Performance Testing – Not A ‘Nice To Have’ Anymore, But A Necessity


Why Performance Testing Is A Necessity in Software Testing?

Performance testing will determine whether the software meets the requirements for speed, scalability and stability under the expected load. Any software application that is going live without thorough understanding of the application’s performance requirements is under the risk of not meeting the customer expectations. If several users are using the application simultaneously, it is more likely to suffer from problems such as slow operation. 

With almost every industry going through digital transformation, there is an increasing dependency on software performance. There can be invaluable things at stake in case of a software failure.  For example, software applications related to life saving medical equipment must be tested for performance under all potentially possible environments to ensure that there are no unexpected failures. Each component involved within the Performance testing process is helpful in tackling specific problems related to application performance.

Design Testing

Design testing is an essential component for good performance testing. Conducting a comprehensive study of requirements, analyzing test objectives and determining test conditions – all play a major role in retrospecting the design. In order to understand the effectiveness, the performance testing team focuses on the test protocols. 

The testing team compares the tests in a production environment to determine what the testing environment requires and reviews it as a matter of priority to perform the tests accordingly. In addition, the team also identifies the network considerations for the software by taking into account the logical physical and production architecture. Design testing ensures identifying potential breaking points at the architecture level.


Also Read: Best Practices of Performance Testing


Load Testing

Load testing helps in determining the quantum of activities and responses that a system can handle without having any significant reduction in performance. Load testing software evaluate how the tested application would work at the boundary levels for which the application was designed to handle. Browser – based load testing has begun to reshape the load – testing industry by offering easy tests that can be performed quickly in the cloud. 

These tests evaluate the entire stack and simulate the real load of users to determine the performance of the web application, as well as its dependencies. Headless browser technology makes it possible to carry out these tests at a fraction of a cost. 

Load sharing is a top priority for almost every company, and it is a given that many large companies are still working to find serious performance problems. Load testing is a crucial part of the performance testing process and has the potential to capture majority of the performance related bottlenecks in the application.

Performance Monitoring

The application has to behave as expected at all times when the traffic of the environment is within the predefined limit. Performance Monitoring ensures this by configuring the tests to monitor the application and send alerts if the site fails.  Instead of imitating user behavior, this approach is an effective way to identify weak spots in application performance. Before overlooking the importance of a complete performance testing strategy, organizations must realize that the absence of one would negatively impact the quality of the application.

Test Automation

Test Automation with different tools plays a key role in establishing confidence and making the job easier for Performance testers. Performance cycle automation makes it easier to build a code and make it fully repeatable. It also helps to identify the real pressures under which the application is expected to operate. This is inevitable for understanding the tipping points where work needs to be done in the application performance front. 

Test automation would essentially reduce the time taken to perform tests in the long run. After test automation is deployed, the performance testing team will be able to do more, than simply reviewing and maintaining a fully automated process. By setting up basic conditions for dependent systems and modeling them as virtual services, the focus can be shifted to the performance of individual components during testing.

The Capabilities of the Performance testing team

The Performance testing service team works in collaboration with the development teams and the operators fully understand how the application must function when it goes live. It is important for the team to focus on analyzing production traffic to build use cases that simulate real business case scenarios. The analysis is documented using logs, customizable metrics, and monitoring tools and would be critical inputs while creating use cases.

In order to assess the effectiveness of the performance testing process, the test team identifies the right metrics to measure- such as the number of requests, response time, and response times. It is also important to correlate performance in the bottle with the problems created by the code. 

Users expect the application to deliver useful data quickly. In order to validate the application in performance testing, it is necessary to create a reliable testing environment and get an idea of user performance prospects. To this end, considering customer processing time when determining the download time is important. Partnering with a Performance testing services company with experience and acquired capabilities would help in testing the application under all possible situations that could cause the breakage.

Practices leveraged in Performance testing process

Test-first-design or Test Driven Development(TDD) is the most common programming practice, which requires programmers to write production code before they have written the first test. The creators of TDD usually write lots of tests, including test – first designs, unit – level tests and unit tests. Implementing Agile methodology covers every line of code with a single test that can be performed multiple times in order to eliminate unit level errors and regressions during development. Experienced Performance testing service companies have many similar tricks up their sleeve covering the entire performance testing process.

Though Performance testing is technically a type of Non – functional testing, it essentially is not designed to detect defects or errors. Instead, it measures the application performance to set the benchmark or standard. Performance tests determine how the system will work under different load conditions and help to ensure that response times are in line with the desired time to assess software performance. 

While functional testing focuses on individual software functions atleast to start with (before integration tests can begin), Performance testing covers the entire system, not just one or two specific functions. To varying degrees, testers check to ensure that functions are being performed properly when the application is pushed to run under specific environmental factors.

Performance testing is not a substitute for functional tests, but rather a very important part of the quality engineering process. The goal of Performance Engineering is not to find functional defects, but to define the limits of software and device performance. Setting the benchmark that defines the application performance is very crucial in matching the user expectations for the application.

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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