Instrumentation Record Language (IRL)

Kieker offers a user-friendly domain specific language called the Instrumentation Record Language (IRL). It is used to define records in a language-independent way. The IRL compiler (as command line or as Eclipse plugin) is then able to generate these records in arbitrary programming languages. Currently, the compiler can produce records in Java, C, and Perl. The compiler is extensible for other languages. Therefore, we provide an API based on OSGI.

abstract event AbstractExampleEntity {
    int id
    string label
template TemplateExample {
    boolean templateActive

event ExampleEntity extends AbstractEntity : TemplateExample {
   byte byteValue = 2  // default values
   transient short shortValue // value is not serialized
   changeable int intValue // value can be changed in analysis
   auto-increment long longvalue // every read to the value increments the value
   double doubleValue
   float floatValue
   char characterValue
   string stringValue
   boolean boolValue

Eclipse IDE Plug-In

Kieker provides an Eclipse-Plugin for monitoring and analyzing Java projects from within the Eclipse IDE.
The monitoring part allows to instrument and run Java-projects within Eclipse.
The analysis part allows to process a Kieker log folder by a user-defined Kieker analysis.

Kieker Trace Analysis Tool with GUI

Kieker’s Trace Analysis Tool allows to reconstruct and visualize architectural representations of the monitored systems from trace information collected at runtime. Currently supported architectural representations include

  • Software architectural diagrams
    • Sequence diagrams
    • Call trees (single traces, aggregation of trace sets)
    • Dependency graphs (container-, component-, and operation-level)
  • HTML output of the reconstructed system model
  • Textual trace and trace equivalence representations
    • Execution traces
    • Message traces

Diagrams can be exported into pixel and vector graphic formats (PDF, SVG, PNG, etc.).

The TraceAnalysisTool can be used via a command line interface and a dialog-based GUI.

Kieker Trace Diagnosis

The Kieker Trace Diagnosis is a JavaFX-based GUI which allows the user to analyze and interact with recorded traces.
It reads in the desired monitoring log, analyzes it, and finally visualizes it as filterable and sortable tables and tree views.
The provided views show operation calls, such as method invocations and SQL queries, (including type name, operation name, execution time etc.) and traces both aggregated and in detail.

Offline and live analysis

There are two different ways to start a Kieker analysis. The first is to run and to monitor the software and afterwards to start the analysis. Alternatively, it is possible to run the monitoring and the analysis simultaneous.

Predefined and customizable filters

Kieker provides several predefined and customizable filters to build you own analysis.
For example, it offers filters for trace analysis, anomaly detection, and architecture discovery.
Moreover, Kieker provides filters for associated visualizations such as call graphs and dependency graphs.
Finally, it offers the ability to define your own filter to adjust your custom analysis.

Predefined and custom analysis

It is easily possible to run a predefined analysis or to build a custom analysis for your own specific use case.
For example, Kieker provides the following predefined analyses:

  • trace reconstruction and visualization
  • anomaly detection
  • architecture discovery and visualization

Since A Kieker analysis follows the pipe-and-filter architectural style, it is therefore easy to build your own analysis based on parts of predefined analyses.

Dynamic and adaptive monitoring

By default, instrumentation is static. This means, at runtime, once a method or resource is instrumented, the instrumentation cannot be removed, and if a method/resource is not instrumented, it cannot be instrumented.

Kieker includes functionality to change the instrumentation at runtime, which is denoted as dynamic instrumentation. Currently, the dynamic instrumentation can be configured via JMX and periodically polled configuration files. In this way, the monitoring can be enabled/disabled in parts or completely at runtime.

Dynamic instrumentation is a prerequisite for adaptive monitoring, which aims to plan and to execute the monitoring at runtime. This allows, for instance, to make the instrumentation more detailed when a performance problem should be analyzed.