Auto instrument your Java application to send OpenTelemetry trace data to our service.

Auto Instrumenting Java Apps with OpenTelemetry

This guide shows you how to auto instrument your Java application using the OpenTelemetry Java agent and send data to our service.


  • A VMware Aria Operations for Applications (formerly known as Tanzu Observability by Wavefront) account to visualize and monitor your application health. If you don’t have one already, you can sign up on our website.
  • Java 11 or later.
  • Maven

Install the Wavefront Proxy

Install the Wavefront proxy.

Note: When running the Wavefront proxy:

  • Make sure that the WAVEFRONT_PROXY_ARGS environment variable contains --otlpGrpcListenerPorts 4317.
  • and expose the OpenTelemetry port via -p 4317:4317.

Run the Auto-Instrumented Application

For instrumentation, you use the Java agent provided by OpenTelemetry, which can be attached to any Java application. This agent dynamically injects bytecode to collect telemetry data, and developers can avoid manual instrumentation.

  1. Clone the Spring Petclinic application and navigate to the directory.
     git clone
     cd spring-petclinic
  2. Run ./mvnw package from the root directory of the project.
  3. Download the OpenTelemetry Java agent.
     curl -L --output otelagent.jar
  4. Assign the file path to the JAVA_AGENT variable.
  5. Attach the Java agent and start the Spring Petclinic application.
     java -javaagent:$JAVA_AGENT -Dotel.resource.attributes=application=demo-petclinic -Dotel.exporter.otlp.metrics.temporality.preference=DELTA -Dotel.exporter.otlp.metrics.default.histogram.aggregation=BASE2_EXPONENTIAL_BUCKET_HISTOGRAM -jar target/*.jar
  6. Navigate to http://localhost:8080 and interact with the Petclinic application to generate telemetry data.

View the Metrics and Distributed Traces

You can see the traces on the Traces Browser and the Application Map, and metrics on charts.

View Traces

  • Traces Browser: On the toolbar, click Applications > Traces. You see the traces sent by the Petclinic application. Example: A screenshot showing the Traces Browser with the traces that were sent from the Petclinic application.
  • Application Map: On the toolbar, click Applications > Application Status. You see the Petclinic application and the services it communicates with when sending data to our service. Example: A screenshot showing the Application Map with the Petclinic application.

Create Charts with Metrics

When the metrics data collected from the Wavefront proxy are sent to our service, you can examine them in our user interface.


The query ts( shows the total number of live threads in the Petclinic application.

A screenshot showing the chart data when you query for ts(

Learn More!

To manually configure your application and send data to our service, see Instrumenting Java Apps with OpenTelemetry.