Understanding API Keys | Honeycomb

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Understanding API Keys

Honeycomb uses API keys for a number of different purposes. When sending telemetry data to Honeycomb, the API Key determines the data’s destination Team and Environment. Also, any programmatic request sent to Honeycomb must use an API key.

API keys are set at the Environment level, and apply to all datasets in the Environment.

Find API Keys 

Locate your Environment’s API Keys:

  1. In the left navigation bar under the Honeycomb logo, select the Environments banner. A menu appears with Manage Environments and a list of existing Environments. Display of the Honeycomb UI with the selected Environments banner and resulting Environments menu displayed
  2. Select Manage Environments. The next screen displays a list of Environments and details about each Environment. Display of Environments page
  3. In the row of the target Environment, select View API Keys. The next screen lists the API Keys associated with the Environment. Copy the key value in this screen by selecting the copy icon adjacent to the key value.

Manage API Keys 

API keys are managed at the Environment level and found in your Environment Settings. API keys can be created, modified, or deleted only via the UI. You must be a Team Owner to create and edit API keys.

Note: Honeycomb Classic API keys are scoped to all dataset(s) and data in the Classic section. API keys can be created, modified, or deleted only via the UI. Learn more about Honeycomb versus Honeycomb Classic.

Use the Edit API Key modal to modify the API Key’s name, its visibility to team members, its enabled state, and its permissions.

Screenshot of the Edit API Key modal with several permissions enabled

API Key Permissions 

An API key can have any number of the following permissions:

API Key Permission Auth API value Description
Send Events send events Send events to Honeycomb. Used as the API Key for getting data in and for the Events API.
Create Datasets create datasets Create and manage datasets via API. Datasets may also be created implicitly; if an event is sent to Honeycomb specifying a non-existent dataset, an event using an API key with this permission will create a new dataset.
Manage Queries and Columns queries and columns Create and manage queries, columns, derived columns, and query annotations.
Run Queries run queries Execute existing queries using the Query Data API. This feature is available as part of the Honeycomb Enterprise plan.
Manage Public Boards boards Create and manage boards.
Manage SLOs SLOs Create and manage SLOs and their burn alerts. SLO Management is available as part of the Honeycomb Pro and Enterprise plans. SLO Reporting is only available on the Honeycomb Enterprise plan.
Manage Triggers triggers Create and manage triggers.
Manage Recipients recipients Create and manage Recipients.
Manage Markers markers Create and manage markers.

Best Practices for API Keys 

You should use different API keys for different purposes. For example, the API key used to send data in from your production cluster should be different then the API key used for testing; the key used by your build process to create markers should be different from either of those.

Separating these purposes among different API keys allows you to revoke permissions on one key without affecting the abilities of others. It also minimizes the negative effects if a key leaks or is lost.

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