Performance Testing to improve robustness of an E-learning & Educational Web Applications

How to use Performance Testing to improve E-learning Apps

Education providers are moving to online education and training as an important piece of their learning solutions. They want to give a live class experience to education & training seekers. From offline lessons and tips, mock tests, and subject material to online face-to-face class sessions, they want to include every possible solution to make e-learning web apps a complete solution.

E-learning is a fast-growing space. The e-learning providers require completely scalable, feature-supporting web apps that can work seamlessly across all bandwidths. They also require compatibility with various devices, browsers, buffering-free video support and added clarity of picture and sound to give a flawless learning experience.

Also, they need to optimize their application codebase on a scalable environment to manage the increase in load to ensure that the app remains functional even when multiple users concurrently use it.

Challenges at Hand

The education and training web app owners have no premeditated way of identifying the user load limit that can match the web app’s existing resource pool as defined in SLAs. They do come with workable solutions like limiting the member count per batch; still, the possibility of concurrent users accessing the web app simultaneously is not deniable.

They need to check beforehand whether the web app can deliver the best performance on parameters such as speed, stability, reliability and scalability.

Solution providers need to be conversant with the global audience’s requirements and user behavior/pattern under peak load. The apps needs to remain robust even at the peak hours, and at maximum load capacity; it needs to provide a quick and seamless way for users to access information materials, interact with instructors in real-time, and have anywhere access to online classes without compromising on data security.

The performance also includes the extent of protection the web app enjoys from the spam traffic deluge.

How Performance Testing Experts Can Overcome e-Learning Web App’s Operational Issues

A web app can work better when its performance is confirmed beforehand using time-relevant testing solutions. Experts identify acceptance criteria, prepare test plans and scripts, and execute the performance test on various parameters. Load tests are carried out to perform the performance assessment of web application. The performance engineers needs to consider the following parameters and practices for web application performance testing:

1. Response/Page Load Time and Errors 

The web app has to deliver smooth functioning with a quick response to user requests and transactions irrespective of the browser type, network, OS, machine or device end-users employ.

Performance testing experts check for the seamless working of application’s functionality  (specially business critical features) under high user load expected during peak hours without any errors. All pages should open in a snap within 1 to 3 seconds, else the users may abandon the app.

2. Performance Engineering Tools and Practices

Performance engineering tools play a significant role in any web app’s success. They can tell how much load the web app can endure using load testing tools. Some experts have further enriched the testing tools like JMeter to ensure ease of understanding of load testing results, live monitoring of test results or outcomes to fix hardware or configuration or data related problems at the same time. Performance testing experts perform load testing or capacity testing using other solutions, too, that may comprise:

  • Cloud-based test labs: The app is made to work in a simulated environment that has event possibilities exactly similar to real-world ones. Thus, the web app owners are fully informed about the performance risks or failure possibilities and will include the threshold management solutions accordingly.
  • Jenkins: It is an open-source automated server resource where the developers can deploy and test their apps. Doing performance testing while integrating the app to this server can bring in the desired level of automation in the testing and tuning process.
  • CI/CD pipeline: Software development technique, CI/CD refers to combined practices of continuous integration and deployment. The performance testers can integrate the load testing scripts in CI/CD pipeline so that all possible problems can be solved at the development and deployment stage only, as outlined below.
  • Chaos engineering: A web app can stay better prepared for the grueling conditions, extreme stress and load management intricacies when the performance testing entails systematic solutions like chaos engineering. All functionalities continue to work as normal and nothing threatens the good user experience when chaos engineering practices are implemented.
  • Performance tuning: Experts carry out detailed testing that can be any or all types, such as spike testing, endurance testing, stress testing, scalability testing, volume testing, and load testing. All these tests can point out the bottlenecks of any web app. Performance tuning involves eliminating those bottlenecks. Since these arise due to users’ actions, this tuning is of reactive nature, and is carried out during the development process.

Elearning apps while standard web apps are ones with multiple user roles, that are under heavy use, especially with the skyrocketed digital transformation in recent times. Automated and systematic web app testing requires covering all features and functionalities, including the performance perspectives, for which the above information will help kickstart a test strategy.

While this is not an exhaustive set, this is a good start to initiate this effort. A performance testing expert can do this satisfactorily with the help of pre-defined process flow and knowledge of all time-relevant testing tools. 

About the Author

QA InfoTech

QA InfoTech

Established in 2003, with less than five testing experts, QA InfoTech has grown leaps and bounds with three QA Centers of Excellence globally; two of which are located in the hub of IT activity in India, Noida, and the other, our affiliate QA InfoTech Inc Michigan USA. In 2010 and 2011, QA InfoTech has been ranked in the top 100 places to work for in India.

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