Tracetest Celebrates 2nd Birthday with 1.0 Release!

Tracetest Celebrates 2nd Birthday with 1.0 Release!
Apr 25, 2024
5 min
Ken Hamric

Today is our 2nd birthday! With the release of version 1.0, we're celebrating our mission of proactive, pre-production testing using OpenTelemetry.

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## Tracetest turns 2 and adds a leading digit!

Tracetest has just celebrated its second birthday and is celebrating by releasing [version 1.0](! Launched on April 26th two years ago, Tracetest set out with a simple mission - use OpenTelemetry proactively for testing in pre-production. Until that date, Site Reliability Engineers (SREs) used OpenTelemetry (OTel) and distributed tracing in production to troubleshoot issues.

Tracetest works with your current test frameworks, observability solutions, and your current CI/CD flows to apply observability proactively - catching issues before they impact production.

A few huge benefits:

- When a test fails, it always has a trace! And, having a trace makes it easy to determine the where, how, and who of the problem.
- Trace-based testing can be applied to your current API, load, and browser-based E2E tests to check the entire flow. “Easy” is a word usually not used in the same sentence as E2E testing, but having observability makes creating E2E tests easy.
- Adding “Test Observability” shifts your organization into “Observability First” development mode, providing value from your investment in OpenTelemetry across your Dev, QA, DevOps, and SRE engineers. It allows all groups to benefit from the instrumented application.

After fine-tuning the product for a couple of years, gaining almost 900 stars, and attracting around 100 companies to use Tracetest, we believe it's time to declare the tool as "stable" and upgrade to v1.0+ status. Reflecting on the past two years, I, as the founder, want to highlight what I am most proud of.

## OpenTelemetry Contributions and Inclusion

The team has made several contributions to OpenTelemetry. One of the earliest contributions, and a major one, was to the [OpenTelemetry Community Demo]( The astronomy store front end was written in Go, and our team [migrated the web front end]( to a fully instrumented Next.js-based React app.

Our second major contribution was to provide full E2E testing for the demo application. With open-source contributors from across the globe continuously contributing to the OTel Demo, there were recurring issues where the demo would stop working and nobody would even realize it.

Tracetest was asked to add testing to the repository, and then the build process, to do what Tracetest does best:

- **Proactively use OpenTelemetry to do E2E testing and ensure quality.**


## Working with Current Observability Vendors

Another source of pride is the number, depth, and quality of the integrations and relationships we have established with the Observability vendors and open-source tools across the OpenTelemetry ecosystem. We currently [support 16 different tracing backend]( vendors: AWS X-Ray, Azure App Insights, Datadog, Dynatrace, Elastic APM, Honeycomb, Istana, Jaeger, Lightstep, New Relic, OpenSearch, OpenTelemetry (of course!), SignalFX, Signoz, Sumo Logic, and Grafana Tempo.

We like to call ourselves the Switzerland of observability tools. We collaborate with various vendors to enhance value for their customers. By enabling instrumented telemetry to be used in pre-production, we ensure quality before release. This provides more value to customers taking the observability journey.

We have met and been supported by many influential people and companies in the observability space. We’re also glad to count them as friends. The help in sharing awareness and getting the news out about Tracetest from each of them is deeply appreciated!

## Load Testing - k6 & Artillery

Load testing is even more critical in today’s interconnected, microservice-based applications. The black box testing techniques, while powerful, have trouble with a couple of key aspects:

- Seeing failures for asynchronous or message bus-based applications (i.e., most modern apps).
- Identifying where the source of performance issues or failures lies.

One of our most popular [integrations has been with Grafana k6]( Unveiled in Feb 2023 in conjunction with Grafana, this integration allows k6 tests to have Tracetest tests run on each load test result. Simple assertions that can be extremely powerful include:

- Fail the load test if any microservice returns an error
- Fail the load test if any database query is slower than XXX ms.
- Fail the load test if the entire flow, including asynchronous parts undetectable by k6, executes too slowly.

We just completed the integration with a second load-testing tool, [](! Their team was awesome to collaborate with, and we are excited to offer deep load testing via this [integration for Artillery users](

## Browser Testing (E2E) - Cypress & Playwright

From the earliest days of Tracetest, our vision of improving end-to-end testing has focused not just on Cloud Native back-end systems. We always aspired to extend this to the front end.

In late 2023, we had customers ask us if we could make this dream a reality. Now, in 2024, we have. We announced, in rapid succession, integrations with both [Cypress]( and [Playwright](

These integrations use browser-side OpenTelemetry instrumentation. This allows developers to write one test with their preferred front-end testing tool and incorporate a trace-based test directly into it.

This allows Cypress or Playwright tests to not only verify front-end states and API responses but to also confirm the complete functionality of the back-end system. As a result, Tracetest is the first tool to enable true end-to-end testing across the full stack.

## Commercial Focus

In the summer of 2023, we recognized the shift in economic conditions for venture-backed technology companies and accelerated our push to create a commercially viable business.

The team took 3-4 months to move Tracetest from a standalone, open-source project to a full-blown commercial system, supporting multiple organizations, environments, and RBAC, with a remote agent architecture.

This is available as a [SaaS offering]( and can be deployed on-premise. All of our current emphasis is behind this initiative, with most new capabilities, including browser and load tests, being released solely on this platform. We plan to continue supporting API testing with the [open-source code](, but our future roadmap and focus is on the commercial version.

## The Team

I've saved the best for last! I'm incredibly proud of our team. Throughout my career, I've had the privilege of working with excellent teams, but this one tops them all. The technical ability, adaptability, and maturity of each member are unparalleled. I often feel as if I'm working with seven other product managers or founders on a development team. Each member steps beyond traditional roles to guide product direction, write outstanding blog posts, and interact with our users. I'm deeply grateful for their efforts in bringing Tracetest to v1.0!