What’s an Integration?#

An integration is code that builds a tree of ExecutionContext objects representing the runtime state of a given third-party Python module and emits events indicating interesting moments during that runtime. It’s implemented as a module in ddtrace.contrib.

There’s a skeleton module in templates/integration that can serve as a helpful starting point for new integrations. You can copy it to contrib and replace foo with the name of the library you’re integrating with:

cp -r templates/integration ddtrace/contrib/<integration>

Integrations must avoid changing the contract between the application and the integrated library. That is, they should be completely invisible to the application code. This means integration code should, for example, re-raise exceptions after catching them.

Integrations shouldn’t include any code that references concepts that are specific to Datadog Products. Examples include Tracing Spans and the AppSec WAF.

What tools does an integration rely on?#

Integrations rely primarily on Wrapt, the Pin API, and the Core API.

The Wrapt library, vendored in ddtrace.vendor.wrapt, is the main piece of code that ddtrace uses to hook into the runtime execution of third-party libraries. The essential task of writing an integration is determining the functions in the third-party library that would serve as useful entrypoints and wrapping them with wrap_function_wrapper. There are exceptions, but this is generally a useful starting point.

The Pin API in ddtrace.pin is used to configure the instrumentation at runtime. It provides a Pin class that can store configuration data in memory in a manner that is accessible from within functions wrapped by Wrapt. Pin objects are most often used for storing configuration data scoped to a given integration, such as enable/disable flags and service name overrides.

The Core API in ddtrace.internal.core is the abstraction layer between the integration code and code for Products. The integration builds and maintains a tree of ExecutionContext objects representing the state of the library’s execution by calling core.context_with_data. The integration also emits events indicating interesting occurrences in the library at runtime via core.dispatch. This approach means that integrations do not need to include any code that references Products, like knowing about Spans or the WAF.

The combination of these three tools lets integration code provide richly configured execution data to Product code while maintaining useful encapsulation.

What versions of a given library should an integration support?#

ddtrace supports versions of integrated libraries according to these guidelines:

  • Test the earliest and latest minor versions of the latest major version.

  • Test the latest minor version of all non-latest major versions going back 2 years.

  • If there are no new releases in the past 2 years, test the latest released version.

For libraries with many versions it is recommended to pull out the version of the library to use when instrumenting volatile features. A great example of this is the Flask integration:

Are there norms for integrating with web frameworks?#

A web framework integration should:

  • Install the WSGI or ASGI trace middlewares already provided by ddtrace

  • Emit a trace covering the entire duration of a request

  • Assign one resource name per application “route” (a “route” is a URL pattern on which the application listens for requests)

  • Use trace_utils.set_http_meta to set the standard http tags

  • Set an internal service name

  • Support configurable distributed tracing

  • Provide insight to middlewares and views, if applicable

  • Use the SpanTypes.WEB span type

Some example web framework integrations::

Are there norms for integrating with database libraries?#

ddtrace instruments Python PEP 249 database API, which most database client libraries implement, in the ddtrace.contrib.dbapi module.

Check out existing database integrations for examples of using the dbapi:

How should an integration be tested?#

The tests for your integration should be defined in their own module at tests/contrib/<integration>/.

Testing is the most important part of the integration. We have to be certain that the integration submits meaningful information to Datadog and does not impact the library or application by disturbing state, performance or causing errors. The integration should be invisible to users.

What are “snapshot tests”?#

Many of the tests are based on “snapshots”: saved copies of actual traces sent to the APM test agent.

To update the snapshots expected by a test, first update the library and test code to generate new traces. Then, delete the snapshot file corresponding to your test at tests/snapshots/<snapshot_file>.

Use docker-compose up -d testagent to start the APM test agent, and then re-run the test. Use –pass-env as described here to ensure that your test run can talk to the test agent. Once the run finishes, the snapshot file will have been regenerated.

How should I write integration tests for my integration?#

These instructions describe the general approach of writing new integration tests for a library integration. They use the Flask integration tests as a teaching example. Referencing these instructions against tests/contrib/flask/test_flask_snapshot.py and tests/contrib/flask/app.py may be helpful.

  1. Make sure a directory for your integration exists under tests/contrib

  2. Create a new file tests/contrib/<integration>/test_<integration>_snapshot.py

  3. Make sure a Venv instance exists in riotfile.py that references your contrib subdirectory. Create one if it doesn’t exist. Note the name of this Venv - this is the “test suite name”.

  4. In this directory, write a simple “Hello World” application that uses the library you’re integrating with similarly to how customers will use it. Depending on the library, this might be as simple as a function in the snapshot test file that imports the library. It might also be a new file in the test directory app.py as in the cases of Flask or Gunicorn.

  5. Instrument your “hello world” app with ddtrace. In the case of Flask, this is accomplished by running the app server in a subprocess started with a ddtrace-run command. The app server is started by a Pytest fixture function that’s defined in the snapshot test file.

  6. If the library you’re integrating with requires communication with a datastore, make sure there’s an image for that datastore referenced in docker-compose.yml. If there is not, add one. You can find a suitable image by searching on Dockerhub.

  7. Write a simple test. In your new snapshot test file, define a function testing your app’s happy path. Here’s an example from the Flask test suite:

def test_flask_200(flask_client):
    assert flask_client.get("/", headers=DEFAULT_HEADERS).status_code == 200

This function accepts a client object, defined elsewhere in the file, as a fixture. The client has been initialized to communicate with the server running the “hello world” app we created in step 3. The function makes a simple request to the app server and checks the status code.

  1. Add the pytest.mark.snapshot decorator to your test function.

def test_flask_200(flask_client):

This decorator causes Pytest to collect the spans generated by your instrumented test app and compare them against a stored set of expected spans. Since the integration test we’re writing is new, there are not yet any expected spans stored for it, so we need to create some.

  1. Start the “test agent”, as well as any necessary datastore containers, and run your new test:

$ docker-compose up -d testagent <container>
$ scripts/ddtest
> DD_AGENT_PORT=9126 riot -v run --pass-env <test_suite_name>
  1. Check git status and observe that some new files have been created under tests/snapshots/. These files contain JSON representations of the spans created by the instrumentation that ran during your test function. Look over these spans to make sure that they’re what you’d expect from the integration.

  2. Commit the new snapshot files. The next time the snapshot test runs, it will compare the real spans generated by the test to these committed span JSON objects, and will fail on any differences found.

  3. Test that this works: delete any attribute from one of the snapshot JSON objects, and then run the test again. You should observe that the test fails with a message indicating that the received and expected spans do not match.

  4. Repeat steps 7 through 9 until you’ve achieved test coverage for the entire “happy path” of normal usage for the library you’re integrating with, as well as coverage of any known likely edge cases.

  5. Enable the snapshot option in .circleci/config.templ.yml and run the test as a machine_executor at .circleci/config.templ.yml just like:

  <<: *machine_executor
    - run_test:
        pattern: '<test_suite_name>'
        snapshot: true

If in the process of writing tests for your integration you create a sample application, consider adding it to the trace examples repository along with screenshots of some example traces in the PR description.

What does a complete PR look like when adding a new integration?#

The following is the check list for ensuring you have all of the components to have a complete PR that is ready for review.

  • Patch code for your new integration under ddtrace/contrib/your_integration_name.

  • Test code for the above in tests/contrib/your_integration_name.

  • The virtual environment configurations for your tests in riotfile.py.

  • The Circle CI configurations for your tests in .circleci/config.templ.yml.

  • Your integration added to PATCH_MODULES in ddtrace/_monkey.py to enable auto instrumentation for it.

  • The relevant file paths for your integration added to tests/.suitespec.json in two locations:
    • Add non-test file paths under components.

    • Add test file paths under suites.

  • A release note for your addition generated with riot run reno new YOUR_TITLE_SLUG, which will add releasenotes/notes/YOUR_TITLE_SLUG.yml.