Just a single crash of your software application can prompt your users to move on to your competitors! Do you really want that??
In today’s fast-paced digital world, performance is a make-or-break quality for software. It matters more than the features and look-n-feel of a software application. Speed, Capacity, Scalability and Stability are key factors that determines the success of a software application. So, to ensure that the software works well and error-free, Software Performance Testing comes into picture, which is a means of Quality Assurance (QA).
Software Performance Testing process involves testing of various software applications to ensure that they will perform well under expected performance criteria like Users Load, Data Load, Response Time, Hits per second etc. The objective of such type of performance testing is to eliminate software performance bottlenecks.
What needs to be checked in Software Performance Testing?
a. Stress testing: The objective is to identify breaking point of an application. What happens when the system is pushed beyond the limits, does it break the recoverability of the system?
b. Load testing: The objective is to check loads that your systems are supposed to handle on different times and events to help you plan your investments and architecture accordingly.
c. Volume testing: The objective is to assess your volume needs to help you plan your capacity. Under Volume testing large number of Data is populated in database and the overall software system’s behavior is monitored.
d. Endurance testing: What about sustained load for long periods of time? The objective is to make sure the application can handle the expected load over a long period of time.
What are the important Performance parameters monitored?
Some of the main parameters that are monitored while software performance testing are:
- Response time: it means the time from when a user enters a request until the first character of the response is received.
- Memory use: amount of physical memory available to processes on a computer.
- Thread counts: application’s health can be measured by the number of threads that are running and currently active.
- Throughput: rate a computer or network receives requests per second.
- Bandwidth: shows the bits per second used by a network interface.
- Maximum active sessions: the maximum number of sessions that can be active at once.
- Hits per second: the number of hits on a web server during each second of a load test.
- Error rates: percentage rates of requests with errors.
- Connection pooling: number of user requests that are met by pooled connections. The more requests met by connections in the pool, the better the performance will be.
How to do Software Performance Testing?
Nowadays wide variety of software performance testing tools are available in the market. Some of the most popular tools are mentioned below:
HP LoadRunner: It is the most popular software performance testing tool in the market today. This tool is capable of simulating hundreds and thousands of users, setting applications under real-life loads to determine their behavior under expected loads. LoadRunner features a virtual user generator which simulates the actions of live human users. It supports various protocols like web, Windows, SAP, Flex, Silverlight etc. It’s a commercial tool and costly as well!
Apache JMeter: It is well-known software performance testing tool in IT world. Although its techie friendly but it does not support many protocols. It does not possess great GUI features like other commercial tools but it gives correct and trustworthy results if used precisely. JMeter is mainly used for web and web service applications. It can be explored with many other tools like Blazmeter, SOAP UI, New Relic and YSlow for better extension, analysis and reporting. One of the best thing about JMeter is that it is an open source, i.e. Free tool!
Selection of tools depends on many factors such as types of protocol supported, hardware requirements, platform support, license cost, ROI, etc. A right software testing & quality assurance company can help you selecting the right tool based on requirements and also conducting the software testing effectively and efficiently.
You love your customers unconditionally, but they will love you back only if you offer a software product that performs better in extreme conditions. It is absolutely critical to have a well-performing software application that lets the end user carry out given tasks without undue perceived delay or irritation. Software Performance Testing process ensures improved customer satisfaction, loyalty, and retention.
Author: This blog is written by Software Quality Assurance team at TatvaSoft. In the next article, we’ll discuss about approach for software performance testing.
Vishal Shah has an extensive understanding of multiple application development frameworks and holds an upper hand with newer trends in order to strive and thrive in the dynamic market. He has nurtured his managerial growth in both technical and business aspects and gives his expertise through his blog posts.
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