OpenCensus provides vendor-neutral APIs and instrumentation for distributed tracing. It makes robust, portable telemetry a built-in feature of cloud-native software.

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OpenCensus screenshot

OpenTracing and OpenCensus have merged to form OpenTelemetry!

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What is OpenTelemetry?

OpenTelemetry is an open-source CNCF (Cloud Native Computing Foundation) project formed from the merger of the OpenCensus and OpenTracing projects. It provides a collection of tools, APIs, and SDKs for capturing metrics, distributed traces and logs from applications. OpenTelemetry is expected to become the industry standard for:

  • pre-instrumenting libraries and frameworks to add out-of-the-box and vendor-neutral observability
  • enriching local monitoring data with custom instrumentation

While OpenTelemetry does not provide backend or analytics capabilities, it provides several integration points for observability platforms to ingest the collected data.


OpenCensus as de facto standard

OpenCensus is a library API interface that offers documentation for distributed tracing systems. Dynatrace is working on a seamless integration, while providing out-of-the-box tracing for the most important languages right now.

  • No code changes
  • Enterprise scale
  • Seamless processing of data
  • Powered by AI

Dynatrace patented PurePath Technology® uniquely captures and analyzes every single transaction end to end across every tier of your application technology stack—beginning at the browser and extending through all services, all the way down to the code and database level.

Go beyond distributed tracing with Dynatrace

The Dynatrace platform will automatically integrate OpenCensus data, thereby providing the highest possible scalability, enterprise manageability, seamless processing of data, and the best analytics through Davis® (our AI-driven analytics engine), and automation support. With OpenCensus data becoming a first class data source in Dynatrace, companies can leverage their existing investments in custom tracing while gaining all the benefits of the Dynatrace platform. This means that Dynatrace customers will receive:

  • Automatic OneAgent monitoring with auto-discovery of processes exposing OpenCensus data including native apps.
  • Instrumentation exposed by frameworks using OpenCensus will be automatically added to Dynatrace PurePath® data
  • OpenCensus data will be natively supported and used by the Dynatrace AI engine, Smartscape, Service flow, and more.

Dynatrace smartscape


Observability and beyond for the modern cloud

Learn how to extend observability and get actionable answers powered by AI and automation.

Observability, when combined with AI and automation, holds the promise to deliver the actionable answers needed to ensure cloud native applications work perfectly and deliver the best experience and value possible to their users.

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Dynatrace as OpenCensus alternative in web scale environments

While OpenCensus is a mighty solution which offers expressive, consistent, and basically vendor-neutral APIs for popular platforms, you may experience scaling issues. Since tracing allows to follow the whole transaction or workflow as it propagates through an entire system, this can be very resource consuming.

As an alternative to OpenCensus, Dynatrace is built to scale for such workloads. Whatever the environment needs, Dynatrace is capable of tracing it. Technically and also by providing answers instead of data with the power of AI.

Get started with Dynatrace and get traces out-of-the-box without code changes!

Just a few of our enterprise customers

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