HTTP load testing has been a practice to do performance testing for website, application, and web services to plan, prepare, and make informed decisions about application infrastructure. But with continuously evolving technology stacks and interactive content, is the traditional way of doing HTTP load testing is enough to cover all your bases? The short answer is no. To layout the answer in an elaborated way to understand the modern approach for HTTP load testing and how to do it, let’s begin with the basics.
Static Pages vs. Dynamic Pages
On the other hand, dynamic pages deliver interactive resources and elements for each subsequent request from the user. Some of the more common technologies today for creating dynamic pages are AJAX, AngularJS, VueJS, ReactJS, etc. The dynamic page content is generated based on different factors and use cases, such as time, region, user profile, and so on. Example of these include social media, e-commerce, gaming websites, streaming websites, and other modern applications.
Evolution of Modern Application with Dynamic Pages
Continuing our discussion from static pages and dynamic pages, let’s understand the capabilities and behavior of modern applications.
Static pages are not changed at runtime, while modern applications change the content based on the various profiling factors.
While static pages have little to no click-based interaction, modern applications have an array of interactive functionality, from gaming to video player to e-commerce.
Static pages are the same every time, everywhere, and for everyone. Dynamic pages can add multiple services and features based on user interaction and user transactions.
Modern applications make heavy use of third-party services that, in turn, can be dynamically changed and accessed.
Static applications employ the simplest form of GET/POST HTTP requests. In contrast, modern application requests and responses have multiple services built on top of each other such as authentication, VPN, real-time collaboration, etc.
The Rise of Single-Page Applications
Single-page applications (SPAs) are now the most popular and widely used way of developing applications to minimize or even eliminate user navigation from one page to another. All the content rendering and transactions happen on the same page by heavily computing things in the browser itself, instead of server delivering the ready-to-use HTML code.
SPAs have transformed the way websites used to work by doing the heavy lifting in the browser on a single page. And with this, comes the challenge for HTTP load testing, as traditional HTTP load testing tools are not capable of rendering and performing browser-based computing. This calls for new methods of HTTP load testing for dynamic applications, especially SPAs.
HTTP Load Testing Challenges: Load Testing SPAs
With extensive use of dynamic pages, SPAs present a new challenge for HTTP load testing to create the most realistic load environment. Following are the pivotal points that make the traditional HTTP load testing a thing of past.
Real Browser-based Load Testing
Location-based Load Testing
Most probably, your SPAs would factor in location-based data for customizing the content. For example, currency or local trade along with the varied performance of transactions. Real browser-based load testing from multiple locations would generate a realistic load for your application to optimize geo-location performance.
Transaction-based Load Testing
Mapping user actions with scripts for individual actions and parameters-based actions is a vital part of load testing SPAs. For example, it is an e-commerce website and you want to generate a realistic load for it, you would want to load pages with filters and sorting combinations to see how that will affect your website performance for high traffic.
RIA Load Testing
Your SPAs are going to evolve as per your business requirements. One day you would have video content, and another day you would have a polling contest. If it is a gaming application, then it will all sorts of user interactions and rendering. Your load testing solution should be able to test virtually anything that can be rendered and executed in the browser.
Why HTTP Load Testing Isn’t Enough: Load Testing Modern, Dynamic Applications
Traditional HTTP load testing is not capable of generating realistic load based on these factors and requirements. These challenges require a new and comprehensive approach to combine everything in a holistic way to produce the most realistic load. SPAs often include new innovative ways of doing things and solving problems for users with multi-layered technology stack and RIA technologies. Thus, making it traditional HTTP load testing challenging to serve the testing purpose. To solve this problem, you need a platform that enables you to record actual transactions and interactions in real browsers and from multiple-locations. Ease of recording these transactions and scripting also plays a vital role in selecting such a platform; else, you would waste your time scripting rather than real HTTP load testing.
LoadView comes with the EveryStep Web Recorder to create load testing scenarios with a simple point and click scripting that gets you going in no time. With LoadView, you can also test users from real browsers from multiple locations to verify that your application is running fine and serving accurate content under stress without lagging or bottlenecks. The combination of the EveryStep Web Recorder with the LoadView platform creates such a comprehensive load testing platform that you can proactively figure out everything required for your SPAs to perform consistently and correctly under all load testing use cases.
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