Java IoT Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Zakia Bouachraoui

Related Topics: Java IoT

Java IoT: Article

JProbe Profiler 1.1.1 by KL Group, Inc.

JProbe Profiler 1.1.1 by KL Group, Inc.

The Java language removes several problem areas for developers, compared to C++ development, by its elimination of memory allocation and pointer management. While this generally makes Java programs more stable than their C++ brethren, it can often lead to the misconception that Java programs don't need to be optimized or profiled. Nothing could be further from the truth, especially when you consider that Java is being used to build enterprise-class applications, which require high performance. KL Group has built a strong reputation for supplying Java components to many of the leading software vendors, and they have extended their Java presence with JProbe Profiler.

Product Installation
KL Group delivers the software directly from their Web site for download, as well as offers the software on CD-ROM. JProbe is available for Windows 95/NT and installs with an InstallShield executable. I was able to get the software installed in a matter of minutes, and the complete installation required only about 14 MB of disk space. JProbe requires the JDK 1.1.5 version to run, but you can profile any application that was written for either the JDK 1.0 or 1.1 series virtual machine. If you have already installed the JDK 1.1.5 virtual machine, you'll still need to install the version that comes with JProbe, since it's a specialized version of the standard 1.1.5 JDK virtual machine. The runtime environment for JProbe allows you to set CLASSPATH definitions for individual programs as needed, so it's not necessary to modify your Java development environment to get started.

Uncovering Performance Bottlenecks
Java as both a platform and a language offers a number of advantages in terms of portability and standardization. Programmers across the globe are migrating to Java from a variety of other languages and platforms. For many of us the move to Java may also be our first real, hard-core experience with object-oriented programming.

As a result, the programs you write may have hidden performance bottlenecks that slow down processing and eat memory. KL Group's JProbe is designed to uncover these hidden performance anomalies including such common problems as excessive object creation, method calling and thread creation, and inefficient memory usage. The Profiler collects timing information and memory data as you run your Java programs, and JProbe supports most of the leading Java development environments. I used Oracle's JDeveloper product to create a few sample Java programs for testing. Once you've compiled your code in your favorite development tool, start the Profiler and select the "Run" menu. I was quickly able to search for possible performance problems in my code by using the "Memory Usage Monitor," as shown in Figure 1.

The memory monitor charts memory as it's used by the program and is generally the first place you start when you use the Profiler. KL Group includes a number of sample program runs with JProbe, and I'd advise you to start by using these examples with the Profiler's online help to get an overview of the Profiler's capabilities. You have a choice of running a program through to conclusion as one long run, or you can divide the performance data into specific chunks by using "snapshots." I found the snapshots invaluable as a tool for comparing the first pass of a program with subsequent executions through the same set of code. They were especially helpful tracking down problems with event-driven code. I was able to use the memory monitor to drill down into details of my code quickly and easily. The snapshots can be used to track calling relationships, as shown in Figure 2.

You can see in the diagram that the profiler can show a hierarchical display of method calls, which can help you expose the most expensive methods. If you need to, you can click down to the source code directly from the diagram, and the graphical interface uses colors to highlight the more expensive method calls.

If you choose to view the source within the Profiler, you can see how much resource is used by each routine in a panel next to the source window. The Profiler makes it easy to shift between multiple snapshots, and you can save the entire set of snapshots and program definitions for reuse at a later time. I was impressed with how quickly I was able to find problems in my own programs, but I'll take a pass on telling you just how bad my coding actually was before JProbe got ahold of it!

Performance and Usability
KL Group claims to have improved the performance of JProbe Profiler by a factor of 10 with this release. I didn't test any large or long-running programs with the Profiler, but JProbe ran briskly enough on my development platform. I couldn't see any easy way to test programs out in batch, although I was able to save test sessions for later analysis, and you can save programs for reexecution as well. The online documentation with JProbe Profiler is adequate for using the product, but it's a little weak in the area of interpretation. The help files have a tendency to expect that many of the performance numbers will be self-explanatory, and novice programmers may find that it'll take some practice to get a handle on interpreting results. I'd encourage you to make use of the tutorial and sample files before tackling any of your own code.

Final Thoughts
There are several products on the market that purport to provide performance profiling for Java. However, when I quickly searched the various Java newsgroups for user opinions, I found that many programmers had good things to say about JProbe Profiler. One programmer in particular claimed that JProbe had helped him to get a hundred-fold improvement in performance. My informal Web survey seemed to indicate that JProbe is clearly the leader in Java profilers, and from my brief experience with the product, I'd be inclined to agree.

More Stories By Jim Milbery

Jim Milbery is a Vice President with William Blair Capital Partners, a venture capital firm based in Chicago. He has over 19 years of experience in application development and relational databases. He is the former applications editor for "Wireless Business and Technology", the past product reviews editor for Java Developer Journal and the author of "Making the Technical Sale". Jim can be reached at [email protected], or via the company web site at http://www.wbcapitalpartners.com

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
Dion Hinchcliffe is an internationally recognized digital expert, bestselling book author, frequent keynote speaker, analyst, futurist, and transformation expert based in Washington, DC. He is currently Chief Strategy Officer at the industry-leading digital strategy and online community solutions firm, 7Summits.
Digital Transformation is much more than a buzzword. The radical shift to digital mechanisms for almost every process is evident across all industries and verticals. This is often especially true in financial services, where the legacy environment is many times unable to keep up with the rapidly shifting demands of the consumer. The constant pressure to provide complete, omnichannel delivery of customer-facing solutions to meet both regulatory and customer demands is putting enormous pressure on...
IoT is rapidly becoming mainstream as more and more investments are made into the platforms and technology. As this movement continues to expand and gain momentum it creates a massive wall of noise that can be difficult to sift through. Unfortunately, this inevitably makes IoT less approachable for people to get started with and can hamper efforts to integrate this key technology into your own portfolio. There are so many connected products already in place today with many hundreds more on the h...
The standardization of container runtimes and images has sparked the creation of an almost overwhelming number of new open source projects that build on and otherwise work with these specifications. Of course, there's Kubernetes, which orchestrates and manages collections of containers. It was one of the first and best-known examples of projects that make containers truly useful for production use. However, more recently, the container ecosystem has truly exploded. A service mesh like Istio addr...
Digital Transformation: Preparing Cloud & IoT Security for the Age of Artificial Intelligence. As automation and artificial intelligence (AI) power solution development and delivery, many businesses need to build backend cloud capabilities. Well-poised organizations, marketing smart devices with AI and BlockChain capabilities prepare to refine compliance and regulatory capabilities in 2018. Volumes of health, financial, technical and privacy data, along with tightening compliance requirements by...
Charles Araujo is an industry analyst, internationally recognized authority on the Digital Enterprise and author of The Quantum Age of IT: Why Everything You Know About IT is About to Change. As Principal Analyst with Intellyx, he writes, speaks and advises organizations on how to navigate through this time of disruption. He is also the founder of The Institute for Digital Transformation and a sought after keynote speaker. He has been a regular contributor to both InformationWeek and CIO Insight...
Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereal. Andrew's role at ConsenSys Enterprise is a mul...
To Really Work for Enterprises, MultiCloud Adoption Requires Far Better and Inclusive Cloud Monitoring and Cost Management … But How? Overwhelmingly, even as enterprises have adopted cloud computing and are expanding to multi-cloud computing, IT leaders remain concerned about how to monitor, manage and control costs across hybrid and multi-cloud deployments. It’s clear that traditional IT monitoring and management approaches, designed after all for on-premises data centers, are falling short in ...
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, discussed how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team at D...
Dynatrace is an application performance management software company with products for the information technology departments and digital business owners of medium and large businesses. Building the Future of Monitoring with Artificial Intelligence. Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more busine...