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Metrics Dictionary Guide

Service Ping metrics are defined in individual YAML files definitions from which the Metrics Dictionary is built. Currently, the metrics dictionary is built automatically once a day. When a change to a metric is made in a YAML file, you can see the change in the dictionary within 24 hours. This guide describes the dictionary and how it's implemented.

Metrics Definition and validation

We are using JSON Schema to validate the metrics definition.

This process is meant to ensure consistent and valid metrics defined for Service Ping. All metrics must:

  • Comply with the defined JSON schema.
  • Have a unique key_path .
  • Have an owner.

All metrics are stored in YAML files:

WARNING: Only metrics with a metric definition YAML and whose status is not removed are added to the Service Ping JSON payload.

Each metric is defined in a separate YAML file consisting of a number of fields:

Field Required Additional information
key_path yes JSON key path for the metric, location in Service Ping payload.
description yes
product_section yes The section.
product_stage yes The stage for the metric.
product_group yes The group that owns the metric.
value_type yes string; one of string, number, boolean, object.
status yes string; status of the metric, may be set to active, removed, broken.
time_frame yes string; may be set to a value like 7d, 28d, all, none.
data_source yes string; may be set to a value like database, redis, redis_hll, prometheus, system, license, internal_events.
data_category yes string; categories of the metric, may be set to operational, optional, subscription, standard. The default value is optional.
instrumentation_class no string; used for metrics with data_source other than internal_events. See the class that implements the metric.
distribution yes array; may be set to one of ce, ee or ee. The distribution where the tracked feature is available.
performance_indicator_type no array; may be set to one of gmau, smau, paid_gmau, umau or customer_health_score.
tier yes array; may contain one or a combination of free, premium or ultimate. The tier where the tracked feature is available. This should be verbose and contain all tiers where a metric is available.
milestone yes The milestone when the metric is introduced and when it's available to self-managed instances with the official GitLab release.
milestone_removed no The milestone when the metric is removed. Required for removed metrics.
introduced_by_url no The URL to the merge request that introduced the metric to be available for self-managed instances.
removed_by_url no The URL to the merge request that removed the metric. Required for removed metrics.
repair_issue_url no The URL of the issue that was created to repair a metric with a broken status.
options no object: options information needed to calculate the metric value.

Metric key_path

The key_path of the metric is the location in the JSON Service Ping payload.

The key_path could be composed from multiple parts separated by . and it must be unique.

We recommend to add the metric in one of the top-level keys:

  • settings: for settings related metrics.
  • counts_weekly: for counters that have data for the most recent 7 days.
  • counts_monthly: for counters that have data for the most recent 28 days.
  • counts: for counters that have data for all time.

Metric statuses

Metric definitions can have one of the following statuses:

  • active: Metric is used and reports data.
  • broken: Metric reports broken data (for example, -1 fallback), or does not report data at all. A metric marked as broken must also have the repair_issue_url attribute.
  • removed: Metric was removed, but it may appear in Service Ping payloads sent from instances running on older versions of GitLab.

Metric value_type

Metric definitions can have one of the following values for value_type:

  • boolean
  • number
  • string
  • object: A metric with value_type: object must have value_json_schema with a link to the JSON schema for the object. In general, we avoid complex objects and prefer one of the boolean, number, or string value types. An example of a metric that uses value_type: object is topology (/config/metrics/settings/20210323120839_topology.yml), which has a related schema in /config/metrics/objects_schemas/topology_schema.json.

Metric time_frame

A metric's time frame is calculated based on the time_frame field and the data_source of the metric.

data_source time_frame Description
any none A type of data that's not tracked over time, such as settings and configuration information
database all The whole time the metric has been active (all-time interval)
database 7d 9 days ago to 2 days ago
database 28d 30 days ago to 2 days ago
internal_events all The whole time the metric has been active (all-time interval)
internal_events 7d Most recent complete week
internal_events 28d Most recent 4 complete weeks

Data category

We use the following categories to classify a metric:

  • operational: Required data for operational purposes.
  • optional: Default value for a metric. Data that is optional to collect. This can be enabled or disabled in the Admin Area.
  • subscription: Data related to licensing.
  • standard: Standard set of identifiers that are included when collecting data.

An aggregate metric is a metric that is the sum of two or more child metrics. Service Ping uses the data category of the aggregate metric to determine whether or not the data is included in the reported Service Ping payload.

Example YAML metric definition

The linked uuid YAML file includes an example metric definition, where the uuid metric is the GitLab instance unique identifier.

key_path: uuid
description: GitLab instance unique identifier
product_section: analytics
product_stage: analytics
product_group: analytics_instrumentation
value_type: string
status: active
milestone: 9.1
instrumentation_class: UuidMetric
time_frame: none
data_source: database
- ce
- ee
- free
- premium
- ultimate

Create a new metric definition

The GitLab codebase provides dedicated generators to create new metrics, which also create valid metric definition files:

For uniqueness, the generated files include a timestamp prefix in ISO 8601 format.

Performance Indicator Metrics

To use a metric definition to manage performance indicator:

  1. Create a merge request that includes related changes.
  2. Use labels ~"analytics instrumentation", "~Data Warehouse::Impact Check".
  3. Update the metric definition performance_indicator_type field.
  4. Create an issue in GitLab Product Data Insights project with the PI Chart Help template to have the new metric visualized.

Metrics Dictionary

Metrics Dictionary is a separate application.

All metrics available in Service Ping are in the Metrics Dictionary.