Run evals

Braintrust allows you to create evaluations directly in your code, and run them in your development workflow or CI/CD pipeline. Once you have defined one or more evaluations, you can run them using the braintrust eval command. This command will run all evaluations in the specified files and directories. As they run, they will automatically log results to Braintrust and display a summary in your terminal.

npx braintrust eval basic.eval.ts
npx braintrust eval [file or directory] [file or directory] ...

The braintrust eval command uses the Next.js convention to load environment variables from:

  • env.development.local
  • .env.local
  • env.development
  • .env

Watch mode

You can run evaluations in watch-mode by passing the --watch flag. This will re-run evaluations whenever any of the files they depend on change.

Github action

Once you get the hang of running evaluations, you can integrate them into your CI/CD pipeline to automatically run them on every pull request or commit. This workflow allows you to catch eval regressions early and often.

The braintrustdata/eval-action action allows you to run evaluations directly in your Github workflow. Each time you run an evaluation, the action automatically posts a comment:

action comment

To use the action, simply include it in a workflow yaml file (.github/workflows):

- name: Run Evals
  uses: braintrustdata/eval-action@v1
    api_key: ${{ secrets.BRAINTRUST_API_KEY }}
    runtime: node

Make sure the workflow has the following permissions, otherwise it will not be able to create/update comments:

name: "Run Evals"
  pull-requests: write
  contents: read

For more information, see the braintrustdata/eval-action README, or check out full workflow files in the examples directory.

The braintrustdata/eval-action GitHub action does not currently support custom reporters. If you use custom reporters, you'll need to run the braintrust eval command directly in your CI/CD pipeline.

Run code directly

Although you can invoke Eval() functions via the braintrust eval command, you can also call them directly in your code.

import { Eval } from "braintrust";
async function main() {
  const result = await Eval("Say Hi Bot", {
    data: () => [
        input: "David",
        expected: "Hi David",
    task: (input) => {
      return "Hi " + input;
    scores: [Factuality],

In Typescript, Eval() is an async function that returns a Promise. You can run Eval()s concurrently and wait for all of them to finish using Promise.all().


Stack traces

By default, the evaluation framework swallows errors in individual tasks, reports them to Braintrust, and prints a single line per error to the console. If you want to see the full stack trace for each error, you can pass the --verbose flag.

Why are my scores getting averaged?

Braintrust organizes your data into traces, each of which is a row in the experiments table. Within a trace, if you log the same score multiple times, it will be averaged in the table. This is a useful way to collect an overall measurement, e.g. if you compute the relevance of each retrieved document in a RAG use case, and want to see the overall relevance. However, if you want to see each score individually, you have a few options:

  • Split the input into multiple independent traces, and log each score in a separate trace. The trials feature will naturally average the results at the top-level, but allow you to view each individual output as a separate test case.
  • Compute a separate score for each instance. For example, if you have exactly 3 documents you retrieve every time, you may want to compute a separate score for the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd position.
  • Create separate experiments for each thing you're trying to score. For example, you may want to try out two different models and compute a score for each. In this case, if you split into separate experiments, you'll be able to diff across experiments and compare outputs side-by-side.

Node bundling errors (e.g. "cannot be marked as external")

The .eval.ts files are bundled in a somewhat limiting way, via esbuild and a special set of build options that work in most cases, but not all. For example, if you have any export statements in them, you may see errors like "cannot be marked as external".

You can usually fix this specific error by removing export statements. However, if that does not work, or you want more control over how the files are bundled, you can also just run the files directly. Eval is an async function, so you can just call it directly in a script:

npx tsx my-app.eval.ts

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