Tracing with OpenTelemetry (experimental)
Support for tracing via OpenTelemetry has been introduced in Npgsql 6.0.
The OpenTelemetry specifications for database tracing are currently experimental, so Npgsql's support may change in upcoming releases.
OpenTelemetry is a widely-adopted framework for distributed observability across many languages and components; its tracing standards allow applications and libraries to emit information on activities and events, which can be exported by the application, stored and analyzed. Activities typically have start and end times, and can encompass other activities recursively; this allows you to analyze e.g. exactly how much time was spent in the database when handling a certain HTTP call.
To make Npgsql emit tracing data, reference the Npgsql.OpenTelemetry NuGet package from your application, and set up tracing as follows:
using var tracerProvider = Sdk.CreateTracerProviderBuilder() .SetResourceBuilder(ResourceBuilder.CreateDefault().AddService("npgsql-tester")) .SetSampler(new AlwaysOnSampler()) // This optional activates tracing for your application, if you trace your own activities: .AddSource("MyApp") // This activates up Npgsql's tracing: .AddNpgsql() // This prints tracing data to the console: .AddConsoleExporter() .Build();
Once this is done, you should start seeing Npgsql trace data appearing in your application's console. At this point, you can look into exporting your trace data to a more useful destination: systems such as Zipkin or Jaeger can efficiently collect and store your data, and provide user interfaces for querying and exploring it. Setting these up in your application is quite easy - simply replace the console exporter with the appropriate exporter for the chosen system.
For example, Zipkin visualizes traces in the following way:
In this trace, the Npgsql query (to database testdb) took around 800ms, and was nested inside the application's
work1 activity, which also had another unrelated
subtask1. This allows understanding the relationships between the different activities, and where time is being spent.