Posted by gsporar
on January 8, 2006 at 7:31 PM PST
It sounds esoteric and it sort of is... but it sure can make profiling Java applications easier. Ian Formanek and I have an article in the new issue of Dr Dobb's Journal that provides more info.
Dynamic Bytecode Instrumentation (DBI). What is it? DBI is one of the technologies that enables a new generation of Java application profiling tools.
Why should anyone care? The truth of the matter is that you do not need to master the nitty-gritty details of DBI to benefit from it. The most important thing to understand about DBI is the first word: dynamic. Java profilers can use DBI to turn profiling of your application on and off without restarting the JVM. You can even remove profiling completely; then you can add it back later if you so desire. This is a handy feature to have, particularly when profiling a really large application.
If you want to learn more, the February issue of Dr. Dobb's Journal has an article on the topic written by me and Ian Formanek.
I am listed as a co-author but Ian deserves most of the credit; the article is essentially a written version of the presentation that he and I did last year at JavaOne in both San Francisco and Tokyo . CMP Media , the publisher of Dr. Dobb's Journal, has the full text of the article out on their developerpipeline.com site.
If you would rather skip right to a Java profiling tool that uses DBI, you can try out the NetBeans Profiler ; a tutorial for it is available here .