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Node.js and Grafana Tempo

Tracetest is a testing tool based on OpenTelemetry that allows you to test your distributed application. It allows you to use data from distributed traces generated by OpenTelemetry to validate and assert if your application has the desired behavior defined by your test definitions.

Grafana Tempo is an open-source, high-scale distributed tracing data store. It utilizes object storage to minimize costs, allowing you to store more information at a lower cost. It is deeply integrated with Grafana, Prometheus, and Loki. Grafana Tempo is also available as a paid hosted service at Grafana Cloud.

Node.js App with Tempo, OpenTelemetry and Tracetest

This is a simple quick start on how to configure a Node.js app to use OpenTelemetry instrumentation with traces and Tracetest for enhancing your E2E and integration tests with trace-based testing. The infrastructure will use Tempo as the trace data store, and OpenTelemetry Collector to receive traces from the Node.js app and send them to Tempo.


Tracetest Account:

Docker: Have Docker and Docker Compose installed on your machine.

Run This Quckstart Example

The example below is provided as part of the Tracetest project. You can download and run the example by following these steps:

Clone the Tracetest project and go to the Grafana Tempo Node.js Quickstart:

git clone
cd tracetest/examples/quick-start-tempo-nodejs

Follow these instructions to run the quick start:

  1. Copy the .env.template file to .env.
  2. Log into the Tracetest app.
  3. Fill out the token and API key details by editing your .env file. You can find these values in the Settings area for your environment.
  4. Run docker compose -f ./docker-compose.yaml -f ./docker-compose.agent.yaml up -d.
  5. This example is configured to use the Grafana Tempo Tracing Backend. Ensure the environment you're using to run this example is configured to use the Grafana Tempo Tracing Backend by clicking on Settings, Tracing Backend, Grafana Tempo, Save. Or, use the CLI as explained below.
  6. Run tests from the Tracetest Web UI by accessing the app with the URL http://app:8080/.

Follow along with the sections below for an in detail breakdown of what the example you just ran did and how it works.

Project Structure

The project contains Tracetest Agent, OpenTelemetry Collector, Grafana Tempo, and a Node.js app.

The docker-compose.yaml file in the root directory of the quick start runs the Node.js app and the Tracetest Agent setup.

Configuring the Node.js App

The Node.js app is a simple Express app, contained in the app.js file.

Configure the .env like shown below.


The OpenTelemetry tracing is contained in the tracing.otel.grpc.js or tracing.otel.http.js files. Traces will be sent to Grafana Tempo.

Choosing the tracing.otel.grpc.js file will send traces to OpenTelemetry Collector's GRPC endpoint.

Enabling the tracer is done by preloading the trace file. As seen in the package.json.

"scripts": {
"app-with-grpc-tracer": "node -r ./tracing.otel.grpc.js app.js",

Configuring Grafana Tempo

Configure Tempo as a Tracing Backend:

type: DataStore
name: Tempo
type: tempo
type: grpc
endpoint: tempo:9095
insecure: true
tracetest config -t <YOUR_API_TOKEN>
tracetest apply datastore -f ./tracetest-tracing-backend.yaml

Run the Node.js App, Grafana Tempo and OpenTelemetry Collector with Docker Compose

The docker-compose.yaml file and Dockerfile in the root directory are for the Node.js app. The docker-compose.yaml contains one service for the Node.js app.

The docker-compose.agent.yaml file is for the Tracetest Agent, Grafana Tempo, and OpenTelemetry Collector.

The collector.config.yaml configures the OpenTelemetry Collector. It receives traces via either grpc or http. Then, exports them to Tempo via the OTLP exporter.

To start it, run this command:

docker compose -f ./docker-compose.yaml -f ./docker-compose.agent.yaml up -d

This will start the Node.js app the OpenTelemetry Collector and send the traces to Grafana Tempo.

Run Tracetest Tests

  1. Open Tracetest
  2. Configure Tempo as a tracing backend if you have not already as explained above.
  3. Start creating tests! Make sure to use the http://app:8080/ URL in your test creation.
  4. To trigger tests in the CLI, first install the CLI, configure it, and run a test. From the root of the quick start directory, run:
tracetest configure -t <YOUR_API_TOKEN>
tracetest run test -f ./test-api.yaml

Learn More

Feel free to check out our examples in GitHub and join our Slack Community for more info!