Calculate elapsed time using Apache Commons Lang StopWatch

You need to calculate timing or elapsed time of your code execution so you know how long a particular method or some block of code take to finish its execution. You can do this by capturing the start-time and the end-time using System.currentTimeMillis() and find their differences. Another way is to use the StopWatch class from Apache Commons Lang library. The StopWatch class can be found in the org.apache.commons.lang.time package.

The simplest steps to use the StopWatch is to create an instance of the StopWatch class, start the stopwatch by calling the start() method. After the stopwatch is started you can execute the target method or block of code you want to watch and call the stop() method to complete the timing session. To get the time of the stopwatch you can call the getTime() method.

Now, let’s see the code for the process described above.

package org.kodejava.example.commons.lang;

import org.apache.commons.lang.time.StopWatch;

public class StopWatchExample {
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        StopWatchExample demo = new StopWatchExample();
        demo.timingOne();
    }

    private void timingOne() {
        // Create an instance of StopWatch.
        StopWatch stopWatch = new StopWatch();

        // Start the watch, do some task and stop the watch.
        stopWatch.start();
        doSomeTask(5000);
        stopWatch.stop();

        // Print out the total time of the watch
        System.out.println("Time: " + stopWatch.getTime());
    }

    private void doSomeTask(long sleep) {
        try {
            Thread.sleep(sleep);
        } catch (InterruptedException e) {
            e.printStackTrace();
        }
    }
}

Here is the output of the code above:

Time: 5000

Beside doing a simple timing calculation using the start() and stop() followed by the getTime() methods, the StopWatch class also provides methods for splitting the time, suspend and resuming the stopwatch. You can use the split(), suspend() and resume() method respectively. To get the split time you can call the toSplitString() method.

package org.kodejava.example.commons.lang;

import org.apache.commons.lang.time.StopWatch;

public class StopWatchAnotherExample {
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        StopWatchAnotherExample demo = new StopWatchAnotherExample();
        demo.timingTwo();
    }

    private void timingTwo() {
        // Create an instance of StopWatch and start the stopwatch.
        StopWatch stopWatch = new StopWatch();
        stopWatch.start();

        // Do some task and split the stopwatch time.
        doSomeTask(3000);
        stopWatch.split();
        System.out.println("Split 1: " + stopWatch.toSplitString());

        // Suspend the stopwatch and resume the stopwatch.
        stopWatch.suspend();
        doSomeTask(4000);
        stopWatch.resume();

        // Do some task and split the stopwatch time.
        doSomeTask(2500);
        stopWatch.split();
        System.out.println("Split 2: " + stopWatch.toSplitString());

        // Do some task and split the stopwatch time.
        doSomeTask(1000);
        stopWatch.split();
        System.out.println("Split 3: " + stopWatch.toSplitString());

        // Stop the stopwatch and the the total execution time.
        stopWatch.stop();
        System.out.println("Time: " + stopWatch.getTime());
    }

    private void doSomeTask(long sleep) {
        try {
            Thread.sleep(sleep);
        } catch (InterruptedException e) {
            e.printStackTrace();
        }
    }
}

The code snippet above will output something like this:

Split 1: 0:00:03.000
Split 2: 0:00:05.525
Split 3: 0:00:06.525
Time: 6525

Another method that you can find in the StopWatch class is the getStartTime() which will return the stopwatch start time. The reset() method will reset the stopwatch. To remove a split you can call the unsplit() method.

Wayan Saryada

Programmer, runner, recreational diver, currently living in the island of Bali, Indonesia. Mostly programming in Java, creating web based application with Spring Framework, Hibernate / JPA.

2 Comments

  1. The StopWatch class provides other functionality like:

    • You can start, stop and reset the StopWatch using start(), stop() and reset() methods.
    • You can also obtain the split time using the split() and unsplit() methods.
    • To pause and resume the StopWatch use the suspend(), resume() methods.

    You don’t have this default functionality when using the System.nanoTime() or the System.currentTimeMillis().

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