Docs » Using the µAPM User Interface » The View a Trace Page (Drilling Down)

The View a Trace Page (Drilling Down)

The View a trace page lets you view all spans in a trace and view status information and details about each individual span.

Displaying a single trace

To view a single trace and all its spans, you can do one of the following:

  • If you know the trace ID you want to view, you can hover over APM on the navigation bar, select View a trace, and then enter the trace ID.
  • More commonly, you will use the Traces page to select a trace to view. Hover over µAPM on the navigation bar and select Traces. From here you have a couple options.
    • Expand a service in the list at right, then click on a trace ID.
    • Run the Outlier Analyzer, click one of the top operations or top tags to filter the Traces page, then expand a service and click on a trace ID.

The traces list shows the root (initiating) span at the top and all child spans underneath. Scroll to zoom in and out; click and drag to pan through the spans. (For more information on navigating through a trace, see Panning and zooming in the View a Trace page.)

The following illustration shows an individual trace in a zoomed-out view.

View a Trace page with legend

The following illustration shows a zoomed-in view of the trace.

zoomed in view of a trace

The sidebar to the right contains metadata about the trace itself, a summary of the services involved in this transaction and a map of those services. The Top Contributors section offers insights into which service(s), or which operation(s), are the main drivers of latency in this trace based on how much time they contribute to the overall trace. This can help you quickly identify a problematic service or expensive operation in the path of that transaction.

Panning and zooming in the View a Trace page

One of the main goals of the View a Trace page is to guide you to the interesting sections of the trace as quickly as possible. This is why when a trace is loaded, you start with a “zoomed out” view of the trace’s structure in the main area.

zoomed out view of a trace

If the trace doesn’t have a lot of spans and fits in the view, it will be automatically zoomed to show all its spans when you open the View a Trace page.

view of smaller trace

When you are scrolling to zoom in on a large span, you may “get lost” and not be sure where you are in the tree. To display a more readable view, click the name of the initiating span at right.

if you are lost in the trace

You now see the trace’s spans at your current zoomed-in level, with the initiating span at the top. Details about the span are shown at right. From here, you can click and drag to pan through the spans in the trace.

view initiating span

Span labels will appear when you reach maximum zoom, showing the name of the service and the name of the operation that was captured by each span. Parent/child relationships between spans are represented by the lines connecting the spans.

Each sub-tree can be individually collapsed or expanded by clicking the caret to the left of a span with children. You can also use the View Options dropdown to expand all, collapse all, or selectively hide certain traces. For example, you can collapse all the non-RPC spans, leaving only the inter-service interactions shown.

Viewing span information

Hovering over a span displays a tooltip with a quick summary of the span.

contents of span tooltip

To view the full details of a span’s metadata, select a span by clicking on it; this will open a new section for span metadata in the sidebar. All the span’s metadata tags and annotations will be displayed there.

span information in sidebar

In the following illustration, we’ve scrolled down to display some charts below the span metadata information.

span charts in sidebar

You can deselect a span by clicking on it again, or by selecting another span.