Alternatives to Apica LoadTest:
On-demand, real browser load testing with LoadView by Dotcom-Monitor
The LoadView platform outperforms Apica LoadTest for load testing websites, web application, and APIs
Actual performance of your website under load in real browsers.
No Separate Downloads
Free, web-based recorder opens in your browser. No additional downloads required.
Point and Click Scripting
Point and click while navigating through a website to record a test script.
100% Managed Cloud
No need to manage your own third-party cloud accounts.
A Load Testing Platform for Today’s Evolving Websites, Applications, and APIs
Quickly set up and execute load tests to identify and isolate performance issues when systems are under load. No time-consuming set up or separate downloads required!
|Features||Apica LoadTest||Other Cloud Providers||LoadView|
|No Hardware to Provision|
|Advanced, Point and Click Scripting Tool|
|No Separate Cloud Accounts Required|
|No Physical Device Required for Mobile Applications|
|No Separate Installs to Local Machine|
Have you been looking for a new load testing tool for your organization? Or searching for an alternative to Apica LoadTest? If so, you’re in the right place. With LoadView, you can quickly create scripts and spin up virtual injectors for load and stress testing your sites, web applications, and APIs. Read more about how LoadView sets itself apart from Apica LoadTest and why you should give LoadView a try today!
In terms of product offerings and features/functionalities, the we have many similarities with the Apica platform. In addition to offering a performance testing platform, which we’ll be covering in this article, we both offer a synthetic monitoring platform that can be used in conjunction with the load and stress testing platform. We started out as a monitoring platform, but over time realized that the scripts used to monitor website transactions can be used to emulate real users for load and stress testing, which is ideal for Agile development environments and shift-left testing.
LoadView: Load Testing from the Cloud with Real Browsers
LoadView was designed to take out all the time-consuming activities, like setting up load generators and global agents, so developers and performance engineers can focus on creating and executing load tests. Additionally, because the LoadView platform is cloud-based, there is no need to manage additional hardware/software or third-party cloud accounts, such as AWS or Google Cloud Platform. All of that is managed by us. LoadView utilizes 13+ locations around the world, giving users the ability to test performance from locations around the world. Additionally, since load view is a pay-as-you go platform, you only pay for what you need. Don’t worry about unused virtual users or tier-based pricing.
The EveryStep Web Recorder
Our scripting tool is called the EveryStep Web Recorder. It’s a free, web-based scripting tool that can record, replay, and automate user actions for websites, web applications, and APIs using a real browser. The EveryStep Web Recorder is compatible with over 40 desktop/mobile browsers and devices, such as Chrome, Internet Explorer, Android, iPhone, iPad, Google, Samsung, and more. The EveryStep Web Recorder also supports scripting for the most popular web technologies, including AJAX, Java, HTML5, Flash, PHP, Ruby, as well as others. The EveryStep Web Recorder can essentially render anything in a browser, regardless of the technologies used.
Executing Load Tests with LoadView
Many of the open-source load testing tools on the market can only run protocol-based user simulations, which is not enough for today’s ever-evolving websites, applications, and APIs. Protocol-based load tests are fine for testing at the server, but you’re missing the end-to-end response time, which is critical for testing the client-side performance for websites and web applications. With the LoadView platform, users have the choice of running the following user simulation types:
- HTTP/S-Based Load Simulation
- With the HTTP/S based load simulation option, there is no client-side rendering, so knowledge of programming languages is more likely when creating scripts.
- Real Browser-Based Load Simulation
- With real browser-based load simulation, it’s easy to customize scripts with the EveryStep Web Recorder and play them back. However, with these load simulations, there is a high impact on the load injection machines due to the client-side rendering.
To give LoadView users additional performance testing customization, the platform provides multiple load test types to choose from:
- Load Step Curve
- Generates loads with a pre-determined number of concurrent users for specified time durations. Useful when determining if your website can handle a spike in traffic.
- Goal-based Curve
- This test is useful when you have already identified the limiting level of your required throughput and need to ensure that your performance goal is met. Beneficial for validating SLA or non-functional requirements.
- Dynamic Adjustable Curve
- Allows users to adjust load in real-time during a test. This gives users insight into how their site or application changes as load levels fluctuate.
Once you’ve defined your test scenario, you can select from up to 13 load injection machines from our global network. Some load testing tools can only test from inside your own network, which are great for small, functional tests or getting a performance baseline, but by utilizing a broad range of load injection machines around the world, you can better gauge actual performance from where your customers are located.
During the test, LoadView displays response times and throughput metrics through the online dashboard, giving you immediate insight into how your sites and applications behave under load. Once the test has finished, a summary of the test results is automatically generated, displaying a full breakdown of the performance of individual components, along with comprehensive waterfall charts. Reports can be shared with your team or stakeholders using a unique link.
LoadView has subscription-based plans, starting at $199 per month and we offer a 30-day free trial with $20 in load testing credits. Alternatively, you can also select from a pay-as-you-go plan. Pricing is calculated and displayed before you begin new test, so you know exactly what you’re paying for.
If your specific needs require more than what is listed above, please contact us for Enterprise-level plans.
LoadView Professional Services
The purpose of Dotcom-Monitor Professional Services is to assist you and your teams with executing performance tests, interpreting data, and fine tuning your system without our team’s involvement. Our techniques are tested and proven. You can pick and choose which elements you need assistance with, and our performance engineers will coach you through them. Our team is also available to perform the entire load testing exercise for you, offering consultation to optimize your code and infrastructure. The level of Dotcom-Monitor cooperation is entirely up to you.
Apica LoadTest: Setup
Apica LoadTest consists of two products, the LoadTest Portal and Apica ZebraTester. Although each product can be used independently, they have been optimized to work with each other. Apica ZebraTester is a multi-functional tool that can be used for creating scripts, debugging, and converting scripts from other programming languages or tools. For example, Apica ZebraTester supports Selenium IDE scripts within the LoadTest Portal. The LoadTest Portal is where tests are created, executed, and analyzed.
One of the major differences between the Apica platform and the LoadView platform is that Apica require users to set up their environment before getting started. Users have to download Apica ZebraTester to their local machine. Since LoadView is web-based, there’s no need to worry if you’re machine meets certain system, memory, or storage requirements. All that’s required is access to the Internet and a browser. Apica ZebraTester can be installed on Windows, MacOS X, and Linux/Solaris environments, however, there are some additional considerations/recommendations, depending on the environment.
- Accessing the ZebraTester GUI and recording of web sessions is fully supported using Internet Explorer, however, a more convenient method of recording sessions is to download/install the Firefox Portable Web Browser within your directory
- In combination with installing the Firefox Portable web browser, no administrator rights are required to use all functionality of the ZebraTester product.
- Disable HTTP/S anti-virus scanning and re-enable after testing.
- Default maximum for network connections is 256. Users must open the command terminal to modify these settings.
- To record sessions from iOS devices such as iPhone and iPad, users have to install a self-generated CA root certificate on those devices.
Linux / Solaris
- Installation on Linux requires that JAVA SDK is installed with the appropriate environment variables set. Additional recommendations and settings include the following:
- Add the Firefox Recording Extension
- Generating a CA root certificate for ZebraTester and import this certificate into the OS and/or Firefox.
- Set the unlimit -n from the terminal window to equal or greater than 32768 (recommendation is 65536)
- Apica recommends increasing the entropy by installing the haveged daemon on all Linux systems. A test may freeze up or get blocked for several minutes if this is not installed. This is due to most Linux systems not having enough entropy to generate a large amount of random numbers in a short time.
Apica LoadTest: Mobile Applications
Apica LoadTest also supports load testing of mobile devices (iPhone, Android, iPad, and Windows) as well as other native mobile applications, smart TV applications, and gaming consoles, such as PlayStation4, Xbox One, and Wii U. One significant difference with creating tests for mobile applications with Apica versus LoadView is that with Apica, users are required set up a physical device and have a separate Amazon Web Services account. With LoadView, the devices are emulated, and there is no need to go through the hassle of setting up a physical device. Additionally, the virtual injectors are managed by LoadView, so no separate cloud accounts necessary. Lastly, scripting for mobile applications is done via a proxy sniffer with Apica LoadTest, not real browser-based scripting and recording like the EveryStep Web Recorder can do.
Apica LoadTest: The Load Testing Process
The first step in the Apica load testing process is that users must that users must select the appropriate subscription for the test. Users have two options to choose from, Default and On-demand, which have the following options and features:
- 1,000,000 maximum users
- 4-hour maximum test duration
- Unlimited number of tests
- 5,000 maximum users
- 12-hour maximum test duration
- Unlimited number of tests
After choosing the subscription types, users have the option of picking a scenario or creating a script to use for testing. Users can select from the following various options. Again, depending on the option, there are additional steps, recommendations, and knowledge that users have to meet or have in order to begin using the scripting tools. This can significantly delay testing.
- Existing load test script.
One item to note – the script must already be uploaded in the Scenario Manager in order for this option to be available for users.
- Creating a new load test script. When creating a new script, users have the following options available:
- The URL option allows users to manually create a test script within Apica LoadTest.
- Create scripts using Apica Scripting IDE or upload an existing file. The Apica Scripting IDE is a script development environment that must be installed on your local computer and accessed via your browser.
- Scripts using ZebraTester work natively with Apica LoadTest and can be used directly after upload.
- Recording of web sessions is supported by using any web browser (Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, or Safari).
- One significant item to note about this option is that users must manually reconfigure their browser before beginning to record a web session.
- Recording Extension
- Available for Chrome and Firefox. Web sessions recorded using this method use ZebraTester as a proxy.
- This agent that runs inside your Intranet and gives user the ability to run browser or Selenium scripts, convert LoadRunner scripts, or interact directly with server, load balancer, and application infrastructures.
Additional options include the ability to edit the script by removing any elements, such as extensions, domains, or file types that aren’t needed. ZebraTester also has the ability to splice different sessions together with a feature called Session Cutter, however, there are some specific requirements when doing this.
Once the script has been created, users can begin the process of setting up the load test. Here, users have the option to configure specific parameters, such as execution mode, think time (delays), and variances. Users can select from load clusters (a grouping of multiple locations) located in North America, South America, EMEA, and APAC to generate load from. Additional options include:
- Ramp Up Time
- Scenario Options
- Advanced Options
- Test Information
- Monitoring Agents
Once the test is running, Apica LoadTest gives users a live view into the data from the load test through various dashboards that report on various metrics, such as CPU usage, memory, response time, errors, and much more. Users also have the option of integrating with AppDynamics or Dynatrace to monitor their data and metrics. Once the test is finished, users can option to create a custom report, access a previously defined template, or a quick report when a full run-down of the test is required.
Apica LoadTest: Integrations
Apica LoadTest supports APM solutions such as AppDynamics, New Relic, and Dynatrace, with additional support for the following third-party integrations:
- AWS CodePipeline
Apica Managed Services
Apica also provides services for teams or organizations that don’t have the necessary resources on-hand to conduct performance testing. From creating scripts to generating reports and interpreting data, they’ll take care of the entire process for you.
As you can see, Apica LoadTest is very comprehensive load testing tool, with support for multiple programming languages. If your company works with multiple programming languages and environments, it might be the tool for you. However, when it comes to simplicity and ease of use, the LoadView platform outperforms Apica LoadTest here. With LoadView, users can utilize a point and click scripting tool to build scripts and execute load tests for websites, web applications and APIs in just minutes. No need for any additional downloads or separate cloud accounts. With Apica LoadTest there are separate downloads, requirements, and conditions that need to be met in order to begin using the tool. Performance testing tools shouldn’t be a burden to IT and DevOps teams. They need a tool that can help save them time and create efficiencies. LoadView by Dotcom-Monitor is that tool. LoadView offers pay-as-you go pricing, so you only pay for what you need, helping organizations to identify and isolate performance issues that occur when systems are under load.
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