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Application Metrics Programming Model

MicroProfile Metrics provides a way to register Application-specific metrics to allow applications to expose metrics in the application scope (see architecture.adoc for the description of scopes).

Metrics and their metadata are added to a Metric Registry upon definition and can afterwards have their values set and retrieved via the Java-API and also be exposed via the REST-API (see architecture.adoc).

Tip
Implementors of this specification can use the Java API to also expose metrics for base and vendor scope by using the respective Metric Registry.

There are two options for registering metrics. The easier one is using annotations - the metrics declared by annotations will be automatically added to the registry when the application starts. In some cases, however, for example when the full list of required metrics is not known in advance, or when it is too large, it might be necessary to interact with the registry programmatically and create new metrics dynamically at runtime. Both approaches can also be combined.

Example set-up of a Gauge metric by an annotation. No unit is given, so MetricUnits.NONE is used, an explicit name is provided
@Gauge(unit = MetricUnits.NONE, name = "queueSize")
public int getQueueSize() {
  return queue.size;
}
  • NOTE: There are no hard limits on the number of metrics, but it is often not a good practice to create a huge number of metrics, because the downstream time series databases that need to store the metrics may not deal well with this amount of data.

Responsibility of the MicroProfile Metrics implementation

  • The implementation must scan the application at deploy time for Annotations and register the Metrics along with their metadata in the application MetricsRegistry. This does not apply to gauges, they can be registered lazily when the declaring bean is being instantiated.

  • The implementation must watch the annotated objects and update internal data structures when the values of the annotated objects change. The value of a Gauge is recomputed each time a client requests the value.

  • The implementation must expose the values of the objects registered in the MetricsRegistry via REST-API as described in architecture.adoc.

  • Metrics registered via non-annotations API need their values be set via updates from the application code.

  • The implementation must detect if multiple annotations declare the same gauge (with the same MetricID) and throw an IllegalArgumentException if such duplicate exists

  • The implementation must flag and reject metrics upon registration if the metadata information being registered is not equivalent to the metadata information that has already been registered under the given metric name (if it already exists).

    • All metrics of a given metric name must be associated with the same metadata information

    • The implementation must throw an IllegalArgumentException when the metric is rejected.

  • The implementation must throw an IllegalStateException if an annotated metric is invoked, but the metric no longer exists in the MetricRegistry. This applies to the following annotations : @Timed, @Counted

  • The implementation must make sure that metric registries are thread-safe, in other words, concurrent calls to methods of MetricRegistry must not leave the registry in an inconsistent state.

Base Package

All Java-Classes are in the top-level package org.eclipse.microprofile.metrics or one of its sub-packages.

Annotations

All Annotations are in the org.eclipse.microprofile.metrics.annotation package

Note

These annotations include interceptor bindings as defined by the Java Interceptors specification.

CDI leverages the Java Interceptors specification to provide the ability to associate interceptors to beans via typesafe interceptor bindings, as a means to separate cross-cutting concerns, like Metrics annotations instrumentation, from the application business logic.

Both the Java Interceptors and CDI specifications set restrictions about the type of bean to which an interceptor can be bound.

That implies only managed beans whose bean types are proxyable can be instrumented using the Metrics annotations.

The following Annotations exist, see below for common fields:

Annotation Applies to Description Default Unit

@Counted

M, C, T

Denotes a counter, which counts the invocations of the annotated object.

MetricUnits.NONE

@Gauge

M

Denotes a gauge, which samples the value of the annotated object.

no default, must be supplied by the user

@Metric

F, P

An annotation that contains the metadata information when requesting a metric to be injected.

MetricUnits.NONE

@Timed

M, C, T

Denotes a timer, which tracks duration of the annotated object.

MetricUnits.NANOSECONDS

(C=Constructor, F=Field, M=Method, P=Parameter, T=Type)

Annotation Description Default

@RegistryScope

Indicates the scope of Metric Registry to inject when injecting a MetricRegistry.

application (scope)

Fields

All annotations (Except RegistryScope) have the following fields that correspond to the metadata fields described in architecture.adoc.

String name

Optional. Sets the name of the metric. If not explicitly given the name of the annotated object is used.

boolean absolute

If true, uses the given name as the absolute name of the metric. If false, prepends the package name and class name before the given name. Default value is false.

String displayName

Optional. A human readable display name for metadata.

String description

Optional. A description of the metric.

String unit

Unit of the metric. For @Gauge no default is provided. Check the MetricUnits class for a set of pre-defined units.

String scope

Optional. The MetricRegistry scope that this metric belongs to. Default value is application.

Note
Implementors are encouraged to issue warnings in the server log if metadata is missing. Implementors MAY stop the deployment of an application if Metadata is missing.

Annotated Naming Convention

Annotated metrics are registered into the application MetricRegistry with the name computed using the rules in the following tables.

If the metric annotation is placed on a method or field:

name is specified

name is not specified

absolute=true

Value of the name argument

Name of the annotated element

absolute=false

<canonical-name-of-declaring-class>.<value-of-name-argument>

<canonical-name-of-declaring-class>.<name-of-element>

If the metric annotation is placed on a class, then for each method (including constructors), the metric name will be:

name is specified

name is not specified

absolute=true

<value-of-name-argument>.<name-of-the-method>

<short-name-of-class>.<name-of-the-method>

absolute=false

<package-of-the-declaring-class>.<value-of-name-argument>.<name-of-the-method>

<canonical-name-of-the-declaring-class>.<name-of-the-method>

In case of constructors, "name of the method" is the short name of the declaring class.

Examples of metric names when metric annotations are applied to beans
package com.example;

import jakarta.inject.Inject;
import org.eclipse.microprofile.metrics.Counter;
import org.eclipse.microprofile.metrics.annotation.Metric;

public class Colours {

    @Counted
    public void red() {
        // ...
    }

    @Counted(name="blueCount")
    public void blue() {
        // ...
    }

    @Counted(name="greenCount", absolute=true)
    public void green() {
        // ...
    }

    @Counted(absolute=true)
    public void yellow() {
        // ...
    }

}

The above bean would produce the following entries in the MetricRegistry

com.example.Colours.red
com.example.Colours.blueCount
greenCount
yellow
Examples of metric names when @Inject is used together with @Metric
package com.example;

import jakarta.inject.Inject;
import org.eclipse.microprofile.metrics.Counter;
import org.eclipse.microprofile.metrics.annotation.Metric;

public class Colours {

  @Inject
  @Metric
  Counter redCount;

  @Inject
  @Metric(name="blue")
  Counter blueCount;

  @Inject
  @Metric(absolute=true)
  Counter greenCount;

  @Inject
  @Metric(name="purple", absolute=true)
  Counter purpleCount;
}

The above bean would produce the following entries in the MetricRegistry

com.example.Colours.redCount
com.example.Colours.blue
greenCount
purple

@Counted

An annotation for marking a method, constructor, or type as a counter.

The implementation must support the following annotation targets:

  • CONSTRUCTOR

  • METHOD

  • TYPE

Note
This annotation has changed in MicroProfile Metrics 2.0: Counters now always increase monotonically upon invocation.

If the metric no longer exists in the MetricRegistry when the annotated element is invoked then an IllegalStateException will be thrown.

The following lists the behavior for each annotation target.

CONSTRUCTOR

When a constructor is annotated, the implementation must register a counter for the constructor using the Annotated Naming Convention. The counter is increased by one when the constructor is invoked.

Example of an annotated constructor
@Counted
public CounterBean() {
}
METHOD

When a non-private method is annotated, the implementation must register a counter for the method using the Annotated Naming Convention. The counter is increased by one when the method is invoked.

Example of an annotated method
@Counted
public void run() {
}
TYPE

When a type/class is annotated, the implementation must register a counter for each of the constructors and non-private methods using the Annotated Naming Convention. The counters are increased by one when the corresponding constructor/method is invoked.

Example of an annotated type/class
@Counted
public class CounterBean {

  public void countMethod1() {}
  public void countMethod2() {}

}

@Gauge

An annotation for marking a method as a gauge. No default MetricUnit is supplied, so the unit must always be specified explicitly.

The implementation must support the following annotation target:

  • METHOD

The following lists the behavior for each annotation target.

METHOD

When a non-private method is annotated, the implementation must register a gauge for the method using the Annotated Naming Convention. The gauge value and type is equal to the annotated method return value and type.

Example of an annotated method
@Gauge(unit = MetricUnits.NONE)
public long getValue() {
  return value;
}

@Timed

An annotation for marking a constructor or method of an annotated object as timed. The metric of type Timer tracks how frequently the annotated object is invoked, and tracks how long it took the invocations to complete. The data is aggregated to calculate duration statistics and throughput statistics.

The implementation must support the following annotation targets:

  • CONSTRUCTOR

  • METHOD

  • TYPE

If the metric no longer exists in the MetricRegistry when the annotated element is invoked then an IllegalStateException will be thrown.

The following lists the behavior for each annotation target.

CONSTRUCTOR

When a constructor is annotated, the implementation must register a timer for the constructor using the Annotated Naming Convention. Each time the constructor is invoked, the execution will be timed.

Example of an annotated constructor
@Timed
public TimedBean() {
}
METHOD

When a non-private method is annotated, the implementation must register a timer for the method using the Annotated Naming Convention. Each time the method is invoked, the execution will be timed.

Example of an annotated method
@Timed
public void run() {
}
TYPE

When a type/class is annotated, the implementation must register a timer for each of the constructors and non-private methods using the Annotated Naming Convention. Each time a constructor/method is invoked, the execution will be timed with the corresponding timer.

Example of an annotated type/class
@Timed
public class TimedBean {

  public void timedMethod1() {}
  public void timedMethod2() {}

}

@Metric

An annotation requesting that a metric should be injected or registered.

The implementation must support the following annotation targets:

  • FIELD

  • PARAMETER

The following lists the behavior for each annotation target.

FIELD

When a metric injected field is annotated, the implementation must provide the registered metric with the given name (using the Annotated Naming Convention) if the metric already exists. If no metric exists with the given name then the implementation must produce and register the requested metric.

Gauges are an exception to this rule, because it could happen that an annotated gauge is not registered yet when the reference to it is being injected. In that case, the implementation must inject a proxy gauge implementation which forwards getValue() calls to the actual gauge, if the actual gauge already exists. If getValue() is called on the proxy gauge and the actual gauge still does not exist in the registry, getValue() will return null.

Example of an injected field
@Inject
@Metric(name = "applicationCount")
Counter count;
PARAMETER

When a metric parameter is annotated, the implementation must provide the registered metric with the given name (using the Annotated Naming Convention) if the metric already exist. If no metric exists with the given name then the implementation must produce and register the requested metric.

Example of an annotated parameter
@Inject
public void init(@Metric(name="instances") Counter instances) {
    instances.inc();
}

Usage of CDI stereotypes

If a metric annotation is applied to a bean through a CDI stereotype, the implementation must handle it the same way as if the metric annotation was applied on the target bean directly. Metric names are computed relative to the name and package of the bean itself, not of the stereotype.

Registering metrics dynamically

In addition to declaring metrics via annotations, it is possible to dynamically (un)register metrics by calling methods of a MetricRegistry object. Registering metrics dynamically can be useful in some cases, for example, when the final list of metrics is not known in advance (when the application is being coded), or when there are too many similar metrics and it would be more practical to register them in a for loop than to introduce lots of annotations in the code. The two approaches can also be combined if necessary.

Method Description

counter(String name)

Counter with given name and no tags

counter(String name, Tag…​ tags)

Counter with given name and tags

counter(Metadata metadata)

Counter from given Metadata object

counter(Metadata metadata, Tag…​ tags)

Counter from given Metadata object with given tags

histogram(String name)

Histogram with given name and no tags

histogram(String name, Tag…​ tags)

Histogram with given name and tags

histogram(Metadata metadata)

Histogram from given Metadata object

histogram(Metadata metadata, Tag…​ tags)

Histogram from given Metadata object with given tags

timer(String name)

Timer with given name and no tags

timer(String name, Tag…​ tags)

Timer with given name and tags

timer(Metadata metadata)

Timer from given Metadata object

timer(Metadata metadata, Tag…​ tags)

Timer from given Metadata object with given tags

All metrics in the table above, except the variants of register, exhibit the get-or-create semantics, so if a compatible metric with the same MetricID already exists, the existing one is returned. "Compatible" in this context means that the type and all specified metadata must be equal - else an exception is thrown. If a metric exists under the same name but with different tags, the newly created metric must have all of its metadata equal to the existing metric’s metadata.

The register method variants exhibit the create semantics, that means, if a metric with the same MetricID already exists, an exception is thrown. If a metric exists under the same name but with different tags, the newly created metric must have all of its metadata equal to the existing metric’s metadata.

For methods that accept a Metadata parameter and whose name implies a metric type (all except register), it is possible to call them with a Metadata object which does not specify the metric type (it can be null). In this case, the implementation must sanitize the Metadata object in a way that if it is retrieved later from the registry and metadata.getType() or metadata.getTypeRaw() is called on it, the actual metric type will be returned. Conversely, if there is a mismatch because the type specified in the Metadata is different than the one implied by the method name, an exception must be thrown.

Unregistering metrics

While the general recommendation is that metrics live for the whole lifecycle of the application, it is still possible to dynamically remove metrics from metric registries at runtime.

Method Description

remove(String name)

Removes all metrics with the given name

remove(MetricID metricID)

Removes the metric with the given MetricID, if it exists

remove(MetricFilter filter)

Removes all metrics that are accepted by the given MetricFilter instance

Metric Registries

The MetricRegistry is used to maintain a collection of metrics along with their metadata. There is one shared singleton of the MetricRegistry per pre-defined scope (application, base, and vendor). There is also one shared singleton of the MetricRegistry per custom scope. When metrics are registered using annotations and no scope is provided, the metrics are registered in the application MetricRegistry (and thus the application scope).

When injected, the @RegistryScope is used to selectively inject one of the application, base, vendor or custom registries. If no scope parameter is used, the default MetricRegistry returned is the application registry.

Implementations may choose to use a Factory class to produce the injectable MetricRegistry bean via CDI. See appendix.adoc. Note: The factory would be an internal class and not exposed to the application.

@RegistryScope

The @RegistryScope can be used to retrieve the MetricRegistry for a specific scope. The implementation must produce the corresponding MetricRegistry specified by the RegistryScope.

Note
The implementor can optionally provide a read_only copy of the MetricRegistry for base and vendor scopes.

Application Metric Registry

The implementation must produce the application MetricRegistry when no RegistryScope is provided or when the RegistryScope is application (i.e. MetricRegistry.APPLICATION_SCOPE). Application-defined metrics can also be registered to user-defined scopes

Example of the application injecting the application registry
@Inject
MetricRegistry metricRegistry;
is equivalent to
@Inject
@RegistryScope(scope=MetricRegistry.APPLICATION_SCOPE)
MetricRegistry metricRegistry;

Base Metric Registry

The implementation must produce the base MetricRegistry when the RegistryScope is base (i.e. MetricRegistry.BASE_SCOPE). The base MetricRegistry must contain the required metrics specified in required-metrics.adoc.

Example of the application injecting the base registry
@Inject
@RegistryScope(scope=MetricRegistry.BASE_SCOPE)
MetricRegistry baseRegistry;

Vendor Metric Registry

The implementation must produce the vendor MetricRegistry when the RegistryScope is vendor (i.e. MetricRegistry.VENDOR_SCOPE). The vendor MetricRegistry must contain any vendor specific metrics.

Example of the application injecting the vendor registry
@Inject
@RegistryScope(scope=MetricRegistry.VENDOR_SCOPE)
MetricRegistry vendorRegistry;

The implementation must produce the MetricRegistry corresponding to the custom-named registry when the RegistryType is a custom value. If the custom-named MetricRegistry does not yet exist the implementation must create a MetricRegistry with the specified name.

Example of the application injecting a custom-named registry
@Inject
@RegistryScope(scope="motorguide")
MetricRegistry motorGuideRegistry;

Metadata

Metadata is used in MicroProfile-Metrics to provide immutable information about a Metric at registration time. Metadata in the architecture section describes this further.

Therefore Metadata is an interface to construct an immutable metadata object. The object can be built via a MetadataBuilder with a fluent API.

Example of constucting a Metadata object for a Meter and registering it in Application scope
Metadata m = Metadata.builder()
    .withName("myMeter")
    .withDescription("Example meter")
    .withType(MetricType.METER)
    .build();

Meter me = new MyMeterImpl();
metricRegistry.register(m, me, new Tag("colour","blue"));

A default implementation DefaultMetadata is provided in the API for convenience.