Docs » Manage services, spans, and traces in Splunk APM » View and filter for spans within a trace

View and filter for spans within a trace 🔗

In the trace waterfall, you can filter visible spans based on tag values or error status, as the following animation demonstrates:

This animation shows a span filter in which the user filters for Service = checkoutservice, and then further refines the filter to error=true. The user also demonstrates that using the matches-only switch shows only the spans that match your filter.

Follow these steps to filter for a span within a trace:

  1. On the Splunk APM landing page, select Traces.

  2. There are 2 ways to find a trace:

    1. Enter a specific traceId in the search bar.

    2. Use the filters in Traces view to find a trace of interest.

  3. When you have found the trace you are interseted in, select the Trace ID of the trace to open the trace Waterfall.

  4. Select Add filters to select span tag values to filter the trace waterfall to specific spans. Spans matching your filter are highlighted in blue.

Use span filter logic 🔗

When you select multiple tag values within a single tag name, the filter applies Boolean OR among the tag values. When you select multiple tag names, the filter applies Boolean AND to each tag name. Use the Matches only switch to show only spans that match your filter. After you find a span you are interested in, select that span to expand it and see its metadata.

Show spans in context 🔗

When filtering for a span, select the Matches Only switch to show only spans matching your filter criteria. Then, once you’ve found a span or spans you’re interested in, turn the Matches Only switch back off to show the spans in context. Use the Matches Only filter to narrow down the spans of a large trace to find the exact span you’re interested in, while still retaining visibility of that span’s before-and-after context and dependencies.

Expand and collapse spans 🔗

Use the 3-dot menu next to each span to expand and collapse spans as needed. You can expand or collapse at a specific depth or at the service and operation level.

3-dot menu with options to collapse spans at a specific depth or the service and operation level

Identify repeated spans 🔗

When a trace contains multiple repeated spans, the spans are collapsed into 1 row and a multiplier is displayed next to the row to reflect the number of repeated spans. Select the multiplier (x3, x7, and so on) to expand the row to view the individual spans and durations. The span summary displays the total span count and the repeated tags associated with the repeated spans.

Repeated spans in trace waterfall view

Identify the services that contribute spans to a trace 🔗

The colors of spans in the waterfall help differentiate the services contributing spans to a trace. If every span in the trace is from the same service, all spans appear in the same color. If there are 4 different services involved, the spans are in 4 different colors, to differentiate the service they’re from.

View RUM session details 🔗

For spans that also have RUM session details, the word RUM displays in the span. Select the RUM link to view the session in RUM. To view the RUM session details, select the span and then select the RUM Session tab in the Trace Properties panel. You can also select the session ID to go to RUM.

The integration of RUM within traces shows a link to RUM and the RUM session details in the Trace Properties panel

Explore logs for each span 🔗

If you turned on Related Content, you can jump to related logs, when available, for each trace and its spans. The following image shows the related logs in Log Observer for a specific trace.

Related logs tile in the trace view.

See Configure the Collector to enable Related Content for Infra and APM for more information.

Continue troubleshooting in Tag Spotlight 🔗

Expand a span of interest in the waterfall chart and select the spotlight icon that appears beside an indexed tag to navigate to Tag Spotlight. Tag Spotlight can help you isolate specific indexed span tags associated with trends in request rate, error rate, or latency and get to the bottom of what’s causing problems. See Analyze service performance with Tag Spotlight to learn more about using Tag Spotlight.