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Performance Testing – A Complete Guide

18 Jun 2019

Performance Testing – A Complete Guide

An Understanding of Performance Testing

Performance testing is a non-functional type of testing and involves the process by which software or an application is tested to know its current system performance. It checks how your current system performs in terms of responsiveness and stability when tested under varying workload conditions. Effectively, the system is tested under multiple and different load and network conditions and it scrupulously checks the time taken by the system to respond under these loads

This testing process primarily determines the speed with which the system works and it involves tests that are performed within a lab referred to as quantitative tests and the tests that occur in the production like environment. Currently, with Agile and DevOps methodologies on the go, this testing process plays a crucial role in the software development life cycle

Every business is in need of software applications that perform well under varying load conditions and only such apps with quick loading times will have demand in the market

What Does Performance Testing Check in any Software?

There is a fear with respect to how an application or a demanding software performs under varying loads when it goes live. Under such situations, Performance testing actually measures the Speed, Scalability, Reliability, Robustness and Stability of the application when the system is tested for varying loads of users

Primarily Performance Testing Evaluates the below:

Speed: The system is tested and evaluated to check the speed with which it responds

ScalabilityChecks the variation in response time/scalability as the load on the system varies

Reliability: Validates whether the app is reliable under prolonged periods of high user traffic

Stability: Evaluates if the system is stable under heavy concurrent user load

Further, Performance Testing also accomplishes the below:

→ Evaluates whether the application is production ready or not

→ Checks and evaluates the various app performance criteria

→ Validates performance characteristics of various systems along with system configurations

→ Identifies if the system has any bottlenecks

Evidently, the actual process of performance testing is achieved through the different phases that its testing comprises of

Different Phases of Performance Testing

1. Analyze and evaluate the existing system

2. Gather metrics about the current system performance

3. Develop the required test assets after thorough analysis

4. Create reusable test scripts

5. Configure the load generation environment

6. Start and execute benchmark tests

7. Analyze the results

8. Provide performance improvement recommendations

9. Generate an interim report for each test run

10. Generate final closure report once all the planned tests are completed successfully

Certain Bottlenecks with Respect to Performance Testing

Any of the below mentioned can be effective bottlenecks during the testing process:

→ Software Bottlenecks: Issues with DB queries, Application integrations etc.

→ Hardware BottlenecksShortage of RAM, Disk and CPU resource usages

→ Network Bottlenecks: Transmission medium’s limitations

→ Bottlenecks with Test EnvironmentPerformance test environments tend to be smaller versions of the production environment

→ Issues at times with an unrealistic user behaviour

→ Issues due to the presence of a single or fewer server instances

→ Another constraint is only a subset of functions can be automated at any time

performance testing & types of performance testing

What are the Different Types of Performance Testing?

There are various types of Application Performance testing, but the common among them are:

Load testing: This testing is performed to validate the system (application under test) performance under normal (usually around 70% of peak user load) and peak user load. This type of test helps us to tune the system and finalize the baseline

Stress testing: This type of testing is done to identify the breaking point of the system when its subjected to a user load beyond the expected peak. The breaking point can be defined as a load at which either the response time degrades beyond 10% or transactions start failing by more than 5%. Usually, we subject the system to up to 2x of peak user load during the stress tests

Spike testing: This is a subset of stress testing and it analyzes the behaviour of the system by suddenly varying the number of users and it also checks if the system is able to support such situations efficiently

Endurance testing: It is a non-functional type of performance testing and typically checks the behaviour of the system when it is under significant load (around 70% of peak load) for a longer period of time (usually 8 hours to 72 hours). Specifically, the system is checked for resources leakage like memory leaks, the system fails or any other random behaviour that might be shown by the system

Capacity testing: With this type of testing, also known as scalability testing, helps to identify the actual number of the users that the system can support with current hardware capacity

Volume testing: The system performance is checked by executing multiple data-intensive transactions and validating how efficiently the system behaves with such data volumes

application performance engineering

How Does Performance Testing Help Your E-commerce Sites and Mobile Applications?

Delivers Good Speed & Reliability: Your E-commerce website and applications run at good speed even under different loads as these have been tested for their performance. Websites with good loading times are known to attract more traffic due to their effective performance and thus your brand will become more reputed

Ensures Systems with High Response times and Good Scalability: Systems that have been tested for their performance, perform really well without any issues even when numerous user’s login simultaneously. Such systems enhance your brand reputation due to their effective performance

Some of the Most Common Tools Used for Performance Testing are: Jmeter, Load Runner, IBM RPT, SmartBear LoadComplete, SmartBear LoadUI, OpenSTA, Grinder, Silk Performer and many more

Conclusion

Application Performance testing validates various factors and checks applications to ensure and maintain their reliability and scalability. Whether your application is an E-commerce website or a mobile app or any other system, it should be well tested to show effective performance characteristics. Hence, it is an important factor for all business applications to handle the real-time traffic and overcome other performance problems for which performance testing should be taken up with testing services providers

Leverage TestingXperts Performance testing services to enhance your application performance and such high performing apps are bound to drive more traffic and help spread your brand

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