Performance testing is a type of testing that tests the stability and response time of an application by applying load.
The main goal of performance testing is to identify performance bottlenecks of an application.
Types of Performance Testing
There are mainly 5 types of performance testing. They are:
- Load Testing
- Stress Testing
- Scalability Testing
- Volume Testing
- Reliability or Recover Testing
1. Load Testing
Load testing is a type of testing where we are testing the stability and response time of an application by applying a load which is equal to the designed number of users and also which is less than the designed number of users.
For example consider an application developed for handling 50 users at a time.
In load testing, we test the stability and response time of the application by applying load for 45 users or maximum 50 users and not more than that.
2. Stress Testing
Stress testing is a type of testing where we are testing the stability and response time of an application by applying a load which is more than the designed number of users.
For example consider an application developed for handling 1000 users at any moment of time and it will give the response in 3 seconds.
When we are doing stress testing we test the stability and response time of the application by applying load for more than 1000 users (eg: 1500 users).
3. Scalability Testing
Scalability testing is a type of testing where we are testing the stability and response time of an application by applying a load which is more than the designed number of users and trying to find out where exactly the software is crashing.
For example consider a software developed for handling 1000 users at any moment of time and it will give the response in 3 seconds.
When we are doing stress testing we test the stability and response time of the application by applying load for more than 1000 users and identify at which point the software crashes.
In this case consider the software is able to handle 1500 users at a time successfully and it crashes when we apply a load of 1501 users.
The main goal of scalability testing is to identify this number 1501.
4. Volume Testing
Scalability testing is a type of testing where we are testing the stability and response time of an application by applying huge volumes of data.
In volume testing we test the capacity of the database. It is also called flood testing.
For example consider an application developed for handling 1GB of data in a database.
When we are doing volume testing we test the stability and response time of the application by transferring a huge volume of data and determining the capacity of the database.
In this case consider the application is able to handle 2 GB of data in the database and when 2.1 GB of data is applied the system crashes.
The main goal of volume testing is to identify this value 2.1 GB.
5. Soak Testing
Soak testing is a type of testing where we are testing the stability and response time of an application by applying load continuously for a longer period of time.
It is also called endurance testing.
For example, consider an application that is developed by a company.
As part of soak testing what they do is that they test the stability and response time of the application by applying load continuously for a long period of time and identify whether the application is able to handle it continuously.
Performance Testing Steps
There are mainly 7 steps in performance testing. They are:
- Identify the testing environment
- Identify performance metrics
- Plan and design performance tests
- Configure the test environment
- Implement your test design
- Execute tests
- Analyze, report, retest
1. Identify the Testing Environment
This step contains identifying the correct testing environment.
It involves examining the hardware, software and network configuration the performance test is going to be utilizing.
It also involves making the adjustments and upgrades to parts of the environment that will be ill-suited for the test.
2. Identify Performance Metrics
In this step performance acceptance criteria is identified i.e. identification of how many simultaneous users the platform needs to support, and how quickly it needs to respond to those requests.
It mainly focuses on examining resource utilization and platform throughput.
3. Plan and Design Performance Tests
In this step performance test scenarios are defined that take into account user variability, test data, and target metrics.
For example, the test may examine the system handling one thousand simultaneous account logins or two thousand page load per minute over a ten minute period.
4. Configure the Test Environment
This step involves configuring and arranging the tools and other resources to perform the test.
Also the testing environment needs to be able to measure its own performance to determine if it can accurately run a test that matches the desired performance criteria.
5. Implement Your Test Design
This step involves testing the test environment for potential bottleneck problems.
For example testing whether the test servers are capable of generating the number of virtual users required to run the test.
Also a pilot performance test is done to gauge CPU, memory, and network utilization on the test server.
6. Execute Tests
This step involves running the performance tests, monitor and capture the data generated.
7. Analyze, Report, Retest
Analyze: This step involves analyzing the test results.
Report: This step involves sharing the test results findings to the team.
Retest: This step involves running the performance tests again using different parameters.
Performance Testing Best Practices
Some of the best practices for conducting an effective performance testing are
1. Understand Your Application
Before you go through with the implementation, it is very important to understand the application, the capabilities it offers, its intended use, and the kind of conditions in which it is supposed to thrive.
Your team should also understand and know the limitations of the application.
Try to list out the common factors that might affect the performance of the application and consider these parameters while testing.
2. Make it Part of Unit Tests
Many times, performance testing is implemented in the later stages of the application development lifecycle.
This makes it difficult and more costly to implement changes later on in the development process.
Therefore, performance testing should be implemented as part of your unit tests.
This will help the team to quickly identify performance issues and rectify them as the development progresses.
Implementing performance testing will help you identify issues early and also allow the developers to be closely involved with the testers and improve the quality of the software to meet the expectations of the performance.
3. Set Realistic Performance Benchmarks
Sometimes the expectations you may have from your application may not be realistic.
So it is important to set realistic baselines by picking practical and realistic scenarios.
We need to ensure that the testbed includes different varieties of devices and environments in which your application will have to thrive.
For example, traffic can be expected from different devices, browsers, and operating systems.
However, the load cannot be predicted for sure.
So, all of the different devices and environments should be taken into consideration while evaluating the performance of the application.
4. Understand Performance from the User’s Perspective
Even though we may have a clear understanding of performance testing, it is important to understand the user perspective.
We mainly focus on the response of the servers but it is also important to consider the user experience.
If your server load tests are satisfactory, it does not mean that your users will have the same experience.
When doing performance testing we should also take into consideration what the real time users expect in terms of performance of the application.
Tests should capture each user’s experience. Combining the user perspectives, including a Beta version of the product can enable you to capture the complete user experience.
Performance Testing Tools
Some popular tools used for performance testing are:
- Apache JMeter
WebLoad is a tool of choice for enterprises with heavy user load and complex testing requirements.
It allows you to perform load and stress testing on any internet application by generating load from the cloud and on-premises machines.
The tool provides a clear analysis of your web application performance, pinpointing issues and bottlenecks that may stand in the way of achieving your load and response requirements.
WebLoad supports hundreds of technologies – from web protocols to enterprise applications and has built-in integration with Jenkins, Selenium and many other tools to enable continuous load testing.
LoadNinja tool allows us to quickly create scriptless sophisticated load tests, reduces testing time by 50%, replaces load emulators with real browsers, and get actionable browser-based metrics, all at high speed.
We can easily capture client-side interactions, debug in real-time, and identify performance problems immediately.
With LoadNinja, engineers, testers and product teams can focus more on building apps that scale and focus less on building load testing scripts.
Some of the features of LoadNinja are:
- Scriptless load test creation & playback with InstaPlay recorder.
- Real browser load test execution at scale.
- VU Debugger – debug tests in real-time.
- VU Inspector – manage virtual user activity in real-time.
- It is hosted on the cloud, no server machine & upkeep required.
- Sophisticated browser-based metrics with analytics and reporting features.
HeadSpin tool offers the industry’s best performance testing capabilities for its users.
Users can optimize their digital experience with the performance testing capabilities of the HeadSpin Platform by identifying and resolving performance issues across applications, devices, and networks.
Some of the features of HeadSpin are:
- Monitor and optimize performance across the entire user journey.
- HeadSpin provides actual, real-world data removing ambiguity from thousands of devices, networks, and locations.
- Users can leverage advanced AI capabilities to automatically identify performance issues during testing before they impact users.
SmartBear offers an all-in-one automated API Testing Platform called ReadyAPI.
It contains various tools like Swagger & SwaggerHub, SoapUI NG, ReadyAPI Performance, Secure Pro, ServiceV, and AlertSite.
ReadyAPI Performance is an API tool for load testing.
This API testing tool will assure you that your APIs can perform anywhere. It allows us to install load agents on any server or cloud as well as on-premise.
It provides advanced performance metrics for load test runs.
SoapUI NG is a tool for functional testing and you can use these functional testing use cases designed in the SOAPUI for performance testing.
This load testing tool will help you with testing the speed, scalability, and performance of the APIs, Servers, and Network Resources.
It has features of flexible load generation, parallel API load tests, server monitoring, and pre-built load templates.
5. Apache JMeter
Apache JMeter is a Java platform application.
It is mainly considered as a performance testing tool and it can also be integrated with the test plan.
In addition to the load test plan, we can also use it to create a functional test plan.
This tool has the capacity to be loaded into a server or network so as to check on its performance and analyze its working under different conditions.
Initially, it was introduced to test web applications, but later its scope had widened.
It is of great use in testing the functional performance of resources such as Servlets, Perl Scripts and JAVA objects.
To run this tool we have to install JVM 1.4 or higher in our system. It mainly works in Unix and Windows OS.
Do You Need Help with Your Testing Requirements?
If you need help with testing your application, you can approach testing team of Perfomatix.
Whether it be performance testing or security testing, our team use both manual and automation test strategies to ensure that your application is bug-free and work flawlessly, as it is expected to be.
Drop us a note to setup a meeting with our testing team.