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Chronosphere and PromLabs Make the PromLens Query Builder Open Source for All

Open source standards are critical to organizations wanting to adopt cloud native, but complexity and skill gaps are among the biggest barriers to adoption across the enterprise environment. With this in mind, Chronosphere has partnered with Julius Volz, co-founder of Prometheus and creator of the PromQL query builder PromLens, to donate PromLens to the Prometheus Organization. PromLens significantly lowers PromQL’s notoriously steep learning curve and provides greater visibility over the query-building process, making it faster and easier to use Prometheus.

Chronosphere is the only cloud native observability platform putting engineering organizations back in control by taming rampant data growth and cloud native complexity. Chronosphere first collaborated with Volz in 2021 to tackle the challenges of open source standards accessibility when it embedded PromLens into its Query Builder, which offers  a quick and simple way to write and troubleshoot PromQL queries. This initiative extends that collaboration in an effort to ease the burden on engineers who already spend too much time wading through massive volumes of metrics data – in fact, according to an upcoming Chronosphere survey, 25% of the 500 surveyed engineers feel that observability query languages are too complex, and 32% believe observability tools in general are too complex for new engineers.

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PromLens can help Prometheus users across the spectrum – for those engineers new to Prometheus, PromLens features easy-to-interpret, graphical ways to understand language and syntax. Both beginners and experts can rapidly build and analyze queries by having clear views of underlying data.

“For companies to reach their cloud native goals, they need solutions that will make Prometheus easier and faster for their engineers to use,” said Martin Mao, CEO of Chronosphere. “Currently too much engineering bandwidth is spent trying to understand and harness the collected metrics. We started collaborating with Julius in 2021 with the goal of removing the high barrier to entry for PromQL users. We made significant progress towards that goal with the launch of our PromLens-based Query Builder in the Chronosphere platform and are building upon that ease-of-use mindset by donating PromLens to the Prometheus community. It’s not often that an organization will donate a fully functional tool to open source under the permissive apache license, but we feel this will help engineers spend less time crafting and troubleshooting PromQL queries and more time generating valuable outcomes for their teams.”

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PromLens will now be part of the Prometheus organization, which is owned by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), and free to anyone to use as a standalone query building app. Benefits of PromLens include the ability to:

  • Edit Confidently: Best-in-class autocompletion, highlighting and inline linting while typing an expression.
  • Build Visually: Ability to create and modify PromQL query using a form-based editor
  • Debug and Fix: Enter and fix any PromQL query and visualize all of its sub-expressions as a tree
  • X-Ray Data: Deeper insights about the values of any label in the tree, along with their number of occurrences
  • Detect Hints and Actions: View common query patterns and pitfalls, with warning hints and actions

“Working with Chronosphere, we’re reaching our goal of making PromLens open source,” said Volz. “We share a mission to remove needless complexity and frustration from querying metrics, and this donation will go a long way towards making this a reality for Prometheus users.”

“Successful cloud native observability is contingent on the ability of the Prometheus community to easily grasp languages to query and visualize metrics,” said Chris Aniszczyk, Chief Technology Officer of CNCF. “This open source upstream contribution from Chronosphere and PromLabs will help make Prometheus query building possible for engineers with all levels of experience.

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