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Best Practices for Effective Load Testing

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This testing generally estimates an application’s maximum functional capability, whether the existing infrastructure can support the application, the application’s sustainability as measured against peak user load and the count of concurrent users that the system can support along with scalability to ensure accessibility for more users. Since a number of components are involved, load testing requires an effective strategy in order to ensure a successful outcome. Let’s discuss the main steps of load testing before we proceed to look into the best practices. These will be helpful when you seek to differentiate between Load Testing Services providers.

Major Steps of Load Testing
  • Planning: It is very important to plan a target load in order to determine whether the application is able to support that load. While planning it is best to make use of a calculator to estimate how many concurrent users are required to attain the target load level. Moreover, proper test account data should be created during the planning phase.
  • Configuration: In order to derive the best results, the load test should be properly configured. For configuring the test, you need to consider certain basic things like where your web traffic would be coming from, the number of users coming to the site, how the user load should be applied, whether the test should be conducted with virtual users instead of real users, where within the site users are spending maximum time and how much time users spend on navigation.
  • Scripting: One of the major components of load testing is an appropriate load testing script that enables the simulation of real user behavior over the website in an accurate and efficient manner. For scripting, you need to chart out a scenario outline, recognize a practical range of pause times amidst steps and decide whether the script will call for parameterization or randomization.
  • Execution: During the execution of load testing, you need to focus on certain metrics that are usually captured while running a load test. Some of the most useful metrics are number of page views, number of successful transactions, types and number of errors, page load times and throughput. While running a load testing, there should be a constant scope of communication among all the responsible parties, namely the developers, database administrators and system administrators.
  • Analysis: The aim of any load testing is to find out whether the website or application is facing any capacity or performance issues. If such things happen, you are required to analyze the test result to identify the probable causes.
Best Practices in Load Testing
  • While carrying out the different steps of load testing the following best practices can be considered to maximize the success rate.
  • While running a load test, ensure that the environment is identical to what it is during recording of the test. If there are any changes in the operating environment, you might need to rerecord the tests.
  • In case load tests are conducted on a Siebel application, comprising a list applet, care should be taken to ensure that the list’s expected state is identical during the recording session and the execution session.
  • Wherever possible, it is good to break scenarios into a number of smaller components so that the tests are focused. The transaction definitions should be granular enough to enable the identification of performance issues.
  • The HTTP message bar traffic needs to be eliminated from transactions. Place the requests for message bar within your script exterior to the transaction blocks.
  • If you are planning for iterative actions, ensure that the application is in its base state and the next iteration can begin from there and get completed productively. Moreover, iterative actions should be made self-sufficient.
  • Data value parameters should be set up in such a manner so that they are specific for every virtual user. Again, each virtual user should possess a particular data subset within the database.
  • Ensure that the position and role of the user are compatible, so that the user can carry out the essential actions.
By appropriately following the best practices, the common pitfalls that clients face during load testing can be conveniently avoided. This ensures better and more successful test results.

We provide software performance testing services. Our certified load testers can help increase the robustness of your application. To know more how, please visit Mindfire Solutions.

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