Distributed tracing

Together, Transactions and Spans form a Trace. Traces are not events, but group together events that have a common root.

Elastic APM supports distributed tracing. Distributed tracing enables you to analyze performance throughout your microservices architecture all in one view. This is accomplished by tracing all of the requests - from the initial web request to your front-end service - to queries made to your back-end services. This makes finding possible bottlenecks throughout your application much easier and faster. Best of all, there’s no additional configuration needed for distributed tracing, just ensure you’re using the latest version of the applicable agent.

The APM UI in Kibana also supports distributed tracing. The Timeline visualization has been redesigned to show all of the transactions from individual services that are connected in a trace:

Distributed tracing in the APM UI