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Trace Context Specification

This repository is associated with the Trace Context specification.

Specification for distributed tracing context propagation format:

Team Communication

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We appreciate feedback and contributions. Please make sure to read rationale documents when you have a question about particular decision made in specification.


This specification defines formats to pass trace context information across systems. Our goal is to share this with the community so that various tracing and diagnostics products can operate together.

Reference Implementations

There are few open source implementations of this trace context specification available.

A simplistic regex-based implementation can be found in the test folder. This implementation has 100% compliance to the test suite.

Open Census has implementations for the following languages:

  1. C#
  2. Erlang
  3. Go
  4. Java
  5. Node.js
  6. Python
  7. Ruby

.NET Framework will ship trace context specification support in the upcoming version. See Activity for implementation details.

Elastic has node.js implementation.

LightStep has Go implementation.

Why are we doing this

See Why


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