Software performance testing has been around almost as long as software itself, for good reason. Ensuring that your software is tested and up to speed will not only attract users of your software, but it will also keep you from losing revenue in repairs and downtime.
Software users want a fast, smooth, and simple experience. This is where software performance testing platforms like ours at LoadView come in. If a user constantly experiences errors or slow response times when using your websites and applications, they are more likely to look elsewhere for the service you provide. Professional load and performance testing is an important part of any serious development process for mission-critical websites and web applications. In this article, we look at the concept of throughput as it pertains to performance testing.
What Is Performance Testing?
The process of performance testing your software can be broken down into three categories.
- Stability: How effectively your software performs under a given load.
- Speed: How quickly your software responds to a given command.
- Scalability: How many users can your software handle before its performance begins to suffer.
Performance testing aims to ensure that your software is performing to the very best of its ability. If there is an issue discovered during the testing process, your team can make an assessment and resolve it before it becomes an issue for your users at scale. Performance testing is an essential part of any serious development process, whether launching a new website or applications or adding new features to an already-popular site or app.
Types of Performance Testing
There are several types of performance testing that can help your software, depending on your needs. Below is a list of the most common types of performance testing you should consider.
- Endurance testing is used as a way to assess whether your software can handle a given load over an extended period of time. If your software experiences a spike during a holiday such as Black Friday or Christmas, you want to know that it’s not going to crash unexpectedly.
- Load testing is a form of testing that attempts to locate and resolve potential bottlenecks, and assess a software’s ability to perform while under a given user load.
- Scalability testing is a way to see how effectively your software scales up when it’s put under a heavy load. This type of testing also allows you to properly plan for capacity in the future.
- Spike testing is used to figure out how your software reacts when it’s suddenly met with a large spike in users.
- Stress testing is a way to find out what your software’s breaking point is. Load testing consultants find this information by exposing your software to extreme workloads in an effort to find out how it performs under high levels of data processing or traffic.
- Volume testing is a method used to measure the performance of your software when it’s put under a certain amount of database volumes.
These forms of performance testing are used in different situations, but throughput in performance testing is lesser known than these tests. Let’s take a closer look.
Throughput in Performance Testing
Throughput can be tricky to grasp at first, but it’s a crucial element in the performance testing process. The general goal of throughput in performance testing is pinning down how many requests your software can take on per second, minute, or even hour. Throughput is generally represented as transactions per second (TPI) in performance, which measures how many requests your software receives in a single second. Every test plan will have a throughput goal, and the more realistic your throughput goal, the more accurate and precise your results.
Ensuring that your throughput goal realistically reflects the maximum capability of your software is important, as it can affect a user’s experience of your software. Not only this, but it can greatly affect your revenue if users feel that they are waiting too long for access to your software.
Here are some questions to keep in mind when thinking about getting your software performance tested:
- Types of connections: Depending on network connection types, it can greatly affect system response times and the user’s experience of your software. The goal is to make the user’s experience as streamlined as possible.
- User behavior: There are different reasons why users decide to utilize a piece of software, such as purchasing items, submitting documents, or interacting with other users.
- User profiles and quantity: You should ask yourself why users will be using your software. Buying, chatting, downloading?
Throughput in performance testing is best assessed when you know a lot of information about your software’s users. This will allow you to anticipate software issues and manage user expectations.
Throughput in Real Life
Imagine that there’s a bank with only three bank tellers helping account holders. Let’s say that no matter how complex the issue, each bank teller can help one account holder per minute.
If three bank tellers can each only help one account holder per minute, then it is certain that the total number of account holders helped per minute would equal three. In a performance report, we would record that this particular bank is capable of helping three account holders per minute, meaning that the total number of account holders helped in an hour would be 180.
Though this appears to be an efficient bank, no matter how many account holders walk into the bank, the bank tellers will only ever be able to help three account holders per minute. The amount of account holders waiting for service doesn’t affect the amount helped over the course of a minute.
Therefore, helping three account holders per minute would be the bank’s fixed upper-bound constraint.
This same concept applies when we test a software application. If a software application receives 100 requests per second but can only handle 80 per second, the remaining 20 requests will be put into a queue. The overall goal is to prevent users from having to wait a long time in the queue, as this increases the likelihood that they will stop using your software.
Performance Test With Loadview
The bottom line is that web application users want to use reliable software, and they’re not hesitant to move to a competitor if they feel that your product isn’t performing at the highest level. This is why it’s crucial to be proactive when it comes to performance testing your software.
The most successful businesses understand the importance of performance testing their software, as it not only provides their users with the best experience, but it can save significant amounts of money in the long run. Software users will compare your product with competitors, and the performance of your web application could be the reason they stay or go.
Recent reports have shown that software users are very impatient when it comes to subpar software services. While downtime is something every business and software owner hopes to avoid, it’s equally important to ensure that your software has quick response times. To forgo testing your software could mean a drop in users and loss of revenue.
Even if you’re unsure whether performance testing is necessary for your software, you can schedule a discovery call. Our consultants will be happy to answer any of your performance testing questions and provide you with the best course of action based on your software’s needs. You can also start performance testing right away with a free LoadView trial.