SeeFusion has been around for a while now, but I recently got the chance to take it for a spin, and wanted to share my thoughts. SeeFusion is a utility that lets you peak under the CF hood, allowing you to see lots of what’s going on, and much of it in real time. I’ve previously mentioned that this type of monitoring is planned for ColdFusion “Scorpio”, but SeeFusion is available right now, and I’d expect that even once we ship “Scorpio” serious ColdFusion developers will probably want both (hey, the more info the better).
SeeFusion tracks three types of requests; currently running requests (real-time), recently completed requests, and long running requests. It also features a JDBC wrapper that makes it possible to inspect detailed query related information, debug output, a dashboard for monitoring multiple servers at once, and much more. Lots of details, screenshots, and a live demo are all available online.
This is an incredibly impressive utility, and one that will be immensely useful to all ColdFusion developers. And with licenses starting at $150, SeeFusion could pay for itself the first time you use it. Check it out!

14 thoughts

  1. i’ve evaluated seefusion and fusion reator and they are both good products. I would give fusion reactor the edge as it’s a more polished product including features like crash protection, which is a good way of protecting the server. The one thing seefusion has that the fusion reactor doesn’t at the moment is a JDBC listener which is very useful for troubleshooting SQL, but fusion reactor should release this sometime 2006 (i think). But one big plus for seefusion is that the support is excellent, I was on average getting around 30 minute turnaround on support emails, they couldn’t have been more helpful. But in general both are excellent value for money

  2. We are running seefusion on our production systems as well as on development, after some extensive load testing. Originally, we thought it would be usefull primarily for killing long running requests – ours is a large and complex site. As it turns out, we use it more to watch realtime processing and pinpoint performance trouble. For instance, last month we found an application that was querying a table that had 13 million records in it and no index… we were immediately able to see the exact query that was causing the problem and how long it was taking.

  3. Before I comment, full disclosure; we are the creators of SeeFusion. Ben, thanks for the review. I have been wondering for sometime, since I first learned of FusionReactor (no relation to Reactor by Doug Hughes by the way) is anyone using FusionReactor on Production servers and if so how is that going? I won’t go on about SeeFusion here but we have several clients who use <a href="http://www.seefusion.com/">SeeFusion</a&gt; on Production boxes and in particular the "Dashbord" feature to monitor the health of all Production instances from one web interface.
    <p>By the way Mark, thanks for the comment regarding our Customer Service.</p>

  4. I have used both seeFusion and fusion Reactor. I have found seefusion very good at tracking down bottle necks and tuning perf. on queries. I haven’t used the feature to monitor many severs.
    Fusion Reactor is much more a managment/debug utility for a perticular server. I have found it extremly usefull for digging into stack traces to find sticky threads. It has a more polish the seeFusion as well. Overall I was very impressed with FR.

  5. The company I work for runs multiple e-commerce systems and we have used Fusion Reactor on our production servers and I found it to be one of the best tools we have used for CF monitoring and problem finding.
    In my opinion, whilst SeeFusion is certainly a good tool, FusionReactor wins on several counts.
    SeeFusion lacks the feel of a full tool and needs to progress from what i consider the "geeky" screens to the usability of a full application.
    The stack trace tool found us thinking "why isn’t this installed on all our machines or packaged with CF itself?".
    FusionReactor seems far cleaner and was thus our choice for production servers.
    In a company like ours where downtime is lost sales and customers can easily go elsewhere, the FusionReactor support team have a superb attitude and exemplary response times.
    I would (and have previously; check the blog!) recommend them to anyone looking for a tool such as this.
    Dave

  6. Just noticed the FusionReactor guys are Macromedia Alliance Partners. Couldn’t find any mention of such a partnership on the SeeFusion site but please correct me if i’m wrong.
    Thanks,
    Dave

  7. Greetings, all. I’m the President, Co-Founder, and one of the Lead Web Application Architects here at Webapper, and I wanted to take a moment to chime in here. First of all, thanks to Ben for his post. Next, on behalf of the entire team here at Webapper, I’d like to compliment our friends at Intergral on a splendid first version of Fusion-Reactor. It’s a very polished product, as many people have attested to in many places around the Net. And we’re happy to welcome them as worthy competitors in the niche that we began defining in mid-2004.
    Having said that, I also want to add to the discussion some clarifying comments about the comparisons that have been made here. To begin, our JDBC wrapper is very definitely NOT the only difference between the products (although that’s a critical one). Here are some of the things that make SeeFusion unique:
    * A sophisticated logging subsystem that allows you to persist all of SeeFusion’s metrics to a database for later analysis
    * The Dashboard for monitoring clusters of servers in one convenient interface
    * SeeFusion Counters (a combination of JRun metrics logging and CFStat)
    * Debugging output–similar to ColdFusion’s debugging, but much more efficient, and including in-page debug output or the streaming of debug output to a browser (on this topic, some of our FireFox customers have done some very cool things with pulling our debugging stream into a FireFox plug-in)
    * Extensive query monitoring and logging (either to a database or a log file)
    Beyond these, we offer several layers of security, a "one-stop" configuration interface, XML dumps of all metrics, and a host of other features as well. As for crash protection, we offer a very important type of implicit crash protection in the form of our rowLimit JDBC driver parameter. This sets an upper limit on the result set for any query running through SeeFusion. In our extensive experience working on the world’s largest ColdFusion applications over the years, query problems are the number one cause of system crashes and performance problems, and that’s a big reason SeeFusion provides so many query-oriented features, like rowLimit, for dealing with that.
    Regarding our partner status, we are in fact a close consulting partner to Adobe. All of our founders and senior people are former Allaire/Macromedia employees. When Macromedia decided effectively to outsource its consulting division, most of the consultants left to join one of two companies–Webapper, or our partner, Universal Mind. The official Alliance Partner status is held by Universal Mind, and we work for Adobe’s premiere customers through them, which is why we don’t advertise the partner status directly. But, if you call Adobe for ColdFusion or JRun consulting assistance, you’ll get one of us.
    Through our consulting practice, we’ve been fixing and tuning the largest ColdFusion applications in the world, bar none, since 1998. SeeFusion is really the culmination of all of that experience. In fact, when you become a SeeFusion customer, you’re in effect signing up for a fair amount of free consulting. We pack as much of that expertise as we possibly can into our free support emails (thanks to Mark for his comment on this above).
    One last point–nearly all of the hundreds of worldwide SeeFusion customers use the product on production systems. We designed it from the ground up for that very purpose.
    We have great things planned for SeeFusion in 2006, including a new interface that will make your jaw drop. Thanks for listening, and we’d love to hear any and all feedback, either here or at support@seefusion.com.
    Best,
    Patrick Quinn
    Webapper Services, LLC
    http://www.webapper.com
    http://www.seefusion.com

  8. We’d just like to thank Patrick at SeeFusion and the everyone else on the blog for the kind remarks about FusionReactor. We promise to keep up the good work!
    Many Many Thanks,
    The FusionReactor Team

  9. What do you recommend now, Fusion Reactor or SeeFusion? I know back in 2006 it was Fusion Reactor having the edge. Do you know if that still stands today in your opinion?

  10. Mike, honestly, I’ve not used either in quite a while, but do have access to both for when I need them. My personal experience with both has been more for tinkering and getting to know them, and not for any real production use. So, I am reluctant to really offer comparisons. But, if any others on this thread have experiences, I’d love to hear them, too.
    — Ben

  11. Just wanted to add that my open source project called CfTracker also expose a lot of useful information about the CF server it’s running on. It may lack some of the very useful features of SeeFusion and FusionReactor but it also manages to expose information that I haven’t seen in either of them yet. Plus, since it’s free, you can’t go wrong with giving it a go, even if you’ve got one of those products already 😉

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