Wednesday, July 23, 2003

beSee donated to AspectWerkz

(imported from, read comments there)

Past 6 month I have founded and developped the beSee project. This project is now closed, but I am definitely happy since the core architecture is now part of AspectWerkz, founded by Jonas Boner, for which I am commiter.

AspectWerkz power will be unleashed in the next weeks, and let me explain why.

It all started with beSee-1-x. This project aimed to provide a runtime bytecode instrumentation solution for BEA WebLogic Server (v7), based on Javassist for bytecode instrumentation and BEA ClassPreProcessor feature, which allow to modify bytecode of deployed applications when they are loaded in the app server.
beSee-1-x allowed easy instrumentation, based on a property file, and provided JMX management feature for hot configuration. It was easy to instrument on the fly some classes and run a load test on my app.

But there was something missing: BEA ClassPreProcessor does not allow instrumentation of core server classes or jvm wide component, like a JDBC driver, so I was unable to instrument enough my CMPs to track down SQL query being executed.

I started beSee-2-x architecture. It provides a JVM wide PreProcessor hook, allowing to extend what BEA provided for deployed application to the whole JVM, and thus to any product running java (!).
I knew JMangler add this kind of feature, but after some testing it appeared to be heavy and not that much stable as regards app server integration (let me know and I will send you some test case for it, and read more, you'll learn why).

So the main features of beSee-2-x I implemented are:
- plugable JVM wide ClassPreProcessor mechanism for on the fly instrumentation
- bytecode kit independancy (BCEL and Javassist provided, any other supported)
- offline compiler (the AspectJ way)
- performance wise:
- beSee-2-x does not requires JVM to run in debug mode (JMangler does)
- beSee-2-x is java 1.3 compatible (JMangler is not)
- beSee-2-x auto adapts behavior for java 1.3 and 1.4 (process forking or hotswapping)
- beSee-2-x allow to disable dual process, thus a standard java ... command to launch the target application to instrument on the fly is enough - no need for a wrapper script and stream piping in background (required when hotswap or process forking is used).

beSee-2-x allowed me to unleash the power of beSee-1-x to the whole weblogic, not just the deployed app.
And crucial point, its open architecture was ready to unleash power and capabilities of next generation AOP framework - and AspectWerkz is the one !

So stay tune. All those features are right now in AspectWerkz CVS, and in some weeks, you won't feel the pain to plug AOP in your whole architecture, on the fly or offline, and with its full power - no debug mode required, java 1.3 supported, optional process forking (choose between tuning and easy set-up), not tight to any app server but certified app server ready.