Today, applications are developing at a rapid pace and users expect extremely fast performance. Almost half of users usually abandon an app if it doesn’t load in a couple of seconds, no matter how pretty its interface is. The only way not to join this league is to conduct an effective performance testing, which is typically one of the last pre-development links in the application building chain, but should be carried out as soon as possible. Keeping this in mind, this article highlights the top 10 common performance testing mistakes that significantly have a hand in poor quality performance testing and how these issues can be addressed properly using LoadView.
Performance testing is a non-functional testing technique that evaluates the speed, stability, and responsiveness of an application under load. If done right, the application progresses smoothly in the industry. However, many businesses ignore the significance of performance testing and often treat it as a last-minute task before application deployment. But before moving on, let’s first understand what LoadView actually is and how much it is of service when it comes to load testing.
LoadView: Real Browser-based Load & Stress Testing
LoadView is a web-based load testing platform that enables you to load test websites, web applications, web services, APIs, and streaming media rapidly without any coding experience. It is one of only a few solutions in the market today that uses real browsers, enabling programmers to determine and observe actual performance from the user’s view. This testing solution gives you the ability to run load tests on multiple devices across geo-locations; thus, creating the most realistic test environment that real users face. Additionally, with the use of the EveryStep We Recorder, you can easily and quickly create testing scripts in a matter of minutes.
Now, let’s have a look at the summary of the top 10 common performance testing mistakes that testers commit – and how you can avoid them with the help of the LoadView platform.
Top 10 Performance Testing Mistakes
Adding Improper Think Time/Delays
The most common performance testing mistake is to use improper think time and pacing delays. Some either forget to add them or use unrealistic user think time. Many people hit their application with hundreds or thousands of requests per second without any think time and then wonder why the response time is slow. Note that no real-world user would ever make back-to-back page requests in a second. So, you need to carefully define think time by making a realistic test scenario that emulates how a real user would interact with your application.
Using a tool like LoadView that includes the EveryStep Web Recorder, you can easily adapt your tests to account for real-life users and ensure the most accurate results. It mimics the exact user behavior and steps taken, collects all data points like delays, and generates a script that can be rerun with desired concurrent users. With this tool, you can find problems such as slow page response, server errors, and page timeouts in advance at high load.
Ignoring System/Scripting Errors
There are various things to keep under careful observation to ensure you are running a valid test. Oftentimes, performance metrics and response times draw all the attention while some system issues manifest themselves through scripting errors that are pretty obscure. These errors indicate underneath issues and may not be replicated every time. For instance, even when the response time for application seems appropriate, there could be a stack overflow error that occurs infrequently. Though such errors may seem insignificant, they have to be examined for any potential issue.
With LoadView, after the script has been created, but before uploading a script and running a load test, you can review the script details which helps in finding any errors that may need to be fixed before proceeding with a load test. Even more, LoadView goes another step further by enabling users to watch the playback of the recorded script, ensuring every step is accounted for and no error exists. The extensive performance reports this tool generates aids in finding hidden vulnerabilities and obstructions to enhance application robustness against attacks.
Use of Erroneous Workload Model
The workload model of an application represents how this application will be used in the production environment. It tells the type of user actions to be tested under load, business scenarios for every user, and users’ distribution on all scenarios. If the workload model is planned inaccurately or has unknown characteristics, then it directly affects the testing process. Understanding that a realistic workload model is essential for the overall success of your testing, LoadView is designed to help you stay realistic about figures and statistics regarding the production environment.
LoadView comes with various features that let you specify your business processes, the steps needed, the number of users and transactions per user, and defined pacing for every user. Using this tool, you can ascertain the type of transaction and the total number of transactions on normal and peak days/hours, giving you an idea of how much your business will be affected by failing to hold greater traffic. Also, it lets you tune your workload model based on the changes in the application.
Inadequate Testing Infrastructure
There is so much more important factors other than load generation in the performance testing framework. The results achieved from a plan aren’t really useful unless you learn how your target infrastructure is actually managing with the scenario. Testers need to understand that the cause of an increase in their response times can be either load generation or target infrastructure.
To help you solve this problem, LoadView comes with custom monitoring dashboards for every on-demand load injection infrastructure. This way, you monitor view system resource utilization while your tests run, ensuring the non-existence of bottlenecks on the load generation side. There is no need to worry about setting up extra resources or third-party software when you have LoadView – all set for testing. This tool is fully cloud-based, scalable, and can be deployed within minutes.
Overloading Load Injectors
The common mistake in performance testing is overloading load injectors due to too many concurrent users on one load injection node or the target site is CSS-heavy which affects the number of concurrent users you can fit on one load injection node. So, to know what amount of load can be handled comfortably per node on your testing platform, you need to run initial tests having a low number of users as a scaling test.
With LoadView, you slowly or quickly increase the number of users throughout the test to record how the performance is impacted under heavy load. You can start load testing with as few as 10 users and run these users for some minutes to set up your baseline performance metrics. After that, you can increase the number of users by 10 per minute until you reach 100 users. You can keep on increasing the number of users until you identify the capacity your site can handle before it goes down.
Improperly Defined KPIs
The Key Performance Indicators, or KPIs, is a measure that defines the thresholds for metrics you don’t want to exceed. When it comes to load testing, KPIs demonstrate user and traffic measurements for applications and websites to verify if they can handle a certain amount of load to its back-end servers. There are many KPIs that need to be taken into consideration, including the number of users, hits per second, response time, throughput, etc. These KPIs should be defined properly which many testers fail to do.
Using LoadView, you can not only define KPIs properly, but the reports automatically generated by this tool aids the teams in determining the success of their KPIs as well. Using this tool, you can review these metrics and uncover the real-world bottlenecks that could potentially impact user performance.
Repeated Use of Hard-coded Data
Another common mistake that many performance engineers make is creating scripts using hard-coded parameter values. The objective of load testing is to remain as realistic as possible, so using the same data in requests for all your users is not how this scenario would work in reality. Possibly, you don’t need to incorporate variable parameters in all scenarios, but it is necessary to consider those situations where the performance may vary and feed realistic data to get accurate performance analysis.
LoadView makes it easy to review the script details, modify the scripts, and include custom parameters. You can design your scripts with custom parameters for load tests in no time without any technical expertise using its EveryStep Web Recorder. It lets you simply point and click through your applications and test different paths your users would take. Therefore, it enables the creation of a more robust test suite that marks a broader array of possibilities.
Lack of Methodical Approach
When listing down the stuff is so much important in daily life activities, then think how important it would be in performance testing. Following a methodical approach is integral for good performance testing. It is imperative to understand that for each test execution, there has to be a goal and every test execution needs to be designed so it is clear when the goal is accomplished. However, most businesses don’t get this right every time. They fail in listing down all performance-related activities before the launch of the first release of the application which causes serious performance issues later.
But this problem of defining everything that how and when it should be done can be fixed using a tool. LoadView is a great option with which you can keep things simple and smooth, test one thing at a time by following the methodical way, see the trends and throughput, and the outcomes will be much easier to demonstrate.
Late Focus on Performance Testing
There is a misconception that performance testing is done at the end of the life cycle as the whole system can’t be tested until its stable. This is a major fault in the testing process which involves delaying and finding fixes to issues during the final stages of application. Performance testing is an essential part of SDLC, so it needs to commence from the beginning of the testing sprint. Testing application sprint by sprint aids in ensuring that back-end servers can handle and manage heavy traffic.
By incorporating performance tests earlier into the process, it gets easy to ensure that every component is tested well for functionality and performance. Remember, the more you test, the more you find errors. And the earlier you find them, the easier and more inexpensive it is to fix. For this purpose, you can use LoadView that helps with continuous performance testing in real-world scenarios, ensuring that the application fulfills the demands of users with each passing sprint. This tool provides a web page load test or REST API load test that aids in running the load test during a sprint.
Sparing No Time for Endurance Testing
Much the same as starting very late, when things get jammed at the end before implementation disregarding how much detailed your plan was, the first thing in danger is endurance/soak testing. This type of testing measures application performance over an extended amount of time. Testing tools are required to execute endurance testing as it runs for a long duration and consumes excessive data. This makes testers avoid this testing; thus, resulting in little time to carry out soak testing.
Soak tests are great if added to your load test strategy and to create the most realistic conditions, a cloud-based platform works the best. The recommended tool is LoadView which allows soak tests to be performed using the Load Step Curve feature, allowing you to specify the number of concurrent users for a certain time duration. Moreover, you can adjust your load in real-time to tune situations for a better understanding of the performance under changing scenarios.
The Bottom Line
Performance testing reports and analysis helps stakeholders in grasping the performance of the application in the real-life scenario. With this, they can suitably make strategic decisions on improvements before its launch in the market. Thus, it is essential to think of every possible testing aspect and avoid mistakes while planning for application testing. If you are looking for a performance testing tool that is easy to use, cost-effective, and can provide a comprehensive performance solution, you must give LoadView a try. Though the above-mentioned top 10 common performance testing mistakes are easy to make, with tools like LoadView, it gets even easier to avoid them.