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 web pages, APIs, and web apps.  Generate as much traffic as you need, without the hassle of having to manage additional infrastructure.

Real Browsers

See actual performance from real browsers

Script User Scenarios

Set up test scenarios that emulate actual user paths.

Global Testing Locations

Choose from 15+ load injector server locations around the world.

Roll Over Unused Resources

Unused resources roll over and accumulate month-to-month

Alternatives to LoadNinja – 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 allows users to run various user simulation types, including HTTP/S and web page and web application tests (Chrome and Internet Explorer).

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 platform called LoadUI. With LoadView, there’s no need to use a separate platform.  You can load and stress test your APIs all from the same UI.

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, LoadNinja 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 and is used to quickly create scripts of user interactions without having to touch any lines of code.

 

InstaPlay Recorder

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 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

LoadNinja offers a 14-day free trial for users. They offer multiple paid plans, with month-to-month and annual pricing options available.

Starter

  • $239/month ($1,119 billed annually)
  • 1000 Virtual Users
  • 100 Load Testing Hours
  • Unlimited Load Tests
  • 1 Hour Max. Test Duration

Pro

  • $699/month ($5,199 billed annually)
  • 1,000 Virtual Users
  • 100 Load Testing Hours
  • Unlimited Load Tests
  • 1 Hour Max. Test Duration

Premium

  • $899/month ($7,399 billed annually)
  • 2,500 Virtual Users
  • 100 Load Testing Hours
  • Unlimited Load Tests
  • 4 Hours Max. Test Duration

Enterprise

  • Contact SmartBear for Enterprise level pricing.

 

LoadView Pricing

LoadView offers a free trial and has subscription-based plans, starting at $199 per month ($1,895 billed annually).

Starter

  • $199/month ($1,895 billed annually)
  • 1,000 Concurrent HTTP
  • 100 Concurrent Browsers
  • 15,000 HTTP Hours
  • 300 Browser User Hours
  • 30 Load Injector Hours
  • 4 Hours Max. Test Duration

Professional

  • $499/month ($4,695 billed annually)
  • 5,000 Concurrent HTTP
  • 500 Concurrent Browsers
  • 75,000 HTTP Hours
  • 1,500 Browser User Hours
  • 75 Load Injector Hours
  • 4 Hours Max. Test Duration

Advanced

  • $1,499/month ($13,99 billed annually)
  • 20,000 Concurrent HTTP
  • 2,000 Concurrent Browsers
  • 300,000 HTTP Hours
  • 6,000 Browser User Hours
  • 250 Load Injector Hours
  • 4 Hours Max. Test Duration

On-Demand

  • Pay as you go
  • 1,000,000 Concurrent HTTP
  • 100,000 Concurrent Browsers
  • $0.01 HTTP User Minute
  • $0.10 Browser User Minute
  • $4.00 Load Injector Hour
  • 4 Hours Max. Test Duration

With our subscription-based plans, unused virtual user minutes and load injector hours roll over and accumulate month-to-month as long as your subscription plan remains valid.  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 performance engineers can help with any, or all of the load testing process.

 

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  
Free trial with $20 in testing credits  
   

 

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 today!
No credit card, no contract.