Visual VM Plugin for MQ 4.4

We are introducing a Visual VM Plugin sample in Open MQ 4.4. This will be released as a binary only and we are interested in your feedback. Here are the details:

VisualVM Plugin for Message Queue

Please note that although this plugin is certainly useable, it is still under development. It is planned to release a more polished version in the 4.4 final release.

What is this Plugin?

The VisualVM plugin for MQ is a simple GUI application which provides a very easy way to display the monitoring and configuration attributes exposed by a MQ broker using JMX.  It is provided as a plugin to the VisualVM tool included in Java 6 (version 1.6.0_14 or later).

You can already view MQ's JMX MBeans directly using the MBean plugins for VisualVM or JConsole. This new plugin provides access to the same information but is intended to be much easier to use, providing access to most information in only a few mouse clicks, and should make it much easier to see how a group of broker attributes varies over time.

The tool provides information about a running broker on a series of tabbed panes. The main pane provides general information about the broker. Other panes display lists of connections, consumers, producers, destinations and open transactions and show their configured and runtime attributes in a series of simple tables. You can also list the brokers in a running cluster. When you first open the tool a limited subset of all configuration and monitoring attributes exposed by MQ's JMX interface can be viewed, though you can configure the information displayed to show virtually any attribute available through JMX.

The tool is dynamic and continually refreshed to show the current value of each attribute. So you can watch the number of messages in a queue grow and fall, see how connections come and go or view the number of open transactions.

The tool can be used to monitor both standalone MQ brokers and those running embedded in a Glassfish instance.

How to install and run it

Make sure you have VisualVM installed

  • VisualVM is available as a JDK tool included in the Sun JDK 6 distribution. You must use jdk1.6.0_14 or later. Earlier versions won't work.
  • To start VisualVM, run the jvisualvm executable in the bin directory of your JDK 6 installation. Sun's manual page for jvisualvm is here
  • VisualVM can also be downloaded from You must use VisualVM 1.1.1 or later. Note that VisualVM is only supported on the platforms listed on the release note. At the time of writing this did not include AIX.
  • Note for Apple Mac users: The Apple Java JDK 6 distribution includes VisualVM, but at the time of writing only update 13 was available, whereas you need update 14. You therefore currently need to download VisualVM 1.1.1 from

Install the MQ plugin into VisualVM

  • Start VisualVM
  • Select Tools -> Plugins to open the Plugins window. Click on the "Downloaded" tab.
  • Click on "Add Plugins", navigate to and select the plugin module com-sun-messaging-visualvm.nbm, which you can download from here (on most browsers, right-click and choose SaveAs ...) and press Open to dismiss the file chooser dialog. This will display the VisualVM-MessageQueue plugin in the list of downloaded plugins. Press Install and follow the prompts to install it.

Use VisualVM to monitor a broker

  • Run VisualVM with the MQ plugin installed.
  • Start a MQ broker (if one is not already started). To see any information about the broker you need to start it with JMX enabled.
    • The simplest way to do this is to run it using Java 6. If required, use the -javahome argument: (e.g. imqbrokerd -javahome "C:\Program Files\Java\jdk1.6.0_14")
  • You should see the broker in the tree-view. Expand it and open its various sub nodes. If you see the tree-view but no data then you might not have started the broker with JMX enabled (see above).

How to use it

Read the Quick start guide

Sun's JDK documentation contains some general information on using VisualVM here.


Installation via Visual VM plugin directory

We anticipate that we will make future versions of this plugin available from the Visual VM plugin repository. When that happens, you will likely need to manually uninstall this preliminary version, before you can install the signed version.

Release notes

Download from here.

Build Notes
10 First release to
15.1 Updated to include tooltips for all attribute names.

Improved handling of the case where VisualVM is running and a broker (either a standalone broker or a client JVM or Glassfish instance containing an embedded broker) is then started. (Bug 6859980).

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