Open Source APM Tools

Application performance monitoring software is a basic need for most tech-related companies in the world. APM software is built by tech companies to help in the performance management of the application. Open Source APM tools are those whose source code is publicly accessible. In fact, for any software which is open source, the source code of the application must be publicly accessible on Github or any other website. In this article, we will discuss what Open Source APM is and the difference between traditional and open-source APM software.

Monitoring the performance of your application is a key step toward its success. You should choose your APM tool wisely so that it satisfies all your needs. Scout APM is a modern APM tool for performance monitoring applications of many different frameworks. You can start with a free trial of Scout APM right now!

Open Source APM is used worldwide for monitoring applications. The code is open source and you can refer to it in case of any bug. Here, we will be discussing various benefits and top open-source APM tools.

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What is Open Source APM?

Open Source APM tools are used for the performance management of the application. The source code of open source APMs is publicly available on Github, unlike traditional APM software. The visibility of source code is the key difference between open source and traditional APM software. With the open-source tool, you can quickly check the source if you feel there is any bug.

Difference Between Traditional and Open-Source

The most basic difference between traditional and open source software is the accessibility of source code. In traditional software, you cannot access the source code of the application, but in open source software, you can access the source code. Most of the traditional software is paid-only while open source software may or may not be paid. 

Traditional tools are generally licensed and properly compiled ready-to-use software. Open-source software may or may not be well-maintained.

Benefits of Open Source APM Tools

Apart from providing the source code of the tool, open-source APM adds many benefits to the SaaS organization. You can monitor almost all types of software using an open-source APM tool, and it increases the productivity of the dev team. There are many other benefits of the open-source APM tool below.


Open Source APM does not require any physical presence to access. It can be set up and accessed remotely from any location. This is especially beneficial as it has recently become normalized to have a fully remote workforce.


Open source APMs are customizable with any kind of tool. As the source code is accessible to everyone, so they can change the code to satisfy their individual needs. You can also customize the way you want to show the data and decide which data you want to capture.

Self Hosting

Self-hosting makes the open-source APM software independent of any third-party hosting. You can share the data securely inside the APM networks. As the privacy of data is increasing, the popularity of self-hosting is also increasing.


Open Source software is always developer-friendly, whether it is an APM or another software. The reason is that nothing is kept secret from the developer’s team, and they can decide whether the tool solves the existing problem or not. Another important reason is you can see the changes in different versions of the tool on the code level, making it so that updating the software is seamless.

Community Support

Open Source tools provide awesome community support for developers. The community consists of developers who are also working on the same tool. They help if developers face any issues while working on the tool or if they encountered a bug. The effectiveness of a community depends on the number of users using it, so you should choose a tool with a large community.

Different Open Source APM Tools

There are many open-source development tools available in the market. This market is occupied by many good IT products made for helping companies. Below, we cover some of the best APM tools in the market and compare them.


Signoz is one of the famous open-source APMs that is used for error monitoring, user monitoring, and many other things that an APM does. You can track logs, error metrics, and traces of the application. Signoz handles distributed tracing perfectly; you can track where your user requests are failing, code visibility, etc. This makes Signoz a well-suited APM tool for microservice-based applications. 

Signoz is also very easy to learn, making it one of the popular choices for APM tools. You can check out more about Signoz on their website and see the codebase here.


Jaeger APM is an open source tool under Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF). Originally developed by Uber, Jaeger is a perfect tool for monitoring distributed and microservices architecture-based applications. Some of the key features of Jaeger are distribution tracing, service dependency analysis, performance monitoring, etc. 

You check out more about Jaeger and its feature on their official website and get access to their source code on Github.

Elastic APM

Elastic APM is an APM mainly based on the functionality of Elasticsearch. If you have ever been a part of any developer community, then you must have heard of Elasticsearch. Elasticsearch is well known for its fast and distributed REST APIs for performing various operations on data. 

Elastic APM consists of four components:


Zipkin allows us to monitor distributed traces across different services in the application. It is a fully open-source APM. Tracing a request can be difficult when it is caught by one service and then consumed by another service. For example, if you are pushing something in a queue in one service but consuming it in another service, then it is difficult to find the data. This is where Zipkin can help you in distributed tracing. It tags a unique traceID to each trace that eases your tracing. Here also you can use Kibana and Grafana for great visualization of your data.


Prometheus is a well-known open-source APM tool for software monitoring. Prometheus is specially designed for monitoring time series data. Since the UI of Prometheus is not very good for visualization, we use Grafana for data visualization in Prometheus. SoundCloud started Promtheus in 2012, but after that it became an open source project under CNCF. 

The major components of Prometheus are - prometheus gateway, exporter, push gateway, alertmanager and visualization layer. You can check out the official website of Prometheus for more information and see the source code on Github.


APM tools are mandatory tools if you want data of your application’s performance. APM tools are designed to help the applications with metrics collection, log error reports, provide insights about the application, and provide future predictions for the application’s performance. Most APM tools are paid and their pricing depends on various factors like the number of transactions, number of users, logs, etc. Features of an ideal APM are error monitoring, logging, distributed tracing, memory bloating detection, etc.

Scout APM is a modern APM tool for monitoring your sophisticated applications. It is one of the best in terms of features like memory bloat detection, slow database query and N+1 query detection, sending notifications to the concerned team, etc. Get started with a free trial of Scout APM!