Geertjan's Blog

  • August 2, 2015

VisualVM Convincingly Wins RebelLabs Java Productivity Report

Geertjan Wielenga
Product Manager

The RebelLabs annual Developer Productivity Report has been released and has focused very specifically on Java performance. Having gathered data from over 1,500 participants, the report defined key characteristics of performance teams and applications and found that the common cause of issues are inefficient application code and too many database queries.

Those of us interested in the tools domain, should take note of the following statistics in the report, in response to the question "Which tools do you use for application profiling?":

The above is an uncomfortable truth. In the related interview on JAXenter, see in particular the below:

Interesting and odd though that the statistic that is most surprising is immediately called into question. Whether you believe JProfiler should have won or Java Mission Control should have won (by the way, what the above paragraph does not tell you is that VisualVM is also free and shipped with Oracle's JDK, since JDK 6 Update 7), the fact of the matter is very clear. VisualVM won. By far. My guess for the reasons behind that statistic is that VisualVM is easy to get hold of, since it is in the JDK, and also very easy to use, thanks to the VisualVM team, in particular Jiri Sedlacek and Tomas Hurka. Kirk Pepperdine has also been one of several people involved in promoting this tool, including its plugin ecosystem and plugin extension capabilities, over many years. Great job, guys!

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Comments ( 4 )
  • alex Monday, August 3, 2015

    Is there a difference between VisualVM and Netbeans profiler? Because I think those percentages should be aggregated. Being bundled with the JDK helps a lot, I think, because there are environmentes where you're just not allowed to install anything without prior approval. Since you're a developer and you already have the JDK, VisualVM is the obvious choice. Of course, it helps that it's a great tool, too.

    PS I like how the added percentages go above 100%. Probably because some people use more than one tool for the job.

  • kirk Thursday, August 6, 2015

    No doubt VisualVM should have easily won this type of popularity contest. The other tools either have high barriers to entry or haven't been around long enough. VisualVM comes with a simplicity that is simply not found in JMC. It is also currently more useful in that it's extensible. I know this will change for JMC in the near future but after that it will take many years for JMC to catch up if it ever can.

    As for the polling on performance issues, there is a distinct bias in the results as a direct result of people not recognizing where the real problems are Sure DB queries are a big issue but execution profiling *isn't* likely to buy you the big wins it once may have had. There are other of bigger problems leaking in most code bases.

  • guest Thursday, August 6, 2015

    Hi All,

    Lets be fair about where performance issues can show up. Answer is anywhere. From requirements that say they want 10,000 records to be visible to physical location of app server versus database server to lack of good best practices for Architecure, design, implementation or processes. Getting to root cause is critical not just blame poor coding.

    Best Regards,

    Tony Anecito


    MyUniPortal LLC

  • Harris Goldstone Wednesday, November 16, 2016

    Been trying to leave a comment here for a while -- please stop ignoring them. On this blog https://blogs.oracle.com/java-platform-group/entry/visual_vm_in_jdk_9 it appears VisualVM is being dropped and not possible to leave comments there, though tried on another blog entry there and being ignored there too. Is this the way Oracle announces things and how expensive is it to include VisualVM in the JDK versus the bad press of excluding it? Where's the link to the GitHub repo in that blog article where VisualVM is now found? Such a cool and popular tool widely used, why not include it, seems to be doing well and popular.

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