Learn how to use tags to speed up searching and query display and how to manage entity tags.

A tag is custom metadata that adds application-specific meaning to Wavefront entities: alerts, dashboards, events, and sources and metrics. Tags group together entities and metrics according to categories you define.

You use tags to limit the number entities and metrics you are working with or querying at once. Limiting the number of entities reduces information overload. Limiting the number of metrics reduces the time to display results.

In the Wavefront UI and API you can use entity tags to filter alert, dashboard, event, and source entities. In the Wavefront UI, entity tags display as gray labeled icons tag in the filter bar and below each entity in the entity browser.

In ts() and events() queries, you can filter:

  • Metrics with source and point tags
  • Events with:
    • alert and event entity tags
    • system severity, subtype, and type tags added by alerts

The table summarizes where the two types of tags are used and where they are added and updated.

Tag Type Used in UI and API Used in Queries Where Added and Updated
alert Managing Alerts and Preventing Alerts from Firing Basic events() Queries Wavefront UI and API
dashboard Managing Dashboards Wavefront UI and API
event Managing Events Basic events() Queries system tags added by alerts

entity tags added in the Wavefront UI and API
point Wavefront Data Format and Point Tags in Queries Wavefront proxy
Configuring Wavefront Proxy Preprocessor Rules

Telegraf agent
Wavefront CLI
source Managing Sources and Managing Maintenance Windows Getting Started with Wavefront Query Language Wavefront UI and API

Tag Paths

All tag types support the ability to organize tags in a hierarchy. The hierarchy is defined by separating tag components with a dot “.”. For example: MyService.MyApp. Dashboards provided by Wavefront start with the tag path component ~welcome., ~integration., and ~system. To improve readability, tags retain case for display but are treated case-insensitive for searching, sorting, etc.

Selecting and Searching Tag Paths

In the UI you operate on tag paths by selecting a component at a specific node in the hierarchy.  For example, you can select all Wavefront dashboards by clicking wavefront, or only tutorial dashboards by expanding the wavefront node and selecting wavefront.tutorial.

Here’s a video overview:


In queries you achieve the same effect by using trailing wildcards “.*” when specifying tag paths. For example, to match all tags starting with alertTagPath., enter alertTagPath.*. This string matches alerts named alertTagPath.tpc1, alertTagPath.tpc1.tpc11, etc. When creating maintenance windows you can use tag paths and wildcards to put a group of of alerts in maintenance.

Managing Entity Tags

Entity tags are tags that apply to Wavefront entities: alerts, dashboards, events, and sources.

Adding Entity Tags

To add tags to one or more entities:

  1. Open an entity browser by selecting Browse > <entity>, where <entity> is Alerts, Dashboards, Events, or Sources.
  2. Choose which entities to tag:
    • Check the checkboxes next to the entities and click the + Tag button.
    • Click +tag below an entity.

      source tags

  3. In the Add Tag dialog:

    add tag

    • Click the Create Tag button at the bottom:
      1. Type a tag name. Tag names can contain alphanumeric (a-z, A-Z, 0-9), dash (-), underscore (_), and colon (:) characters. Tag names are case sensitive. For example, the tags MyApp and myapp are stored as distinct tags. However, mixed case tag paths are collapsed into one path; MyService.myapp and myservice.myapp are collapsed into Myservice.myapp.
      2. Click Add.

Searching for Entity Tags

When there are many tags you can search for tags by typing tag names in the Search box below the Tags heading in the filter bar:

search tags

As you type in the Search box, the list of tags below is filtered by the search string. When you search for tags, the search process is case insensitive. For example, searching for the tag myapp returns MyApp and myapp. Similarly, searching for the tag MyApp returns MyApp and myapp.

Filtering by Entity Tags

To filter by a tag, click a tag icon, for example mytag icon:

  • In the filter bar:


  • Below an entity in an entity browser: