Welcome!

Weblogic Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Michael Meiner, Michael Bushong, Avi Rosenthal

Related Topics: Weblogic

Weblogic: Article

Mercury Interactive's LoadRunner

The J2EE Transaction Breakdown Diagnostics Module, a part of Mercury's Optimization Suite for J2EE

Mercury Interactive's LoadRunner is a leader in the performance-testing market. Its ability to create large volumes of data is legendary, and its ability to monitor the systems being tested provides great value. The J2EE Transaction Breakdown Diagnostics Module, LoadRunner, brings detailed J2EE transaction analysis into the mix.

Figure 1 illustrates at a high level the degree of monitoring and analysis available to the performance tester. The J2EE Transaction Breakdown allows each tier to be viewed, with detail to the method level for the application and Web servers. In addition, specific database queries can also be viewed.

 

 

The module provides for true integration of performance testing and performance monitoring. This allows greater diagnosis capabilities, improved control over the J2EE testing scenarios, and superior ability to pinpoint specific performance issues. For this review, I tested the WebLogic J2EE sample, Avitek Medical Records, using my machine as both the application server and the testing environment. My script exercised the three applications (patient, doctor, and admin), each of which have slightly different application architecture designs so I could expect to see some differences on similar calls.

The first step was to update the startup file for the WebLogic domain. I had to make the following updates to the startup file (startMedRecServer):

set MERC_TXBD_HOME=c:\Progra~1\Mercur~1\J2EE_TXBD_Probe
set CLASSPATH=%WEBLOGIC_CLASSPATH%;%CLASSPATH%;%MERC_TXBD_HOME%\dat;

set PATH=%PATH%;MERC_TXBD_HOME%\bin

"%JAVA_HOME%\bin\java" %JAVA_VM% %MEM_ARGS% %JAVA_OPTIONS%
-Xbootclasspath/p:%MERC_TXBD_HOME%\classes\boot

When the server starts up, look for "Initializing Transaction Break Down Probe" to confirm that the changes had an impact and the Mercury Probe was initiated. After making these changes, I went into the Virtual User Generator and generated a script of the steps to take during processing. These scripts are necessary during performance testing, and the interface was simple to use. I called the URL Web interface for the Avitek Medical Records sample and began recording. Transaction segments are user defined, so you can create transactions to precisely meet your needs.

Once the script was created, I created a Controller Scenario, which utilizes the script to simulate the number of users. The license associated with the copy of the product I had permitted only one user. The next step was to start the scenarios and then monitor the results.

The LoadRunner Controller provides real-time monitoring for users to analyze J2EE component metrics. The metrics are gathered by an agent installed on the application server to collect information on the J2EE components. These measurements are sent from the application server back to the LoadRunner Controller.

The LoadRunner Controller application consists of three tabs: Design, Run, and J2EE Diagnostics. The Design tab allows various scenarios to be grouped and scheduled.

The Run tab (Figure 2) allows a variety of statistics and measurements from the running scripts to be captured and analyzed as graphs and tables. Many of these real-time measurements can be captured and stored as HTML, so any moments that could illuminate can be reviewed later. The viewer determines the number and type of measurements to display at any one time. Of particular interest to J2EE testers and developers are the WebLogic measurements and the Java Performance graphs. Although the setup for the WebLogic measurements required updates to some configuration files (I am using WLS 8.1 and JDK 1.4, not currently expected defaults of the product), the effort proved worthwhile.

 

 

The WebLogic measurements use JMX to access application server-specific detail. The measurement alternatives are vast, and include the ability to review measurements about logging, the JVM itself, servlets, EJB components, JMS connections, and the JDBC connection pool. The Java Performance graphs provide method-level detail on average response times and method call per seconds. Evaluating this information for Avitek showed me that my limited load was hardly phasing the application and that my longest-running, server-side transactions were logging in as an admin, denying Avitek patient requests for enrollment. Each had an average response time of about 0.3 seconds and involved the admin application, so I was curious if there was a common cause for their slower (but not slow) response times.

The final tab shows detailed J2EE Diagnostics. The J2EE monitor provides the following information for each J2EE component:

  • Average response time per method/query
  • Number of method calls per second

With such coverage of the J2EE architecture, users can get an overview of the entire activity within the system. They can very easily correlate the end user response time with the Web server activity (servlets and JSP data), application server activity (JNDI and EJBs), and back-end activity of database requests (JDBC methods and SQL queries). All of these measurements can be drilled down to the specific method level.

I was curious about the Deny Request transaction, so I brought up a Transaction Chain of Calls (see Figure 2). This report shows the measurement diagnostics for a transaction by method, on one screen, providing an immediate breakdown as to the longer parts of the transactional call. Looking at this report, it became apparent that the JDBC SQL execution for getting the patient took about 32% of the total transaction time. The actual update to the patient itself took only 4% of the time. A similar transaction from the Patient application took much less time. The reason: the method by which the Patient EJB was generated. The Admin transaction used the findByUserEJB method while the Patient looked up by primary key. The difference was the time it took for the query to retrieve, as the following data illustrates:

Patient - Update Profile Transaction

EjbFindByPrimaryKey Query:

SELECT WL0.id , WL0.address_id , WL0.dob ,
WL0.email , WL0.first_name , WL0.gender ,
WL0.last_name , WL0.middle_name , WL0.phone ,
WL0.ssn FROM patient WL0 WHERE ( WL0.id = ? )

Average Response Time: 0.01 seconds

Admin - Deny Request Transaction

EjbFindByUserEJB Query:

SELECT WL0.id , WL0.address_id , WL0.dob ,
WL0.email , WL0.first_name , WL0.gender ,
WL0.last_name , WL0.middle_name , WL0.phone ,
WL0.ssn FROM patient WL0 WHERE ( WL0.email = ? )

Average Response Time: 0.06 seconds

This is obviously just the tip of the iceberg for the type of the analysis that can be performed.

The final part of the toolset that I evaluated was the LoadRunner Analysis tool. This product uses the results of the scripts from the Controller Run efforts for additional review and analysis. The J2EE analysis reports provide transactional response time for the server, time spent in each server element, method calls per second, and average method response time, among others. Multiple scenarios and transactions can be statistically analyzed to determine if any correlation of behavior exists. In addition, all of these reports can be drilled down or broken into their component Transaction Chain of Calls, which can then be printed or stored as HTML.

Conclusion
Mercury Interactive has created a unique product that will greatly accelerate J2EE performance-testing efforts. By integrating the performance-testing tool with advanced J2EE diagnostics measurements and capabilities, performance problems can be simply diagnosed before production. This was an extremely easy tool to set up, and I was able to monitor any application of my choosing. It should be noted that Mercury Interactive also provides products for J2EE production monitoring and deep diagnostics, but these tools were not reviewed. Many thanks to Richard O'Connell of Mercury Interactive, who helped get me set up and running.

Corporate Information
Mercury Interactive
Building A
1325 Borregas Avenue
Sunnyvale, CA 94089
(408) 822-5200

Customer Support:
[email protected]
+1-877-TEST HLP (toll free)
+1-877-837-8457 (toll free)

Requirements:
Pentium 350 Mhz or higher; Windows NT service pack 6a, 2000, or XP; Internet Explorer 5.x or higher or Netscape Navigator 4.x, 6.x

More Stories By Jason Snyder

Jason Snyder is an architectural expert for CSC Consulting in Boston, and has served as the lead architect for several J2EE development projects. He has over 10 years of experience in software development, OO design, and application architecture.

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.


@ThingsExpo Stories
Gemini is Yahoo’s native and search advertising platform. To ensure the quality of a complex distributed system that spans multiple products and components and across various desktop websites and mobile app and web experiences – both Yahoo owned and operated and third-party syndication (supply), with complex interaction with more than a billion users and numerous advertisers globally (demand) – it becomes imperative to automate a set of end-to-end tests 24x7 to detect bugs and regression. In th...
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
It is of utmost importance for the future success of WebRTC to ensure that interoperability is operational between web browsers and any WebRTC-compliant client. To be guaranteed as operational and effective, interoperability must be tested extensively by establishing WebRTC data and media connections between different web browsers running on different devices and operating systems. In his session at WebRTC Summit at @ThingsExpo, Dr. Alex Gouaillard, CEO and Founder of CoSMo Software, presented ...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Carl J. Levine, Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1, will objectively discuss how DNS is used to solve Digital Transformation challenges in large SaaS applications, CDNs, AdTech platforms, and other demanding use cases. Carl J. Levine is the Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1. A veteran of the Internet Infrastructure space, he has over a decade of experience with startups, networking protocols and Internet infrastructure, combined with the unique ability to it...
"MobiDev is a software development company and we do complex, custom software development for everybody from entrepreneurs to large enterprises," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...
"There's plenty of bandwidth out there but it's never in the right place. So what Cedexis does is uses data to work out the best pathways to get data from the origin to the person who wants to get it," explained Simon Jones, Evangelist and Head of Marketing at Cedexis, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
WebRTC is great technology to build your own communication tools. It will be even more exciting experience it with advanced devices, such as a 360 Camera, 360 microphone, and a depth sensor camera. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Masashi Ganeko, a manager at INFOCOM Corporation, introduced two experimental projects from his team and what they learned from them. "Shotoku Tamago" uses the robot audition software HARK to track speakers in 360 video of a remote party. "Virtual Teleport" uses a multip...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Evatronix will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Evatronix SA offers comprehensive solutions in the design and implementation of electronic systems, in CAD / CAM deployment, and also is a designer and manufacturer of advanced 3D scanners for professional applications.
Leading companies, from the Global Fortune 500 to the smallest companies, are adopting hybrid cloud as the path to business advantage. Hybrid cloud depends on cloud services and on-premises infrastructure working in unison. Successful implementations require new levels of data mobility, enabled by an automated and seamless flow across on-premises and cloud resources. In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Tevis, an IBM Storage Software Technical Strategist and Customer Solution Architec...
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
An increasing number of companies are creating products that combine data with analytical capabilities. Running interactive queries on Big Data requires complex architectures to store and query data effectively, typically involving data streams, an choosing efficient file format/database and multiple independent systems that are tied together through custom-engineered pipelines. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Tomer Levi, a senior software engineer at Intel’s Advanced Analytics gr...
When talking IoT we often focus on the devices, the sensors, the hardware itself. The new smart appliances, the new smart or self-driving cars (which are amalgamations of many ‘things’). When we are looking at the world of IoT, we should take a step back, look at the big picture. What value are these devices providing? IoT is not about the devices, it’s about the data consumed and generated. The devices are tools, mechanisms, conduits. In his session at Internet of Things at Cloud Expo | DXWor...
Everything run by electricity will eventually be connected to the Internet. Get ahead of the Internet of Things revolution. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Akvelon expert and IoT industry leader Sergey Grebnov provided an educational dive into the world of managing your home, workplace and all the devices they contain with the power of machine-based AI and intelligent Bot services for a completely streamlined experience.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Synametrics Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Synametrics Technologies is a privately held company based in Plainsboro, New Jersey that has been providing solutions for the developer community since 1997. Based on the success of its initial product offerings such as WinSQL, Xeams, SynaMan and Syncrify, Synametrics continues to create and hone inn...