Metrics represent everything that you want to track in your software and either bill on, or restrict access to. The metrics you define can later be packaged into plans and used to bill your customers or regulate their access to parts of your product based on their usage.

Lotus supports three types of metrics out of the box:

  1. Counter Counter metrics allow you to track specific events or the properties of events, such as the total number of API calls made to a service or the sum of bytes uploaded. The key feature of counter metrics is that they aggregate data, similar to SQL-like aggregations like SUM or COUNT.
  2. Gauge Gauge metrics track updates to a specific state, such as the number of active seats or the storage currently in use. The key difference between gauge and counter metrics is that events in gauge metrics simply represent changes to the state, whereas counter metrics aggregate data over events. Some examples of gauge metrics are the number of active seats in a SaaS product or the number of GB used in a storage service.
  3. Rate Rate metrics are similar to counter metrics in that they aggregate data over time periods. However, rate metrics have a finer granularity than billing periods, such as the number of database inserts per minute. This allows you to track usage that can be billed based on a time-based rate, such as the number of database inserts per minute.

Counter Metrics

Defining a counter metric starts with defining the metric_name(display name for your metric) and event_name, the name of events that will be used to calculate the metric. For more details about how to log events and how to pass in an event name, please refer to the Logging Events section.

Next, define the aggregation type. To pick an aggregation type, think about how you want to pass in usage information as events into Lotus. Many of the aggregation types depend on you passing in certain key/value pairs in the properties.

The allowed aggregation metrics are:

    • A simple count over the total number of events recorded during the billing period.
  • UNIQUE :property field required
    • Count the distinct number of values that the property had during the billing period.
  • SUM :property field required
    • Sum over a certain property of each event
  • MAX :property field required
    • Take the max of a certain property field over all events.

Gauge Metrics

To define a gauge metric, you’ll need to specify the event_name, metric_name, and event_type. Lotus currently supports two event_types: DELTA and TOTAL. The DELTA event represents a change in the underlying state, such as a change in the number of active seats, and could have values like +1 or -2 to represent a seat(s) being added or removed. The TOTAL event represents the current value of the underlying state, such as the total gigabytes of storage a customer is using.

Gauge metrics can additionally can have an optional proration field. The allowed values for proration are second, minute, hour, day, month, quarter, and year. The proration fieldis a way for you to allow for “fair” pricing.

For example, Notion’s pricing states:

If you added members, your account will be charged a prorated amount based on the percentage of the billing cycle left at the time each member was added. If you removed members, your account will be credited in the same way.


In this case, you would set the proration to day, and we would automatically take care of the rest.

Rate Metrics

Rate metrics are used to track the number of occurrences of a specific event over a smaller period of time than the duration of a subscription.

To define a rate metric, you’ll need to specify the event_name and metric_name. Additionally, you’ll need to specify the granularity of the metric, which determines the size of the subperiods to track your metric over. The allowed granularities for rate metrics are minute, hour, day and month.

For example, you may have a metric that tracks the number of rows inserted into your database. If you only wanted to allow a certain number of database inserts per hour, you would set the granularity to hour.

The aggregation within the subperiod works the same way as counter metrics. To calculate whether a customer has exceeded their rate limit, you must specify an aggregation_type. The allowed values are COUNT, SUM, and MAX (UNIQUE is not supported at this time).


Counter Metric

The following example shows a counter metric that takes in events called generate_text. At the end of the billing period, we will take the COUNT of events with this name. That will be a customer’s usage for the billing period. We will later define how to transform that usage quantity into a price, specifically when creating plan components.

Counter Metric Example

Gauge Metric

Here is how we woudl define a gauge metric that tracks the number of active seats. We are using DELTA events, which means we are tracking the change in the number of active seats. We are also using the day proration, which means we will prorate the price based on the number of days of the billing period the seat was active.

Gauge Metric Example

Rate metric

This example shows how we might implement a rate metric that tracks the number of rows inserted into a database.

Rate Metric Example