Tag Archives: JVisual

BTrace: hidden gem in Java developer toolbox

BTrace: hidden gem in Java developer toolbox

BTrace is a safe, dynamic tracing tool for the Java platform. BTrace can be used to dynamically trace a running Java program (similar to DTrace for OpenSolaris applications and OS).

Shortly, the tool allows to inject tracing points without restarting or reconfiguring your Java application while it’s running. Moreover, though there are several ways to do that, the one I would like to discuss today is using JVisualVM tool from standard JDK bundle.

What is very cool, BTrace itself uses Java language to define injection trace points. The approach looks very familiar if you ever did aspect-oriented programming (AOP).

So let’s get started with a problem: we have an application which uses one of the NoSQL databases (f.e., let it be MongoDB) and suddenly starts to experience significant performance slowdown. Developers suspect that application runs too many queries or updates but cannot say it with confidence. Here BTrace can help.

First thing first, let’s run JVisualVM and install BTrace plugin: