LightStep

LightStep Documentation

Welcome to the LightStep developer hub. You'll find comprehensive guides and documentation to help you start working with LightStep as quickly as possible, as well as support if you get stuck. Let's jump right in!

Get Started    

Create Dashboards from Streams

You create dashboards as a collection of Streams on a single page, making it easy to monitor connected parts of a system. This can be especially useful in targeting connected issues and observing the relationship between certain operations.

For example, say you've decided to monitor API requests incoming from a Web server. You might create a dashboard that shows the Web server's performance, request performance, handler traffic, SQL queries, and page activity.

You can see in this dashboard that while traffic and latency across both the Web server and the outgoing page request operation remain rather constant, there is a noticeable dip in request handler traffic, SQL queries, and page activity at 12:30. One explanation for that dip could be that the request handler crashed at 12:30, preventing SQL queries to the database and resulting in the page being unusable. From there, you might look at exemplar traces both before and after the crash to observe service behavior. While the charts wouldn't have traces for the request handler, SQL queries, or page activity during the crash (operations were halted), the Public Page Requests Stream may have example traces from that time period.

Another important use case for dashboards is monitoring systems during a deploy or rollout. If you've created a dashboard of Streams for services, operations, and release tags before a deploy to be used as a baseline, it will be easy to see variations and anomalies during and after a deploy.

Here are some other great use cases for a dashboard:

  • Viewing all operations on the path of authorizing a customer
  • Tracking the latency of various database interactions
  • Comparing operations per second for several related operations running on the same service

Using Grafana?

Use our Grafana plugin to view LightStep dashboards in Grafana. Once in Grafana, clicking on a LightStep dashboard takes you back to LightStep where you can view sample traces.

View a Dashboard

To view a dashboard, click Dashboards from the navigation bar.

All existing dashboards are listed. Click one to open it.

Use the time period dropdown to change the time series graphs for all Streams on the dashboard. Enter a custom time, select a pre-configured time, or click Pick Time Range to choose a time period from a calendar.

To view a Stream more closely, click the Stream's title.

Favorite a Dashboard

By default, LightStep lists dashboards alphabetically. If you have many dashboards, you can "favorite" some so they always appear at the top of the list. With the dashboard open, at the top of the page, click the star icon.


[//]: # (To favorite a dashboard:
1. Click Dashboards in the navigation bar and choose Dashboard List.

2. Click the star next to the dashboard. The dashboard moves to the top of the list.

The favorite dashboard appears at the top of the list on the Dashboard dropdown.

Create a Dashboard

You create a dashboard from Streams. You can use existing Streams or create a new one as you create a dashboard.

To create a dashboard:

  1. From the navigation bar, click Dashboards.
    All existing dashboards are listed.
  1. Click New.
    A dashboard workspace opens, listing all available Streams on the right.
    It's given a default name, but you can click into the name to change it.
  1. Click a Stream to add it to the dashboard. You can use the search bar at the top to search for a specific Stream. You can also create a new Stream to add to the dashboard.

Is your Stream blank?

LightStep starts collecting data for a Stream immediately after you create it, so it may take some time for the data to populate.

  1. Rename or remove a Stream using the gear icon at the top right of the Stream.

Renaming a Stream from here renames it everywhere in LightStep.

  1. Continue adding Streams as needed.
    You can rearrange Streams by dragging and dropping them.

  2. When you're done creating the dashboard, click Done Editing.

The workspace closes and the dashboard displays.

Edit a Dashboard

You can add, remove, and rearrange Streams in a dashboard.

To edit a dashboard:

  1. From the navigation bar, click Dashboards and choose the dashboard to edit.
  1. At the top right, click Edit Dashboard.
  1. The dashboard opens in the workspace.
    You can:

    • Add Streams by selecting them from the right.
    • Rearrange Streams by dragging and dropping them.
    • Remove or rename Streams using the gear icon in the Stream's upper right corner.
    • Rename the dashboard by editing the name directly.
  2. When finished, click Done Editing to save your changes.

Clone a Dashboard

You can copy a dashboard to start another.

To clone a dashboard:

  1. Open a dashboard and use the gear icon at the top right to select Clone Dashboard.
  1. Enter a new name for the dashboard, select the project to include the dashboard in, and click Clone.

If you select a project that the Streams are not currently included in, they will be created for that project.

  1. Edit the dashboard as needed and save.

Delete a Dashboard

Deleting a dashboard only deletes the dashboard. The Streams are still available.

To delete a dashboard, open the dashboard and use the gear icon at the top right to select Delete Dashboard.


If the user has only one dashboard and deletes it this way, the app will auto-generate a new dashboard for them. This can result in an infinite loop of deleting-then-creating dashboards, and the user will never successfully have zero dashboards. This behavior will not occur if deleting via the dashboards list page, however.



## Manage Dashboards
You can also create, delete, and clone dashboards from the Dashboards list view.
To open the list view, from the navigation bar, choose Dashboards > Dashboard List.

Create Dashboards from Streams


Suggested Edits are limited on API Reference Pages

You can only suggest edits to Markdown body content, but not to the API spec.