Keeping your business up to date is the best way to stay at the top of the competition. As the era has been changing itself, customers and clients seek new and improved ways to get in touch with any brand or business. That is why business owners are now paying attention to the development of web and mobile applications to make sure there is easy access for two-way communication. However, having a well-programmed software requires proper evaluation to mitigate any loopholes. Otherwise, even some non-critical faults can jam the entire system when it faces unexpected traffic.
While performance testing is the solution to uncover and assess performance bottlenecks, there are two important before and after criteria before running the test. So, if you are preparing to value your application through performance testing, then make sure you understand the performance testing entry and exit criteria.
What is Performance Testing?
In the simplest form, performance testing is a set to tests and strategies which are applied to any software, program, application, or API, to correct any flaws. These errors, if not treated, can cause harm to the business, and you are likely to lose a myriad of loyal customers, as well as the potential prospects that find your services and offerings.
To everyday users, performance testing isn’t something that they are probably concerned about or even understand, however, it plays an integral part of the user experience. As you probably already know, any time a user experiences a delay in their browsing, searching, or navigating, it is frustrating. And any delay over a few seconds is likely going to make them go somewhere else. Those are missed opportunities and organizations are likely losing that user forever. Performance testing can help websites and application development teams uncover infrastructure performance issues, so they can be remediated and help to fine-tune the overall system, providing for better application and website uptime, availability and performance.
Kinds of Performance Testing
When you choose performance testing as the way to judge the capabilities of your applications, the developers and testers examine your website through the following methods:
- Endurance Testing
- Load testing
- Scalability Testing
- Spike Testing
- Stress Testing
- Volume Testing
All the methods are part of performance testing and they are necessary to be implied to receive accurate results.
Performance Testing Strategy
Performance testing demands a well-planned strategy to assure desired results. Besides, it is the most important area, as it defines the scope of performance testing, load policy, Service Level Objectives (SLOs), and Service Level Agreements (SLAs). Therefore, whenever you are in need to make a strategy, you should adopt the four stages mentioned below.
Stage 1: Planning
First things first, you must know the reasons for applying performance testing on the program. You should have a clear view of the outcomes. Additionally, taking input from different teams within your organization can also help provide a different perspective when drafting the plan. It may offer opportunities and insights that may help refine the load testing process.
Once your vision is clear, it is time to analyze the current status of your applications, and the targets you are willing to achieve.
You should know the objectives of running a performing test. It can only happen if you are aware of the problem. Make sure each of the objectives is clear and has a defined purpose within the test plan. These objectives can provide better test results in the end.
There are different parts in applications and not all of them require performance testing. So, it is important to understand what areas can be tested, and what should be left untouched.
Stage 2: Evaluating the Testing Environment
In stage two, you must determine the software’s current features. Plus, you have to learn what performance testing types should be applied first. For instance, you might keep load testing first and then move onto spike testing. However, it will depend on the knowledge of the tester and developer. This is one of the main reasons why users opt for LoadView Professional Services to create performance testing strategies due to our well-experienced team.
The next step is choosing the right tools and procedures. For instance, LoadView is web-based, so there is no need for any additional hardware or software. And the platform provides all the features to test advanced-level applications. The process works enormously perfect to know about any performance-related errors. Remember, using the wrong set of performance testing tools can only extend the testing period and waste monetary resources.
Stage 3: Picking the Right Parameters/Metrics
There are different parameters for performance testing. They are extremely helpful in revealing the main cause of the problem. Some of the most common metrics are:
- Response time
- Memory pages per second
- Processor usage
So, at stage three, developers can decide what metrics to analyze to define any performance problems.
Stage 4: Execution and Collection of Results
In the final stage, you have to make a strategy about developing test scripts that match the application. Furthermore, you must check the necessary steps before executing performance testing. Lastly, you have to strategize how the results will be collected and presented.
How to Write Performance Testing Plans
Most users mix up performance testing strategies with a performance testing plan, but reality, they are not the same thing. A performance test plan can be the part of the strategy, as it gives a detailed overview of the scope, approach, and objectives of running the test. So, here’s typically how performance testing plans are written.
While strategy includes objectives, a plan assesses them in detail. For each web application, aspirations are defined in planning. These objectives are shaped by change requests, performance requirements, or workload. Contrarily, if the performance testing plan is being made for high-technological programs, then objectives may also include the number of response times and the number of transactions for normal and high loads.
In this section, you decided what sub-tests to be used. On the other hand, what testing types should be eliminated from the process, depending on the nature of the web application? For example, you might select load testing and volume testing, and forego spike testing for a particular software. Once again, it depends on how big or small the obstacle is. Nothing should be done on a simple gut feeling.
This is the largest part of your performance testing plan. It defines the testing location for all the performance test types you have mentioned in the scope. Moreover, it establishes testing scripts, testing scenarios, timing, validation, and the entire process. Furthermore, it also sets out the performance testing tools, testing environments, and monitoring methods. And last but not the least, this part of the plan is also comprised of the methods for tackling error statistics, flaws, and test results documentation.
In this section, you prudently plan the starting and ending dates of performance testing.
Entry and Exit Criteria
After test scheduling, you plan out all the crucial activities which are required before applying the performance test. Similarly, the steps you must take once the test is complete. Here, you are also responsible to list down the names of individuals, teams, or businesses responsible for executing performance testing. Entry and exit criteria are one of the most significant parts of performance testing and we will discuss this more in detail later in this article.
Risks and Risk Management
Considering all the possible risks, you are expected to plan out ways to handle them. For example, how performance testing will be executed if there are long power outages. It is like developing a contingency plan to make sure performance tests stay in continuation.
Here, you list down all the deliverables along with the people responsible for delivering them. The deliverables could be a document, report, server upgrade, test results, or any other important information or data that is related to the project.
Software Testing Life Cycle Explained
The Software Testing Life Cycle, also called STLC, is a set of numerous activities, which are performed by the team of experts to assure the program’s quality. It is a part and parcel of the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC). Though, it only behaves towards the testing stage. STLC begins immediately after the provisions are outlines. Additionally, it enables testers to establish the testing scope, test case, and entry and exit criteria. More to this, it reduces the test duration, increases the quality, and recognize bottlenecks or problems in the initial phase.
Software Testing Life Cycle Phases
The STLC is comprised of six different phases, which assures accurate testing. Nevertheless, it is not necessary that all phases should be used, as it depends on the nature of the program.
Phase 1: Requirement Analysis
In the first phase, the team begins analyzing the application to identify the problem.
Phase 2: Test Planning
The second phase is all about creating strategies and techniques.
Phase 3: Test Case Development
Once the strategy is finalized, testers establish test cases based on criteria and scope.
Phase 4: Testing Environment Framing
In this phase, developers plan testing methods and tools to be used to eliminate errors.
Phase 5: Test Execution
All tests are administered, and problems are fixed.
Phase 6: Test Closure
In the final phase, results, reports, and matrix are documented. And the information is shared with the owners.
What is Performance Testing Entry and Exit Criteria?
Before running performance testing, certain conditions are set, which are called the entry criteria. These conditions are based on approvals, testing environment, and many other factors, whereas specific expectations are documented after the test is complete, and they are known as the exit criteria. Here, the errors are fixed, and reports are maintained for any future testing. Ideally, testers and developers do not proceed with performance testing unless the entry and exit criteria are decided.
In other words, the entry and exit criteria describe the issue, factors related to the software problems, and eventually, getting them rectified through performance testing. Although performance testing is sandwiched between both criteria, the obtained results should match the exit criteria. Or else, you are required to revamp the performance testing until you meet the expected goals. Therefore, only expert developers must plan both criteria to achieve realistic results.
Requirements for Performance Testing Entry Criteria
The following are the conditions for performance testing entry criteria.
Clear and Approved Requirements
Let us suppose, you are one of the team members responsible for performance testing. So, before applying the test, you must define the objectives and discuss them with the owner of the application. There is no way you can continue without approval from stakeholders. Lastly, keep in mind that everything must be documented.
Selection of Performance Test Type
In entry criteria, you are required to select the type of performance testing you are going to apply to a particular application.
Assuring Stability of the Software
You must make sure that no unexpected changes are made while the program is in the testing mode. However, as some tests are applied for comparison, therefore, in such scenarios, you can carefully do the amendments. Nevertheless, it is suggested to complete one phase and then switch to another even if the test is performed for knowing the before and after-effects. For instance, in load testing, increase the load after getting accurate results from the previously given load.
A Dedicated Setup and Testing Environment
Before testing the program, try to gather all the adequate resources which are required for running the test. For example, LoadView assures the availability of all the important resources to avoid disturbance in the testing process.
Proper Monitoring Team
You just can’t begin software testing without conferring your team members with monitoring responsibility. There must be people during the tests. The team should be available to reset or shut down the procedure in case of any problem, especially when performance testing is applied in real-time.
Whenever you are planning for performance testing, make sure that the program’s database is fully restored. So, in case, if any information is lost during the test, it could be retrieved from the backup.
Planning to Handle Problems
Lastly, you must know how to tackle performance problems. However, depending on the approval, you might be asked to just classify the issues. But mostly, you will be the one resolving the errors. Also, you might have to do performance tuning if required. Therefore, try to make crystal clear objectives, as discussed in the first performance testing condition.
Requirements for Performance Testing Exit Criteria
There are still items that need your attention once performance testing is complete. So, here are the requirements for the exit criteria.
Ensuring Performance Testing Completion
As soon as performance testing is complete, you must bring the news to the shareholders of the software. The official way is to schedule a meeting, as you might need to provide a decent explanation.
Assessing Application Performance as Defined in Requirements
Performance testing is incomplete and problems are unsolved if the assessment is not altered as per the requirements defined in the strategy, planning, or performance testing entry criteria. So, at this point, you should keep evidence to support your argument that everything has performed as it was decided in the early stages.
After running the performance test, make sure to document even the tiniest fault you have encountered during each testing phase.
The main purpose of performance testing is to unearth the errors causing problems in the program. So, once the bottlenecks are evaluated, it’s time to fix them.
Meeting Performance Goals
Ultimately, when everything is done step-by-step, you should be meeting the performance testing goals as mentioned in the performance testing strategy and plan. If you have not achieved the objectives, you will need to perform testing all over again. Unfortunately, retesting could cost a fortune, but LoadView assures careful performance analysis to save businesses from spending unnecessarily.
Conclusion: Performance Testing Entry and Exit Criteria
From a performance testing strategy to planning, and from software testing life cycle to performance testing entry and exit criteria, everything is connected. You cannot run a performance test without clarifying the entry and exit criteria. These conditions are essential to be followed if you aim to attain accurate results at the end of the day.
So, if you are concerned about running a performance test on your web pages and application, but you are puzzled about obtaining authentic services to do the job, feel free to schedule a demo will one of our performance engineers that will help you understand the platform and our performance testing services better. Or you may as well sign up to get access to the free trial to try the platform for yourself. You can also contact us and our team will be glad to answer all your queries.