Java Release Notes

Recent Java agent release notes are listed below. If you would like a release that has been used extensively with a list of known issues, see Established releases (Java) for download link and version information.

Java Agent Release Notes

Friday, November 6, 2015 - 10:25 Download

Improvements

  • Play Framework 2.4 Instrumentation, and Play Framework 2 Improvements

    Previous Java Agent releases supported the Play Framework up to version 2.3. This release includes instrumentation for Play 2.4.x. This release provides more insight than ever before for all versions of Play 2, including improved segment names, and better signal-to-noise ratio in transaction details.

    This instrumentation also takes advantage of the new response time line in the New Relic UI. Because Play is a reactive framework that encourages concurrent activity, your total time for transaction components will often be greater than the response time. If the total time is less than response time, it may indicate resource exhaustion. By separating the total time from the response time, you get a clear picture of when you are getting the benefit of concurrency.

    If you have used the Java Agent to monitor Play before this release, you may see a decrease in response time. The new response time metric more accurately reflects the time from initial request to response.

    We support Play applications written in Java or Scala 2.9.3 - 2.11.x.

    Note: The deprecated -Dnewrelic.bootstrap_classpath system property can result in missing instrumentation and should not be used.

  • Netty 3.4 - 4.x Instrumentation

    This release updates our Netty support to include versions from 3.4 to 4.x. Previous release supported up to Netty 3.9. The agent will start transactions for server inbound I/O. The agent will instrument Netty HTTP methods to enable cross application tracing (CAT) in Netty transactions.

  • AsyncHttpClient Instrumentation 1.0.2 - 1.9.x

    In this release, you will see the time spent in external service calls made using AsyncHttpClient (also known as Ning Http Client). If the external service is also running New Relic, you will see cross application tracing (CAT) details as well. This includes external calls made from Play WSAPI, which uses AsyncHttpClient.

    Note: As in previous releases, Play 1 applications will not report AsyncHttpClient activity.

  • Akka Instrumentation 2.0 - 2.4

    This release enhances our Akka instrumentation by linking an actor message sender to an actor message receiver in the same transaction. In order to avoid over-instrumentation, our Akka instrumentation does not actually start transactions. If you would like a given actor call to mark the beginning of a transaction, you will need to use the @Trace(dispatcher=true) annotation, or some other form of custom instrumentation.

Notes:

This release supports core Akka, not all Akka extensions. In particular, it does not identify transactions that have been routed by Spray, Akka HTTP, or Akka Streams. We have heard from customers that these frameworks are important, and we expect to support them soon! Stay tuned to the Java agent incubator, since we may provide an early access instrumentation module for these frameworks before we release them in the agent.

Known Issues:

  • If your application uses AsyncHttpClient's WebSockets, do not use this version. AsyncHttpClient WebSockets requests will fail, or the application will not start.
  • In some cases, calls to NewRelic's getBrowserTimingHeader and getBrowserTimingFooter are ignored.
Thursday, October 1, 2015 - 16:09 Download

Improvements

Fixes

  • Fixed a memory leak in async continuations instrumentation for Jetty 7 and 8.
  • Improved error handling with invalid JMX .yml extension files.
  • Improved Circuit Breaker logging in the event of a Circuit Breaker trip.
  • Fixed a bug in Tomcat 7+ instrumentation where request parameters could occasionally get stripped when using an async servlet with capture_params set to true.

Notes

The Java Agent now collects the following information for web transactions:

  • Accept, Host, User-Agent, Content-Length HTTP request headers
  • HTTP request method, for example POST or GET
  • Content-Type HTTP response header

Known issues

  • Fixed in 3.25.0:
    • Setting enable_custom_tracing configuration flag to false can inadvertently disable Netty instrumentation.
    • In some cases JAX-RS annotations on interfaces are not observed, causing transactions using JAX-RS services to be named on the servlet rather than the web servicepath and method.
  • Fixed in 3.24.1:
    • The Java agent's Play 2 transaction tracing instrumentation may be incomplete and cause gaps in cross application tracing.
  • Fixed in 3.24.0:
    • The Java agent's EJB instrumentation may cause a StackOverflowException to appear in application logs.
    • Applications may continue to experience the additional Circuit Breaker overhead even when disabled.
    • The Java agent may experience increased overhead when using Cross Application Tracing and a large number of threads.
  • Fixed in 3.23.0
    • This release may experience a memory leak within the agent for Tomcat containing a large number of static JSPs (5000+).
    • When a transaction makes multiple calls to a database with the same obfuscated SQL, a NullPointerException is may get thrown in the agent.
    • This release contains a bug in New Relic's Cross Application Tracing (CAT) that can cause incorrect service and transaction maps.

The problem happens when non-identical applications, with identical transaction names, would appear to be communicating (in the Transaction / Service maps), when in fact, they were not.

Using a combination of pre-3.23.0 and 3.23.0+ can result in external calls between the old and new agents to not show up in the map. To fix this, upgrade all of your agents to 3.23.0+ at the same time.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015 - 13:18 Download

Improvements:

  • JCache

    The Java Agent now instruments the JCache API. The instrumentation times cache operations of implementations of the JCache API.

    To get additional information about your operations in the Databases page, enable com.newrelic.instrumentation.jcache-datastore-1.0.0 in your newrelic.yml. This will incur additional overhead.

     class_transformer:
       com.newrelic.instrumentation.jcache-datastore-1.0.0:
         enabled: true
    

Fixes:

  • Circuit Breaker alerts now better align with data displayed in JVMs tab.

  • In some cases the Java Agent's HttpURLConnection instrumentation could report incorrect external response time metrics

  • The Java Agent's MongoDB instrumentation no longer reports errors due to runtime exceptions that are caught and handled by applications.

  • Fixed an issue where Guice dynamic proxies could be instrumented, potentially causing MGI issues.

  • In rare cases a deadlock would occur at startup on some WebSphere applications.

  • Fixed an issue that could cause missing Cross Application Tracing information on WebLogic 12 when using HttpURLConnection.

Thursday, August 13, 2015 - 10:43 Download

Fixes

  • Fixed an issue that could cause NoClassDefFoundErrors when using JDBC ResultSet instrumentation on JBoss.
Friday, August 7, 2015 - 12:12 Download

Fixes

  • In some cases JBoss 4.x could fail to start due to a NullPointerException.

  • In some cases Dropwizard appservers could fail to start due to a ClassCastException during log initialization.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015 - 16:17 Download

Improvements

  • Redis

    The agent’s Redis instrumentation is now more efficient.

Fixes

  • In some cases the HttpClient 3 instrumentation could overstate the external call count.

  • In rare cases the agent would report errors that it was configured to ignore.

  • Some line numbers did not display correctly in stack traces.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015 - 14:42 Download

Improvements

  • Jetty

    Updated Jetty instrumentation to support Jetty 9.3.

  • Thrift

    Added support for Apache Thrift 0.8 and greater. This instrumentation automatically adds timing to Thrift calls and sets transaction names based on Thrift method names. It can be disabled in the newrelic.yml by adding:

    com.newrelic.instrumentation.thrift-0.8:
        enabled: false
    
  • Resin

    The New Relic Resin Instrumentation now reports errors as HttpErrors, allowing them to be ignored.

  • Heap Alerting

    A new heap utilization metric has been created for alerting purposes. This metric tracks the percentage of heap in use as a number between 0 and 1, where 0 means no heap usage and 1 means a full heap. The new metric is: Memory/Heap/Utilization

  • Exception Whitelisting

    Java Exception messages will now be obfuscated when high security mode is enabled. If specific exception messages should be allowed through they can be added to the whitelist with the following configuration property:

    strip_exception_messages:
        whitelist: 'java.lang.NullPointerException,java.lang.IllegalStateException'
    

    The whitelist is a comma-delimited string of exception class package + class name. This can be enabled/disabled independently of high security mode with the following property:

    strip_exception_messages:
        enabled: true
    
Tuesday, June 30, 2015 - 14:14 Download

Fixes

  • Fixed a bug in 3.17.0, that in rare cases could cause an application thread to die. In this case, the agent log has many messages, “ERROR: Inconsistent state!”
Thursday, June 11, 2015 - 13:19 Download

Improvements

  • Websphere Liberty Profile

    The Java agent now provides instrumentation for WebSphere Liberty Profile. This includes web transaction visibility, Cross Application Tracing, and app server stats.

  • Performance improvements

    The Java agent now starts more quickly so applications are available sooner. This release also reduces agent overhead at run time.

  • Customize hostname displayed in APM

    A new configuration setting has been added: process_host.display_name. When set in the newrelic.yml configuration file, the display name identifies the host in the APM UI, along with the hostname that the agent automatically captures.

    process_host:
        display_name: hostname
    

    In addition, the display name can be set using the NEW_RELIC_PROCESS_HOST_DISPLAY_NAME environment variable. This property can be viewed in all Insights transaction events.

  • WebLogic and WebSphere instance name available

    The instance name for WebLogic and WebSphere application servers is now available in transaction traces, traced errors, and Insights transaction events.

  • Custom instrumentation of transaction attributes is disabled by default

    Custom attributes defined using the Instrumentation tab in the UI are now disabled by default. In order to enable these attributes, you must have High Security mode disabled and you must place the following text in the common: block of your newrelic.yml:

    reinstrument:
        attributes_enabled: true
    

Fixes

  • Very large thread profiles were failing to report to RPM, causing the site to display a time out message. The agent will now truncate the size of the profile before sending.
  • Cross application tracing date was failing to report when using Jersey 2 endpoints.
  • Spring AOP instrumentation is now disabled by default. It was exercising a bug in certain versions of Java 8 that caused the JVM to crash. To re-enable, include the following in your newrelic.yml:

       com.newrelic.instrumentation.spring-aop-2:
           enabled: true
    
  • RabbitMQ metrics could double-report for some versions of RabbitMQ. This was introduced in Java agent version 3.16.1 and is fixed in this version.

  • In rare cases the agent would report a LinkageError.
Thursday, May 14, 2015 - 15:49 Download

Improvements:

  • Redis

    Added support for the Jedis client versions 1.4.0 or higher. You can now see your Redis calls in breakdowns in the overview chart, entries in the Databases tab, and segments in transaction traces.

  • RabbitMQ

    Updated RabbitMQ instrumentation to support RabbitMQ 3.5 and higher.

  • Cross Application Tracing API

    Use the cross application tracing API when the agent does not provide cross application tracing support for your application. See the documentation

  • Play 2 Framework

    Improved instrumentation for Play controller classes.

  • Circuit Breaker

    Starting in this release, the New Relic Java agent detects when memory is nearly exhausted and trips a “circuit breaker” that limits the agent’s memory usage. The agent won’t report transactions while the circuit breaker is tripped, so throughput will be understated. In the rare case that the circuit breaker trips, the New Relic UI will provide more information. For more details, see the documentation.

  • Added configuration to disable Deadlock Detection

    Under very heavy load conditions with many threads, the Deadlock Detector service may slow response time. You can now disable this feature with the following setting:

      deadlock_detector:
        enabled: false
    
  • Reduced the memory overhead of the Java agent

Fixes:

  • Play 2 Framework

    The Java Agent now honors the segment_limit setting for async traces, and can now handle much deeper async traces. This is useful to decrease if you're experiencing slower response time or high memory overhead when executing large async transactions.

    Cross-application requests from other New Relic-instrumented applications will reliably appear in the App and Transaction maps.

  • The proxy_host name is no longer sent to New Relic.

  • Fixed issue where external transactions were reported twice when using HttpURLConnection. Previously, this caused throughput to appear doubled.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015 - 11:45 Download

Improvements:

  • Labels and Rollups

The New Relic Java agent now supports the ability to apply labels to applications, so that you can easily sort, filter, and page through all of the applications on your account's Applications list.

Configuration can be done in the newrelic.yml file:

    labels: Server:One;Data Center:Primary

More information on using labels to categorize your applications can be found in the New Relic APM documentation.

  • With this version of the Java Agent, you can update Custom instrumentation XML in the extensions folder and it will be reloaded within a minute.

Fixes:

  • Prior to this version, some thread profiles would time out and not display. Thread profiles will now complete reliably.

  • The Java Agent now works around IBM JVM bug IV25688. The agent will scale back a small amount of its instrumentation on old IBM JVMs to avoid inducing the bug. The workaround should leave most customers unaffected. Loss of instrumentation caused by the workaround can be fixed by upgrading the JVM to the latest service release.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015 - 11:23 Download

Improvements:

  • Synthetics transaction tracing

    New Relic Synthetics monitors your site from around the world. When you use Synthetics to monitor your Java application, up to 20 detailed transaction traces will now be captured every minute when the application is probed from Synthetics. To learn more about this feature, visit our documentation

  • EJB Session Beans

    The Java agent now monitors Enterprise Java Beans (EJB) 3.0 session beans. The agent instruments @Stateless and @Stateful EJBs, and those that extend java.ejb.SessionBean. The agent traces methods declared by corresponding interfaces annotated with @Remote and @Local.

  • Unified view for SQL database and NoSQL datastore products.

    The response time charts in the application overview page will now include NoSQL datastores, such as Cassandra and MongoDB,and also the product name of existing SQL databases such as MySQL, Postgres, Oracle, etc. For existing SQL databases, in addition to the existing breakdown of SQL statements and operations, the queries are now also associated with the database product being used. For NoSQL datastores, such as Cassandra and MongoDB, we have now added information about operations performed against those products, similar to what is being done for SQL databases.

    This new unified Databases page will enable the filtering of metrics and operations by product, and includes a table listing all operations.

    Because this introduces a notable change to how SQL database metrics are collected, it is important that you upgrade the agent version on all hosts.If you are unable to transition to the latest agent version on all hosts at the same time, you can still access old and new metric data for SQL databases, but the information will be split across two separate views.

  • Datastax Cassandra client

    Added support for the Datastax Cassandra client versions 2.1.2 or higher. This will include breakdowns in the overview chart, entries in the Databases tab, and segments in transaction traces. Note: uses of the client's async API will not be captured in transaction traces.

  • MongoDB client

    Added support for MongoDB client versions 2.12.0 up to but not including 3.0+. This will include breakdowns in the overview chart, entries in the Databases tab, and segments in transaction traces.

  • API Reported Errors

    API reported errors can now be prioritized on a transaction over tracer reported errors. Add the following config to allow prioritizing:

    error_collector:
      ignoreErrorPriority: false
    

Fixes:

  • The Java Agent may now capture traces for transactions that resulted in an error (4xx or 5xx response code). Prior to this release, the agent would only capture traces for successful responses.

  • Updated default newrelic.yml to use transaction_events.max_samples_stored instead of deprecated analytics_events.max_samples_stored property.

  • JBoss dispatcher reports correctly for clustered environments where jboss.home and jboss.home.dir are not set.

  • Resolved a bug which caused certain Jetty configurations to stop sending metric data.

  • Under very light load, the Agent could send incorrect transaction timestamps.

  • Fixed parsing error in log_file_count setting. Prior to this release, this setting produced one more log file than expected.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015 - 09:46 Download

Improvements:

  • Custom Insights events API

    In addition to attaching custom attributes to the events that the Java agent generates automatically for each transaction, you can now record custom event types into Insights with the new NewRelic.getAgent().getInsights().recordCustomEvent API.

  • The agent now captures and reports thread profiles in XRay Sessions for non-web transactions.

Fixes:

  • Incorrect JMS transaction names for users of Oracle ATG Web Commerce
  • In rare cases, application code would encounter a NoClassDefFoundError for one or more classes contained in the newrelic.jar.
Thursday, January 8, 2015 - 12:06 Download

Fixes

This is a bugfix release for the legacy Java SE5 version of the agent. Unless you are a Java SE5 user, use the latest version of the New Relic Java agent.

  • Fixed an issue that in rare cases could cause the agent to cease reporting data until JVM restart.

Known issues

  • X-ray sessions sometimes return no transaction traces. Many x-ray session runs can cause a memory leak.
  • Play framework

    • Higher overhead with Play 2 than later releases.
    • Does not work properly with Play 2.2
    • Counts akka.actor.ActorKilledException as an error.
    • Play transaction does not complete until timeout expires
    • When using Play, ignoreTransaction call does not take effect
  • In some cases running Weblogic, the Java agent fails certificate validation when connecting to New Relic. This may require a workaround.
  • This release contains some inconsistencies in the instrumentation of Hibernate across versions.
  • This release requires a workaround to use SSL with WebSphere.
  • Potential memory leak when app continually creates ClassLoaders.
  • Rare memory leak if agent does not report to New Relic for an extended period.
  • When running IBM JVM without WebSphere, you must set the sync_startup flag set to true in the common section of newrelic.yml: sync_startup: true.

Workaround

If you require a workaround for one of these issues, please open a ticket at support.newrelic.com.

Monday, December 22, 2014 - 15:58 Download

Improvements

  • Play 2 async activity is no longer tracked when transaction is ignored.
  • Reduced GC overhead when monitoring Play 2 applications.
  • Reduced memory usage when inspecting slowest SQL statements.

Config Changes

  • stack_based_naming now false by default.

    The stack_based_naming in the transaction_tracer stanza is now false by default. Stack-based naming caused significant overhead in many Scala applications, so it now must be set to true explicitly. Set to true for better naming of trace detail segments in Scala Play applications.

      transaction_tracer:
        stack_based_naming: true
    

Fixes

  • Memory leak when applications using servlets are continuously reloaded inside the JVM.
  • Memory leak with long running transactions performing a high number of external calls.
  • In some cases for JBoss application servers, two JVMs were being displayed in the UI when there was actually only one.
Thursday, November 6, 2014 - 09:25 Download

Fixes

  • Various bug fixes
Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - 17:13 Download

Improvements

  • Spring Web Services
    • The Java Agent now supports Spring Web Services. Transactions are named based on the SOAP method name. The agent also reports the SOAP version, content type, and SOAP Action.
  • Support for Auto-RUM and precompiled JSPs
    • The Java agent now provides auto rum support when precompiling JSPs. To use auto rum when precompiling JSP files, add the agent as a java agent to your pre-compilation process.

Fixes

  • Fix: Under some circumstances the agent would report a LinkageError
  • Fix: Grails 2 transaction names had extra slash
  • Fix for auto-RUM
    • In some cases when a script tag is before a head tag in a JSP file, the auto RUM instrumentation was failing to place the initial New Relic header script in the page.
  • Fix: Reduce overhead of Akka instrumentation when not used in conjunction with Play/Netty
  • Fix: RabbitMQ instrumentation reported unnecessary transactions
    • basicPublish, basicGet, and nextDelivery no longer start short-lived  transactions.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014 - 07:43 Download

Improvements

  • Full support for Java SE 8

    The New Relic Java agent now supports Java SE 8! Applications can now run on a Java 8 JVM, including those compiled to target Java 8 (i.e. -target 1.8). The system property newrelic.enable.java.8 is no longer necessary.

  • @RequestMapping annotation used to name web transactions

    Where available, Spring Web Transactions are now named using the URI path pattern defined in the @RequestMapping annotation. This generally provides even more meaningful transaction names than controller methods. To disable this and revert back to naming using controllers, add this config to your newrelic.yml:

    instrumentation:
        spring_annotations:
           enabled: false
    
  • WebSphere JMX metrics reported when global security is enabled

    Prior to this version, JMX metrics could not be pulled by the agent with WebSphere when global security was enabled. This means custom JMX metrics in a yaml file and default JMX metrics displayed on the JVM Threads and Http Sessions tabs were not reported.

  • Servlet UserPrincipal name can be reported as an attribute

    With this release, you can enable the capturing of the UserPrincipal name so that it is available in New Relic Insights and as a transaction trace attribute. To enable:

    class_transformer:
        com.newrelic.instrumentation.servlet-user:
          enabled: true
    
  • Non-Web Transactions can now be made Key Transactions with a custom apdex T

    This feature will be available in the RPM UI very soon. It requires this or a higher version of the agent.

Fixes

  • Fix: Web transactions not always reported.

    In some unusual cases the Agent stopped reporting web transactions. The agent would log an error that included the phrase "Inconsistent state"

  • Fix: WebSphere 7 reports active thread count on the JVM tab

    The thread pool active count being displayed in the UI was actually the pool size.

  • Fix: Excess error reporting in Play apps

    In Scala/Play apps, the agent was incorrectly logging errors when promises were resolved with a Failure.

  • Fix: Request headers are not read when cross application tracing is disabled

    Disabling cross application tracing using these config settings did not stop the Agent from reading request headers.

    cross_application_tracer:
    enabled: false
    
  • Fix: NewRelic API methods prematurely deprecated

    In 3.9.0, some API calls in com.newrelic.api.agent.NewRelic were prematurely deprecated. We are in the process of providing a more complete API for the New Relic agent. In an upcoming release, these methods may become deprecated, but with a stable and superior API alternative.

Thursday, July 31, 2014 - 19:36 Download

New Features

  • Support for new Cross Application Trace map

    This release enhances cross application tracing with the new trace map visualization of your app's cross application calls. The new visualization helps you spot bottlenecks in external services within transaction traces and gives you an end-to-end understanding of how the transaction trace is used by other applications and services. This leads to faster problem diagnosis and better collaboration across teams. All agents involved in the cross application communication must be upgraded to see the complete graph. You can view cross application traces in the transaction trace drill-down.

  • Support for RabbitMQ

    You can now see messages sent to and received from RabbitMQ 2.7.0 or higher. The time spent processing a dequeued message is shown as a Message transaction.

  • Support for SOAP over CXF

    In this release, we provide automated instrumentation of your SOAP calls when using CXF 2.7.

Improvements

  • Absolute maximum for max_samples_stored lifted

    In previous versions of the agent, max_samples_stored could not be set to more than 10000. This restriction has been lifted, which can help avoid sampling.

Fixes

  • Enable Cross Application Tracing for all valid uses of HttpURLConnection

    Prior to this, certain uses of HttpURLConnection between two New Relic apps would fail to be recognized as Cross Application Traces and instead show up as external calls.

  • Allow customers to set the system property logback.ContextSelector

    Prior to this fix, the agent would throw a ClassNotFoundException when the system property logback.ContextSelector was set.

  • Wrong Application name in App Map when Auto App Naming is enabled

    When the enable_auto_app_naming config setting is set to true, the auto-named apps are incorrectly identified as the default app in the App Map.

Monday, July 28, 2014 - 15:50 Download
  • Fixed: Instrumentation missing including browser monitoring

    There was a bug in the agent that caused several instrumentation modules to not be loaded. This bug occurred when no extensions directory existed or the extensions directory was empty. This fix will allow auto-RUM to report normally. This bug was introduced in 3.8.0.

  • Fix: Missing metrics with Java 2 Security

    When Java 2 Security was enabled, the agent failed to report some metrics. This bug was introduced in 3.8.0.

  • Fix: Agent could stop reporting transactions

    For Jetty applications, the agent could stop reporting transactions if an uncaught exception was thrown. This bug was introduced in 3.6.0.

  • Fix: Agent not reporting external services in Play 2.3

    The Java Agent was not reporting calls to external services.

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