Monitor database/sql with OpenTelemetry

OpenTelemetry database SQL provides libraries and tools for instrumenting SQL databases such as PostgreSQL, MySQL, and Microsoft SQL Server to collect telemetry data.

database/sql package provides a lightweight and idiomatic interface to row-oriented databases in Golang. It supports most popular relational DBMS via 3-rd party drivers.

This article will teach you how to monitor database/sql performance using OpenTelemetry observability framework.

What is OpenTelemetry?

OpenTelemetryopen in new window is an open-source observability framework that aims to standardize and simplify the collection, processing, and export of telemetry data from applications and systems.

OpenTelemetry supports multiple programming languages and platforms, making it suitable for a wide range of applications and environments.

OpenTelemetry enables developers to instrument their code and collect telemetry data, which can then be exported to various OpenTelemetry backendsopen in new window or observability platforms for analysis and visualization.

OpenTelemetry database/sql

To install otelsql instrumentation:

go get

Using database/sql

OpenTelemetry SQL allows developers to monitor the performance and behavior of their SQL databases, providing insights into database usage patterns, resource utilization, and performance bottlenecks

To instrument database/sql, you need to connect to a database using the API provided by otelsql:

sql.Open(driverName, dsn)otelsql.Open(driverName, dsn)
import (
	semconv ""

db, err := otelsql.Open("sqlite", "file::memory:?cache=shared",
if err != nil {

// db is *sql.DB

And then use context-aware API to propagate the active span via contextopen in new window:

var num int
if err := db.QueryRowContext(ctx, "SELECT 42").Scan(&num); err != nil {

What is Uptrace?

Uptrace is a OpenTelemetry APMopen in new window that supports distributed tracing, metrics, and logs. You can use it to monitor applications and troubleshoot issues.

Uptrace Overview

Uptrace comes with an intuitive query builder, rich dashboards, alerting rules with notifications, and integrations for most languages and frameworks.

Uptrace can process billions of spans and metrics on a single server and allows you to monitor your applications at 10x lower cost.

In just a few minutes, you can try Uptrace by visiting the cloud demoopen in new window (no login required) or running it locally with Dockeropen in new window. The source code is available on GitHubopen in new window.

What's next?

Next, instrument more operations to get a more detailed picture. Try to prioritize network calls, disk operations, database queries, error and logs.

You can also create your own instrumentations using OpenTelemetry Go Tracing APIopen in new window.

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