Understanding the XML Data File

The acuprof utility takes the raw data in acumon#.xml and combines the individual data points to create useful aggregates in the report file. acuprof is an ACUCOBOL-GT program that is located in the tools subdirectory.

Because acumon#.xml is a straightforward XML file, any tool that can parse XML can parse the raw report. This means that you can bring the report into recent versions of Microsoft Excel, for example, or create your own parsing tool using the C$XML routine to return the information most useful to you.

This section contains the basic information that you need to understand the data collected in acumon#.xml.

The "ticks" timer

In the final report, program time is reported in seconds, or fractions of a second. The raw XML file, however, counts user and processor time in ticks. The length of a tick is system-dependent, but usually equals about 10-milliseconds. The precise amount of time in each tick is reported at the beginning of the XML file (as described later). Each time the timer starts, the runtime examines the current program location and records a tick for the current program and current paragraph. By looking at how many ticks a program or paragraph accumulates, you get a real-time sampling of where the run spent its time.

If a program is running multiple threads and there is only one timer, when the timer expires, a tick is given to the current program and current paragraph, regardless of which thread is running.

The time runs in process time on machines that support the concept (UNIX). Process time is CPU time spent for the particular process and bears little relationship to real time. On older machines (Windows NT), a real-time timer is used instead. For these machines, it is important to run as few other tasks as possible while collecting profile data.