Nancy and New Relic

Tristan Havelick edited this page Jul 21, 2017 · 8 revisions
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New Relic is a nice tool used to monitor applications and collect performance metrics running on pretty much any platform, including .NET. Wiring up Nancy with New Relic is a cinch!

Out of the box, the NewRelic agent traces all transactions as NancyHttpHandler - not very useful! But with the .NET Agent API, it's possible to set an explicit identifier for each transaction logged.

First, install the corresponding NuGet package. Then, add or edit a Module that will be the base for all your other modules:

using NewRelicAgent = NewRelic.Api.Agent.NewRelic; // protip: don't give class and namespace the same name. it's awkward.

public abstract class BaseModule : NancyModule
    public BaseModule()
        Before += ctx =>
            var routeDescription = ctx.ResolvedRoute.Description;
            NewRelicAgent.SetTransactionName("Custom/Endpoint", string.Format("{0} {1}", routeDescription.Method, routeDescription.Path));

            return null;

Then you need to install New Relic's .Net agent on your system. Make sure that the architecture (32-bit or 64-bit) matches your system. Also, if you're running a non-IIS app, make sure you check the Instrument All .NET Applications box.

Note: I added the request method because it doesn't seem to be traced by NewRelic...

Now that transactions get more usable, it's also interesting to add Nancy's internals to NewRelic's transaction timings. To achieve that, create and deploy a custom instrumentation file with the following content:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<extension xmlns="urn:newrelic-extension">
        <tracerFactory name="NewRelic.Agent.Core.Tracer.Factories.BackgroundThreadTracerFactory" metricName="Custom/Endpoint">
            <match assemblyName="Nancy" className="Nancy.NancyEngine">
                <exactMethodMatcher methodName="HandleRequest" />

This file should be placed in C:\ProgramData\New Relic\.NET Agent\Extensions.

You will now see the time spent by Nancy (and your application code) to handle the request.

Alternative Approach

If you don't want to change all of your base classes, another alternative is to hook into Nancy's module building process. To take this approach, first create a class that implements the INancyModuleBuilder interface copying the DefaultNancyModuleBuilder implementation as a starting point. Add a Before handler with a method body similar to the one shown above.

using Nancy;
using Nancy.ModelBinding;
using Nancy.Routing;
using Nancy.Validation;
using Nancy.ViewEngines;
using NewRelicAgent = NewRelic.Api.Agent.NewRelic;

namespace MyServer
  public class MyModuleBuilder : INancyModuleBuilder
    private readonly IViewFactory viewFactory;
    private readonly IResponseFormatterFactory responseFormatterFactory;
    private readonly IModelBinderLocator modelBinderLocator;
    private readonly IModelValidatorLocator validatorLocator;

    /// <summary>
    /// Initializes a new instance of the <see cref="DefaultNancyModuleBuilder"/> class.
    /// </summary>
    /// <param name="viewFactory">The <see cref="IViewFactory"/> instance that should be assigned to the module.</param>
    /// <param name="responseFormatterFactory">An <see cref="IResponseFormatterFactory"/> instance that should be used to create a response formatter for the module.</param>
    /// <param name="modelBinderLocator">A <see cref="IModelBinderLocator"/> instance that should be assigned to the module.</param>
    /// <param name="validatorLocator">A <see cref="IModelValidatorLocator"/> instance that should be assigned to the module.</param>
    public MyModuleBuilder(IViewFactory viewFactory, IResponseFormatterFactory responseFormatterFactory, IModelBinderLocator modelBinderLocator, IModelValidatorLocator validatorLocator)
      this.viewFactory = viewFactory;
      this.responseFormatterFactory = responseFormatterFactory;
      this.modelBinderLocator = modelBinderLocator;
      this.validatorLocator = validatorLocator;

    /// <summary>
    /// Builds a fully configured <see cref="INancyModule"/> instance, based upon the provided <paramref name="module"/>.
    /// </summary>
    /// <param name="module">The <see cref="INancyModule"/> that should be configured.</param>
    /// <param name="context">The current request context.</param>
    /// <returns>A fully configured <see cref="INancyModule"/> instance.</returns>
    public INancyModule BuildModule(INancyModule module, NancyContext context)
      module.Context = context;
      module.Response = this.responseFormatterFactory.Create(context);
      module.ViewFactory = this.viewFactory;
      module.ModelBinderLocator = this.modelBinderLocator;
      module.ValidatorLocator = this.validatorLocator;
      module.Before.AddItemToStartOfPipeline(ctx =>
        var routeDescription = ctx.ResolvedRoute.Description;
        NewRelicAgent.SetTransactionName(module.GetType().Name, string.Format("{0} {1}", routeDescription.Method, routeDescription.Path));
        return null;

      return module;

Then, in a custom bootstrapper class, tell Nancy to use your module builder instead of the default builder

public class MyBootstrapper : DefaultNancyBootstrapper
  protected override NancyInternalConfiguration InternalConfiguration
    get { return NancyInternalConfiguration.WithOverrides(x => x.NancyModuleBuilder = typeof(MyModuleBuilder)); }