What are the different types of performance tests?
There are many different types of performance tests. The most important ones include load, unit, stress, soak and spike tests.
Load testing simulates the number of virtual users that might use an application. In reproducing realistic usage and load conditions, based on response times, this test can help identify potential bottlenecks. It also enables you to understand whether it’s necessary to adjust the size of an application’s architecture.
Unit testing simulates the transactional activity of a functional test campaign; the goal is to isolate transactions that could disrupt the system.
Soak testing increases the number of concurrent users and monitors the behavior of the system over a more extended period. The objective is to observe if intense and sustained activity over time shows a potential drop in performance levels, making excessive demands on the resources of the system.
Stress testing evaluates the behavior of systems facing peak activity. These tests significantly and continuously increase the number of users during the testing period.
Spike testing seeks to understand implications to the operation of systems when activity levels are above average. Unlike stress testing, spike testing takes into account the number of users and the complexity of actions performed (hence the increase in several business processes generated).
What does performance testing measure?
Performance testing can be used to analyze various success factors such as response times and potential errors. With these performance results in hand, you can confidently identify bottlenecks, bugs, and mistakes – and decide how to optimize your application to eliminate the problem(s). The most common issues highlighted by performance tests are related to speed, response times, load times and scalability.
Excessive Load Times
Excessive load time is the allotment required to start an application. Any delay should be as short as possible – a few seconds, at most, to offer the best possible user experience.
Limited scalability represents a problem with the adaptability of an application to accommodate different numbers of users. For instance, the application performs well with just a few concurrent users but deteriorates as user numbers increases.
Poor Response Times
Poor response time is what elapses between a user entering information into an application and the response to that action. Long response times significantly reduce the interest of users in the application.
Bottlenecks are obstructions in the system that decrease the overall performance of an application. They are usually caused by hardware problems or lousy code.
What is the process for performance testing?
While testing methodology can vary, there is still a generic framework you can use to address the specific purpose of your performance tests – which is ensuring that everything will work properly in a variety of circumstances as well as identifying weaknesses.
1 – Identify the testing environment
Before you begin the testing process, it’s essential to understand the details of the hardware, software, and network configurations you’ll be using. Comprehensive knowledge of this environment makes it easier to identify problems that testers may encounter.
2 – Identify performance acceptance criteria
Before carrying out the tests, you must clearly define the success criteria for the application – as it will not always be the same for each project. When you are unable to determine your success criteria, it’s recommended that you find a similar application as the benchmark.
3 – Define planning and performance testing scenarios
To carry out reliable tests, it’s necessary to determine how different types of users might use your application. Identifying key scenarios and data points is essential for conducting tests as close to real conditions as possible:
- Set up the testing environment
- Implement test design
- Run and monitor tests
- Analyze, adjust and re-do the tests
After running your tests, you must analyze and consolidate the results. Once the necessary changes are done to resolve the issues, tests should be repeated to ensure the elimination of any others.