Azure Monitor Distro client library for .NET - version 1.1.0

The Azure Monitor Distro is a client library that sends telemetry data to Azure Monitor following the OpenTelemetry Specification. This library can be used to instrument your ASP.NET Core applications to collect and send telemetry data to Azure Monitor for analysis and monitoring, powering experiences in Application Insights.

Getting started


  • Azure Subscription: To use Azure services, including Azure Monitor Distro, you'll need a subscription. If you do not have an existing Azure account, you may sign up for a free trial or use your Visual Studio Subscription benefits when you create an account.
  • Azure Application Insights Connection String: To send telemetry data to the monitoring service you'll need connection string from Azure Application Insights. If you are not familiar with creating Azure resources, you may wish to follow the step-by-step guide for Create an Application Insights resource and copy the connection string.
  • ASP.NET Core App: An ASP.NET Core application is required to instrument it with Azure Monitor Distro. You can either bring your own app or follow the Get started with ASP.NET Core MVC to create a new one.

What is Included in the Distro

The Azure Monitor Distro is a distribution of the .NET OpenTelemetry SDK with instrumentation libraries, including:

  • Traces

    • ASP.NET Core Instrumentation: Provides automatic tracing for incoming HTTP requests to ASP.NET Core applications.
    • HTTP Client Instrumentation: Provides automatic tracing for outgoing HTTP requests made using System.Net.Http.HttpClient.
    • SQL Client Instrumentation Provides automatic tracing for SQL queries executed using the Microsoft.Data.SqlClient and System.Data.SqlClient packages. (While the OpenTelemetry SqlClient instrumentation remains in its beta phase, we have taken the step to vendor it and include it in our Distro)
  • Metrics

    • Provides automatic collection of Application Insights Standard metrics.
  • Logs

  • Azure Monitor Exporter allows sending traces, metrics, and logs data to Azure Monitor.

Install the package

Latest Version: Nuget

Install the Azure Monitor Distro for .NET from NuGet:

dotnet add package Azure.Monitor.OpenTelemetry.AspNetCore

Nightly builds

Nightly builds are available from this repo's dev feed. These are provided without support and are not intended for production workloads.

Enabling Azure Monitor OpenTelemetry in your application

The following examples demonstrate how to integrate the Azure Monitor Distro into your application.

Example 1

To enable Azure Monitor Distro, add UseAzureMonitor() to your Program.cs file and set the APPLICATIONINSIGHTS_CONNECTION_STRING environment variable to the connection string from your Application Insights resource.

// This method gets called by the runtime. Use this method to add services to the container.
var builder = WebApplication.CreateBuilder(args);

// The following line enables Azure Monitor Distro.

// This code adds other services for your application.

var app = builder.Build();

Example 2

To enable Azure Monitor Distro with a hard-coded connection string, add UseAzureMonitor() to your Program.cs with the AzureMonitorOptions containing the connection string.

// This method gets called by the runtime. Use this method to add services to the container.
var builder = WebApplication.CreateBuilder(args);

// The following line enables Azure Monitor Distro with hard-coded connection string.
builder.Services.AddOpenTelemetry().UseAzureMonitor(o => o.ConnectionString = "InstrumentationKey=00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000");

// This code adds other services for your application.

var app = builder.Build();

Note that in the examples above, UseAzureMonitor is added to the IServiceCollection in the Program.cs file. You can also add it in the ConfigureServices method of your Startup.cs file.

Note Multiple calls to AddOpenTelemetry.UseAzureMonitor() will NOT result in multiple providers. Only a single TracerProvider, MeterProvider and LoggerProvider will be created in the target IServiceCollection. To establish multiple providers use the Sdk.CreateTracerProviderBuilder() and/or Sdk.CreateMeterProviderBuilder() and/or LoggerFactory.CreateLogger methods with the Azure Monitor Exporter instead of using Azure Monitor Distro.

Authenticate the client

Azure Active Directory (AAD) authentication is an optional feature that can be used with Azure Monitor Distro. To enable AAD authentication, set the Credential property in AzureMonitorOptions. This is made easy with the Azure Identity library, which provides support for authenticating Azure SDK clients with their corresponding Azure services.

// Call UseAzureMonitor and set Credential to authenticate through Active Directory.
builder.Services.AddOpenTelemetry().UseAzureMonitor(o =>
    o.ConnectionString = "InstrumentationKey=00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000";
    o.Credential = new DefaultAzureCredential();

With this configuration, the Azure Monitor Distro will use the credentials of the currently logged-in user or of the service principal to authenticate and send telemetry data to Azure Monitor.

Note that the Credential property is optional. If it is not set, Azure Monitor Distro will use the Instrumentation Key from the Connection String to send data to Azure Monitor.

Advanced configuration

Customizing Sampling Percentage

When using the Azure Monitor Distro, the sampling percentage for telemetry data is set to 100% (1.0F) by default. For example, let's say you want to set the sampling percentage to 50%. You can achieve this by modifying the code as follows:

builder.Services.AddOpenTelemetry().UseAzureMonitor(o =>
    o.SamplingRatio = 0.5F;

Adding Custom ActivitySource to Traces

builder.Services.ConfigureOpenTelemetryTracerProvider((sp, builder) => builder.AddSource("MyCompany.MyProduct.MyLibrary"));

Adding Custom Meter to Metrics

builder.Services.ConfigureOpenTelemetryMeterProvider((sp, builder) => builder.AddMeter("MyCompany.MyProduct.MyLibrary"));

Adding Additional Instrumentation

If you need to instrument a library or framework that isn't included in the Azure Monitor Distro, you can add additional instrumentation using the OpenTelemetry Instrumentation packages. For example, to add instrumentation for gRPC clients, you can add the OpenTelemetry.Instrumentation.GrpcNetClient package and use the following code:

builder.Services.ConfigureOpenTelemetryTracerProvider((sp, builder) => builder.AddGrpcClientInstrumentation());

Enable Azure SDK Instrumentation

Azure SDK instrumentation is supported under the experimental feature flag which can be enabled using one of the following ways:

  • Set the AZURE_EXPERIMENTAL_ENABLE_ACTIVITY_SOURCE environment variable to true.

  • Set the Azure.Experimental.EnableActivitySource context switch to true in your app’s code:

    AppContext.SetSwitch("Azure.Experimental.EnableActivitySource", true);
  • Add the RuntimeHostConfigurationOption setting to your project file:

        <RuntimeHostConfigurationOption Include="Azure.Experimental.EnableActivitySource" Value="true" />

Adding Another Exporter

Azure Monitor Distro uses the Azure Monitor exporter to send data to Application Insights. However, if you need to send data to other services, including Application Insights, you can add another exporter. For example, to add the Console exporter, you can install the OpenTelemetry.Exporter.Console package and use the following code:

builder.Services.ConfigureOpenTelemetryMeterProvider((sp, builder) => builder.AddConsoleExporter());

Adding Custom Resource

To modify the resource, use the following code.

builder.Services.ConfigureOpenTelemetryTracerProvider((sp, builder) => builder.ConfigureResource(resourceBuilder => resourceBuilder.AddService("service-name")));

It is also possible to configure the Resource by using following environmental variables:

Environment variable Description
OTEL_RESOURCE_ATTRIBUTES Key-value pairs to be used as resource attributes. See the Resource SDK specification for more details.
OTEL_SERVICE_NAME Sets the value of the resource attribute. If is also provided in OTEL_RESOURCE_ATTRIBUTES, then OTEL_SERVICE_NAME takes precedence.

Customizing Instrumentation Libraries

The Azure Monitor Distro includes .NET OpenTelemetry instrumentation for ASP.NET Core, HttpClient, and SQLClient. You can customize these included instrumentations or manually add additional instrumentation on your own using the OpenTelemetry API.

Here are some examples of how to customize the instrumentation:

Customizing AspNetCoreTraceInstrumentationOptions
builder.Services.Configure<AspNetCoreTraceInstrumentationOptions>(options =>
    options.RecordException = true;
    options.Filter = (httpContext) =>
        // only collect telemetry about HTTP GET requests
        return HttpMethods.IsGet(httpContext.Request.Method);
Customizing HttpClientTraceInstrumentationOptions
builder.Services.Configure<HttpClientTraceInstrumentationOptions>(options =>
    options.RecordException = true;
    options.FilterHttpRequestMessage = (httpRequestMessage) =>
        // only collect telemetry about HTTP GET requests
        return HttpMethods.IsGet(httpRequestMessage.Method.Method);
Customizing SqlClientInstrumentationOptions

While the SQLClient instrumentation is still in beta, we have vendored it within our package. Once it reaches a stable release, it will be included as a standard package reference. Until then, for customization of the SQLClient instrumentation, manually add the OpenTelemetry.Instrumentation.SqlClient package reference to your project and utilize its public API.

dotnet add package --prerelease OpenTelemetry.Instrumentation.SqlClient
builder.Services.AddOpenTelemetry().UseAzureMonitor().WithTracing(builder =>
    builder.AddSqlClientInstrumentation(options =>
        options.SetDbStatementForStoredProcedure = false;

Key concepts

The Azure Monitor Distro is a distribution package that facilitates users in sending telemetry data to Azure Monitor. It encompasses the .NET OpenTelemetry SDK and instrumentation libraries for ASP.NET Core, HttpClient, and SQLClient, ensuring seamless integration and data collection.


Refer to Program.cs for a complete demo.


The Azure Monitor Distro uses EventSource for its own internal logging. The logs are available to any EventListener by opting into the source named "OpenTelemetry-AzureMonitor-Exporter".

OpenTelemetry also provides it's own self-diagnostics feature to collect internal logs. An example of this is available in our demo project here.

Missing Request Telemetry

If an app has a reference to the OpenTelemetry.Instrumentation.AspNetCore package, it could be missing request telemetry. To resolve this issue:

  • Either remove the reference to the OpenTelemetry.Instrumentation.AspNetCore package (or)
  • Add AddAspNetCoreInstrumentation to the OpenTelemetry TracerProvider configuration as per the OpenTelemetry documentation.

Few or all Dependency Telemetries are missing

If an app references the OpenTelemetry.Instrumentation.Http or OpenTelemetry.Instrumentation.SqlClient packages, it might be missing dependency telemetry. To resolve:

  • Remove the respective package references (or)
  • Add AddHttpClientInstrumentation or AddSqlClientInstrumentation to the TracerProvider configuration. Detailed guidance can be found in the OpenTelemetry documentation for HTTP and SQL Client.

Note: If all telemetries are missing or if the above troubleshooting steps do not help, please collect self-diagnostics logs.

Next steps

For more information on Azure SDK, please refer to this website


See for details on contribution process.