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ICON Health & Fitness uses XRebel to uncover hidden exceptions endangering production app

Customer Tech Overview

Size of development team: 5

Technologies in use: Tomcat, WAS 7, Spring 1.5-3.2, DB2, MySQL, MS SQL Server

Types of apps being built: Client-facing enterprise applications, over 30 conservatively. One of the apps being used for the case study manages the entire Customer Service experience and is used by the Customer Service Representatives all day. The application touches several points of their business. The application contains product family information, model information, and customer information.


About ICON Health & Fitness

xrebel case study icon health and fitness

ICON Health and Fitness is the world’s largest manufacturer of exercise equipment. The privately held company employs about 2,500 people in 9 locations, including facilities in China, Europe, and North and South America.

ICON Health and Fitness has over 30 full enterprise applications. They have several internal and customer-facing applications. Some of their applications are B2B and interface with business partners to provide their customers with a unified experience across their products.


Why XRebel was evaluated

ICON Health & Fitness frequently reviews tools to help their developers both be more productive and write better code. They chose to use XRebel to assist with the performance profiling of their applications, from the session to the database and to help them find exceptions and/or errors in their code. XRebel was designed to help developers fix issues like:

  • Session Issues: bloat and leaks
  • Database: Rogue SQL, track offending methods, inefficient queries, naive ORM configurations
  • Hidden exceptions

With these benefits in mind, ICON set off to see how XRebel could give them better insight into their apps, and how to discover and squash bugs in production while still writing code.


Investing in developer productivity

ICON Health & Fitness frequently evaluates tools to help their developers both be more productive and write better code. They chose to use XRebel to assist with the performance profiling of their applications, from the session to the database and to help them find exceptions and/or errors in their code.

xrebel case study icon health and fitness too many queries

Casey Doolittle, a Solution Architect in ICON’s MIS Web Department, has spearheaded the introduction of developer productivity and code quality tools on his team. CSRWeb, his team’s Customer Service Experience application, is used by the Customer Service Representatives to manage every aspect of the customer service interaction and experience. The application touches several points of their business. It contains product family information, model information, and customer information. Casey’s group is also responsible for developing and maintaining several e-commerce applications that are critical to the business.

With XRebel, I’m much more confident in the source of my exceptions and can now say more accurately whether they are a problem or can be safely ignored. Exceptions are great, but I really love the database info too!

– CASEY DOOLITTLE, Solution Architect


Uncovering the root cause of exceptions

Casey and his team wrote robust exception handling into their application’s interface with their B2B business partners. The team investigated exceptions as they happened, but generally were “handled” then swept under the rug and assumed to be innocuous. Once he started using XRebel, Casey was able to identify a major source of the exceptions they were seeing and directly tie the exceptions to a disagreement in the API between his team and a business partner. The insights provided by XRebel enabled Casey and his team to avoid a potentially large production issue and even data corruption. One of the disagreements was how to handle duplicates in the data transferred, which would have violated constraints in business logic and possibly lost data and caused downtime for the application’s users.

xrebel case study icon health and fitness too many exceptions


Leaving XRebel running all the time…

Everyone that works with Java. Leave it running all the time, I don’t see any performance difference really. It’s become just part of what we use, just like JRebel.
It just runs.

– CASEY DOOLITTLE, Solution Architect

xrebel case study icon health and fitness too many session

After realizing the insight to their application by bringing XRebel into their technology stack, ICON now prefers to just leave XRebel running all the time. By having a permanent tool with no perceivable performance overhead that easily lets any engineer verify that code in development won’t erupt with issues later on, ICON sees a clear win.

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