LoadView: The Best Alternative to LoadNinja by SmartBear

 

If you’re searching for an alternative to LoadNinja from SmartBear, you’ve come to the right place.  LoadView from Dotcom-Monitor is a cloud-based, on-demand load and stress testing tool for websites, web applications, and APIs.  Generate as much traffic as you need, without the hassle of having to manage additional infrastructure.

Real Browsers

Chrome, Internet Explorer, Android, and iOS.

Scripting Real User Interaction

Create test scenarios that emulates real user interactions.

Global Testing Locations

Choose from 13+ locations around the world.

Cost-Effective

Only pay for what you need, on-demand.

Alternatives to LoadNinja from SmartBear – Why LoadView is the Better Tool

The Benefits of LoadView from Dotcom-Monitor

SmartBear has a lot of great tools for developers and engineers for building, testing, and monitoring software.  LoadNinja, their most recent product release, makes load testing web applications more efficient and effective.  However, except for a few differences, the LoadNinja platform has a lot of the same features that LoadView has had in place for years.  So, it’s no surprise that we get asked how LoadNinja stacks up with LoadView from Dotcom-Monitor.

Below, we’ll cover how the features of LoadView compare to LoadNinja and discuss the main differences and similarities of each platform.

LoadView and LoadNinja:  Browser-based Load and Stress Testing

Dotcom-Monitor has been monitoring the performance and uptime of websites for over 20 years. During that time, we realized that many of the monitoring scripts used to monitor website transactions and emulate real users on a website would also be useful for load and stress testing.

LoadView was built from the ground up with performance in mind, acknowledging that engineers and web development teams who monitor a website for uptime and availability may also be interested in knowing the capacity of their websites and even testing the limits of their infrastructure.  LoadView from Dotcom-Monitor is a vital platform for assisting with the following:

  • Find bottlenecks and bugs
  • Uncover root causes of failures and errors
  • Discover database slowdowns
  • Distribute load between geographic regions
  • Gain insight into global performance metrics
  • Understand capacity of your infrastructure
  • Ensure a consistent user experience

The focus and trend to improve development and delivery methodologies, such as the Agile software development process, has increased the need to test code earlier and more often in the process, also known as the shift left testing method.

Poor performing sites and applications can negatively impact conversions, transactions, and most importantly, revenue.  Even a few seconds of downtime can significantly impact a company’s bottom line.  A 2016 survey conducted by the Information Technology Industry Council (ITIC) found that a single hour of downtime cost companies an average of $100,000. That’s just an average.  If you consider specific industries that depend on high-volume transactions, such as financial services or large online retailers, the impact is going to be more significant and likely exceed millions of dollars per hour.

The LoadView platform from Dotcom-Monitor can be utilized to run three user simulation types:

  • HTTP/S: Concurrent users generating HTTP Request to web server
  • Web Page Test: Concurrent users loading a single page repeatedly in Chrome or IE
  • Stress Test for Applications: Concurrent users performing a series of scripted actions in Chrome or IE

However, unlike LoadView, LoadNinja can only be used for testing web applications. If you want to load test your APIs, you must use a separate SmartBear platform called LoadUI. With LoadView, there’s no need to use a separate platform.  You can load and stress test websites, web applications, and APIs all from a single interface.

Additionally, LoadNinja is powered by Selenium, an open-source framework for testing web applications. On the surface, this may sound like a great idea as Selenium has many great benefits, but if you ever run into issues, SmartBear may not be able to assist and you may need to consult additional Selenium documentation or rely on community feedback to solve your issue.  There is no formalized Selenium support channel.  Furthermore, companies may need to ensure they have a capable developer or test engineer that has experience using Selenium, as it is complex and requires additional technical knowledge above and beyond what may be readily available.

One specific feature that SmartBear introduced to the market with LoadNinja is error handling, also known as their VU Debugger.  Here’s how it works:

During the load test, when a virtual user encounters an error in an iteration, LoadNinja users can isolate the issues or bottlenecks, in real-time, by keeping the browser open and opening a JavaScript Console that allows them to access the application code.  From there, they can start the debugging process.

 

LoadView Compared to LoadNinja: Load and Stress Testing Web Applications

We realized that there needed to be a better way to easily create and playback scripts, especially with the rise of RIAs (Rich Internet Applications).  Capturing client-side calls for playback was tedious. Dynamic technologies such as AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML), for example, have become extremely popular over the last decade.

These technologies retrieve data from the server asynchronously, utilizing client-side application changes involved in the parts of the customer experience that you’d want to load and stress test.  However, there are challenges that come along with load testing technologies like AJAX, and LoadView helps developers and overcome those challenges.

The term AJAX has more recently come to represent a broader range of technologies that are used to communicate with a server in the background, such as JSON and JavaScript, without interfering with the client-side activity. Some of the obstacles that come with load testing AJAX applications include the following:

  • AJAX relies on JavaScript. If JavaScript is disabled, or in the unlikely case that a user’s browser doesn’t support JavaScript, the functionality won’t work at all.  It was common practice for organizations to lock down user’s browsers and disable JavaScript for security reasons.
  • Dynamically loaded and displayed data is not part of the page. If a search engine has indexed your AJAX based application, the result can be unsatisfying because a great extent of content is not visible to those indexing engines.
  • Latency issues. Due to the asynchronous nature of AJAX, communication latency is several times higher compared with other technologies, such as WebSockets.  With AJAX, each block of data sent or received from the client-side requires a specific event that must poll the server, which in turn, creates a requirement for each unique action.

Prior to the development and introduction of dynamic applications like AJAX, programmers needed to build test scripts from under the protocol level, capturing all the HTTP/S traffic between the client and the server.  Recording the script was fairly straight-forward, but the process of getting the code ready for playback, called correlation, was extremely time consuming.  The process looked something like this:

  • Identify and record all the dynamic values within the HTTP/S traffic
  • Find all the server responses containing the dynamic values
  • Capture that dynamic value in a parameter
  • Replace every single occurrence of the dynamic value with the parameter
  • Verify changes during playback

This is a well-known limitation of open source tools, one such example being JMeter. JMeter works at the protocol level and is not a browser, so it’s unable to execute client-side JavaScript.  It’s worth noting that all tools that utilize JMeter as the backbone of their functionality have this issue, so a lot more additional scripting needs to be built, along with any additional plugins in order to get it prepped for playback when capturing client-side interactions.

All of these time-consuming steps are virtually eliminated using our EveryStep Web Recorder, which we will detail in the following section.

 

The EveryStep Web Recorder versus the InstaPlay Recorder from LoadNinja

The EveryStep Web Recorder is a free automation scripting tool that records every step of a web transaction and replays the script using a real browser.  Compatible with over 40 desktop (Chrome and Internet Explorer) and mobile browsers (iPhone, iPad, Google, Samsung, etc.), the EveryStep Web Recorder supports virtually anything rendered in a browser, regardless of the technologies used, such as AJAX, Java, HTML5, Flash, PHP, Ruby, in addition to others.

Launch the EveryStep Web Recorder Now!

Anyone involved in building, maintaining, and supporting web applications, such as developers, DevOps and WebOps teams, understands the importance of testing code and web application functionality. Proper testing is essential to maintaining a consistent user experience and retaining users and customers. The EveryStep Web Recorder can automate the many types of tests involved in web development.

The EveryStep Web Recorder is easy to use and there is no scripting experience required. You can record multi-step test scripts of the critical and complex actions your users make, such as button clicks, menu selections, form submission, shopping carts, and text inputs. These scripts can then be uploaded into the LoadView platform for load testing your websites, web application, web services, and APIs.

Additionally, LoadView gives users the option to distribute user load between geographic locations based upon percent of traffic from multiple points around the world. If you know that a certain percentage of your customers and users come from a specific geographic location, you can select those specific areas to test.  LoadView uses cloud servers to generate user loads and, depending on the test, users can select from the following locations:

  • Central U.S. (Council Bluffs, Iowa)
  • U.S. East (N. Virginia)
  • U.S. West (Oregon)
  • U.S. East (Ohio
  • U.S. West (N. California)
  • Canada Central (Montreal)
  • Asia Pacific (Tokyo)
  • Asia Pacific (Mumbai)
  • Asia Pacific (Singapore)
  • Asia Pacific (Sydney)
  • South America (São Paulo)
  • Europe (Ireland)
  • Europe (London)

 

InstaPlay Recorder from SmartBear

SmartBear also realized the importance of having a point and click scripting tool.  With the launch of LoadNinja, SmartBear developed their own script recorder, called the InstaPlay Recorder, to be used within their LoadNinja platform for the purpose of removing all the tedious and time-consuming coding and correlation efforts.  The InstaPlay Recorder, along with the LoadNinja tool, offers similar benefits of the EveryStep Web Recorder paired with LoadView, including:

  • Codeless test script recording on a real browser with no protocols
  • Drives the browser to perform the recorded transactions in the test script
  • Immediate playback of recorded scripts
  • Capture critical user actions and steps

However, one limitation of the InstaPlay Recorder from SmartBear is that users can only select from the following three resolutions:

  • Desktop/laptop (1366×768)
  • Tablet (1024×1366)
  • Mobile device (375×667)

Like previously stated, the EveryStep Web Recorder from Dotcom-Monitor supports more than 40 desktop and mobile browsers.  Depending on the application resolution required, EveryStep Web Recorder users can choose from 20 desktop resolutions or specific mobile device resolutions. Additionally, if you select a mobile device, users can also choose to record those scripts in landscape or portrait mode, depending on the need of the application.  By testing in specific devices, resolutions, and orientations, you ensure your customers or users have the best experience possible.

 

LoadView vs LoadNinja Pricing

LoadNinja Pricing

SmartBear offers several LoadNinja annual pricing tiers, as well as a 14-day free trial for users.  They do not offer month-to-month pricing.

Basic

  • $1,799/year
  • 1000 Virtual Users
  • 100 Load Testing Hours
  • Unlimited Load Tests
  • 1 Hour Max. Test Duration

Pro

  • $2,999/year
  • 2,500 Virtual Users
  • 100 Load Testing Hours
  • Unlimited Load Tests
  • 1 Hour Max. Test Duration

Premium

  • $5,999/year
  • 5,000 Virtual Users
  • 100 Load Testing Hours
  • Unlimited Load Tests
  • 4 Hours Max. Test Duration

Enterprise

  • Contact SmartBear for Enterprise level pricing.

LoadView Pricing

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 goal of LoadView Professional Services is to have you running performance tests, analyzing your data, and adjusting your system without our engagement. Our methodology is tested, proven, and offered in unique à la carte fashion.  You pick and choose which elements you need assistance with, and our performance engineers will coach you through them.

Our engineers are also available to perform the entire testing exercise for you, offering consultation to optimize your code and infrastructure. The level of Dotcom-Monitor interaction is completely up to you.

 

Feature Comparison Overview

LoadNinja from SmartBear versus LoadView from Dotcom-Monitor

 

Feature LoadView LoadNinja
Record and playback Scripts
Reduce script creation time
Record scripts without coding
Selenium-driven  
Image validation  
Real browser testing
Easy-to-use
Accurate representation of load
Load test websites, applications, web services, and APIs from a single platform  
Debug in real-time  
View load test in real-time
Reports for stakeholders
Pay as you go/monthly pricing  
Annual contract  
30-day free trial  
     

 

Conclusion

LoadView by Dotcom-Monitor provides users with the best in browser-based load testing.  The ability to run and test multiple user simulation types, in addition to easily create and playback scripts with the EveryStep Web Recorder – all from a single platform – makes LoadView a powerful testing tool.

With no contracts and pay-as-you go pricing, we allow organizations the ability to instantly load and stress test their websites, web applications, web service, and APIs, ensuring you can meet the demands of your customers and maintain a consistent user experience.

Try LoadView for 30 days!
No credit card, no contract.