Express.js OpenTelemetry Integration Steps

Integrating OpenTelemetry with Express.js allows you to gather and export telemetry data, such as traces, metrics, and logs, providing valuable insights into your application's behavior and performance.

Follow the steps below to integrate OpenTelemetry with your Express.js application. Or checkout quick start guides and examples in the InfraStack AI Otel GitHub repository (opens in a new tab).

Install SDKs

npm install --save @opentelemetry/sdk-node
npm install --save @opentelemetry/auto-instrumentations-node
npm install --save @opentelemetry/exporter-trace-otlp-grpc
npm install --save dotenv

You can use standard OpenTelemetry SDKs to send traces to our collector. List of all supported languages by OpenTelemetry and their SDK can be found in OpenTelemetry docs.

Import your environment variables

InfraStack and OpenTelemetry SDKs accepts environment variables to configure the SDK securely. You can store these variables in your .env file or set them as environment variables.

Learn more about OTLP Protocol

Initialize OpenTelemetry

Create an instrumentation.js file in the root of your project and add the following code to initialize and configure the SDK.

"use strict";
const process = require("process");
const opentelemetry = require("@opentelemetry/sdk-node");
const {
} = require("@opentelemetry/auto-instrumentations-node");
const {
} = require("@opentelemetry/exporter-trace-otlp-grpc");
const { Resource } = require("@opentelemetry/resources");
const {
} = require("@opentelemetry/semantic-conventions");
const exporterOptions = {
  url: `${process.env.OTEL_EXPORTER_OTLP_ENDPOINT}/v1/traces`,
  headers: { 'infrastack-api-key': process.env.OTEL_EXPORTER_OTLP_HEADERS.split('=')[1] },
  compression: 'gzip',
const traceExporter = new OTLPTraceExporter(exporterOptions);
const sdk = new opentelemetry.NodeSDK({
  instrumentations: [getNodeAutoInstrumentations()],
  resource: new Resource({
    [SemanticResourceAttributes.SERVICE_NAME]: "{{YOUR_SERVICE_NAME}}",
    [SemanticResourceAttributes.SERVICE_VERSION]: "{{YOUR_SERVICE_VERSION}}",
    [SemanticResourceAttributes.SERVICE_INSTANCE_ID]: process.env.POD_NAME ?? `uuidgen`
// initialize the SDK and register with the OpenTelemetry API
// gracefully shut down the SDK on process exit
process.on("SIGTERM", () => {
    .then(() => console.log("Tracing terminated"))
    .catch((error) => console.log("Error terminating tracing", error))
    .finally(() => process.exit(0));

Run your application

node -r ./instrumentation.js server.js

Go to InfraStack AI Dashboard (opens in a new tab) to observe your traces