Monday, January 9, 2017

Profiling Apex, Part 1 (Gather Usage Data)

LimitsProfiler is on GitHub

(Install Version 1.0)

I think more than I should about how to optimize my code. I know, I know:

Premature optimization is the root of all evil.
- Donald Knuth

Yet if you look at the surrounding context of that quote, you will see that Knuth didn't caution us to never optimize, simply that about 97% of the time, small inefficiencies can (and should) be ignored. My question is, what do we do in that other 3% of the time? How do we arm ourselves with knowledge about the performance of our Apex code?

I found my first rudiments of how to profile code on the Salesforce Stack Exchange, and they went along these lines:

Integer iterations = 1000;
Long start =;
for (Integer i = 0; i < iterations; i++)
system.debug( - start);
We care about many aspects of performance, though. CPU Time is probably more important to measure than real time elapsed, and we may also want to observe queries, DML, and so on. Why not try to capture them all in one comprehensive snapshot?
global class LimitsSnapshot
    global Integer aggregateQueries { get; private set; }
    global Integer asyncCalls { get; private set; }
    global Integer callouts { get; private set; }
    global Integer cpuTime { get; private set; }
    global Integer dmlRows { get; private set; }
    global Integer dmlStatements { get; private set; }
    global Integer emailInvocations { get; private set; }
    global Integer futureCalls { get; private set; }
    global Integer heapSize { get; private set; }
    global Integer mobilePushApexCalls { get; private set; }
    global Integer queries { get; private set; }
    global Integer queryLocatorRows { get; private set; }
    global Integer queryRows { get; private set; }
    global Integer queueableJobs { get; private set; }
    global Integer soslQueries { get; private set; }
    global Long rawTime { get; private set; }
        Integer aggregateQueries, Integer asyncCalls, Integer callouts, Integer dmlRows,
        Integer dmlStatements, Integer emailInvocations, Integer futureCalls,
        Integer mobilePushApexCalls, Integer queries, Integer queryLocatorRows, Integer queryRows,
        Integer queueableJobs, Integer soslQueries, Integer heapSize, Integer cpuTime, Long rawTime
        this.aggregateQueries = aggregateQueries;
        this.asyncCalls = asyncCalls;
        this.callouts = callouts;
        this.dmlRows = dmlRows;
        this.dmlStatements = dmlStatements;
        this.emailInvocations = emailInvocations;
        this.futureCalls = futureCalls;
        this.mobilePushApexCalls = mobilePushApexCalls;
        this.queries = queries;
        this.queryLocatorRows = queryLocatorRows;
        this.queryRows = queryRows;
        this.queueableJobs = queueableJobs;
        this.soslQueries = soslQueries;
        this.heapSize = heapSize;
        this.cpuTime = cpuTime;
        this.rawTime = rawTime;

Woof. That got unwieldy in a hurry! Working with this class is actually pretty straightforward though once you add in a factory pattern. To that class I added these three methods:

global static LimitsSnapshot getInstance()
    return new LimitsSnapshot(
        Limits.getAggregateQueries(), Limits.getAsyncCalls(), Limits.getCallouts(),
        Limits.getDMLRows(), Limits.getDMLStatements(), Limits.getEmailInvocations(),
        Limits.getFutureCalls(), Limits.getMobilePushApexCalls(), Limits.getQueries(),
        Limits.getQueryLocatorRows(), Limits.getQueryRows(), Limits.getQueueableJobs(),
        Limits.getSoslQueries(), Limits.getHeapSize(), Limits.getCpuTime(),
global static LimitsSnapshot since(LimitsSnapshot start) { return diff(start, getInstance()); }
global static LimitsSnapshot diff(LimitsSnapshot a, LimitsSnapshot b)
    return new LimitsSnapshot(
        b.aggregateQueries - a.aggregateQueries, b.asyncCalls - a.asyncCalls,
        b.callouts - a.callouts, b.dmlRows - a.dmlRows, b.dmlStatements - a.dmlStatements,
        b.emailInvocations - a.emailInvocations, b.futureCalls - a.futureCalls,
        b.mobilePushApexCalls - a.mobilePushApexCalls, b.queries - a.queries,
        b.queryLocatorRows - a.queryLocatorRows, b.queryRows - a.queryRows,
        b.queueableJobs - a.queueableJobs, b.soslQueries - a.soslQueries,
        b.heapSize - a.heapSize, b.cpuTime - a.cpuTime, b.rawTime - a.rawTime

Now we have some scaffolding on which we can build a simple framework to profile our code. This version looks a lot like those early attempts:

global abstract class LimitsProfiler
    global abstract void execute();
    global virtual void setup() { }
    global virtual void tearDown() { }
    global LimitsSnapshot measure() { return measure(1); }
    global LimitsSnapshot measure(Integer iterations)
        LimitsSnapshot start = LimitsSnapshot.getInstance();
        for (Integer i = 0; i < iterations; i++) execute();
        return LimitsSnapshot.since(start);

I added setup and tearDown methods because a lot of what I want to test revolves around trigger performance, where you might need to insert data beforehand, perform a rollback, etc. I haven't decided whether they should go inside or outside of the snapshots, but I was getting some really weird heap readings when I tried putting them outside, so I tabled further investigation of that question for now.

Using this profiler makes it a bit easier to get results in bulk. The following script can be run via Execute Anonymous to illustrate:

List numbers = new List();
for (Integer i = 0; i < 1000000; i++) numbers.add(i);

class IsEmptyProfiler extends LimitsProfiler
    public override void execute()
        Boolean value = numbers.isEmpty();
class SizeProfiler extends LimitsProfiler
    public override void execute()
        Boolean value = numbers.size() == 0;

system.debug(new IsEmptyProfiler().measure(1000000));
system.debug(new SizeProfiler().measure(1000000));

That's a great start, and can get me some useful data on performance. But if your profiler depends on debug logs, you can't do your profiling with the logging levels set to NONE. And those logging levels add noise to your measurements. For instance, set all your logging levels to the highest setting and see if the above code will even run.

When the framework is complete, I should be able to plug it into a Visualforce Page and turn off all logging. Hence all the snapshot attributes being set up as properties. It will take me several more posts to get there, though, and more work on it to boot.

Next Post (Display The Data)

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