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What is a Performance Test and Why it's important?

Introduction of Appium in Mobile Automation Test

With the Performance Test, you can evaluate the responsiveness, robustness, availability, reliability, and scalability of an application, according to the number of simultaneous connections, evaluating its performance in high workload, and considering its behavior under normal circumstances.

It is a type of non-functional test, which in particular, the purpose of such experiments may be to ensure that the software does not present problems or unavailability in conditions of insufficient computational resources (such as memory, processing or disk space).

when working in high competition or suffering some denial of service attack.

The goal of performance testing is not to find errors, but to eliminate performance bottlenecks. This focus is to verify behavior based on three factors:

  • Speed – determines whether the app responds quickly
  • Scalability – determines the maximum user load that the application can support.
  • Stability – determines whether the application is stable under varying loads

But why should you take this kind of test? Below are some benefits of performing performance tests:

  • Improvement of quality from the user’s point of view;
  • Reduction of the cost of changes;
  • Reduction of system costs;
  • Increased profits;
  • Early identification of the most critical defects of the application as system architecture;
  • The satisfaction of the end-user;
  • The clarity in the use of resources;
  • A recent survey by Akamai, along with Forrester Consulting, found that 40% of consumers wait no more than 3 seconds for a page to load on a website. Besides, 51% point out that the main cause for abandoning a shopping cart is the slowness of the site system. A 2-second delay in load time during a transaction results in abandonment rates of up to 87%

Performance Test Types

There are some types of Performance Test, where each has its objective and its particularities, nowadays, these are the best known:

  1. Load Testing: It is usually performed to identify system behavior under a specific expected load. This can be an expected amount of concurrent users, an hourly number of operations, or a certain number of transactions in the system under test. 

This type of test is ideal for verifying that the application, web server, or database under test maintains good behavior during its usual workload.

  1. Stress Testing: It is performed to check the behavior of the environment and software during an extreme load. Also to determine whether the system under test will perform sufficient operations above the expected maximum.
  1. Endurance Testing: Also known as Soak Testing or long-term testing, it consists of determining whether the system under test can withstand a continuous load for long periods. Determines whether the software under test will behave appropriately in memory usage over a long period of use, for example. Another important point of this type of test is to verify that there is no degradation in performance after 4 or 8 hours of continuous use. To ensure that it meets the normal production periods in which the system will be used.
  1. Spike Testing: Tests the software’s reaction to sudden large spikes in user-generated load.
  1. Volume Testing: In Volume tests, much of the data is populated in a database, and the overall behavior of the software system is monitored. The goal is to verify the performance of the software application on multiple database volumes.

Load test x stress test

Researching this subject, we noticed that many people are still confused when talking about load tests and stress tests, so we brought a small comparison just to make it a little clearer.

Load Test analyzes the normal conditions of your app or website by answering questions such as:

  • How quickly does it load when a user visits your site?
  • How quickly will you load when 15 people are on your site at once?

Load testing is used to ensure that the software works as expected under normal circumstances.

Stress Testing, on the other hand, defies the limits of your site to see how much traffic is required to slow performance or stop it completely.

  • By simulating 10,000 users, for example, a site is likely to perform differently under this pressure than in everyday use. Although stress testing covers unlikely test environments, it is important to analyze risks and breakpoints.

Common performance testing issues

When performing the performance test, some common problems are:

  • Long charging time
  • Little response time
  • Poor scalability
  • Bottleneck
  • Some common performance bottlenecks are:

– CPU utilization

– Memory usage

– Network use

– Limitations of the Operating System

– Disk usage

Examples of Test Cases

It is also interesting to note how test cases for this type of test are written, here are some examples:

  • Check the response time is no longer than 4 seconds when 1000 users access the site simultaneously
  • Check that the response time of the application under load is within an acceptable range when network connectivity is slow
  • Now check the maximum number of users the app can handle before crashing
  • Then check database runtime when 500 records are read/written simultaneously
  • Check the CPU and memory usage of the application and database server under peak load conditions
  • Check application response time in low, normal, moderate and heavy load conditions

Performance Testing Tools

There are several paid and free tools to perform performance tests, through a survey conducted this year to display the 15 best tools, we will mention some of the best known:

  1. WebLOAD
  2. LoadNinja, New American
  3. SmartMeter.io
  4. LoadView, New View
  5. LoadUI NG Pro
  6. Apache JMeter
  7. Loadrunner
  8. Appvance, New
  9. NeoLoad, New
  10. Load complete

3- Strategic Tips

Not least, we would like to leave a video of this excellent professional that we follow daily on various topics in the area of Software Testing, where he cites 3 strategic tips for planning performance tests:

The three strategic tips are as follows:

  1. Analyze your customers’ usage of the app
  2. Identify the flows that customers use and
  3. Know what you want to find out.

We conclude then that the use of performance tests is something that can help both in the analysis of how your system behaves today and especially how it will behave in front of users. 

We know that nowadays, if a page or the system itself takes a certain time to load, the number of users who will no longer use this site will rise dramatically, resulting directly in the company’s profit.

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