How to use OTel for code instrumentation with Honeycomb

Get started with observability by instrumenting your applications with the open-source OpenTelemetry project.

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Instrument once, use anywhere

Code instrumentation to emit telemetry data is the first step toward achieving observability. Rather than instrumenting with proprietary libraries or agents that lock you into one particular vendor, you can use OpenTelemetry to collect, generate and export telemetry data into any backend system you choose, including Honeycomb. Instrument for Honeycomb once, and use your telemetry data anywhere you choose.

What is OpenTelemetry?

OpenTelemetry (or “OTel”) is a collection of open-source tools, APIs, and SDKs to generate, collect, and export telemetry data such as traces, metrics, and logs. It integrates with a wide variety of libraries and frameworks in various languages, many of which include automatic instrumentation out-of-the-box. As an open source and vendor-neutral project, OTel allows you to send that data to multiple backends and avoid vendor lock-in.

We have hundreds of teams now using OpenTelemetry and Honeycomb.

We’re able to bring a different mentality in the way we run and manage our production systems. We were able to really help our engineering teams and change the culture.

Rich Anakor

Chief Solutions Architect

How Honeycomb supports OpenTelemetry

Honeycomb is a contributor to the OpenTelemetry project and dedicated to ensuring its success. Honeycomb supports your use of OpenTelemetry in several ways:


You can send trace data directly to Honeycomb from OTel without the use of customized exporters.

Honeycomb OpenTelemetry Distros

Use native OpenTelemetry with Honeycomb or use Honeycomb-specific distros that include boilerplate configuration that save you time and simplify your code.

OpenTelemetry Metrics

Honeycomb supports receiving metrics data from OpenTelemetry (in languages supported by OTel) (Honeycomb Enterprise).

Community Contributions

Honeycomb is a major contributor to OTel, including code and educational content.

OpenTelemetry Documentation