Welcome!

Python Authors: Pat Romanski, Matt Davis, AppDynamics Blog, Donald Meyer, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: Open Source Cloud, Java IoT, Microsoft Cloud, Linux Containers, Python

Open Source Cloud: Article

Tracing Python — An API

New Python Instrumentation

We’re pleased to announce a new Python instrumentation version — Oboeware 1.1!

We’ve added a few new libraries recently, but we’re really excited about the new customization API we’ve introduced in this version. More than just a Python bump, this is the first package we’re releasing with an implementation of our new Oboe API. The Oboe API is a common set of idioms and metaphors for extending Tracelytics instrumentation or quickly writing your own from the ground up. We’re excited to get it out there, and we’re even more excited to see what you build with it!

Conceptually, the Oboe API is a multi-tiered system that allows instrumentation of everything from simple function calls to crazy distributed asynchronous event-driven applications. There are three parts: the low-level API, the high-level API, and language-specific functions.

Language-specific functions
The language-specific functions are just that: language-specific idioms that give you the most tracing bang for your buck. In Python, we’ve put together four:

  • The @trace decorator allows you to start a trace wherever you want. While we catch most web requests, sometimes it can be valuable to trace your backend processes as well. This can give you visibility into celery jobs, command-line scripts, or cron jobs.
  • In an existing trace, the @log_method decorator creates a new layer. We use this extensively in oboeware to actually instrument the standard python libraries like urllib2, pylibmc, or pymongo. If you’ve got an internal API client, or even just a wrapper around an existing library, use this to make sure you’re seeing exactly how performant that library is!
  • The @profile_block and @profile_function allows you to mark particular blocks of code in your app, and we’ll keep track of them in Tracelytics. If you’ve got a particularly thorny algorithm, or just a lot of log parsing to do, throw it inside a @profile_block

PythonAPI-1

… and make sure you’re never losing sight of how long that job is taking.

We understand that modifying your code with performance annotations can be trying. These functions aim to be one-line modifications that open up whole new areas of visibility in your app, with no change in functionality.

High-Level API
Do you want to trace your custom-built, high-performance, NumPy simulation library? Are you looking for a simple way to instrument your internal-but-open-sourced RPC protocol? Or do you maybe want to trace all 7 custom tiers in your in your 7-tier web app?

The high-level API provides a logging-like set of functions that report to the Tracelyzer agent. With these functions, you can control exactly what, where, and how you report your performance information. Additionally, this lets you control the key/value pairs reported, which can be used to mark certain layers for special treatment in Tracelytics. For instance, adding the KVOp key identifies the layer as cache. Adding these keys to a fictional hybrid Cassandra / memcache cache would allow visualization in the same place.

PythonAPI-2

Layers introduced by the high-level API aren’t an afterthought — they’re treated exactly the same as any other layer within the Tracelytics interface. Each layer gets its own visualization and a set of filters, and you can set Alerts on it just as you would full requests or application times.

Low-Level API
For the truly hardcore, we also have a low-level API. In addition to all of the power and flexibility of the High-Level API, this level adds the concept of a Context — an object that encapsulates the request context needed to trace a request through your full stack, under whatever evented, microthread, or serializable paradigm you’re working.

Build it out!
We hope this release is the start of a long and varied journey to tracing everything under the sun. Are you building something with it? Let us know! Are you thinking about it? Sign up for a Traceview account, and get started today.

Related Articles

More Stories By TR Jordan

A veteran of MIT’s Lincoln Labs, TR is a reformed physicist and full-stack hacker – for some limited definition of full stack. After a few years as Software Development Lead with Thermopylae Science and Techology, he left to join Tracelytics as its first engineer. Following Tracelytics merger with AppNeta, TR was tapped to run all of its developer and market evangelism efforts. TR still harbors a not-so-secret love for Matlab-esque graphs and half-baked statistics, as well as elegant and highly-performant code. Read more of his articles at www.appneta.com/blog or visit www.appneta.com.

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
Early Bird Registration Discount Expires on August 31, 2018 Conference Registration Link ▸ HERE. Pick from all 200 sessions in all 10 tracks, plus 22 Keynotes & General Sessions! Lunch is served two days. EXPIRES AUGUST 31, 2018. Ticket prices: ($1,295-Aug 31) ($1,495-Oct 31) ($1,995-Nov 12) ($2,500-Walk-in)
Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereal. Andrew's role at ConsenSys Enterprise is a mul...
Nicolas Fierro is CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions. He is a programmer, technologist, and operations dev who has worked with Ethereum and blockchain since 2014. His knowledge in blockchain dates to when he performed dev ops services to the Ethereum Foundation as one the privileged few developers to work with the original core team in Switzerland.
René Bostic is the Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America. Enjoying her career with IBM during the modern millennial technological era, she is an expert in cloud computing, DevOps and emerging cloud technologies such as Blockchain. Her strengths and core competencies include a proven record of accomplishments in consensus building at all levels to assess, plan, and implement enterprise and cloud computing solutions. René is a member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and a m...
Digital Transformation and Disruption, Amazon Style - What You Can Learn. Chris Kocher is a co-founder of Grey Heron, a management and strategic marketing consulting firm. He has 25+ years in both strategic and hands-on operating experience helping executives and investors build revenues and shareholder value. He has consulted with over 130 companies on innovating with new business models, product strategies and monetization. Chris has held management positions at HP and Symantec in addition to ...
The challenges of aggregating data from consumer-oriented devices, such as wearable technologies and smart thermostats, are fairly well-understood. However, there are a new set of challenges for IoT devices that generate megabytes or gigabytes of data per second. Certainly, the infrastructure will have to change, as those volumes of data will likely overwhelm the available bandwidth for aggregating the data into a central repository. Ochandarena discusses a whole new way to think about your next...
CloudEXPO | DevOpsSUMMIT | DXWorldEXPO are the world's most influential, independent events where Cloud Computing was coined and where technology buyers and vendors meet to experience and discuss the big picture of Digital Transformation and all of the strategies, tactics, and tools they need to realize their goals. Sponsors of DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities.
Dynatrace is an application performance management software company with products for the information technology departments and digital business owners of medium and large businesses. Building the Future of Monitoring with Artificial Intelligence. Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more busine...
All in Mobile is a place where we continually maximize their impact by fostering understanding, empathy, insights, creativity and joy. They believe that a truly useful and desirable mobile app doesn't need the brightest idea or the most advanced technology. A great product begins with understanding people. It's easy to think that customers will love your app, but can you justify it? They make sure your final app is something that users truly want and need. The only way to do this is by ...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that Big Data Federation to Exhibit at the 22nd International CloudEXPO, colocated with DevOpsSUMMIT and DXWorldEXPO, November 12-13, 2018 in New York City. Big Data Federation, Inc. develops and applies artificial intelligence to predict financial and economic events that matter. The company uncovers patterns and precise drivers of performance and outcomes with the aid of machine-learning algorithms, big data, and fundamental analysis. Their products are deployed...