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Load & Performance Testing Ensures Your Application’s Resilience
Make sure your software performs as expected under diverse operating conditions.
What Is Load & Performance Testing?
Companies are under pressure to deliver an excellent customer experience. You must ensure your software responds reliably, correctly, and consistently, regardless of usage load.
Performance testing assesses how an application behaves under specific conditions and analyzes the results so you can identify and address any bottlenecks or blockages that prevent smooth operation.
With a load and performance testing strategy, your applications can be better prepared for unexpected demand. Load and performance testing tools ensure your system handles sudden bursts in traffic and delivers a superior user experience.
Why Is Load & Performance Testing Needed?
Most days, your application functions under normal conditions. But once in a while, the load peaks, or the performance of a dependent system dips.
Many organizations only perform tests against a subset of the potential conditions that users could experience. Agile teams recognize that they need to run performance tests against a variety of workloads to meet user expectations.
Performance and load testing tools are a check engine light on system performance. They test under regular and extreme loads to find any faults and ensure your application can take the heat. Test automation makes it easier and faster to run a combination of performance testing steps in parallel.
Take aim at performance issues with load testing. Check out our webinar to learn how to customize virtual user configurations, simulate loading in your test environment, and review and analyze performance trends over time.
Benefits of Performance Testing
Performance testing provides numerous benefits. Here are some of them.
Types of Performance Tests
Many types of performance tests exist. Test design may vary based on the purpose of the test. We include a number of the important testing types here.
Load time means the length of real time a system requires to start an application. It’s best if it’s short—if possible less than a few seconds. Some applications, however, may require as long as a minute.
Response time is the time required for the application to put out a reply after a user inputs information into the app. A number of studies, including this one, link short response times to high user satisfaction.
Poor scalability means a software application cannot accommodate the range of user types or the number of users the developers expected it to handle when they created it. Testers use load testing to make sure the app can do what it is supposed to do in terms of numbers and range.
When a system has bottlenecks, the result is system latency and poor performance overall. It happens when either hardware problems or coding errors produce a decrease in throughput under specific loads. Often just one bad section of code can cause bottlenecking. To remedy it, developers need to find and fix the area of code that is causing bad performance or add more hardware. Common performance bottlenecks include CPU, network, and memory utilization; operating system limitations; and disk usage.
Performance Testing Best Practices
Here are some best practices for performance monitoring and testing.
- Thoroughly understand the application. What are its capabilities, intended use cases, and the situations under which it is supposed to thrive?
- Thoroughly understand the different types of tests (mentioned above) and how and when to use them.
- Take into consideration all possible product environments and devices, including browsers and operating systems.
- Use DevOps. Involving DevOps brings together the test plan and development teams. This helps to identify errors quicker and resolve them sooner.
- Establish your test environment and tools for validating application performance. Isolate it from the user acceptance testing (UAT).
- Define base operating criteria for success and extend them to extreme conditions under which operation should be maintained.
- Design performance tests. Leverage API testing scenarios for performance testing and customize them as needed.
- Configure the performance testing environment, perform the tests, and collect the results for analysis.
- Review the results, identify performance areas to address, and repeat the process (retest) as needed.
- Triage the performance problems. Involve all concerned parties: testers, developers, and operations people.
How to Get Started & Examples
The application you build has both functional and nonfunctional testing requirements. Load and performance testing best practices are a necessary aspect of software development but especially so when load can vary with sudden swings in demand and network traffic.
Get a head start by using your existing API test scenarios as a basis for performance testing. Parasoft’s solution creates rich multi-profile performance test scenarios from your functional testing assets.
Test Case Examples
- Verify that the response time is 4 seconds or less when 1000 users (or virtual users) simultaneously use the website.
- Verify that the application’s response time under load is in a range that is acceptable during slow network connectivity.
- Observe the maximum number of users the application can support without crashing.
- Record the database’s execution time when it reads or writes 500 records at a time.
- Check the database and application server’s memory and CPU usages during peak load situations.
- Check the application’s response time during low, moderate, and high load conditions.
Using these test cases in actual performance testing scenarios, you will find that specific numbers replace vague terms such as “heavy load” and “acceptable range.” Testers set the performance criteria numbers taking into consideration the application’s technical landscape and the project’s business requirements.
Frequently Asked Questions
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