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README.md

Dynatrace OneAgent SDK for .NET

This SDK allows Dynatrace customers to instrument .NET applications. This is useful to enhance the visibility for proprietary frameworks or custom frameworks not directly supported by Dynatrace OneAgent out-of-the-box.

This is the official .NET implementation of the Dynatrace OneAgent SDK.

Table of Contents

Package contents

  • samples: sample application which demonstrates the usage of the SDK
  • src: source code of the SDK (API and implementation stub - for reference only, not intended to be edited/extended/built by the user)
  • LICENSE: license under which the SDK and sample applications are published

The SDK implementation is provided by the installed OneAgent at runtime. The classes in src/DummyImpl are a stub that is used if no OneAgent is installed on the host so that your application is not affected by any missing OneAgent dependency.

Requirements

  • Dynatrace OneAgent (required versions see below)
  • .NET Full Framework >= 4.5 or .NET Core >= 1.0 (the SDK is built using .NET Standard 1.0)
OneAgent SDK for .NET Required OneAgent version
1.4.0 >=1.167
1.3.0 >=1.165
1.2.0 >=1.161
1.1.0 >=1.157
1.0.0-alpha 1.153-1.155

Integration

Using this SDK should not cause any errors if no OneAgent is present (e.g. in testing).

Dependencies

If you want to integrate the OneAgent SDK into your application, just add the following NuGet dependency:

Dynatrace.OneAgent.Sdk NuGet package

The Dynatrace OneAgent SDK for .NET has no further dependencies.

Troubleshooting

Make sure that:

  • OneAgent is installed on the host running your application
  • the installed version of OneAgent is compatible with the SDK version you are using (see Requirements, check using SdkState and IOneAgentInfo)
  • process monitoring is enabled in Dynatrace
  • you have set the OneAgent SDK logging callback and check its output

API Concepts

Common concepts of the Dynatrace OneAgent SDK are explained the Dynatrace OneAgent SDK repository.

IOneAgentSdk object

Use OneAgentSdkFactory.CreateInstance to obtain an instace of IOneAgentSDK, which is used to create tracers and info objects. You should reuse this object over the whole application and if possible CLR lifetime:

IOneAgentSdk oneAgentSdk = OneAgentSdkFactory.CreateInstance();

Tracers

To trace any kind of call you first need to create a Tracer. The Tracer object represents the logical and physical endpoint that you want to call. A Tracer serves two purposes. First to time the call (duration, cpu and more) and report errors. That is why each Tracer has these four methods. Either one of the Error methods must be called at most once, and it must be in between Start and End. Each Tracer can only be used once and you need to create a new instance for each request/call that you want to trace (i.e., Start cannot be called twice on the same instance).

void Start();

void Error(Exception exception);

void Error(String message);

void End();

The Start method only supports synchronous methods (in other words C# methods without the async keyword). If you call Start() in an async method, then with high probability the SDK won't capture the specific data.

To support asynchronous methods (which are C# methods that are marked with the async keyword) the SDK offers a method StartAsync().

Task StartAsync();

Sample usage:

public static async Task SampleMethodAsync()
{
    IOneAgentSdk oneAgentSdk = OneAgentSdkFactory.CreateInstance();
    IDatabaseInfo dbInfo = oneAgentSdk.CreateDatabaseInfo("MyDb", "MyVendor", ChannelType.TCP_IP, "database.example.com:1234");
    IDatabaseRequestTracer dbTracer = oneAgentSdk.TraceSQLDatabaseRequest(dbInfo, "Select * From AA");

    await dbTracer.StartAsync(); // instead of Start() we call the StartAsync() method
    try
    {
        await DatabaseApi.AsyncDatabaseCall();
    }
    catch (Exception e)
    {
        dbTracer.Error(e);
        // handle or rethrow
    }
    finally
    {
        dbTracer.End();
    }
}

Additionally the SDK also offers a convenient Trace method. This method can be called in both asynchronous and synchronous methods. In case of an async method you can pass the given async method to the TraceAsync method and await on the result of the TraceAsync method.

void Trace(Action action);

T Trace<T>(Func<T> func);

Task TraceAsync(Func<Task> func);

Task<T> TraceAsync<T>(Func<Task<T>> func);

Sample usage:

public static async Task SampleMethodAsync()
{
    IOneAgentSdk oneAgentSdk = OneAgentSdkFactory.CreateInstance();
    IDatabaseInfo dbInfo = oneAgentSdk.CreateDatabaseInfo("MyDb", "MyVendor", ChannelType.TCP_IP, "database.example.com:1234");
    IDatabaseRequestTracer dbTracer = oneAgentSdk.TraceSQLDatabaseRequest(dbInfo, "Select * From AA");

    var result = await dbTracer.TraceAsync(() => DatabaseApi.AsyncDatabaseCall());
}

The Trace method internally calls the Start method and the TraceAsync method calls StartAsync. In case of an exception they also call the Error method. Both finally call the End method. Additionally, they also take care of collecting timing information across threads in case the C# async method is executed on multiple threads.

To summarize this, in case of

  • synchronous methods you can either use the Start, End and Error methods, or the convenience method Trace,
  • asynchronous methods you can either use the StartAsync, End and Error methods, or the convenience method TraceAsync.

Some tracers offer methods to provide information in addition to the parameters required for creating the tracer using the IOneAgentSdk object. These additional pieces of information might be relevant for service detection and naming. If this is the case, they can only be set before starting the tracer as stated in the respective method documentation. After ending a tracer, it must not be used any longer. Since none of its methods must be called, no further information can be provided to an ended tracer.

To allow tracing across process and technology boundaries, tracers can be supplied with so-called tags. Tags are strings or byte arrays generated by the SDK that enable Dynatrace to trace a transaction end-to-end. The user has to take care of transporting the tag from one process to the other.

Features

The feature sets differ slightly with each language implementation. More functionality will be added over time, see Planned features for OneAgent SDK for details on upcoming features.

A more detailed specification of the features can be found in Dynatrace OneAgent SDK.

Feature Required OneAgent SDK for .NET version
Trace outgoing web requests >=1.4.0
Custom request attributes >=1.4.0
In-process linking, SdkState and IOneAgentInfo >=1.3.0
Trace messaging >=1.2.0
Trace remote calls >=1.1.0
Logging callback >=1.1.0
Trace SQL database requests >=1.0.0-alpha

Trace SQL database requests

A SQL database request is traced by calling TraceSQLDatabaseRequest. See DatabaseRequestTracerSamples.cs for the full list of examples (sync/async/lambda/exception/...)

Example of a synchronous database call (see DatabaseRequestTracerSamples.cs for more details):

IDatabaseInfo dbInfo = oneAgentSdk.CreateDatabaseInfo("MyDb", "MyVendor", ChannelType.TCP_IP, "database.example.com:1234");
IDatabaseRequestTracer dbTracer = oneAgentSdk.TraceSQLDatabaseRequest(dbInfo, "Select * From AA");

dbTracer.Start();
try
{
    ExecuteDbCallVoid();
}
catch (Exception e)
{
    dbTracer.Error(e);
    // handle or rethrow
}
finally
{
    dbTracer.End();
}

Example of an asynchronous database call (see DatabaseRequestTracerSamples.cs for more details):

IDatabaseInfo dbInfo = oneAgentSdk.CreateDatabaseInfo("MyDb", "MyVendor", ChannelType.TCP_IP, "database.example.com:1234");
IDatabaseRequestTracer dbTracer = oneAgentSdk.TraceSQLDatabaseRequest(dbInfo, "Select * From AA");

await dbTracer.StartAsync();
try
{
    await ExecuteDbCallVoidAsync();
}
catch (Exception e)
{
    dbTracer.Error(e);
    // handle or rethrow
}
finally
{
    dbTracer.End();
}

Example of tracing database call in an async lambda expression (see DatabaseRequestTracerSamples.cs for more details):

IDatabaseInfo dbInfo = oneAgentSdk.CreateDatabaseInfo("MyDb", "MyVendor", ChannelType.TCP_IP, "database.example.com:1234");
IDatabaseRequestTracer dbTracer = oneAgentSdk.TraceSQLDatabaseRequest(dbInfo, "Select * From AA");

int res = dbTracer.Trace(() => ExecuteDbCallInt());

See also our initial blog post about the OneAgent SDK for .NET, which shows how databases can be traced using the IDatabaseRequestTracer and how these traces are presented and analyzed in Dyntrace: Extend framework support with OneAgent SDK for .NET

Trace remote calls

You can use the SDK to trace proprietary IPC communication from one process to the other. This will enable you to see full Service Flow, PurePath and Smartscape topology for remoting technologies that Dynatrace is not aware of.

To trace any kind of remote call you first need to create a Tracer. The Tracer object represents the endpoint that you want to call, as such you need to supply the name of the remote service and remote method. In addition you need to transport the tag in your remote call to the server side if you want to trace it end-to-end.

IOutgoingRemoteCallTracer outgoingRemoteCallTracer = oneAgentSdk.TraceOutgoingRemoteCall(
    "RemoteMethod", "RemoteServiceName",
    "mrcp://endpoint/service", ChannelType.TCP_IP, "myRemoteHost:1234");
outgoingRemoteCallTracer.SetProtocolName("MyRemoteCallProtocol");

outgoingRemoteCallTracer.Start();
try
{
    string tag = outgoingRemoteCallTracer.GetDynatraceStringTag();
    // make the call and transport the tag across to the server to link both sides of the remote call together
}
catch (Exception e)
{
    outgoingRemoteCallTracer.Error(e);
    // handle or rethrow
}
finally
{
    outgoingRemoteCallTracer.End();
}

On the server side you need to wrap the handling and processing of your remote call as well. This will not only trace the server side call and everything that happens, it will also connect it to the calling side.

IIncomingRemoteCallTracer incomingRemoteCallTracer = oneAgentSdk
    .TraceIncomingRemoteCall("RemoteMethod", "RemoteServiceName", "mrcp://endpoint/service");

string incomingDynatraceStringTag = ...; // retrieve from incoming call metadata
 // link both sides of the remote call together
incomingRemoteCallTracer.SetDynatraceStringTag(incomingDynatraceStringTag);

incomingRemoteCallTracer.Start();
incomingRemoteCallTracer.SetProtocolName("MyRemoteCallProtocol");
try
{
    ProcessRemoteCall();
}
catch (Exception e)
{
    incomingRemoteCallTracer.Error(e);
    // handle or rethrow
}
finally
{
    incomingRemoteCallTracer.End();
}

Trace messaging

You can use the SDK to trace messages sent or received via messaging & queuing systems. When tracing messages, we distinguish between:

  • sending a message
  • receiving a message
  • processing a received message

To trace an outgoing message, you need to create an IMessagingSystemInfo and call TraceOutgoingMessage with that instance:

string serverEndpoint = "messageserver.example.com:1234";
string topic = "my-topic";
IMessagingSystemInfo messagingSystemInfo = oneAgentSdk
    .CreateMessagingSystemInfo("MyCustomMessagingSystem", topic, MessageDestinationType.TOPIC, ChannelType.TCP_IP, serverEndpoint);

IOutgoingMessageTracer outgoingMessageTracer = oneAgentSdk.TraceOutgoingMessage(messagingSystemInfo);

outgoingMessageTracer.Start();
try
{
    Message message = new Message();
    message.CorrelationId = "my-correlation-id-1234"; // optional, determined by application

    // transport the Dynatrace tag along with the message to allow the outgoing message tracer to be linked
    // with the message processing tracer on the receiving side
    message.Headers[OneAgentSdkConstants.DYNATRACE_MESSAGE_PROPERTYNAME] = outgoingMessageTracer.GetDynatraceByteTag();

    SendResult result = MyMessagingSystem.SendMessage(message);

    outgoingMessageTracer.SetCorrelationId(message.CorrelationId);    // optional
    outgoingMessageTracer.SetVendorMessageId(result.VendorMessageId); // optional
}
catch (Exception e)
{
    outgoingMessageTracer.Error(e);
    // handle or rethrow
    throw e;
}
finally
{
    outgoingMessageTracer.End();
}

On the incoming side, we need to differentiate between the blocking receiving part and processing the received message. Therefore two different tracers are used: IIncomingMessageReceiveTracer and IIncomingMessageProcessTracer.

string serverEndpoint = "messageserver.example.com:1234";
string topic = "my-topic";
IMessagingSystemInfo messagingSystemInfo = oneAgentSdk
    .CreateMessagingSystemInfo("MyCustomMessagingSystem", topic, MessageDestinationType.TOPIC, ChannelType.TCP_IP, serverEndpoint);

IIncomingMessageReceiveTracer receiveTracer = oneAgentSdk.TraceIncomingMessageReceive(messagingSystemInfo);

receiveTracer.Start();
try
{
    // blocking call until message is available:
    ReceiveResult receiveResult = MyMessagingSystem.ReceiveMessage();
    Message message = receiveResult.Message;

    IIncomingMessageProcessTracer processTracer = oneAgentSdk.TraceIncomingMessageProcess(messagingSystemInfo);

    // retrieve Dynatrace tag created using the outgoing message tracer to link both sides together:
    if (message.Headers.ContainsKey(OneAgentSdkConstants.DYNATRACE_MESSAGE_PROPERTYNAME))
    {
        processTracer.SetDynatraceByteTag(message.Headers[OneAgentSdkConstants.DYNATRACE_MESSAGE_PROPERTYNAME]);
    }
    // start processing:
    processTracer.Start();
    processTracer.SetCorrelationId(message.CorrelationId);           // optional
    processTracer.SetVendorMessageId(receiveResult.VendorMessageId); // optional
    try
    {
        ProcessMessage(message); // do the work ...
    }
    catch (Exception e)
    {
        processTracer.Error(e);
        // handle or rethrow
        throw e;
    }
    finally
    {
        processTracer.End();
    }
}
catch (Exception e)
{
    receiveTracer.Error(e);
    // handle or rethrow
    throw e;
}
finally
{
    receiveTracer.End();
}

In case of a non-blocking receive (e.g. via an event handler), there is no need to use IIncomingMessageReceiveTracer - just trace processing of the message by using the IIncomingMessageProcessTracer:

void OnMessageReceived(ReceiveResult receiveResult)
{
    string serverEndpoint = "messageserver.example.com:1234";
    string topic = "my-topic";
    IMessagingSystemInfo messagingSystemInfo = oneAgentSdk
        .CreateMessagingSystemInfo("MyCustomMessagingSystem", topic, MessageDestinationType.TOPIC, ChannelType.TCP_IP, serverEndpoint);

    Message message = receiveResult.Message;

    IIncomingMessageProcessTracer processTracer = oneAgentSdk.TraceIncomingMessageProcess(messagingSystemInfo);

    // retrieve Dynatrace tag created using the outgoing message tracer to link both sides together:
    if (message.Headers.ContainsKey(OneAgentSdkConstants.DYNATRACE_MESSAGE_PROPERTYNAME))
    {
        processTracer.SetDynatraceByteTag(message.Headers[OneAgentSdkConstants.DYNATRACE_MESSAGE_PROPERTYNAME]);
    }
    // start processing:
    processTracer.Start();
    processTracer.SetCorrelationId(message.CorrelationId);           // optional
    processTracer.SetVendorMessageId(receiveResult.VendorMessageId); // optional
    try
    {
        ProcessMessage(message); // do the work ...
    }
    catch (Exception e)
    {
        processTracer.Error(e);
        // handle or rethrow
        throw e;
    }
    finally
    {
        processTracer.End();
    }
}

See also our blog post explaining this feature: End-to-end tracing for additional message queues with OneAgent SDK

Trace web requests

Trace outgoing web requests

You can use the SDK to trace outgoing web requests. This allows tracing web requests performed using HTTP client libraries which are not supported by the Dynatrace OneAgent out-of-the-box. Always include the Dynatrace header with the request as it is required to match the request on the server side. This ensures requests are traced end-to-end when the server is monitored using a OneAgent or OneAgent SDK.

MyCustomHttpRequest request = new MyCustomHttpRequest("https://www.example.com:8080/api/user?group=42&location=Linz", "GET");
request.Headers["Accept"] = "application/json; q=1.0, application/xml; q=0.8";
request.Headers["Accept-Charset"] = "utf-8";
request.Headers["Cache-Control"] = "no-cache,no-store,must-revalidate";
request.Headers["X-MyRequestHeader"] = "MyRequestValue";

IOutgoingWebRequestTracer tracer = SampleApplication.OneAgentSdk.TraceOutgoingWebRequest(request.Url, request.Method);

foreach (KeyValuePair<string, string> header in request.Headers)
{
    tracer.AddRequestHeader(header.Key, header.Value);
}

await tracer.TraceAsync(async () =>
{
    // set the Dynatrace tracing header to allow linking the request on the server
    request.Headers[OneAgentSdkConstants.DYNATRACE_HTTP_HEADERNAME] = tracer.GetDynatraceStringTag();

    MyCustomHttpResponse response = await request.ExecuteAsync();

    tracer.SetStatusCode(response.StatusCode);

    foreach (KeyValuePair<string, string> header in response.Headers)
    {
        tracer.AddResponseHeader(header.Key, header.Value);
    }
});

In-process linking

In order to trace interactions between different threads, so-called in-process links are used. An in-process link is created on the originating thread and then used for creating an IInProcessLinkTracer on the target thread.

Calls detected while the tracer is active (i.e., between Start and End or within any of the Trace methods) are traced as part of the originating service call. This works for calls detected out-of-the-box by the OneAgent as well as calls traced using the OneAgent SDK.

// create an in-process link on the originating thread
IInProcessLink inProcessLink = oneAgentSdk.CreateInProcessLink();

// delegate work to another thread, in this case we use a custom background worker implementation
customBackgroundWorker.EnqueueWorkItem(() =>
{
    // use the in-process link to link the PurePath on the target thread to its origin
    IInProcessLinkTracer inProcessLinkTracer = oneAgentSdk.TraceInProcessLink(inProcessLink);
    inProcessLinkTracer.Start();
    // processing and performing further calls...
    inProcessLinkTracer.End();

    // calls executed after ending the IInProcessLinkTracer will
    // *not* be traced as part of the originating service call
});

Note that you can re-use in-process links to create multiple in-process link tracers.

Add custom request attributes

You can use the SDK to add custom request attributes to the currently traced service call. These attributes (key-value pairs) can be used to search and filter requests in Dynatrace.

In order to add a custom request attribute, the AddCustomRequestAttribute methods are used. No reference to a tracer is needed as OneAgent SDK will select the currently active PurePath. This may be a PurePath created by OneAgent SDK or a PurePath created by built-in sensors of the OneAgent. The methods take two arguments - a key, specifying the name of the attribute, and a value, which can be either a string, long or double. These methods can be called several times to add multiple attributes to the same request. If the same attribute key is used several times, all values will be recorded.

oneAgentSdk.AddCustomRequestAttribute("region", "EMEA");
oneAgentSdk.AddCustomRequestAttribute("salesAmount", 2500);
oneAgentSdk.AddCustomRequestAttribute("service-quality", 0.707106);

oneAgentSdk.AddCustomRequestAttribute("account-group", 1);
oneAgentSdk.AddCustomRequestAttribute("account-group", 2);
oneAgentSdk.AddCustomRequestAttribute("account-group", 3);

If no service call is currently being traced, the attributes will be discarded. Therefore, for calls traced with OneAgent SDK, custom request attributes have to be added after starting the tracer (or from within an ITracer.Trace method) in order to have an active PurePath.
Strings exceeding the lengths specified here will be truncated.

See also our blog post explaining how custom request attributes are configured, displayed and analyzed in Dynatrace: Capture any request attributes using OneAgent SDK

Logging callback

The SDK provides a logging-callback to give information back to the calling application in case of an error. The user application has to provide a callback like the following:

class StdErrLoggingCallback : ILoggingCallback
{
    public void Error(string message) => Console.Error.WriteLine("[OneAgent SDK] Error:   " + message);
    public void Warn (string message) => Console.Error.WriteLine("[OneAgent SDK] Warning: " + message);
}

public static void Main(string[] args)
{
    IOneAgentSdk oneAgentSdk = OneAgentSdkFactory.CreateInstance();
    var loggingCallback = new StdErrLoggingCallback();
    oneAgentSdk.SetLoggingCallback(loggingCallback);
}

In general it is a good idea to forward these logging events to your application specific logging framework.

SdkState and IOneAgentInfo

For troubleshooting and avoiding any ineffective tracing calls you can check the state of the SDK as follows:

    IOneAgentSdk oneAgentSdk = OneAgentSdkFactory.CreateInstance();
    SdkState state = oneAgentSdk.CurrentState;
    switch (state)
    {
        case SdkState.ACTIVE:               // SDK ready for use
        case SdkState.TEMPORARILY_INACTIVE: // capturing disabled, tracing calls can be spared
        case SdkState.PERMANENTLY_INACTIVE: // SDK permanently inactive, tracing calls can be spared
    }

It is good practice to check the SDK state regularly as it may change at every point of time (except PERMANENTLY_INACTIVE, which never changes over application lifetime).

Information about the OneAgent used by the SDK can be retrieved using IOneAgentInfo:

    IOneAgentSdk oneAgentSdk = OneAgentSdkFactory.CreateInstance();
    IOneAgentInfo agentInfo = oneAgentSdk.AgentInfo;
    if (agentInfo.AgentFound)
    {
        Console.WriteLine($"OneAgent Version: {agentInfo.Version}");
        if (agentInfo.AgentCompatible)
        {
            // agent is fully compatible with current SDK version
        }
    }

See SdkState.cs and IOneAgentInfo.cs for further information.

Further readings

Help & Support

The Dynatrace OneAgent SDK for .NET is in GA status. The features are fully supported by Dynatrace.

Get Help

Open a GitHub issue to

  • Report minor defects, minor items or typos
  • Ask for improvements or changes in the SDK API
  • Ask any questions related to the community effort

SLAs don't apply for GitHub tickets

Customers can open a ticket on the Dynatrace support portal to

  • Get support from the Dynatrace technical support engineering team
  • Manage and resolve product related technical issues

SLAs apply according to the customer's support level.

Release Notes

see also Releases

Version Description
1.4.0 Adds custom request attributes and outgoing web request tracing
1.3.0 Adds in-process linking, ITracer.Error(Exception), SdkState and IOneAgentInfo
1.2.0 Adds message tracing
1.1.0 First GA release - starting with this version OneAgent SDK for .NET is now officially supported by Dynatrace
1.1.0-alpha Adds remote call tracing and logging callback
1.0.0-alpha EAP release
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