Spring Insight and Google Speed Tracer

I am sitting in a session here at Disruptive Code called "From Zero to Cloud" which is presented by Adam Skogman from SpringSource. The session was actually split in the middle, with lunch in between. While the talk itself did not give me much of a big WOW effect, simply because I have used the Amazon cloud services before, Adam mentioned a very cool tool called Spring Insight. He spoke about Spring Insight just under a minute. It sounded like an extension to the Spring tc server, which makes it possible to do performance analysis for web applications. It can measure and display information about the execution time of a HTTP request, a query execution in the database or even a single Spring bean invocation. Spring Insight can furthermore be integrated with Google Speed Tracer, which is apparently a Chrome plugin that I did not know of just a couple of minutes ago.

Spring Insight is very interesting project for me. A while ago a former colleague and I had a similar idea for an open-source project. We were planning to implement a language independent framework to measure execution time of web applications. In Java, the idea was to implement this using Annotations and Servlet Filters. In PHP, we were planning to have the same outcome using explicit method calls, which the PHP developer would have to add to the code manually. While the application was executed, it would then write a report file which users could then upload online to visualize the collected data. It is this part, that Google Speed Racer is doing now in the setup together with Spring Insight. Unfortunately we never had the time to work on our project, so it ended up just being an idea.

Anyway, I googled around a bit. The biggest point of criticism for Spring Insight is apparently that it is tightly coupled to SpringSource's tc Server. Even though there a millions of Spring Framework powered applications, only a fraction of them is running in Spring tc Server. Doing a quick research, it seems like the main reason to use Spring tc Server for Spring Insight, is the usage of custom Container deployers to enable the functionality. The good news is that someone else has already started to work on a third party library, to enable Spring Insight functionality without actually forcing the user to go with Spring tc Server. The library is called spring4speedtracer. Even though it is not as powerful as the original Spring Insight - for instance JDBC query execution times cannot be measured - it is a promising project. When I get home, I will have a closer look at this library, maybe I can contribute to the project (and put my own project idea to rest for good).