Skip to main content

Metrics and Attributes

Metrics are a way to proactively monitor any smart device. They power parts of our Device view such as Device Attributes and the Timeline. You can use them to monitor your releases and view data-driven device and fleet-level Metrics, like battery health, connectivity, and more using Memfault's Metrics features: Metric Charts and Alerts.

Metrics can be marked as Timeseries as well as Attributes, and each option enables a different set of features in the Memfault app.

Defining a Metric#

Metrics can be added manually but are also created automatically when devices report them from the field. Here are some useful links if you're looking to enable Metrics collection from your devices using our SDKs:

From the Memfault app#

You can view all defined Metrics by going to Project Settings -> Metrics.

The Metrics view under Project Settings The Metrics view under Project Settings

Metric can have a few properties:

  • a string_key which devices and APIs can use to identify the Metric
  • whether the data type is an INT (default), FLOAT, BOOL, or STRING
  • whether it is a favorite Metric, which will cause it to appear more prominently in a few places in the web app
  • the value range which informs charts and other components
  • a set of ignored_values (like -1) which should be ignored.


By marking a Metric as a Timeseries you'll be able to use it in Metric Charts and Alerts. You'll also be able to use them to search for devices with a time constraint (e.g. battery_level > 90 anytime last week).

To mark a Metric as a Timeseries, go to Project Settings -> Metrics and click Edit on the Metric you're interested in. Then check the Timeseries checkbox.


You can store custom Attributes for each of your devices to build a device registry or to manage inventory.

By marking a Metric as an Attribute it will be shown in the Attributes tab on device pages. You'll also be able to search for devices by Attributes on the device list page.

Defining an Attribute#

In Project Settings -> Metrics you'll be able to mark specific Metrics as Attributes. Metrics reported by devices are automatically marked as Attributes*. You can configure this by clicking Edit on a Metric you're interested in, or by creating a new Metric with the Attribute feature enabled.

Device Write Policy#

Attributes have a device_write_policy property that controls under which condition a device can change its value. This does not affect the ability to set a value manually on the device page.

  • Devices are always allowed to change the value of this Attribute. This is the default.
  • Example: Location of a mobile device that changes occasionally.
If not set
  • Devices can only set the value of this Attribute if it's currently unset.
  • Useful to collect static device information the device has access to.
  • Example: MAC addresses.
  • Devices cannot set the value of this Attribute.
  • Useful for Attributes that should only be managed manually or external systems.
  • Examples: Installation sites, service-level agreement, RMA status.

Viewing an Attribute#

There are two ways to view Attributes for a device:

  1. using the web application
  2. using the REST API.

Using the web application#

Find the device you want to view the Attributes for (for example by browsing your devices on the Devices page) and select the Attributes tab. You'll see all the properties known for this project and the respective value for the device you're currently looking at.

Device detail page and its Attributes tab The device detail page and its Attributes tab

Using the REST API#

Below is an example of how Attributes can be read using the Project Key and the REST API:


Be sure to replace ${MEMFAULT_ORG_TOKEN} with an Organization Auth Token and ${ORG_SLUG} / ${PROJECT_SLUG} / ${DEVICE_SERIAL} if re-using the example below.

curl --user ":${MEMFAULT_ORG_TOKEN}" --location --request GET \

The response will be JSON-encoded data, example below:

"data": [
"custom_metric": {
"data_type": "INT",
"description": "",
"display_name": "",
"favorite": false,
"id": "5e8b5af5-c686-43a7-8ba4-7878f7f9105e",
"ignored_values": [],
"range": {
"max": null,
"min": null
"string_key": "TimerTaskCpuUsage",
"device_write_policy": "writable"
"state": {
"created_date": "2021-09-20T13:25:37.517191+00:00",
"time": "2021-09-20T14:15:17.586209+00:00",
"updated_date": "2021-09-20T14:15:17.611765+00:00",
"value": 679

You can select individual Metric values by appending a URL query parameter:${ORG_SLUG}/projects/${PROJECT_SLUG}/devices/${DEVICE_SERIAL}/attributes?q=TimerTaskCpuUsage`

Only Metrics with matching string_key will be returned (wildcard * supported).

Setting an Attribute#

There are three ways to write an Attribute:

  1. using the Metrics API
  2. using the REST API
  3. using the web application.

Because devices can update Attributes, anyone who holds your Project Key can write or overwrite these Attributes.

Using the REST API#

Below is an example of how Attributes can be set using the Project Key and the REST API:


Be sure to replace ${DEVICE_SERIAL} and ${YOUR_PROJECT_KEY} below with the device you want to update and your Project Key, respectively.

curl --location --request PATCH \
--header "Content-Type: application/json" \
--header "Memfault-Project-Key: ${YOUR_PROJECT_KEY}" \
--data-raw '
{"string_key": "ProductName", "value": "SmartWatch"},
{"string_key": "ModelColor", "value": "Blue"}

Using the Web Application#

Visit the respective device page as described in Viewing an Attribute. Click on the pencil icon next to the value, enter the new value, and finally Save it.

Editing an Attribute via the web application Editing an Attribute via the web application

Searching Devices by Attributes and Timeseries#

You can search devices by Attributes and Timeseries. Visiting the Devices page, open the Filter panel and under Reported select the Metric you want to search by.

If you select a During time frame, devices will be searched by their Timeseries Metrics during that time frame. If you do not select a During time frame, devices will be searched by their Device Attributes.

You can search by multiple Attributes and Timeseries using the plus icon.

Device search by Attribute Searching devices by Attribute

Device search by Timeseries Searching devices by Timeseries


You're only allowed to use a limited amount of Device Attributes or Timeseries. If you exceed the quota, you need to turn off the respective aspect for a different Metric.

To see your quota usage, open your Project's settings page and click on the Quotas tab.

Memfault Metric quotas

Apart from being limited by quotas, the ingestion of Metrics may be rate-limited. Avoid sending data more than once per hour per device.