Grails P6Spy plugin

This information is out of date - please see for the current documentation.

I wanted to have a go at creating a Grails plugin so I thought I'd write one to make it easy to add P6Spy to your Grails application. The experience was very good. The structure and distribution mechanism is excellent and the Grails guys have done a great job.

Here's the result:

P6Spy lets you monitor the JDBC queries by proxying your database driver. In addition to logging the prepared statements, it also logs the sql with parameters in place so you can copy and paste the exact sql into your favourite database client to test the results.

This Grails plugin makes it easy to utilize P6Spy in your Grails applications.


This plugin contains 2 files - the p6spy jar and After installing the plugin in your Grails application, you can find them in:

  • <project directory>/plugins/p6spy-0.1/grails-app/conf/

  • <project directory>/plugins/p6spy-0.1/lib/p6spy-1.3.jar

The install script updates your TestDataSource.groovy to add a commented line containing the p6spy driver class:

  • // String driverClassName = "com.p6spy.engine.spy.P6SpyDriver"

Example use

Download the plugin from

Create a new Grails application, add a domain class, and install the plugin:
 grails create-app spytest
cd spytest
grails create-domain-class book
grails install-plugin

In TestDataSource.groovy, comment out the HSQLDB driver and uncomment the p6spy driver:
//   String driverClassName = "org.hsqldb.jdbcDriver"
String driverClassName = "com.p6spy.engine.spy.P6SpyDriver"

Edit Book.groovy and add a property:
class Book {
String author

Now update BookTest.groovy to exercise the database:
class BookTests extends GroovyTestCase {
void testBook() {
def book1 = new Book(author:'paul')
assertEquals(1, Book.count())

def book2 = Book.get(

def books = Book.list()
assertEquals(1, books.size())

Now run your tests:
 grails test-app

The file spy.log is created, which contains a trace of the sql statements invoked during the test.
20:07:16|16|1|statement||select sequence_name from information_schema.system_sequences
20:07:16|2|1|statement||create table book (id bigint generated by default as identity (start with 1), version bigint not null, author varchar(255) not null, primary key (id))
20:07:20|0|1|statement|insert into book (id, version, author) values (null, ?, ?)|insert into book (id, version, author) values (null, 0, 'paul')
20:07:20|0|1|statement|call identity()|call identity()
20:07:20|2|1|statement|select count(*) as y0_ from book this_|select count(*) as y0_ from book this_
20:07:20|-1||resultset|select count(*) as y0_ from book this_|y0_ = 1
20:07:20|0|1|statement|select as id0_0_, this_.version as version0_0_, as author0_0_ from book this_|select as id0_0_, this_.version as version0_0_, as author0_0_ from book this_
20:07:20|-1||resultset|select as id0_0_, this_.version as version0_0_, as author0_0_ from book this_|
20:07:21|0|1|statement|delete from book|delete from book

This file has several columns, delimited by the | (pipe) character. The last column is the most interesting - it contains the SQL with the parameters inlined. More information about configuring P6Spy can be found on the P6Spy website.

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