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Announcing Workflow Links: An Easier Way to Manage Distributed Systems

David Klein

by David Klein

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When you’re trying to verify a hypothesis, resolve an incident, or simply just figure out who is the owner for a particular service, time is, well… money.

That’s why we built Workflow Links — to create an immediate connection from traces in Lightstep to whatever internal or external tools you need to do your job well.

Lightstep traces contain a wealth of context, in the form of span tags. Workflow Links use these tag values as parameters in the URL, allowing you to construct highly customized links for individual spans.

We've provided some templates to get you started, but really you can link to anything. (Useful links might include CI systems, query engines, git repos, internal dashboards, and README files.)

Announcing Workflow Links - Screenshot

Here are some examples of how Workflow Links can help you manage system performance:

  • Jump straight into your logs with the relevant search parameters pre-populated using the start time of a span, the name of the service, and a customer_id
  • Click through to the Slack channel of the team that owns a service responsible for a performance regression
  • See everywhere a method is referenced in code by executing a GitHub search with an operation name

When linking to time-based tools, such as dashboards or logs, your links can pull timestamps directly from the span, allowing you to go directly to the time when the event occurred, instead of searching for it manually (and wondering if you did the timezone conversion right).

  • Order breakfast
  • Plan a dance party
  • Circumnavigate a large body of water
  1. Play with Lightstep (no signup needed).
  2. Instrument a service.
  3. Create your first link!

If you have any questions or need help, send us a note at

Interested in joining our team? See our open positions here.

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