Convenience at a cost: comparing Domino Java APIs performance (standard, ODA, JNA)

I’m into performance at the moment, trying to solve some nasty issues in one of the applications I work on. While researching the topic I came across Karsten Lehmann’s Domino JNA project that allows you to use some low-level C-API methods using Java. It contains functions that are very useful in my scenario, but I also wondered how the library performed. So I wrote some basic tests, comparing JNA with the ‘standard’ (or ‘legacy’) Domino API and, while I was at it, the org.openntf.domino (ODA) API.

So I wrote a couple of tests using the 3 APIs that traverse a view from the well known ‘Fakenames’ database. It is based on the Domino Name & Address book template and contains 40,000 documents. The tests will loop through a view called ‘People’ containing all the documents and will read a value from one of the columns.

At this point I will be taking bets:

What do you think is the fastest?

View Results

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Time to see for yourself! I created a simple application that allows you to test the different methods and view the results (latest 10 are shown only): take a look here.

The source code of the application and test code can be found here. The environment: CentOS 6 (64 bit), SSD, 1GB RAM, Domino 901FP5 (64 bit), ExtLib 17, ODA 3.2.1, JNA 0.9.5. Please let me know if I made any errors in the tests.

I don’t know what about you, but the results surprised me! I didn’t expect the overhead of the non-standard APIs to be that big. In every day use I guess this won’t affect your applications a lot, but it’s something you definitely have to be aware of if you needs to squeeze just a bit more performance out of your application.


– Upgraded the JNA project to 0.9.5
– Based on Andy Cunliffe’s comment I’ve added a new test using a ‘manual’ Java loop in the ODA:

ViewEntry ve = nav.getFirst();
while (null != ve) {

// code here

ve = nav.getNext();

That code seems to run about 30% faster that a standard Java loop in ODA:

for (ViewEntry ve : nav) {

// code here


Escaping the yellow bubble at ICON UK

Last Friday I was in Londen for what was yet again an excellent ICON UK. Tim Clark really did a great job in organising it and I hope he can now relax again. Kudos also to Tony Holder for organising the speaker dinner at Wilton’s. Didn’t know you can eat that well in the UK!

The venue (IBM Client Centre) added a nice touch to the conference and was conveniently located at the center of Londen. That allowed me to try out a Boris Bike and see what cycling on the left side of the road is like. Straight sections didn’t cause me any problems, but sweat ran down my back at every crossing. I’m glad I’m still alive to write this. But hey: no guts, no glory!

I was once again allowed to host a session and decided this time to NOT do it about XPages or any other IBM technology, but share my experiences with an alternative web development stack called MEAN (that’s MongoDb, Express, AngularJS and Node). Thanks to anyone who was in the room for attending. For all of you who weren’t, here’s the deck: