What exactly is performance testing, and why should we care?
We often hear the phrase “performance testing.” What exactly is performance testing? We used to largely employ functional testing on projects, and we rarely had the opportunity to undertake non-functional testing. Non-functional testing is used to validate quality criteria such as dependability, scalability, and so on. Non-functional requirements are another name for these quality issues.
We improve the user experience and cover all areas that functional testing does not cover with non-functional testing. It is equally crucial to test the system’s performance as well as its functionality. Performance testing is one type of non-functional testing that is used to assess the scalability, stability, and speed of the application under test.
In today’s IT market, application performance is critical, and a company’s success is dependent on mitigating the risk of a web application’s availability, reliability, and stability, for example. We are attempting to achieve specific response time, throughput, and resource utilisation goals for our online application, and performance testing is critical to achieving these goals. Furthermore, many forms of performance testing should be handled, such as load testing, stress testing, endurance testing, spike, volume, and capacity testing – all of which might uncover potential performance issues in our web application.
How to begin comprehending and handling performance tests
Performance testing is more than just utilising a tool and hoping for the best. It’s not as simple as it appears. When it comes to performance testing in our application, we must understand how to ensure that they run smoothly. What does this imply? When it comes to on-premises systems, below is a general procedure for performing performance testing.
A staging environment can be utilised for performance testing in some cases. Many firms want staging to be identical to the production environment when utilised for performance testing, and the costs of maintaining this environment include greater costs for the company. We have chosen staging with a reduced amount of resources primarily to save money. When compared to the production environment, the performance testing findings are also valid if the number of resources is greater than 70%.
What are the conditions for acceptance? The product owner or customer, with the assistance of QAs, should develop the application’s criteria for determining when it is ready for acceptance. They are working together to define performance standards and targets. If we don’t have a time constraint, comparing our application to anything similar is fantastic. We must specify plans and restrictions, but we must also define resource allocation at this stage. We are developing project success metrics outside of these aims and limits. Following the definition, we begin to measure parameters and estimate results, comparing the actual and expected to establish a baseline for the testing.
We can track the project’s progress with a set baseline. Using these metrics, QA will be able to identify an issue, and we will be able to predict the impact of code modifications over time.
Performance testing plans include establishing critical scenarios to test potential use cases. It is required to simulate a large number of end-users, organise performance test data, and decide which metrics will be collected. For performance tests, it is necessary to understand the application, customer demands, and test objectives.
We will have different expectations for a long-running application than we will for a new application. To do appropriate performance tests, we must first understand our application, its functionalities, and how it is used. This will assist us in creating realistic performance scripts and identifying potential difficulties.
In order to evaluate the application’s projected usage, we must first determine the demands of the clients. It is critical to understand how frequently the application is used per day, how many users are authorised and how many are not, and what the expectation is for the responsiveness of our service.
It is insufficient to have a task for performance testing. We must understand the purpose of the testing as well as if the application will manage the expected load, what the maximum throughput is for the application, how quickly our programme can react to requests under the expected load, and how quickly it can reply to key requests.
Before we can run our tests, we must set up the environment and gather tools and other resources. We acquired all necessary facts regarding the production environment, server machines, and load balancing during the first performance testing phase. During this stage, we must prepare something similar. Everything should be documented, including any data pertaining to these stages. We must guarantee that our surroundings are isolated. It is impossible to find bottlenecks in an environment with some active users.
Our network bandwidth is also critical in order to acquire realistic performance test results. When the network bandwidth is low, user requests start to generate timeout problems. As a result, we need to isolate the network from other users. If a proxy server is placed between the client and the web server, the client will be fed with data from the cache and will cease sending requests to the web server, resulting in a slower response time and less realistic results.
One of the QAs’ roles during this phase is to ensure that the number of test records in both the test environment system and the database is the same. If the database is small, we must generate the necessary test data in order to improve accuracy.After setting the environment, we can begin implementing the tests using the previously created test design.
We can start running and monitoring our tests after we finish designing them. The tests can then be analysed and the execution results shared. Our next step will be to fine-tune and retest our performance tests to see if there are any performance gains. Processor usage, memory use, bandwidth, number of bytes a process has allocated that cannot be shared with another process used to measure memory leaks and usage, amount of virtual memory used, CPU interrupts per second, response time, throughput, maximum active sessions, hits per second, top waits, thread counts, garbage collection are the most frequently gathered metrics that we track. When all metric values are within acceptable bounds based on the baseline, we can conclude the performance testing.
To begin with, non-functional testing is just as vital as functional testing. We need to include performance testing in our testing processes if we want to get a solid view of our overall product quality. All of those processes must be followed in order to have the proper means of managing performance testing, which is just as important as writing the performance tests themselves. We must carefully arrange performance testing. If we accomplish this, we will have more reliable tests, bottlenecks discovered and resolved in the testing process rather than in production, and a higher-quality output.
Performance testing is essential for providing high-quality software that meets user expectations, runs reliably, and remains market-competitive. It improves not only customer satisfaction but also cost savings and corporate performance. Check out our classes on automation testing courses in India to learn in-depth knowledge about performance testing.