ApplicationInsights-OSX 1.0-beta.2

ApplicationInsights-OSX 1.0-beta.2

LangLanguage Obj-CObjective C
License MIT
ReleasedLast Release Jul 2016

Maintained by Lukas Spieß, Andreas Linde, Microsoft.

  • By
  • Microsoft

Application Insights for Mac (1.0-beta.2)

This is the repository of the Mac SDK for Application Insights. Application Insights is a service that allows developers to keep their applications available, performing, and succeeding. The SDK enables you to send telemetry of various kinds (events, traces, page views, etc.) to the Application Insights service where your data can be visualized in the Azure Portal.

You can use the Application Insights for Mac tool to integrate the Application Insights Mac SDK into your existing apps. The SDK runs on devices with with OS X 10.8 or higher. You'll need a subscription to Microsoft Azure. (It's free until you want to send quite a lot of telemetry.)

Application Insights overview

The SDK runs on devices with OS X 10.8 or higher.

Breaking Changes!

Version 1.0-beta.2 of the Application Insights for Mac comes with two major changes:

Crash Reporting and the API to send handled exceptions have been removed from the SDK. In addition, the Application Insights for Mac SDK is now deprecated.

The reason for this is that HockeyApp is now our major offering for mobile and cross-plattform crash reporting, beta distribution and user feedback. We are focusing all our efforts on enhancing the HockeySDK and adding telemetry features to make HockeyApp the best platform to build awesome apps. We've launched HockeyApp Preseason so you can try all the new bits yourself, including User Metrics.

We apologize for any inconvenience and please feel free to contact us at any time.


  1. Release Notes
  2. Requirements
  3. Setup
  4. Advanced Setup
  5. Developer Mode
  6. Basic Usage
  7. Advanced Usage
  8. Automatic collection of lifecycle events
  9. Set Custom Server Endpoint
  10. Documentation
  11. Contributing
  12. Contact

1. Release Notes

  • Remove crash reporting. To add this feature to your app, we recommend to use HockeyApp which provides you with superior crash reporting, feedback, beta distribution and much more.
  • Fixes an issue where pageview durations where incorrectly sent as days instead of as a string in the 'd:hh:mm:ss.fffffff' format. The relevant methods now take an NSTimeInterval parameter with the duration in seconds.
  • Fix session management & minor bug fixes

See here for the release notes of previous versions.

2. Requirements

The SDK runs on devices with OS X 10.8 or higher.

3. Setup

We recommend integration of our binary into your Xcode project to setup Application Insights for your OS X app. For other ways to setup the SDK, see Advanced Setup. Also make sure that you code-sign your app as the SDK is writing data into the keychain. Non-sandboxed or non-code-signed apps will result in keychain dialogs to appear on startup of your app!

You can use the Application Insights for Mac tool to integrate the SDK, which provides you with a step-by-step wizard for this process. If you want to integrate the SDK manually, you can do that by following this steps:

3.1 Obtain an Instrumation Key

To view your telemetry, you'll need an Application Insights resource in the Microsoft Azure Portal. You can either:

Open your resource and open the Essentials drop-down. Shortly, you'll need to copy the Instrumentation Key.

3.2 Download the SDK

  1. Download the latest Application Insights for OSX framework which is provided as a zip-File.
  2. Unzip the file and you will see a folder called ApplicationInsights .

3.3 Copy the SDK into your projects directory in Finder

From our experience, 3rd-party libraries usually reside inside a subdirectory (let's call our subdirectory Vendor), so if you don't have your project organized with a subdirectory for libraries, now would be a great start for it. To continue our example, create a folder called "Vendor" inside your project directory and move the unzipped ApplicationInsights-folder into it.

3.4 Set up the SDK in Xcode

  1. We recommend to use Xcode's group-feature to create a group for 3rd-party-libraries similar to the structure of our files on disk. For example, similar to the file structure in 3.1 above, our projects have a group called Vendor.
  2. Make sure the Project Navigator is visible (⌘+1)
  3. Drag & drop ApplicationInsights.framework from your window in the Finder into your project in Xcode and move it to the desired location in the Project Navigator (e.g. into the group called Vendor)
  4. A popup will appear. Select Create groups for any added folders and set the checkmark for your target. Then click Finish.
  5. Select your project in the Project Navigator (⌘+1).
  6. Select your app target.
  7. Select the tab Build Phases.
    • Click the + button at the top and choose Add Copy Files.
    • Click the disclosure triangle next to the new build phase.
    • Choose Frameworks from the Destination list.
    • Drag ApplicationInsights.framework from the Project Navigator to the list in the new Copy Files phase.
  8. Open the Info.plist of your app target and add a new field of type String. Name it MSAIInstrumentationKey and set your Application Insights instrumentation key as its value.

3.5 Modify Code


  1. Open your AppDelegate.m file.
  2. Add the following line at the top of the file below your own import statements:

    #import <ApplicationInsightsOSX/ApplicationInsights.h>
  3. Search for the method application:didFinishLaunchingWithOptions:
  4. Add the following lines to setup and start the Application Insights SDK:

    // Setup Application Insights SDK
    [[MSAIApplicationInsights sharedInstance] setup];
    // Do some additional configuration if needed here
    [[MSAIApplicationInsights sharedInstance] start];

    You can also use the following shortcuts:

    [MSAIApplicationInsights setup];
    [MSAIApplicationInsights start];


  1. Open your AppDelegate.swift file.
  2. Add the following line at the top of the file below your own import statements:

    import ApplicationInsightsOSX
  3. Search for the method

    func applicationDidFinishLaunching(_ aNotification: NSNotification)
  4. Add the following lines to setup and start the Application Insights SDK:


    You can also use the following shortcuts:


Congratulation, now you're all set to use Application Insights! See Basic Usage on how to use Application Insights.

4. Advanced Setup

4.1 Set Instrumentation Key in Code

It is also possible to set the instrumentation key of your app in code. This will override the one you might have set in your Info.plist. To set it in code, MSAIApplicationInsights provides an overloaded constructor:

[MSAIApplicationInsights setupWithInstrumentationKey:@"{YOUR-INSTRUMENTATIONKEY}"];

//Do additional configuration

[MSAIApplicationInsights start];

4.3 Mac Extensions

The following points need to be considered to use the Application Insights SDK with OS X Extensions:

  1. Each extension is required to use the same values for version (CFBundleShortVersionString) and build number (CFBundleVersion) as the main app uses. (This is required only if you are using the same MSAIInstrumentationKey for your app and extensions).
  2. You need to make sure the SDK setup code is only invoked once. Since there is no applicationDidFinishLaunching: equivalent and viewDidLoad can run multiple times, you need to use a setup like the following example:
@interface TodayViewController () <NCWidgetProviding>
@property (nonatomic, assign) BOOL didSetupApplicationInsightsSDK;

@implementation TodayViewController

- (void)viewDidLoad {
    [super viewDidLoad];
    if (!self.didSetupApplicationInsightsSDK) {
        [MSAIApplicationInsights setup];
        [MSAIApplicationInsights start];
        self.didSetupApplicationInsightsSDK = YES;

5. Developer Mode

5.1 Batching of data

The developer mode is enabled automatically in case the debugger is attached or if the app is running in the simulator. This will decrease the number of telemetry items sent in a batch (5 items) as well as the interval items when telemetry will be sent (3 seconds).

5.2 Logging

We're all big fans of a clean debugging output without 3rd-party-SDKs messages piling up in the debugging view, right?! That's why Application Insights keeps log messages to a minimum (like critical errors) unless the developer specifically enables debug logging before starting the SDK:

[MSAIApplicationInsights setup]; //setup the SDK

[[MSAIApplicationInsights sharedInstance] setDebugLogEnabled:YES]; //enable debug logging 

[MSAIApplicationInsights start]; //start using the SDK

This setting is ignored if the app is running in an app store environment, so the user's console won't be littered with our log messages.

6. Basic Usage

[NOTE] The SDK is optimized to defer everything possible to a later time while making sure e.g. crashes on startup can also be caught and each module executes other code with a delay of some seconds. This ensures that applicationDidFinishLaunching: will process as fast as possible and the SDK will not block the startup sequence resulting in a possible kill by the watchdog process.

After you have set up the SDK as described above, the MSAITelemetryManager-instance is the central interface to track events, traces, metrics, or page views.

For an overview of how to use the API and view the results in the Application Insights resource, see API Overview. The examples are in Java, but the principles are the same.

6.1 Objective-C

// Send an event with custom properties and measurements data
[MSAITelemetryManager trackEventWithName:@"Hello World event!"
                              properties:@{@"Test property 1":@"Some value",
                                           @"Test property 2":@"Some other value"}
                            measurements:@{@"Test measurement 1":@(4.8),
                                           @"Test measurement 2":@(15.16),
                                           @"Test measurement 3":@(23.42)}];

// Send a message
[MSAITelemetryManager trackTraceWithMessage:@"Test message"];

// Manually send page views (duration 200 ms) 
[MSAITelemetryManager trackPageView:@"MyViewController"
                         properties:@{@"Test measurement 1":@(4.8)}];

// Send custom metrics
[MSAITelemetryManager trackMetricWithName:@"Test metric" value:42.2];

6.2 Swift

// Send an event with custom properties and measuremnts data
MSAITelemetryManager.trackEventWithName("Hello World event!", 
                                  properties:["Test property 1":"Some value",
                                              "Test property 2":"Some other value"],
                                measurements:["Test measurement 1":4.8,
                                              "Test measurement 2":15.16,
                                              "Test measurement 3":23.42])

// Send a message
MSAITelemetryManager.trackTraceWithMessage("Test message")

// Manually send pageviews (duration 200 ms)
                                 properties:["Test measurement 1":4.8])

// Send a message
MSAITelemetryManager.trackMetricWithName("Test metric", value:42.2)

View your data in the portal

In the Azure portal, open the application resource that you created to get your instrumentation key. You'll see charts showing counts of page views and sessions. To see more:

7. Advanced Usage

The SDK also allows for some more advanced usages.

7.1 Common Properties

It is also possible to set so-called "common properties" that will then be automatically attached to all telemetry data items.


[MSAITelemetryManager setCommonProperties:@{@"custom info":@"some value"}];


MSAITelemetryManager.setCommonProperties(["custom info":"some value"])

Filter your views by properties

Use the properties to segment and filter metric charts and filter searches.

8. Automatic collection of lifecycle events

Automatic collection of lifecycle events is enabled by default. This means that Application Insights automatically manages sessions for you.

8.1. Sessions

By default, the Application Insights for Mac starts a new session when the containing app is restarted (this means a 'cold start', i.e. when the app has not already been in memory prior to being launched) or when it has been in the background for more than 20 seconds.

You can either change this timeframe:

[MSAIApplicationInsights setAppBackgroundTimeBeforeSessionExpires:60];

Turn of automatic session management completely:

[MSAIApplicationInsights setAutoSessionManagementDisabled:YES];

This then requires you to manage sessions manually:

[MSAIApplicationInsights renewSessionWithId:@"4815162342"];

8.2. Users

Normally, a random anonymous ID is automatically generated for every user of your app by the SDK. Alternatively you can set your own user ID or other user attributes, which will then be attached to all telemetry events:

  [[MSAIApplicationInsights sharedInstance] setUserWithConfigurationBlock:^(MSAIUser *user) {
    user.userId = @"your_user_id";
    user.accountId = @"[email protected]";

9. Set Custom Server Endpoint

You can also configure a different server endpoint for the SDK if needed using a full URL

[MSAIApplicationInsights setup]; //setup the SDK

[[MSAIApplicationInsights sharedInstance] setServerURL:@"https://YOURDOMAIN/path/subpath"];

[MSAIApplicationInsights start]; //start using the SDK

10. Documentation

Our documentation can be found on CocoaDocs.

11. Contributing

We're looking forward to your contributions via pull requests.

Development environment

  • Mac running the latest version of OS X
  • Get the latest Xcode from the Mac App Store
  • AppleDoc
  • Cocoapods

12. Contact

If you have further questions or are running into trouble that cannot be resolved by any of the steps here, feel free to open a GitHub issue here or contact us at [email protected]