Tracing .NET Framework Applications

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Compatibility requirements

Supported .NET Framework runtimes

The .NET Tracer supports instrumentation on .NET Framework >= 4.6.1.

For a full list of Datadog’s .NET Framework library and processor architecture support (including legacy and maintenance versions), see Compatibility Requirements.

Installation and getting started

Datadog recommends you follow the Quickstart instructions in the Datadog app for the best experience, including:
- Step-by-step instructions scoped to your deployment configuration (hosts, Docker, Kubernetes, or Amazon ECS).
- Dynamically set service, env, and version tags.
- Enable ingesting 100% of traces and Trace ID injection into logs during setup.

Also, to set up Datadog APM in AWS Lambda, see Tracing Serverless Functions, in Azure App Service, see Tracing Azure App Service.
Note: Datadog's automatic instrumentation relies on the .NET CLR Profiling API. This API allows only one subscriber (for example, Datadog's .NET Tracer with Profiler enabled). To ensure maximum visibility, run only one APM solution in your application environment.

Installation

  1. Configure the Datadog Agent for APM.
  2. Install the tracer.
  3. Enable the tracer for your service.
  4. View your live data.

Configure the Datadog Agent for APM

Install and configure the Datadog Agent to receive traces from your instrumented application. By default, the Datadog Agent is enabled in your datadog.yaml file under apm_config with enabled: true and listens for trace traffic on http://localhost:8126.

For containerized, serverless, and cloud environments:

  1. Set apm_non_local_traffic: true in the apm_config section of your main datadog.yaml configuration file.

  2. See the specific setup instructions to configure the Agent to receive traces in a containerized environment:

Docker
Kubernetes
Amazon ECS
ECS Fargate

  1. After instrumenting your application, the tracing client sends traces to localhost:8126 by default. If this is not the correct host and port, change it by setting the DD_AGENT_HOST and DD_TRACE_AGENT_PORT environment variables. For more information on configuring these settings, see Configuration.

  1. To ensure the Agent sends data to the right Datadog location, set DD_SITE in the Datadog Agent to .

Tracing is available for other environments including, Heroku, Cloud Foundry, and AWS Elastic Beanstalk.

For all other environments, see the Integrations documentation for that environment and contact Datadog support if you are encountering setup issues.

Install the tracer

Install the Datadog .NET Tracer machine-wide so that all services on the machine are instrumented or on a per-application basis, so developers can manage the instrumentation through the application’s dependencies. To see machine-wide installation instructions, click the Windows tab. To see per-application installation instructions, click the NuGet tab.

To install the .NET Tracer machine-wide:

  1. Download the .NET Tracer MSI installer. Select the MSI installer for the architecture that matches the operating system (x64 or x86).

  2. Run the .NET Tracer MSI installer with administrator privileges.

You can also script the MSI setup by running the following in PowerShell: RUN Start-Process -Wait msiexec -ArgumentList '/qn /i datadog-apm.msi'

Note: This installation does not instrument applications running in IIS. For applications running in IIS, follow the Windows machine-wide installation process.

To install the .NET Tracer per-application:

  1. Add the Datadog.Trace.Bundle NuGet package to your application.

Enable the tracer for your service

To enable the .NET Tracer for your service, set the required environment variables and restart the application.

For information about the different methods for setting environment variables, see Configuring process environment variables.

Internet Information Services (IIS)

  1. The .NET Tracer MSI installer adds all required environment variables. There are no environment variables you need to configure.

  2. To automatically instrument applications hosted in IIS, completely stop and start IIS by running the following commands as an administrator:

    net stop /y was
    net start w3svc
    # Also, start any other services that were stopped when WAS was shut down.
    
    Note: Always use the commands above to completely stop and restart IIS to enable the tracer. Avoid using the IIS Manager GUI application or iisreset.exe.

Services not in IIS

  1. Set the following required environment variables for automatic instrumentation to attach to your application:

    COR_ENABLE_PROFILING=1
    
  2. For standalone applications and Windows services, manually restart the application.

Follow the instructions in the package readme, also available in dd-trace-dotnet repository. Docker examples are also available in the repository.

View your live data

After enabling the .NET Tracer for your service:

  1. Restart your service.

  2. Create application load.

  3. In Datadog, navigate to APM > APM Traces.

Configuration

If needed, configure the tracing library to send application performance telemetry data, including setting up Unified Service Tagging. Read Library Configuration for details.

Custom instrumentation

Your setup for custom instrumentation depends on your automatic instrumentation and includes additional steps depending on the method:

Note: If you are using both automatic and custom instrumentation, you must keep the package versions (for example: MSI and NuGet) in sync.

To use custom instrumentation in your .NET application:

  1. Add the Datadog.Trace NuGet package to your application.
  2. In your application code, access the global tracer through the Datadog.Trace.Tracer.Instance property to create new spans.

To use custom instrumentation in your .NET application:

  1. In your application code, access the global tracer through the Datadog.Trace.Tracer.Instance property to create new spans.

For more information on adding spans and tags for custom instrumentation, see the .NET Custom Instrumentation documentation.

Configuring process environment variables

To attach automatic instrumentation to your service, set the required environment variables before starting the application. See Enable the tracer for your service section to identify which environment variables to set based on your .NET Tracer installation method and follow the examples below to correctly set the environment variables based on the environment of your instrumented service.

Windows

Windows services

In the Registry Editor, create a multi-string value called Environment in the HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\<SERVICE NAME> key and set the value data to:

COR_ENABLE_PROFILING=1
Using the Registry Editor to create environment variables for a Windows service
[string[]] $v = @("COR_ENABLE_PROFILING=1")
Set-ItemProperty HKLM:SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\<SERVICE NAME> -Name Environment -Value $v

Console applications

To automatically instrument a console application, set the environment variables from a batch file before starting your application:

rem Set environment variables
SET COR_ENABLE_PROFILING=1

rem Start application
dotnet.exe example.dll

Further reading