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Overview of Load Testing Tools and Best Practices

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Introduction to Load Testing

Lоаd Testing is а tyрe оf Рerfоrmаnсe testing. It helps us in the understanding of performance оr behavior оf аn аррliсаtiоn/server when various loads аre аррlied. Lоаd testing needs tо be рerfоrmed in nоrmаl аnd рeаk lоаd соnditiоns. The аіm оf load testing is to find the system behavior when different lоаds аre аррlied.

Fоr exаmрle, yоu exрeсt yоur АРI оr website tо serve 10K users simultаneоusly, but when you рut рressure оn it, it quickly beсоmes evident thаt yоur саlсulаtiоns differ frоm reаlity. Then уоu shоuld аnаlyze the weak роints in your design or setuр to see hоw уоu саn benefit from the high load.
Continuous Load testing is a risk management activity. Continuous Load Testing Tools and Features

What are the Best Practices for Load or Performance Testing?

The best tool аnd sоftwаre is nоt аll it takes fоr yоu tо perform fаvоrаble load testing оf уоur аррlication. Whаt yоu need mоst is knowledge of the best рrасtiсes when load testing. Here аre а few tried аnd tested рrасtiсes:


  • Determine key measures for the application and web performance: Make sure some criteria is defined fоr the testing. Some criteria include response times, throughput, resource utilization, maximum user load, and business performance metrics.
  • Choose a suitable tool: Tool should be selected that best caters to your needs. Tools should be selected by measuring each requirement, and they should fill the requirements.
  • Ensure your user journey is accurate: It can not be overstated how critical this point is. Most structures and applications are stateful. As an example, you couldn't remove products from a purchasing cart without first registering an account and logging into the account. Defined tests need to model these user journeys accurately and appropriately.
  • Use dynamic test data: Most networks could have caches that save information being used repetitively. If a defined test is logging in with the same user to the same system area, this will not make for a practical actual-world simulation.
  • Involve a wide range of stakeholders: Load testing should be the responsibility of everyone involved within the business. Business and analytics-focused people will typically have access to information not predominantly available to the development phase.
  • Focus on response time percentiles, not averages: Measuring a system’s average reaction time is insufficient to determine performance. A handful of outlying times can significantly skew the info and make system performance seem better (or worse) than reality.
Stateful and Stateless Applications is the foundation upon which most architectures and designs are based. Stateful and Stateless Applications Best Practices

Why is it important to choose Load Testing tools wisely?

  • Could affect team performance: Different advanced test automation tools are designed to support different programming languages, so it is essential that you choose a test automation tool your team is going to be most comfortable working with. If the team is unfamiliar with the programming language, they will have to spend more time, and performance may decrease.
  • All your requirements may not be covered: It's important to research your testing goals. After all, if you're not aware of what you would like from a testing tool, which features it must have, how are you presupposed to make the right choice? Once you recognize what to expect from the automation of the testing process, search for a test automation tool that's designed to satisfy your needs.
  • It can affect your budget: It's essential to research your testing goals. After all, if you're not aware of what you would like from a testing tool, which features it must have, how are you presupposed to make the right choice? Once you recognize what to expect from the automation of the testing process, search for a test automation tool that's designed to satisfy your needs.

What are the best Load Testing tools?

The below listed are the Load testing tools along with their Pros and Cons

Apache JMeter

  • Pros
  1. GUI Design and Interface
  2. Result Analysis and Caches
  3. Highly Extensible Core
  4. 100% Java scripted
  5. Pluggable Samplers
  • Cons
  1. Apache JMeter doesn’t support JavaScript, so it doesn’t support AJAX requests by extension
  2. After a particular limit, high memory consumption causes errors for an oversized number of users
  3. It can be challenging to check complex applications using JavaScript or dynamic content like CSRF tokens.
  • Best For
  1. Apache Jmeter is an excellent open-source load testing tool for businesses of all sizes. The tool gives its users various useful testing tools free, and users can customize the tool according to their needs.

WebLOAD

  • Pros
  1. Powerful correlation engine
  2. Generate load on-premise or in the cloud
  3. Supports every major web technology
  4. Automatic bottleneck detection
  • Cons
  1. Complex
  2. According to feedback from some quote-based users, the tool is pricey
  3. Rarely, the record functionality includes a race condition that causes lines to record out of order
  • Best For
  1. WebLOAD is a comprehensive load test tool that enables businesses of all sizes to
    test websites, applications, and enterprise-level applications.

BlazeMeter

  • Pros
  1. 100% Compatible with Apache JMeter
  2. Create tests on any scale – up to 1 million concurrent users
  3. Set up tests within minutes
  4. Run scriptless tests or upload URL lists
  5. Run tests from multiple geo-locations
  • Cons
  1. Blazemeter reporting is very basic and shallow
  2. Blazemeter is expensive for user load volumes exceeding 1000 users
  • Best For
  1. BlazeMeter is an excellent load testing tool for organizations already using Apache Jmeter. Jmeter can benefit you according to the size of your business, and the tool can benefit you.
Various Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery tools help us automate the process precisely and with the least effort. Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery

How can we choose Load Testing tools according to our Business?

  • Support to Agile & DevOps Testing

The testing tool should be integrated with agile tools and DevOps, making it easy to integrate with continuous integration with continuous development frameworks like Jenkins, Maven to name a few of these tools. The tool should support shift-left testing by enabling shortening of building and testing cycles, so it helps to save more testing time.

  • Should Support Protocol-Level Record/Playback

The test tool should support the recorded communication between the two phases of the program and can properly play the automated script. These tools should also support HTTP, other essential and customary protocols. In some cases, load testing is reduced to pre-production testing using a record/play protocol type of key feature.

  • Support API Programming

There can be applications on which we can't apply the recordings. In those cases, API calls from the script could also be an efficient option. So, load testing tools should support the usage of API testing scripts and web services scripting.

  • Should Support Desktop and Mobile Applications

Undoubtedly, with ever-changing applications and smart apps around, test tools should support desktop and mobile applications testing. In addition, these tools should support testing of all types of mobile applications such as Indigenous, Hybrid, Web and Security applications.

  • Proper Test Management

Load testing tools must have a built-in ability to manage test execution and enable test data. Load testing tools should support coordination between virtual users with reference to synchronization points, protocols, and different network connections. Some open and paid source tools allow us to test complex test scenarios and configure each user group in the required way.

SaaS testing is the method of assuring the quality of the software by undergoing different validation activities. Software as a Service Testing Tools and Best Practices

What are the Use Cases for Load Testing?

  • Determining Server Performance at Different Loads

The primary purpose of web server load testing is to reproduce real-life conditions for the application under test and determine how it behaves when working under a huge load. Web server load testing should give answers to the following typical questions.

Does my server support N concurrent users?

  1. How many users at once can work with a web server without a noticeable drop?
  2. How do we change server response time when you increase and decrease the number of users?
  • To check whether the server supports a certain number of users

The main goal of load testing is to ensure that your web server can work accurately with a certain number of concurrent users. On the Load Complete tool, you create such load tests easily. To full fill this, tools generate virtual users that run recorded scenarios and check whether the server works fine with this number of users.

  • Finding the Server's Crash Point

The crash point is not every time an error message or access violation. It can be a noticeable slowdown in request processing.

Stress testing should give answers to the following typical questions:

  1. How many loads can crash the server application?
  2. What specifications do we monitor to make sure that the server remains available?
  3. How do I break down my web servers and databases?
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Conclusion

Manifestly, peak load testing is not just a development need but rather a need of business. Key stakeholders continue to rely on applications and need stable and high-performing applications to enable profitable business transactions even under peak loads. Hence, this is necessary for any business to load test applications using either paid or open-source load testing tools because covering every requirement for any business is very important. We need to think about some points while selecting these tools that output to be taken care of to ensure proper load testing of your business applications.

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