At last, you’re feeling on the top of the world as you have your business website or an application going live? Well, that’s an outstanding feeling, but are you 100 percent sure about your platform’s speed and overall efficiency? Remember, an application or website that opens quickly and produces high traffic tends to convert more potential and prospects into loyal customers. Contrarily, the opposite scenario can slip customers out of your hands. It’s like an opportunity knocking the door, but you’re too lazy to open it. And by the time you reach there, it’s gone. Therefore, to assure your software, application, API, website, or any web service is fast and performing well, you should carry out a load test.
Not sure what load testing is, its kinds, or when to start load testing? Fortunately, this article can eliminate all your confusion.
Load Testing – What is it?
Load testing is a part of performance testing. It is used for software analysis to identify a website or application’s performance level through workload intensity, capacity, and behavior in real-time. One of the main reasons for load testing is to confirm whether or not the software is capable of bearing load (traffic, transactions, etc.) under different conditions and times.
Regardless of B2B or B2C business models, websites, and apps, which qualify on load testing are likely to gain more customer attention and response. On the other hand, software that fails to satisfy the load testing parameters does not make a home in the customer’s heart. That’s why load tests are essential for all organizations who believe in modern business practices and wish to grow further.
Load Testing Types
Loading testing can be categorized into three different types.
- Stress Testing
- Capacity Testing
- Soak Testing
We’ll talk about each one in more detail below.
A software is bypassed through stress testing to check its behavior by increasing load more than the system can bear. This test reveals the failed components due to enhanced stress (load) applied to a certain application or website. The test is employed either by maximizing the number of users or using a weak CPU server, or database with minimum memory. The identified flaws help developers to create a more powerful system to assure remarkable performance under high traffic and maximum user activity.
Capacity testing, also referred to as scalability testing, helps determine the number of users an application can support successfully before it crashes. The main objective is to unearth the software’s safety zone. In other words, this test informs about the application or website’s capacity while handling load without exceeding the defined page time and distressing end user experience.
While capacity and stress testing are applied for a short amount of time, soak test runs for several days, weeks, and even months. This long-term test detects errors vigorously. Plus, it reveals changes and trends in system behavior. And as a result, developers can fix errors to make sure the program can deal with the expected load.
The trio (stress testing, capacity testing, and soak testing) completes load testing and it is vital to provide ease to your customers whenever they interact with your program.
Load Testing Strategy – Things to Consider
Load testing is based on three essential tests. Therefore, it is important to create a strategy for each testing type to obtain genuine results.
Stress Testing Strategy
Stress testing is a comprehensive process that undergoes numerous procedures, such as:
- Finding the most common function of the web or mobile applications and breaking it down
- Identifying the expected load a software (website or application) can handle in a given time
- Testing the software on at least four different systems (devices) with distinct processor and memory
- Using a minimum of four different browsers with different versions and network speeds to test web apps
- Finding value below the threshold (giving minimum load), at the threshold (giving bearable load), and after the threshold (excessive load unbearable by the software)
- Repeating the stress test for at least five times before concluding the factors
- Identifying the software behavior, ideal response time, as well as, the threshold time (the time when web or app failed to perform)
Capacity Testing Strategy
Businesses can experience great losses every minute due to their failed SAP systems. Therefore, capacity testing becomes a necessity to prevent companies from carrying such pains with the help of the following strategies:
- Identifying the website or application that requires capacity testing and assigning responsibilities within the team
- Developing a test plan with the help of test case while including stress test within the plan
- Scheduling capacity test duration to understand the required time to carry out the testing phase
- Analyzing the risks by repeating the capacity test multiple times to identify problems when the natural load of traffic or transaction is applied to a particular software
- Determining the crashed parts of the program and fixing them, and running the capacity test again until the issues are resolved
Soak Testing Strategy
Soak testing is a long-term process that includes:
Figuring out the most disturbing part of the program.
Preparing the team to apply the soak test on the entire software while carefully analyzing the affected zone.
Designing, examining, and concluding test scenarios while deciding the amount of load to put on a web app or mobile application.
Performing risk analysis and finding answers to questions like:
- What measures to take to sustain the positive soak test results in the long run?
- What bugs are still uncharted?
- Are there any external factors responsible for the downtime and slow performance of the website or application?
Pros and Cons of Different Load Testing Types
Each load testing type brings its own unique benefits as they help in capturing the main causes of disruption in a website or application. But, as everything in life has some flaws, so let’s find out the essential benefits and detriments of stress testing, capacity testing, and load testing.
Stress Testing Advantages
- Detects deadlocks in applications
- Predicts future failures
- Reveals how long a program can sustain without crashes and leaks under certain load conditions
Stress Testing Disadvantages
- Unable to showcase confirm results
- Volatile outcomes as compared to other tests
- High possibilities for application failures if the test is not performed in isolated conditions
Capacity Testing Advantages
- Early identification of user experience under particular load to take remedial measures in advance
- Detection of web apps limitations in terms of network usage, CPU usage, and response time
- Identifies the major causes of performance issues in a program during the testing phase, which saves time and money
Capacity Testing Disadvantages
- Expensive testing due to advanced testing tools
- Rarely but ineffective on revealing functional errors
- Inaccurate results if the test is applied using wrong testing scripts and testing scenarios
Soak Testing Advantages
- Authentic results in contrast with stress testing and capacity testing
- Helps improve client-side infrastructure
- Development of robust software due to correct error detection
Soak Testing Disadvantages
- Delayed software development due to the time-consuming process
- Chances of permanent data corruption if soak testing is applied to live environment
- Lacks benchmark to identify when the test should be halted
Load Testing – Should it be Performed at the Beginning or End of the Software Development?
A few decades ago, developers would test applications after they went live. Although it was a prominent approach back then, it cost companies a fortune. The businesses had to go beyond their budget to rectify the errors while developers were liable to do the job right from the scratch. As a consequence, developers and businesses both had to face serious losses in terms of time, money, and customers.
Soon developers realized that tests should be performed at the beginning of the software development process. However, the credit goes to Larry Smith who defined this approach, implemented and executed and revealed its benefits to the world. He named this concept as the Shift-left Testing in 2001.
Shift Left Testing
According to SQS AG, 56 percent of errors are originated during the project’s requirement phase. 27 percent of defects come from the designing side, whereas, only 7 percent of flaws are made during the coding phase. And the remaining 10 percent of errors are because of other non-essential factors. The facts signify that errors must be identified at the beginning of the software development process, and shift-left testing is all about finding loopholes from the outset.
Shift-left testing emphasizes the integration of key activities (development and quality control) from the very first day of the project. This approach offers early identification of errors and allows developers to correct them in each testing phase. Shift-left testing is a proven concept that is helping organizations and developers by saving their effort, time, and monetary resources.
Fortunately, LoadView is invincible when it’s about investigating websites and applications via load testing through the Shift-left strategy to assure that each program performs tremendously when it goes live. LoadView is always prepared to ease the communication flow between businesses and customers to make sure no opportunities are missed.
Benefits of Shift-left Testing
The following are the reasons why load testing should be done in the beginning:
- Excellent teamwork and cooperation between developers, testers, and clients
- Timely diagnosis of oversights and quick reforms
- Cost-effectiveness and beneficial outcomes
- Agile software development and delivery
Importance of Load Testing
Load testing is required to confirm complete success of any website, API, application or web service. It is a vital process because of the following reasons:
Early Error Recognition
Load testing allows you to identify errors in the development process when the software is under construction. However, only experts can do this magic to assure a Win-Win situation for businesses and customers. That’s one of the main reasons why organizations prefer opting for LoadView. The company offers exceptional testing services under the supervision of a highly-professional team of developers and testers to identify and correct all kinds of errors.
Mitigated Downtime Threats
Load testing not only helps in digging up the reasons for the downtime, but even helps prevent any future threats. Thus, giving a great advantage to your organization to stay active all year round.
Enhanced Customer Satisfaction
Satisfied customers are the secret behind huge corporate profits. And as load testing is the best solution to spot errors immediately, customers find this rapid rectification excessively attractive which converts them from being potential buyers into prolonged loyal clients.
Reduced SLA-Related Risks
Service-Level Agreements (SLAs) define customers’ expectations from an organization. Failure to fulfill the promise may lead to face numerous penalties. Nevertheless, Load testing helps decrease SLA-related risks by maintaining an excellent business reputation. This feeling increases the trust factor and customers become loyal. And that’s another reason why organizations choose the LoadView solution for DevOps through performing multiple test curves for highly-advanced and technical applications.
Cost-Effectiveness and Successful Outcomes
Load testing at an early stage helps you find and solve errors without excessive spending. Contrarily, the more application bugs are detected later, the longer and pricey there settlement becomes. Load testing when applied with the shift-left testing approach can save a lot of time and funds. It not only helps companies to preserve cost, but even permits developers to plan, experiment, and finally produce game-changing software to serve the organization’s needs.
Conclusion: The Best Time to Start Load Testing
Load testing is a gateway to successful software development due to numerous benefits. It helps developers to verify faults in underdeveloped and developed programs through stress testing, capability testing, and soak testing with the help of the shift-left procedure. And allows them to revamp software to strengthen the business-client relationship. The impeccable nature of software results in effective communication, better engagement, and higher profits. When it’s about load testing, you can always count on the LoadView platform to make sure your project is tested with the most robust solution in the market.
Schedule a Demo today with one of our performance engineers or sign up for our Free Trial. Our team is available 24/7 to answer any queries you may have.