Step 3: Install APM agentsedit

APM agents are written in the same language as your service. To monitor a new service, you must install the agent and configure it with a service name, APM Server host, and Secret token.

  • Service name: The APM integration maps an instrumented service’s name–defined in each APM agent’s configuration– to the index that its data is stored in Elasticsearch. Service names are case-insensitive and must be unique. For example, you cannot have a service named Foo and another named foo. Special characters will be removed from service names and replaced with underscores (_).
  • APM Server URL: The host and port that APM Server listens for events on. This should match the host and port defined when setting up the APM integration.
  • Secret token: Authentication method for APM agent and APM Server communication. This should match the secret token defined when setting up the APM integration.

You can edit your APM integration settings if you need to change the APM Server URL or secret token to match your APM agents.

Manually set up and configure the agent with the -javaagent JVM option. No application code change is required, but this requires an application restart. See below for more information on this setup method.

1. Download the APM agent

The first step in getting started with the Elastic APM Java agent is to retrieve a copy of the agent JAR. Java agent releases are published to Maven central. In order to get a copy you can either:

  • download the latest agent or previous releases from Maven central.
  • download with curl:

    curl -o 'elastic-apm-agent.jar' -L ''

2. Add -javaagent flag

When starting your application, add the JVM flag -javaagent:/path/to/elastic-apm-agent-<version>.jar

3. Configure

Different application servers have different ways of setting the -javaagent flag and system properties. Start your application (for example a Spring Boot application or other embedded servers) and add the -javaagent JVM flag. Use the -D prefix to configure the agent using system properties:

java -javaagent:/path/to/elastic-apm-agent-<version>.jar -Delastic.apm.service_name=my-cool-service -Delastic.apm.application_packages=org.example,org.another.example -Delastic.apm.server_url= -jar my-application.jar

Refer to Manual setup with -javaagent flag to learn more.

Alternate setup methods

  • Automatic setup with apm-agent-attach-cli.jar
    Automatically set up the agent without needing to alter the configuration of your JVM or application server. This method requires no changes to application code or JVM options, and allows attaching to a running JVM. Refer to the Java agent documentation for more information on this setup method.
  • Programmatic API setup to self-attach
    Set up the agent with a one-line code change and an extra apm-agent-attach dependency. This method requires no changes to JVM options, and the agent artifact is embedded within the packaged application binary. Refer to the Java agent documentation for more information on this setup method.