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Tracing C++ Applications

Note: C++ does not provide integrations for OOTB instrumentation, but it’s used by Proxy tracing such as Envoy and Nginx.

Getting Started

To begin tracing applications written in any language, first install and configure the Datadog Agent.

Compile against OpenTracing-cpp.

Compatibility

dd-opentracing-cpp requires C++14 to build, but if you use dynamic loading then you are instead only limited by OpenTracing’s requirement for C++11 or later.

Supported platforms include Linux and Mac. If you need Windows support, contact Datadog support.

Installation

Datadog tracing can be enabled in one of two ways:

  • Compile against dd-opentracing-cpp, where the Datadog lib is compiled in and configured in code
  • Dynamic loading, where the Datadog OpenTracing library is loaded at runtime and configured via JSON

Compile against dd-opentracing-cpp

# Gets the latest release version number from Github.
get_latest_release() {
  wget -qO- "https://api.github.com/repos/$1/releases/latest" |
    grep '"tag_name":' |
    sed -E 's/.*"([^"]+)".*/\1/';
}
DD_OPENTRACING_CPP_VERSION="$(get_latest_release DataDog/dd-opentracing-cpp)"
# Download and install dd-opentracing-cpp library.
wget https://github.com/DataDog/dd-opentracing-cpp/archive/${DD_OPENTRACING_CPP_VERSION}.tar.gz -O dd-opentracing-cpp.tar.gz
mkdir -p dd-opentracing-cpp/.build
tar zxvf dd-opentracing-cpp.tar.gz -C ./dd-opentracing-cpp/ --strip-components=1
cd dd-opentracing-cpp/.build
# Download and install the correct version of opentracing-cpp, & other deps.
../scripts/install_dependencies.sh
cmake ..
make
make install

Include <datadog/opentracing.h> and create the tracer:

// tracer_example.cpp
#include <datadog/opentracing.h>
#include <iostream>
#include <string>

int main(int argc, char* argv[]) {
  datadog::opentracing::TracerOptions tracer_options{"localhost", 8126, "compiled-in example"};
  auto tracer = datadog::opentracing::makeTracer(tracer_options);

  // Create some spans.
  {
    auto span_a = tracer->StartSpan("A");
    span_a->SetTag("tag", 123);
    auto span_b = tracer->StartSpan("B", {opentracing::ChildOf(&span_a->context())});
    span_b->SetTag("tag", "value");
  }

  tracer->Close();
  return 0;
}

Link against libdd_opentracing and libopentracing, making sure that they are both in your LD_LIBRARY_PATH:

g++ -std=c++14 -o tracer_example tracer_example.cpp -ldd_opentracing -lopentracing
./tracer_example

Dynamic Loading

get_latest_release() {
  wget -qO- "https://api.github.com/repos/$1/releases/latest" |
    grep '"tag_name":' |
    sed -E 's/.*"([^"]+)".*/\1/';
}
DD_OPENTRACING_CPP_VERSION="$(get_latest_release DataDog/dd-opentracing-cpp)"
OPENTRACING_VERSION="$(get_latest_release opentracing/opentracing-cpp)"
# Download and install OpenTracing-cpp
wget https://github.com/opentracing/opentracing-cpp/archive/${OPENTRACING_VERSION}.tar.gz -O opentracing-cpp.tar.gz
mkdir -p opentracing-cpp/.build
tar zxvf opentracing-cpp.tar.gz -C ./opentracing-cpp/ --strip-components=1
cd opentracing-cpp/.build
cmake ..
make
make install
# Install dd-opentracing-cpp shared plugin.
wget https://github.com/DataDog/dd-opentracing-cpp/releases/download/${DD_OPENTRACING_CPP_VERSION}/linux-amd64-libdd_opentracing_plugin.so.gz
gunzip linux-amd64-libdd_opentracing_plugin.so.gz -c > /usr/local/lib/libdd_opentracing_plugin.so

Include <opentracing/dynamic_load.h> and load the tracer from libdd_opentracing_plugin.so:

// tracer_example.cpp
#include <opentracing/dynamic_load.h>
#include <iostream>
#include <string>

int main(int argc, char* argv[]) {
  // Load the tracer library.
  std::string error_message;
  auto handle_maybe = opentracing::DynamicallyLoadTracingLibrary(
      "/usr/local/lib/libdd_opentracing_plugin.so", error_message);
  if (!handle_maybe) {
    std::cerr << "Failed to load tracer library " << error_message << "\n";
    return 1;
  }

  // Read in the tracer's configuration.
  std::string tracer_config = R"({
      "service": "dynamic-load example",
      "agent_host": "localhost",
      "agent_port": 8126
    })";

  // Construct a tracer.
  auto& tracer_factory = handle_maybe->tracer_factory();
  auto tracer_maybe = tracer_factory.MakeTracer(tracer_config.c_str(), error_message);
  if (!tracer_maybe) {
    std::cerr << "Failed to create tracer " << error_message << "\n";
    return 1;
  }
  auto& tracer = *tracer_maybe;

  // Create some spans.
  {
    auto span_a = tracer->StartSpan("A");
    span_a->SetTag("tag", 123);
    auto span_b = tracer->StartSpan("B", {opentracing::ChildOf(&span_a->context())});
    span_b->SetTag("tag", "value");
  }

  tracer->Close();
  return 0;
}

Just link against libopentracing, making sure that libopentracing.so is in your LD_LIBRARY_PATH:

g++ -o tracer_example tracer_example.cpp -lopentracing
./tracer_example

Further Reading