Application Instrumentation

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To get started with Datadog APM, you need to follow these key steps:

  1. Install and configure the Datadog Agent.
  2. Instrument your application.
Simplify your setup! Install the Agent and instrument your application in one step with Single Step Instrumentation.

Instrumenting your application allows observability data to be sent to the Agent, which then passes data to the Datadog backend to display in the UI.

The APM pipeline

Instrumentation types

There are two main approaches to instrument your application: automatic or custom instrumentation.

Automatic instrumentation

Create spans for your application with minimal manual steps. To automatically instrument your application, you can use either of these options:

To learn more, see automatic instrumentation.

Custom instrumentation

Capture observability data from in-house code or complex functions that aren’t captured by automatic instrumentation. To custom instrument your application, you can use either of these options:

  • Datadog libraries: Use Datadog tracing libraries to add and customize observability within Datadog.
  • OpenTelemetry APIs: Use OpenTelemetry API support in Datadog libraries to have vendor-neutral instrumentation of your code.

To learn more, see custom instrumentation.

APM setup tutorials

The following tutorials guide you through setting up distributed tracing for a sample application on various infrastructure scenarios, with both automatic and custom instrumentation, using the Datadog tracing libraries:

Further reading

Additional helpful documentation, links, and articles: