Alternatives to Silk Performer

Real Browser-Based Load Testing with LoadView by Dotcom-Monitor

Empowering teams to quickly and easily load and stress test websites, web applications, and APIs.

100% Managed Cloud

No hardware to provision or network to maintain.

Script the User Journey

Point and click scripting and support for 40+ desktop/mobile browsers and devices.

Multiple Load Test Curves

More flexibility and customization for today’s environments.

Geo-Distributed Network

Initiate load injector servers from 18 zones around the world.

Scale with confidence.
Understand performance limit and identify bottlenecks.

Gain insight into performance metrics that are vital for capacity planning.

Features Silk Performer Other Cloud Providers LoadView
Easy, Straightforward Pricing
Powerful, Easy-to-Use Scripting Tool
Multiple Load Test Curves
No Steep Learning Curve
Not OS Dependent
Detailed Reports and Summaries
Unused Resources Rollover Month-to-Month (Subscription Plans)

If you’re a current Silk Performer customer, or just searching for a load and stress testing solution for your organization, you may want to take a look at LoadView by Dotcom-Monitor. Quickly create load and stress tests for your websites, web applications, and APIs. Read more about the powerful features and functionality of LoadView below!

 

The Importance of Load Testing

As user and customer expectations become more demanding, the technology used to build websites and web applications becomes increasingly complex. Developers and engineers have to ensure these complex systems don’t create unnecessary bottlenecks and end up impacting performance. Studies show that if your website doesn’t load within just a few seconds, users are likely to abandon it completely, and never return. In order to avoid losing a potential customer to your competition, organizations need to continually perform stress and load tests to ensure websites and applications are performing within their specific thresholds, ensuring that the customer’s online experience is seamless.

Silk Performer is an extremely popular enterprise-level load and stress testing solution. And while there are definitely some similarities between Silk Performer and LoadView, we’ll explain why LoadView sets itself apart from other load testing platforms on the market today.

 

LoadView versus Silk Performer: Load and Stress Testing for Websites, Web Applications, and APIs

LoadView was created with usability in mind. LoadView utilizes fully managed cloud networks (Google Cloud Platform and Amazon Web Services), so there’s no need to manage load generators, global agents, or worry about maintaining any additional infrastructure. By removing these time-consuming tasks from the performance testing setup process, you can manage your time more efficiently by focusing on the design, execution, and analysis of your tests.

Determining how many users your website, web application, or API can handle – and how your system responds – is important for many reasons, but there are several core reasons why investing in load and stress testing is important:

  • Infrastructure
    Determining if your infrastructure needs improvement.  The cost of implementing additional hardware/software could be a potential waste of resources.
  • Scalability
    Understanding why your site or application slows down as the number of users increases.
  • Real-world Performance
    Your website and web applications can handle everyday traffic, but what happens when you run a marketing promotion or during the busiest shopping days of the year? How will your site respond with thousands of additional visitors?
  • Third-party Services
    See how external services behave during normal or peak load conditions

 

One of the benefits of LoadView is that the platform provides load/stress testing from the cloud, so you don’t need to rely on several different tools to spin up the appropriate number of concurrent user.  On the other hand, Silk Performer is one of several tools in the Micro Focus portfolio designed for functional/performance testing. For example, if you are a Silk Test user, you can reuse your functional tests and upload them into Silk Performer for load and stress testing.

 

  • Silk Test. Used for automation, functional, and regression testing.
  • Silk Performer. Used for web and mobile performance testing.
  • Silk Performer CloudBurst. Used to launch any size peak-load test from the cloud.
  • Silk Mobile. Used for functional testing of mobile devices.

 

An important differentiator between LoadView and Silk Performer is that Silk Performer must be installed on a local Windows machine, therefore, depending on the application under test, you are bound by the pre-defined maximums on the number of supported virtual users per computer-based agent and cloud-based agent.  Silk Performer requires Microsoft Windows 7 or newer, or Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 or newer.

Silk Performer system requirements:

  • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo or equivalent CPU
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Hard disk space: 2.2 GB for controller software installation/1 GB for agent-only installation
  • Network: Network connectivity to the system under test and to all Silk Performer agent computers

 

Silk Performer works with three types of virtual users. Each type allows to simulate different application types:

Web

Standard Premium
Web Browser-Driven Visual Studio Extension GUI Level Testing (Silk4J, Silk4NET, Silk Test Classic)
GUI-level testing in single session mode with selected web browsers Java Add-On Remedy Web ARS
HTTP(S) (Web browser low level) DB2-CLI Add-On SAPGUI Add-On for Silk Performer
HTTP(S)/HTML (Web browser high level) Silk Performer Licensing Oracle Applications/Forms Add-On
HTTP(S)/XML (Web services, SOAP) VUser Type Application Type PeopleSoft Add-On
HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) OCI Add-On Siebel Add-On
Silverlight ODBC Add-On Citrix Add-On
Mobile Visual Basic Add-On (Framework) Terminal Emulation (Green-Screen) Add-On
SAP NetWeaver Directory server (LDAP) Tuxedo/ATMI Add-On
WebDAV (MS Outlook Web Access) CORBA Add-On  
Email (SMTP/POP)    
FTP    
TCP/IP    
UDP    
AMF0/AMF3/FLEX    
Java over HTTP    
DLL Interface    
     

 

Creating Load Testing Scripts: Silk Performer vs. LoadView

When it comes to creating scripts, the Silk Performer recorder gives users seemingly unlimited options to create and configure scripts based on their specific environment, browser, or application being tested. In most cases, users must know and select the correct option before creating the script. There is no shortage of rules and guidelines for the various settings, applications, technologies, and environments. This alone can make it quite burdensome to efficiently begin load and stress testing.
On the other hand, the LoadView platform makes it easy. Depending on what you’re testing, you need only to select from three options: HTTP/S, Web Page, or Web Application.

For load testing web applications, the EveryStep Recorder LoadView platform utilizes a single web-based recorder called the EveryStep Web Recorder. You can record every step of a web transaction and replay your scripts in real browsers. The recorder supports over 40+ desktop/mobile browsers and devices as well technologies used to create interactive content, such as Flash, HTML5, Java, PHP, Ruby, Silverlight, and more.

Silk Performer also allows users to use real browsers (Internet Explorer, Chrome, and Firefox). Note that recording within Chrome or Firefox is currently not supported, however, once you’ve recorded your script within the browser application, your scripts can be replayed in Chrome or Firefox.

 

Executing Load Tests: Silk Performer vs. LoadView

With the unlimited options Silk Performer gives users and applications the platform supports, there are specific guidelines, prerequisites, and rules that need to be followed to run load tests. This is great when it comes to supporting all the different technologies and applications, it gives users more customization options, but users must wade through various steps, such as defining user types, finding baselines, adjusting workload, assigning agents, and verifying your tests scripts on all agents – all before executing their test.

Compared to Silk Performer, LoadView is straightforward. Simply pick from a handful of settings (such as SSL check, content validation, authentication, DNS options) three types of load curves (Load Step, Goal-based, and Dynamic Adjustable), an execution plan, and lastly, the location(s) you want to run the test 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
Useful when you have already identified the limiting level of your required throughput and need to ensure that your performance goal is met.  Great for validating SLA or non-functional requirements.

Dynamic Adjustable Curve
Adjust load during a test and see results in real-time, giving insight into how site or application performance changes as load levels fluctuate.

To run larger load tests from the cloud with Silk Performer, you must utilize a separate solution called CloudBurst that allows you to rent additional infrastructure and virtual users on a per-use basis.

During your 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.

Silk Performer also provides a wide-range of reports and results, such as baseline reports, time series, TrueLog files, user results. Silk Performer users also have the ability to view custom charts and tables that include statistics on the overall number of virtual users, transactions per second, errors, and throughput. You can also capture raw measure data and store it in a CSV file. From there you can import it into a spreadsheet program and create custom charts and graphs, for example.

 

Free Trials & Pricing: Silk Performer vs. LoadView

Micro Focus does provide a 45-day free trial, but does not provide pricing or plan information for their functional/performance testing products. You must contact them for pricing.

The LoadView trial is available for 30 days and includes $20 in load testing credits. LoadView has subscription-based plans, starting at $199 per month. With our subscription-based plans, all unused resources rollover and accumulate month-to-month as long as your plan remains active.  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 

We also provide Professional Services 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.

Conclusion

Silk Performer is very comprehensive load testing tool, with support for multiple programming languages. If you’re a medium to large enterprise that manages multiple programming languages and environments, Silk Performer might be the solution for you. However, when it comes to simplicity, ease of use, and pricing consideration, the LoadView platform outperforms Silk Performer. 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, cloud accounts, or add-on solutions.

With Silk Performer, there’s a steep learning curve, separate downloads, requirements, and multiple 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. Teams need a tool that can help save them time and create efficiencies and puts the focus on executing tests. LoadView by Dotcom-Monitor is that tool. LoadView offers multiple pricing plans, even an on-demand plan, so if you only need to execute load and stress tests a few times a year, you can do so easily without any hassles.

Try LoadView from Dotcom-Monitor

and get $20 in Free Testing Credits!