Almost two years passed since the Memory Analyzer tool (MAT) was published at Eclipse. Since then we have collected a lot of feedback, questions and comments by people using it, and we also gathered experience in using the tool ourselves. Most of the people find their way to solve memory problems using MAT relatively easy, but I am convinced there are also a lot of unexplored features and concepts within the tool, which can be very handy if properly understood and used. Therefore I decided to start a series of blog posts dedicated to memory analysis (with MAT) - starting from the basics and covering the different topics in detail. I would try to answer there some of the questions which pop-up most often, give some (hopefully useful) hints, explain the benefit of certain “unpopular” queries, and (please, please, please…) collect your feedback.
As the Memory Analyzer is a tool working with heap dumps, I will start with a detailed look at heap dumps – what they are, which formats MAT can read, what can be found inside, how one can get them, etc… If you are interested in the topic, read further.