Observe Glossary


Increase search performance for a dataset by proactively executing its transforms and saving the results. This process is managed automatically by Observe. A dataset may be accelerated if the OPAL used in its definition is streamable. If a dataset cannot be accelerated, the transforms are applied to the underlying parent dataset each time it is queried.


A set of channel actions (destinations) to which an alert is sent. A channel may contain multiple actions of different types, and be used by more than one monitor.

channel action

A single kind of alert, such as an email to a particular recipient. A channel action defines the type (email or webhook), the destination (an email address or webhook URL), and the message template. A channel action may be used by multiple channels.


An API endpoint that accepts incoming data. Different types of data use different endpoints, such as https://prometheus.collect.observeinc.com for Prometheus observations or https://{OBSERVE_CUSTOMER}.collect.observeinc.com/v1/http for HTTP JSON.


The OPAL editor and inspector at the bottom of a worksheet. Execute OPAL commands or view the OPAL equivalent of UI actions in the Definition tab. Click on a field value to view it in the Inspect tab.


A dashboard visually tracks, analyzes, and displays key performance metrics. You can also auto-generate dashboards from your existing datasets.

data stream

A data ingest option that creates a source dataset containing all the incoming observations for that stream. Each data stream has one or more unique data stream tokens, a type of ingest token, which determines which stream the incoming data is sent to.

data stream token

A type of ingest token used to send incoming data to a particular data stream. Data stream tokens may be enabled, disabled, or deleted without impacting ingest associated with a different token for the same stream. This allows data stream tokens to be more easily rotated.


A structured representation of data from a source. Event streams, resource sets, and lookup tables are types of Observe datasets.

event stream

A collection of events that share a common event stream definition. All resources with the same definition are part of the same event stream. An event stream is a type of dataset.

landing page

An interactive dashboard automatically generated for a dataset.

The connection between resources identified in a dataset and a resource dataset, similar to a foreign key in databases.


A set of measurements over time reported as a time series. Example: the sets of measurements for disk_usage{"device": "sda1", "type": "used"} and disk_usage{"device": "sda1", "type": "free"} are two time series for one metric.


A visual graph found on the right rail of any dataset, resource page, or worksheet that shows how and what items are related.


A specific point in time, as displayed in a landing page or worksheet stage.

moment selector

The vertical bar displaying a timestamp in the time scrubber. Move the selector to view different moments.


A monitor watches a dataset for a particular condition and sends an alert when it occurs. Monitors use channels to determine where the alert is sent.


An individual event from a data source, such as a trace, metric, or log line.


The Observe Processing and Analysis Language, a query language for searching and transforming data in Observe.


An app connection type that periodically collects logs or metrics from a remote API. Each poller connection collects data from a single source API endpoint, for a single app. Configure pollers in an app’s Connections tab.


A human-understandable thing, something you might want to ask a question about. Examples of resources are a user, a location, a server, or a CI job.

resource definition

The collection of fields that make up a particular resource set.

resource grid

Hexagons on a resource set’s landing page, each representing an individual resource. Click on a hexagon to highlight data from a single resource.

resource key

A field or set of fields that uniquely identify a single resource in a resource set. Used for linking related resources and datasets. One field of a multi-field key is a partial resource key.

resource set

A collection of resources that share a common resource definition or schema. All resources with the same definition/schema are part of the same resource set.

source dataset

The destination dataset for observations ingested via a data stream.


An individual results table in a worksheet. Link a new stage to a previous one to iteratively refine your desired results.


An individual data transformation from a UI action or an OPAL statement. An OPAL script is made up of one or more steps.


A verb or function whose behavior is the same for any size query time window, such as filter. A dataset that only uses streamable verbs or functions can be accelerated. Also called “materializable.” See unstreamable.

time picker

A popup to select the time range to view, either relative to the current time or a specific range of dates or times.

time scrubber

The timeline view in a landing page or worksheet.

time series

A set of data points, with identifying metadata, in time order. Example: the counts of active users at one minute intervals, for each of three services, are three time series. See also metric.


A verb or function whose behavior changes depending on the query time window it is applied to. Results and datasets that use unstreamable operations are unstreamable and cannot be accelerated. Examples of unstreamable verbs are statsby and exists. See streamable.


A view where you can transform and manipulate data directly, “an infinite spreadsheet for your data.” Worksheets may contain multiple stages and visualizations.