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Performance Testing - Quality at Speed

08-May-2020

Performance Testing - Quality at Speed

Software companies are booming like never before in the world of digitization, and there is stiff competition amongst them to prove their worth and attract maximum clients. To deliver the best services to the end-users, testers and QA analysts must follow best practices of performance testing to check whether it is performing optimally or not. To have your customers satisfied, it is essential that the software does not take much time to load and does not stall while performing. Performance testing in software engineering is done to ensure that the application performs well under the workload by identifying and eliminating the performance bottlenecks of the software.

Different quality attributes of the system are measured using the Performance Testing, like speed, stability, and scalability. These attributes help in determining how quickly does the application response, the maximum number that can be handled by the user, and to check if the application performs stably under varying load conditions.

Performance Testing Tools

The main purpose of using various performance testing tools is to identify the scope of improvement of the product before it is launched for customer use. It also specifies the measure of scalability, speed, and stability of the application. In case more numbers of user latch to the software, performance testing tools can figure out that it does not slow down when used simultaneously. It is used to check for inconsistency across various operating systems.

Quality Assurance analysts and testers use multiple tools and strategies for performance testing based on the requirements of the end-user and product.

Performance Testing Metrics

As mentioned above, various metrics are measured during performance testing, essentially to understand the effectiveness and quality of performance testing. It helps in further improvement of the software or mobile apps. There is a fine line of difference between the terms “measurement” and “metrics,” as the former is the data like time taken to respond to a request; and the later is a calculation that uses measurements to define the results’ quality, like total response time/request.  

The metrics used in performance testing of a software system or a mobile app are, as follows:-

  • Response time
  • Wait time
  • Average load time
  • Peak Response time
  • Error Rate
  • Concurrent Users
  • Requests per second
  • Transactions passed or failed
  • Throughput
  • CPU Utilization
  • Memory Utilization 

How to do Performance Testing?

The main objective of Performance testing is to demonstrate that the mobile app or software system meets the performance criteria, which is already pre-defined. Different testers may follow different strategies for Performance testing. Let us understand the generic process of Performance testing, commonly used by a performance tester. It is often called the Performance testing life cycle.

1. Identify Testing Environment 

It is done mainly to understand the physical test environment, the production environment, and identifying various performance testing tools that are available. To perform efficient testing, testers need to know hardware, software, and network configuration details before the actual testing procedure.

2. Determining the Performance Criteria

The performance testers should be encouraged to define the goals and performance criteria as the performance benchmarks may vary in different cases. It includes performance criteria like response time, throughput, and resource allocation. Usually, testers compare their app to a similar one, to identify the performance criteria for their product.

3. Planning and Designing

The behavior of end-users varies in different scenarios and depends on the type of software or app as well. Performance testing of mobile apps or software is crucial for simulation of various end-users, planning of test data, and outlining all the performance metrics.

4. Configuration of Test Environment

It is essential to prepare the testing environment, arrange tools, and other resources, before the execution of the performance test.

5. Implementing Test Design

Performance tests need to be created according to the test designs.

6. Run Tests

At this step, the performance tests are run and monitored to identify any flaws in the software or app.

7. Analysis

Finally, the test results are collected and consolidated for analysis and sharing with other team members. Fine-tuning and re-testing help in further improvement at each step and eventually stops when the CPU causes the bottleneck. Increasing the power of the CPU can help, in this case.

Performance Testing using JMeter

Performance testing is used to analyze the overall performance of the server under heavy load, and it helps in determining that the mobile app, web app, or software will work efficiently for high load requirements. A typical performance testing tool is Apache JMeter, which includes Load Test and Stress Test, to offer various benefits, as mentioned below:

  • Testing performance of Static resources, like HTML and JavaScript
  • Testing Performance of Dynamic resources, like Servlets, JSP, and Ajax
  • Identify the maximum load of concurrent users that can be handled with a website
  • Provides graphical analysis of Performance reports

Performance Testing of Cloud-based Applications

Cloud computing is gaining a lot of popularity these days, mainly because of its cost-effectiveness. As performance is a pivotal factor in testing a web or mobile application, it is essential to measure the performance metrics of the cloud-based applications.

An inherent and essential step in Application Development is performance monitoring, as it verifies that the application is not impacted by any degradation factor that could be otherwise preventable. A simple sanity check can confirm this and is crucial in the case of parallel computing. While building an Agile Enterprise, performance monitoring needs to be integrated with VDM, to provide a model-based context. The performance testing test cases in the cloud differ from other traditional applications. Various Performance tests that should be conducted in cloud-based applications are, as follows:

  • Stress test
  • Load test
  • Browser testing
  • Latency testing
  • Targeted Infrastructure test
  • Failover test
  • Capacity test
  • Soak test

 

There are certain Performance Testing Best Practices that the developers, testers, and IT professionals should follow for the best results. Developers need to test the software and mobile app at an early stage and as frequently as possible because a single test will not be sufficient for thorough testing. Small and repetitive tests for individual modules are considered as one of the best practices in Performance testing. Multiple systems, like servers, databases, and services, are involved in an application or software, and individual units should be tested separately and all together. 

Many companies offer QA services, but entrepreneurs should seek the best performance testing company that has excellent expertise, highly-skilled developers, and testers with a vast experience in Performance testing.

author

Neha Sethi

Neha is a testing professional having diverse exposure in various projects and application testing with comprehensive understanding of all aspects of SDLC. She is well versed with Manual testing, Mobile application testing, performance testing, load testing, Web applications testing. She is able to create effective documentation issue report and also working with bug tracking software which is used to report the bugs. Highly motivated and excellent team player with strong interpersonal, analytical and communication skills.

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