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Open Source Troubleshooting for Java

by Craig Wickesser on May 12, 2008 |

VisualVM is an OpenJDK project from Sun to create an all-in-one troubleshooting tool for Java applications. The tool is a combination of several existing tools and newer profiling capabilities such as jvmstat, JMX, Attach API and others. VisualVM can be run as a stand alone application or extended using it's robust API.

On the Java SE for Business Features and Benefits page VisualVM is described as a tool that can,

Track down the root cause of reliability, availability, or scalability issues in your deployed applications faster and easier than ever before.
And according to the VisualVM project site,
This tool is designed for both production and development time use and further enhances the capability of monitoring and performance analysis for the Java SE platform.

At the time of this writing VisualVM 1.0 RC1 is available for download with an official 1.0 release expected in the summer of 2008, according to Thomas Hurka, lead developer on VisualVM. It includes support for JDK versions 1.4.2, 5.0 and 6.0, although JDK 6.0 is the most featureful. Some of the features provided include:

  • Profiler
  • Thread Dump
  • Heap Dump
  • Profiling Snapshots
  • Application Snapshots
When asked about plans for completing the features in other versions of the JDK, Thomas Hurka said,
VisualVM uses different technologies to get data from JDK (jvmstat, JMX, Attach API, Serviceablity agent). If technology is not available on particular JDK or operation system, VisualVM features, which relies on such technology, are not available.
Additionally, VisualVM is "pluggable". It includes several plugins which allow it to monitor, manage and troubleshoot applications deployed to GlassFish, as well as other plugins to make it easier to work with the API in NetBeans (nbproject plugin).

 
An all-in-one open source troubleshooting solution from Sun helps show their commitment to the Java community. Speaking of community, at JavaOne 2008 there were five sessions surrounding VisualVM. If you had a chance to attend any of those sessions, the InfoQ community would enjoy your comments and feedback.

For additional information try some of the following links:

 

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