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What "Disable default trace exporter" implications?


Hi colleagues:

From the below link I found if we want to manually instrument Java application with OpenTelemetry we need set OTEL_EXPORTER=none, what is the implications? which part will be impacted on dynatrace UI or somewhere? I do not have a good understanding of what does it mean? could you please explain more details about its impact?


Dynatrace Enthusiast
Dynatrace Enthusiast

Hi there, I believe this is only needed when using the OneAgent to collect traces, this avoids that OTel data is sent to localhost.  As such this does not impact what you see in Dynatrace

We are currently using OneAgent to collect traces in our Dynatrace environment, so setting OTEL_EXPORTER=none should have no impact on our Dynatrace environment, am i right?

@lplichart's is right on. Disabling the exporter in a Dynatrace context is primarily done when you instrument the application with OneAgent and ingest traces automatically (for one of the five supported languages).

It's a setting that only applies to the application using the environment variable and should not affect your overall Dynatrace environment.

HI @alexander_dt,

Thank you for your explanation. However, I'm still unclear about the impact of setting OTEL_EXPORTER=none. How can I assess its effects for our environment? by checking our spring boot application if using OTEL_EXPORTER environment variable in code or configuration file?

Dynatrace Mentor
Dynatrace Mentor

Hi @panda 
I have just been having a similar case with my customer, I'll tell you, I think it could be useful to you.

First, let me tell you that the parameter OTEL_EXPORTER is a variable used by OpenTelemetry and is not "own or direct from dynatrace".

In my experience, the default OpenTelemetry implementation (when you don't configure anything) looks to send to an exporter (localhost), when this happens you can see trace as follows:


A best practice in case you do not have another tool to which you need to ingest the traces, is to configure the variable.


This way Opentelemetry will not try to ingest anything to localhost.

And for the case you present it is ideal, since it is being monitored with OneAgent, the agent will automatically capture the Opentelemetry information.

I think it is important to apply this best practice.
Because if this is not done, you are ingesting traces with errors that we know will "always generate errors directed to localhost", as happened to my customer.
I hope my experience is useful 😄



Pierre Gutierrez - LATAM ACE Consultant - Loving Cats! Loving Technology !

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