Collaboration with OpenCensus: A new way to get traces into Honeycomb

Okay, the cat was out of the bag when the PR merged — Regardless, we’re happy to announce the existence of the Honeycomb Exporter for OpenCensus!

OpenCensus, a Google-lead open source project, is a single distribution of libraries to provide instrumentation and collection of metrics and tracing—and in the future, event—data for your services. OpenCensus libraries can export telemetry to different backends, and a number of vendors are making major contributions to the project.

As Charity, our founder & CEO, says:

“In the decades that we’ve been instrumenting and shipping observability data, there’s never been a de facto standard for doing so. We have high hopes for the success of OpenCensus as a step in that direction and are excited to be part of the process!”

The exporter itself is very easy to add to your OpenCensus instrumented app. All you need to do is initialize it, pass in your Honeycomb API key and dataset name, then send your spans as usual! You can read about how to do that in our docs.

“As a member of the Google Cloud team working on OpenCensus, I’m excited to see the Honeycomb OpenCensus exporter become available to everyone. Developers are now able to instrument their code using the OpenCensus libraries and can use Honeycomb to analyze their observability data at scale,” — Pritam Shah, Engineering Manager for the Census team at Google

There’s a fun little example app that you can play around with to see how to send traces into Honeycomb. The app itself has you type something into a command-line prompt, and then capitalizes it. Each function adds a span to the parent trace, which you can then view in the Honeycomb Trace view.

screenshot of trace using OpenCensus

With the addition of this integration, we’re hoping to move the ball forward on a standard way to do instrumentation and observability for everyone–so we can all spend more time on the product parts of our products.

Go ahead and try it! Let us know what you think!