There are many diagnostic tools for troubleshooting applications deployed to WebSphere Application Server. Because it can be difficult to find the right tool for the problem at hand this document summarizes the primary tools to choose from when you begin troubleshooting a problem.
These problem determination tools for WebSphere Application Server are available through IBM Support Assistant Team Server 5. Because it manages the life cycle of problem determination tools, IBM Support Assistant Team Server allows you to easily discover, install, and update the base application and individual tools. For the complete list that includes WebSphere Application Server and other products, see Problem Determination Tools for IBM Support Assistant Team Server 5.
See these resources for details on installing and using IBM Support Assistant Team Server and problem determination tools.
There are 6 different editions (i.e., styles) of tools and each has different advantages. Many tools are available in more than one edition.
- Report tools are non-interactive applications that generate analysis reports of a tool's findings.
- Web tools provide a rich, interactive interface in the browser while the analysis of diagnostic files occurs on the IBM Support Assistant server.
- Desktop tools are interactive applications that run on your workstation.
- External web tools are hosted outside of the IBM Support Assistant Team Server environment. They offer the same rich experience as web tools.
- Eclipse tools are those that run within an Eclipse workbench. Many desktop tools are also available as Eclipse tools.
- Downloadable tools are available for download and installation on your local workstation.
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Have ideas for new tools or improvements? Open a Request for Enhancement.
What it's used for: Analyzing Java classes, Java classloaders, and libraries from Java classloader trace files and IBM javacore files.
Description: The Classloader Analyzer offers these features:
- Calculation of the number of classloaders, classes, and loaded libraries
- Automatic detection of classloader leak suspects
- Suspect view with total number of classes and loaded classes
- Classloader and class tree view
- Classloader view with loaded classes
- Library tree view for classloaders
- Automatic detection of javacore and classloader trace
- Automatic detection of suspect classes loaded multiple times
- Jar and class tree view
|Garbage Collection and Memory Visualizer|
What it's used for: Analyzing and visualizing verbose GC logs to help you:
- Monitor and fine tune Java heap size and garbage collection performance
- Flag possible memory leaks
- Size the Java heap correctly
- Select the best garbage collection policy
Description: The IBM Monitoring and Diagnostic Tools for Java - Garbage Collection and Memory Visualizer (GCMV) provides analysis and views of your application's verbose gc output. GCMV displays the data in both graphical and tabulated form. It provides a clear summary and interprets the information to produce a series of tuning recommendations. GCMV parses and plots various log types including:
- Verbose GC logs
- -Xtgc output
- native memory logs (output from ps, svmon and perfmon)
Editions: Eclipse, report, desktop
What it's used for: Monitoring the status of a running IBM Java Virtual Machine (JVM) to help you:
- Identify if native or heap memory is leaking
- Discover which methods are taking most time to run
- Pin down I/O bottlenecks
- Visualize and tune garbage collection
- View lock contentions
- Analyze unusual WebSphere Real Time events
Description: The IBM Monitoring and Diagnostic Tools for Java - Health Center is a lightweight tool that monitors active IBM Virtual Machines for Java with minimal performance overhead. The Health Center suggests live tuning recommendations for Garbage Collection, profiles methods including call stacks, and highlights contended locks. This information can help you optimize performance, improve stability and optimize system resource usage.
Editions: Eclipse, desktop
What it's used for: Analyzing Java heap dumps to troubleshoot problems such as:
- Memory leaks
- Excessive heap usage
Description: IBM HeapAnalyzer analyzes Java heap dumps and produces a summary report identifying leak suspects and showing statistics about the heap such as number of objects, number of references, number of classes, heap size and so on. It then lets you search and visually inspect the heap with graphical and tabular views.
|Interactive Diagnostic Data Explorer (IDDE)|
What it's used for: Analyzing artifacts produced by IBM Java Virtual Machines (JVM) to help you troubleshoot memory leaks and other problems in Java applications.
Description: The IBM Monitoring and Diagnostic Tools for Java - Interactive Diagnostic Data Explorer (IDDE) is the strategic tool for allowing interactive analysis of JVM problems using post mortem artifacts such as core files or javacores. It is a lightweight tool which lets you quickly get information from the artifact you are investigating where you aren't sure what the problem is and you want avoid launching resource intensive analysis. Its features include:
- Supports system cores, IBM javacores, and PHD files
- Full content assist for commands
- Syntax highlighting
- Investigation log which mixes free text with live session data
- Multiple JVM support
- Encryption of analysis files for secure storage
- Caching for high performance
- Support for IBM Dump Analyzer commands
Editions: Eclipse, desktop, web
What it's used for: Analyzing system dumps and Java heap dumps to help you:
- Troubleshoot memory leaks
- Understand the architecture of your Java application through footprint analysis
- Improve performance by tuning memory footprint and optimizing Java collections and cache usage
- Customize analysis with additional plug-ins and reports
Description: The IBM Monitoring and Diagnostic Tools for Java - Memory Analyzer can analyze heap dumps with hundreds of millions of objects, quickly calculate the retained sizes of objects, see what is preventing the Garbage Collector from collecting objects, run a report to automatically extract leak suspects and more. It is based on the Eclipse Memory Analyzer (MAT) project.
Editions: Eclipse, web, report, desktop
|Pattern Modeling and Analysis Tool for Java Garbage Collector|
What it's used for: Analyzing verbose GC logs to help you:
- Fine tune the Java heap
- Visualize garbage collection behavior
- Determine if memory might be leaking
Description: IBM Pattern Modeling and Analysis Tool for Java Garbage Collector (PMAT) parses verbose GC logs to show how heap use changes over time as a result of garbage collection activity. Its graphical and tabular reports help you tell if there is excessive memory usage, if the heap is becoming fragmented, and if memory might be leaking.
Editions: Report, desktop
|Profile Port Checker|
What it's used for: Analyzing WebSphere configuration files to discover possible port conflicts.
Description: The Profile Port Checker tool scans WebSphere Application Server configuration files for possible port conflicts. It accepts as input one or more .zip or .jar files that contain WAS configurations. A report is created listing all the server ports that were found along with any duplicate port settings to help you spot potential port conflicts.
|Thread and Monitor Dump Analyzer for Java|
What it's used for: Analyzing Java core files to help you identify threading problems such as:
- Resource contention
Description: The IBM Thread and Monitor Dump Analyzer for Java (TMDA) analyzes javacores and diagnoses monitor locks and thread activities to identify the root cause of hangs, deadlocks, and resource contention or monitor bottlenecks. It compares each javacore and provides process ID information for threads, garbage collection frequency, allocation failure frequency, and a list of hang suspects.
Editions: Report, desktop
|Trace and Request Analyzer for WebSphere Application Server|
What it's used for: Analyzing WebSphere Application Server traces and HTTP Server Plug-in files to identify performance problems.
Description: The WebSphere Application Server trace facility is used to obtain detailed information about running components, including application servers, clients, and other processes in the environment. It helps you find delays and possible hangs by examining WebSphere Application Server trace files and HTTP server plug-in traces. It also helps to identify delays between HTTP requests and responses and delays, and hangs during application execution.
|WAIT Javacore Analyzer|
What it's used for: Analyze javacores to quickly determine bottlenecks in Java applications.
Description: WAIT can diagnose a a variety of bottleneck types such as:
- Highly contended locks
- Delays from other system components (such as an application server waiting on a database)
- IO delays from network and disk
- Hot methods implemented inefficiently
Editions: External web
|Web Server Plug-in Analyzer for WebSphere Application Server|
What it's used for: Analyzing WebSphere Application Server plug-in configurations to help you find improper or ill-advised settings that could result in runtime problems.
Description: The IBM Web Server Plug-in Analyzer for WebSphere Application Server helps you discover potential problems with trace and configuration files. Its features include:
- Detecting configurations that could cause outages or performance degradation
- Identifying request or response failures
- Tracking HTTP return codes and URI failures
- Tracking clusters and cluster members
- Graphically visualizing runtime environment topologies
|WebSphere Application Server Configuration Visualizer|
What it's used for: Visualizing a WebSphere Application server configuration for the purposes of understanding connections and interactions between components.
Description: The WebSphere Application Server Configuration Visualizer generates an interactive HTML visualization of a WebSphere Application Server configuration, including Service Integration Buses and databases. It accepts any combination of zips or jars containing configuration directories. Configurations from multiple nodes in a cell will be merged into a single visualization, and multiple cells can be displayed in the output.
|WebSphere Cross Component Trace Logviewer|
What it's used for: Viewing augmented Cross Component Trace correlation log records.
Description: IBM WebSphere Cross Component Trace Logviewer provides enhanced log file views for logs augmented with Cross Component Trace correlation log records. Logs can be displayed in flat or hierarchical layouts, and multiple logs can be loaded and viewed simultaneously with log entries related to each request conveniently grouped.
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