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Chapter two: OpenTelemetry fundamentals

In this chapter, you learn the fundamentals of OpenTelemetry. Specifically, you’re introduced to core concepts and components of the OpenTelemetry standard and implementation. This will help you learn learn how, when, and why you use it in your applications.


In this chapter, you learn answers to questions like:

  • What is OpenTelemetry?
  • Why should I be interested in it?
  • How do I use it?

Prerequisite knowledge

Before reading this chapter, you need to be familiar with telemetry concepts, including:

  • What telemetry is
  • How telemetry works
  • What data types telemetry supports
  • What traces are

You learned these concepts in chapter one of this masterclass.

You should also be familiar with:

  • General programming concepts, like key-value pairs, functions, and classes
  • Programming organizational structures, like libraries, frameworks, and repositories
  • Common networking concepts like requests, responses, and status codes


1. OpenTelemetry

What is OpenTelemetry?

2. The OpenTelemetry specification

What is the OpenTelemetry specification?

3. The OpenTelemetry data model specification

The OpenTelemetry data model specification

4. Trace data model semantic conventions

The trace data model semantic conventions

5. The OpenTelemetry Protocol (OTLP)

What is OTLP, and how is it defined in the specification?

6. The OpenTelemetry API specification

The OpenTelemetry API specification

7. Defining the interface

Defining the interface

8. Minimal implementation

Minimal implementation

9. Separating concerns

Separating concerns

10. The OpenTelemetry SDK

The OpenTelemetry SDK

11. SDK plugins

SDK plugins

12. SDK constructors

SDK constructors

13. Resources


14. OpenTelemetry implementations

OpenTelemetry implementations

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