Software performance testing is special technical manipulations which test the quality of a web product and its capability to work consistently and without failing in a certain load environment.Such a process is the basic non-functional testing method when there’s an estimation of the current software capability to function properly in the context of stability and responses during the regular load.
Usually specialists execute load testing according to three main parameters:
- Technical resources handling.
Performance Testing Objectives
Specialists use some principles in the testing environment configuration while performing load testing. These postulates unfold in detail the need for such tests. And they are the following:
- Any load testing is a simple way to check the software functionality. Usually, QA engineers perform it to understand the system’s technical behavior under a certain load.
- Stress testing (as a subtype of load testing) can assess the system’s ability to deal with maximum load (if this happens). After such a test, the project team can see if the technical capacity is enough for developed software, or it should be improved.
- Test for durability, also known as endurance testing. It is a special kind of testing whose aim is to check if the software can work under continuous loads.
- Spike testing. It uses the method of quick increasing the number of simultaneous connections and software behavior in such a situation.
There are several simple methods that help to set load testing with necessary parameters. You just need to manage the performance testing environment that can be performed by any QA specialist with developers group.
Popular Methods of Performance Testing Setup
Detailed Studying of AUT’s Performance Environment
QA engineers who are responsible for testing must know everything about the environmental performance of AUT (application under test). Especially they have to:
- Know about the technical capabilities of network machines;
- Be familiar with load balancing etc.
Also, testers should be aware of all AUT architecture peculiarities and monitor that it can function properly in the testing environment. We need it in the case of the following situation. If there are some differences, the project team can significantly lose time, technical resources and money.
Isolation of a Testing Environment
It’s quite important to be sure that there’re no actions inside the testing environment which can adversely impact performance testing. It is because of the fact that every test is unique by its results. But anytime there can be a problem with software bottlenecks fixing if one runs several non-related processes in the testing environment.
Also, indexes of performance can become slower under huge server load. It won’t let the clients finish their actions when the software performance test is executed.
Isolation of Network
It is extremely important to achieve sufficient throughput for testing since correctly set configurations of the test environment will allow you to get accurate test results. In the case of a low bandwidth situation, client requests start to cause timeout errors.
This means that it is extremely important to ensure maximum throughput for testing, isolating the test environment from third-party users as much as possible.
Test Data Generation
Recording a database plays a very important role in any test. Therefore, testers should carry out reading, writing and editing the database on a regular basis and for any technical condition of the software. Since there is a high probability that the application may crash inside the production environment.
In other words, the performance engineer must constantly ensure that the number of records is the same both within the testing system and inside the database.
In a situation where the database is not very large, it makes sense to choose a tool from those available on the project and generate the necessary informative files for greater accuracy.
Deleting of a Proxy Server in the Network Path
The proxy server between the web server and the client can have a significant impact on performance results. In such a situation, the client will operated cache data and will stop sending requests via the proxy server.
Such actions will cause lowering of response time. QA engineer must quickly solve this problem and, if possible, move the webserver to separate testing space.
Another way is to edit the file HOSTS by entering the server IP address.
Value of Measuring the Proper Software Performance
Testers use the following categories in effect.
- Response time – a total time of sending a request and receiving a response.
- Time of waiting – it shows the time needed to get the first byte after a request has been sent.
- Average load time – time, you need to send a request. Sometimes specialists consider it as a basic quality factor from the client’s side and software usability.
- Prime response time – a total time that is needed for request processing. If the prime time is more than an average one, there can be an anomaly that will be connected with some technical problems.
- Defects rate – a percentage of requests which causes errors comparing with all requests. Usually, similar bugs appear when the load is higher than admissible values in the testing environment.
- Parallel users – a number of active users in some part of the world. In other words, it’s a load value.
- Requests per second – how many requests are processed for the moment.
- Completed and uncompleted operations – editing of the total number of successful and incorrect requests.
- Bandwidth – shows the bandpass which is used in testing.
- Processor utilization – how much time the processor needs to handle incoming requests.
Pros and Cons of Performance Testing
There are a lot of advantages and disadvantages of such a kind of testing. We can distinguish the following of them.
- there’s no need to run the database set of production area;
- you can analyse test results in the testing environment;
- the price and support of testing infrastructure aren’t so expensive;
- the project team is familiar well with software peculiarities, its difficulties, and weak spots.
- in the real world an application can have plenty of defects and work slowly;
- it is difficult to find the reason for software failure if the product has already been released;
- a database can work slowly if there is a generation of bulk information in the testing environment.
As soon as configuration setup for performance testing is ready, it can be compared with the real environment on a base of few factors, such as a number of servers, load balancing strategy, usage of hardware and program resources, etc.
It is extremely important to monitor that testing is executed properly and testing environment doesn’t generate critical errors, which in real-world could threaten the usage of the developed software.