AppMap Agent for Java


appmap-agent is a Java agent JAR for recording AppMap Data of your code.

The AppMap Data Format includes code structure (packages, modules, classes, and methods), trace events (function calls, web services, RPC calls, SQL, parameters, return values, exceptions, etc), and code metadata (repo URL, commit SHA, etc). It’s more granular than a performance profile, but it’s less granular than a full debug trace. It’s designed to be optimal for understanding the design intent and structure of code and key data flows.

Supported versions

Supported JDK versions:

  • 8, 11, 17, 21

Supported Languages:

  • Java
  • Kotlin

Other languages may work as well.

Supported frameworks:

We currently test the latest version of each of these frameworks, but earlier versions may work as well.

If you find a problem, or use a framework or language we don't yet support, let us know in Slack!

Tests recording

Using IntelliJ IDEA Run Configurations

If you’re using JetBrains IntelliJ IDEA, we recommend using run configurations to create AppMap Data.

Recording tests with Maven

Alternatively, you may record your tests with the AppMap Maven plugin.

Recording tests with Gradle

Alternatively, you may record your tests with the AppMap Gradle plugin.

Other build systems

You can download the latest release of appmap-agent-<version>.jar from

Both the AppMap plugin for IntelliJ and the AppMap extension for VS Code automatically download the latest the AppMap Java agent, and store it locally in $HOME/.appmap/lib/java/appmap.jar.

The recorder is run as a Java agent. Currently, it must be started along with the JVM. This is done by passing the -javaagent argument to your JVM when recording tests. For example:

$ java -javaagent:$HOME/.appmap/lib/java/appmap.jar myapp.jar

Requests recording

appmap-java can automatically record and save an AppMap for each HTTP server request which it processes. This functionality is currently supported for applications built using Spring Boot, Servlet-stack web applications built using Spring Framework, and Spark Framework.

Requests recording in Spring Boot and Spring Web Framework

For Spring Boot and Spring Web Framework applications, appmap-java installs a ServletListener during initialization that will create recordings. The listener starts the recording before the servlet’s service method is called, and ends the recording once service returns.

For Spring Boot, appmap-java adds the listener when the Spring Application is initialized.

For Spring Web Framework, appmap-java adds the listener when Spring’s servlet container is initialized.

Requests recording in Spark Framework

For Spark Framework, appmap-java wraps Sparks’ Handler with a HandlerWrapper that manages recording.

Remote recording

appmap-java supports the AppMap remote recording API. This functionality is provided by the AppMap agent. It will hook into the Java servlets API, injecting the remote recording routes into the servlet chain.

Note Your application must be running in a servlet container (e.g. Tomcat, Jetty, etc.) for remote recording to work.

  1. Start your application with the AppMap agent enabled
    1. IntelliJ - “Start with Appmap”
    2. Command line - run your Servlet-based application with the javaagent JVM argument:
$ java -javaagent:$HOME/.appmap/lib/java/appmap.jar -jar target/*.jar
  1. Start and stop the recording
    1. IntelliJ
    2. VSCode

Process recording

appmap-java can record an entire Java process from start to finish.

  1. Set the Java system property You must set this system property as a JVM argument. If you are using a graphical run configuration, add the option to the “VM options” field. If you are running on the command line, add the option to the JVM CLI arguments.

  2. Start your application with the AppMap agent enabled using one of these approaches:

    1. IntelliJ - “Start with Appmap”
    2. Command line - run your Servlet-based application with the javaagent JVM argument:
$ java -javaagent:$HOME/.appmap/lib/java/appmap.jar -jar target/*.jar

Other related options such as appmap.recording.file and are also available. Consult the Configuration section for details.

Code Block Recording

You can use the Java function com.appland.appmap.record.Recording#record to record a specific span of code. With this method, you can control exactly what code is recorded, and where the recording is saved.

This code snippet illustrates how to use the record() function to record a block of code, and then write the AppMap Data to a file:

final Recorder recorder = Recorder.getInstance();

final MyClass myClass = new MyClass();
Recording recording = recorder.record(() -> {
  for (int i = 0; i < 10; i++) {
StringWriter sw = new StringWriter();
recording.readFully(true, sw);

// Now write the recorded AppMap Data to a file. The file name should end in ".appmap.json".
try (PrintWriter out = new PrintWriter("runnable-recording.appmap.json")) {
catch (FileNotFoundException ex) {


When you run your program, the agent reads configuration settings from appmap.yml. Here’s a sample configuration file for a typical Java project:

# 'name' should generally be the same as the code repo name.
name: MyProject
language: java
appmap_dir: tmp/appmap
- path: com.mycorp.myproject
  exclude: [ com.mycorp.myproject.MyClass#MyMethod ]
- path: org.springframework.web
  shallow: true
  - org.springframework.web.util
- path: java.util.logging
  - class: Logger
    name: log

  • name Provides the project name (required)
  • appmap_dir The directory where AppMap Data will be saved by request recording. If unset, a default based on the project’s build configuration file will be used.
  • packages A list describing how packages should be instrumented. For backwards compatibility, classes and methods can also be specified here. New projects should use the methods property to specify which methods to instrument.


Each entry in the packages list is a YAML object which has the following keys:

  • path A Java package, class, or method that will be instrumented.
  • exclude A list of fully-qualified sub-packages, sub-classes and sub-methods that will be ignored. The exclude list only applies to the path specified in the same package entry.

  • shallow When set to true, only the first function call entry into a package will be recorded. Subsequent function calls within the same package are not recorded unless code execution leaves the package and re-enters it. Default: false.

  • methods A list of YAML objects describing how specific methods should be handled.
    • class a regular expressiom matching names of classes in the package
    • name a regular expression matching names of methods in class that should be instrumented
    • labels (optional) a list of labels that should be applied to all matching methods.

Each of the class and name regular expressions is a java.util.regex.Pattern . They will be surrounded with \A( )\z to match whole symbols. This means, in the example above, log will match exactly that method of Logger, but not the logp or logrb methods. To match all three methods, use log(|p|rb) or log.*. To include the literal symbols . or $ in the patterns, they must be properly escaped: \. or \$.

If the methods attribute is specified for a package, each element in the list will be matched in the order specified, and only the matching methods will be instrumented. When the methods attribute is set, the exclude attribute is ignored.


The appmap-java annotations are provided in the package com.appland:appmap-annotation, available on Maven Central. To use them, add that package as a dependency in your build configuration file (pom.xml, build.gradle).


appmap-java suports the addition of code labels through the com.appland.appmap.annotation.Labels annotation.


Once the Labels annotation is available, you can apply it to methods in your application. For example:

import com.appland.appmap.annotation.Labels;

public class ExampleClass {
  @Labels({"label1", "label2"})
  public void labeledFunction() {

When labeledFunction appears in an AppMap, it will have the labels label1 and label2.


The NoAppMap annotation can be used to disable recording of JUnit test methods. If applied to a specific method, that method will not generate an AppMap. Alternatively, it can be applied to a test class to disable generation of AppMap Data for all test methods in the class.


Example of annotating a test method:

import com.appland.appmap.annotation.NoAppMap;

public class TestClass {
  public void testMethod1() {

  public void testMethod2() {

testMethod1 will generate an AppMap, and testMethod2 will not.

Example of annotating a test class:

import com.appland.appmap.annotation.NoAppMap;

public class UnrecordedTestClass {
  public void testMethod1() {

  public void testMethod2() {

No AppMap Data will be generated for the tests in UnrecordedTestClass.

System Properties

  • appmap.config.file Path to the appmap.yml config file. Default: appmap.yml
  • Output directory for .appmap.json files. Default: ./tmp/appmap
  • appmap.debug Enable debug logging. Default: null (disabled)
  • appmap.event.valueSize Specifies the length of a value string before truncation occurs. If set to 0, truncation is disabled. Default: 1024
  • appmap.record.private Record private methods, as well as methods with package and protected access. Default: false (no private methods will be recorded).
  • Automatically begin recording at boot time. Default: false
  • appmap.recording.file The file name of the automatic recording to be emitted. Note that the file name will still be prefixed by
  • appmap.recording.requests If true, create a recording for each HTTP server request (for supported frameworks). Default: true. Default: $TIMESTAMP.appmap.json
  • Populates the field of the AppMap. Default: $TIMESTAMP

GitHub repository

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