Application Performance Testing : It’s Goals and How to Achieve Them

05 Dec. 2011 Software Testing & QA

Most of the applications developed in current times are deployed on the internet with multiple integrations to other business systems which have millions of user base accessing those integrated systems. A good example to take is an email service provider integrated with known choice of social connectors and business applications. The success of these applications’ relies heavily on issues as risk compounds with external reuse due to the mission critical aspect of the corresponding business transactions. A down time can cost significant losses in revenue as well put the company’s reputation in jeopardy. This is where performance testing of the application becomes very critical.

Flexibility of Service Oriented Architectures (SOA’s) is also a factor contributing to a sudden increase in usability. To avoid losing the momentum with respect to user base, it becomes vital to conduct performance testing to ensure that quality of service agreements are met in the light of anticipated and unanticipated usage scenarios.

Typically web services are standardized across a certain industry with many different vendors implementing the same service with a fixed interface that is capable of handling higher loads than other web services in the market.

With web services deployed on the internet, it is often impossible to accurately predict the workload unless it becomes popular like Google, Facebook, Twitter etc. (which have millions of web transactions per day with a large user base from around the world). At times, the system’s saturation point against different variations in network latency and throughput is underestimated, leading to degradation of the applications performance against time.

Performance testing needs to be goal oriented. A proactive QA testing methodology in which performance thresholds are defined in the beginning of the performance test process can avoid conflicts between the business sponsors and the technical team. A goal oriented testing triggers the technical team to determine the exact goals for the system performance from the user base perspective.

The prime goals for performance test include:

  • Number of concurrent users required for the system
  • Response time of the system for each/all transactions or a particular process/workflow
  • Acceptable limits of system utilization CPU, Memory (RAM/Hard Disk), Network etc.
  • Thresholds required for counters to define “peak” or “maximum” capacity

To achieve the above goals, performance testing includes :

  • Baseline/Benchmark Test helps in establishing the performance baselines or benchmarks for the system.
  • Load Test helps in emulating the production load on the system with heavy transactions or heavy user loads.
  • Stress Test helps in determining the system load to the breakpoint beyond the acceptable limit.
  • Soak/Scalability Test helps in determining the consistency of the system for a longer period of time when exposed to heavy load or stress.
  • Volume Test determines the data volumes or throughput of the data being transferred or downloaded beyond acceptable limits.

Performance testing addresses all the issues to help evaluate connect time, response time, round-trip time, throughput, failure rates of the application performance characteristics. Performance testing helps in identifying the system errors such as memory runtime problems, database deadlocks, multithreading issues, and hardware and network failures during saturation point.

Learn more about performance testing and how it helps your application run more efficiently, contact us now or call us on 1-877-RISHABH (1-877-747-4224) to learn more about our application testing services.

  • Dear Sir,

    The article gives insight of performance goals. But the very first question that strikes to the mind is that every client asks for it. Please help me to understand what should be the standard benchmark for the load time of standard web pages? I undesrstand question is difficult but would appreciates if you can highlight on this speific area.

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