumentation. For these use cases, the lambdaHandler option can be used to explicitly specify the Lambda handler that should be instrumented.

To better explain when lambdaHandler should be specified, consider how some telemetry tools, such as Datadog, are instrumented into the Lambda runtime. Datadog does this by overriding the handler function with a wrapper function that is loaded via a Lambda Layer. In these examples, the Lambda's handler will point to the Datadog wrapper and not to the actual handler that should be instrumented. In cases like this, lambdaHandler should be used to explicitly specify the handler that should be instrumented.

The lambdaHandler should be specified as a string in the format <file>.<handler>, where <file> is the name of the file that contains the handler and <handler> is the name of the handler function. For example, if the handler is defined in the file index.js and the handler function is named handler, the lambdaHandler should be specified as index.handler.

One way to determine if the lambdaHandler option should be used is to check the handler defined on your Lambda. This can be done by determining the value of the _HANDLER environment variable or by viewing the Runtime Settings of your Lambda in AWS Console. If the handler is what you expect, then the instrumentation should work without the lambdaHandler option. If the handler points to something else, then the lambdaHandler option should be used to explicitly specify the handler that should be instrumented.

Semantic Conventions

This package uses @opentelemetry/semantic-conventions version 1.22+, which implements Semantic Convention Version 1.7.0

Attributes collected:

Attribute Short Description
cloud.account.id The cloud account ID the resource is assigned to.
faas.execution The execution ID of the current function execution.
faas.id The unique ID of the single function that this runtime instance executes.

Useful links


Apache 2.0 - See LICENSE for more information.

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