Monitor GORM performance with OpenTelemetry

GORM is an ORM library for dealing with relational databases in Golang. It is developed on the top of database/sql package.

This article will teach you how to monitor GORM performance using OpenTelemetry observability framework.

What is OpenTelemetry?

OpenTelemetryopen in new window is an open-source observability framework hosted by Cloud Native Computing Foundation. It is a merger of OpenCensus and OpenTracing projects.

OpenTelemetry aims to provide a single standard across all types of observability signals such as OpenTemetry tracingopen in new window, and OpenTelemetry metricsopen in new window.

OpenTelemetry specifies how to collect and send telemetry data to backend platforms. With OpenTelemetry, you can instrument your application once and then add or change vendors without changing the instrumentation.

OpenTelemetry is available for most programming languages and provides interoperability across different languages and environments.

GORM instrumentation

To install GORM OpenTelemetry instrumentation:

go get


To instrument GORM, you need to install the plugin provided by otelgorm:

import (

db, err := gorm.Open(sqlite.Open("file::memory:?cache=shared"), &gorm.Config{})
if err != nil {

if err := db.Use(otelgorm.NewPlugin()); err != nil {

And then use db.WithContext(ctx) to propagate the active span via context:

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

What is Uptrace?

Uptrace is a source-available APMopen in new window powered by OpenTelemetry and ClickHouse. It allows you to identify and fix bugs in production faster knowing what conditions lead to which errors.

You can get startedopen in new window with Uptrace by downloading a DEB/RPM package or a pre-compiled Go binary.

What's next?

Next, instrumentopen in new window more operations, for example, database queries, errors, and logs. You can also learn about OpenTelemetry Go Tracing APIopen in new window to create your own instrumentations.

Popular instrumentations:

See also:

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