Continuous tracing in production (without Erlang's trace module)

Collecting trace data from your application is a very important, but often overlooked, aspect of Application Performance Monitoring (APM). In this talk, we will learn about the core concepts of application tracing (OpenTracing and OpenCensus), some of the tools that are available for collecting and visualizing trace data, and how this data can be used for troubleshooting errors and performance issues, in both monolithic and distributed micro-service architectures.


  • Introduce the concepts of application tracing and the state of the ecosystem (Spans, Traces, Context Propagation, OpenTracing, OpenCensus, etc.)
  • Explain how this is different and complementary to Erlang's built-in trace module
  • Show what insights can be more easily gained from trace data as opposed to logs and metrics
  • Give an overview of the tools and vendors available to start using this technology today Show how to instrument Elixir-based application code using Spandex
  • Demonstrate how to explore the resulting trace data using Datadog APM to troubleshoot error and performance problems


Developers who are responsible for tracking down errors or performance issues, especially in a distributed micro-service architecture


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