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Tracing mobile applications with backends


Hello! I wonder if it is possible to have distributed tracing from the mobile application to the backend part (for example, a mobile application that calls a series of microservices deployed in a Kubernetes).

If possible, is that traceability based on the W3C Trace Context standard?


Thank you!


DynaMight Legend
DynaMight Legend

Hello @luis_mpa ,
when you instrument your mobile application with Dynatrace, then those linking works. If you use auto-instrumentation and a supported library (typically the common case), then Dynatrace will automatically inject HTTP request header (X-Dynatrace) into the requests made from the mobile app and those headers will be picked up by the OneAgent monitoring the backend. If you don't use auto instrumentation you must add those headers by yourself.

So W3C context is not used, but the Dynatrace headers. There is no option to use w3c headers as of now for this.

Certified Dynatrace Master | Alanata a.s., Slovakia, Dynatrace Master Partner

Thank you very much for your quick reply, @Julius_Loman ! 🙂


What happens if we have Dynatrace configured to use the W3C Trace Context headers? Is there mobile-->backend traceability even if the mobile SDK uses X-Dynatrace or is it broken?


Has Dynatrace planned to upgrade mobile traceability by adopting the W3C Trace Context? If so, is there a date?


Thanks again!

@luis_mpa , Dynatrace uses both on the backend side. If you have W3C tracing headers enabled (that's enabled by default now in new environments), it does not interfere in any way, nothing is broken, Dynatrace picks up both headers.

But for mobile app -> mobile backend, the x-dynatrace is used. I'm not aware of any plans to use W3C headers for Dynatrace Mobile SDKs. 

Certified Dynatrace Master | Alanata a.s., Slovakia, Dynatrace Master Partner

Hi @Julius_Loman ,

I have a situation where the backend is an API Gateway based on SaaS and is not possible to install oneagent to use x-dynatrace and the idea is use the opentelemetry that supports the W3C trace context standard.

The frontend was developed in flutter and the oneagent instrumentation was made with flutter framework.

Do you know about any update on Dynatrace's roadmap about the implementation of W3C on additionally to x-dynatrace?


@paul_kapeller are there any plans of bringing W3C trace context to Mobile SDK when it comes to stitching user actions to traces in addition to x-dynatrace headers?

Certified Dynatrace Master | Alanata a.s., Slovakia, Dynatrace Master Partner

There are plans to bring W3C trace context to Mobile SDK in the future and have it replace the x-dynatrace MT_ mobile tag in the long run. This is currently researched on how to best handle it with an initial phase where both headers can coexist for a smooth transition.

iOS help:

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