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Rebecca Clinard

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Top Stories by Rebecca Clinard

The first step in performance or load testing a web application is to create a realistic test script. This script, representing a specific type of end user, contains steps that are fully automated transactions flows. Often, complex behaviors need to be emulated as part of these flows. To incorporate the needed behavior or to handle complex scenarios, testers need to customize these load scripts. The question is whether you utilize a tool that takes a GUI driven approach for script customization/manipulation, or whether you choose a tool which requires the use of a programming language. As Performance testers, we typically evaluate several load testing tools before diving into a project. Some of us prefer the GUI driven approach to creating load scripts because, being results driven, we want to get the test up and running as quickly as possible. The GUI approach saves... (more)

Reach Higher Scalability from Your Web Applications

When the performance of a web application starts to degrade, often IT managers jump to the conclusion that more hardware is required. This increased infrastructure can be expensive and may not even solve the underlying problem. Let's talk about tuning as a solution to higher scalability. It's been debated as to whether tuning is a science or an art but we can all agree on the goal: alleviate bottlenecks so that the web application can scale to a higher workload. Tuning is more efficient and cost effective than adding more hardware to your deployment. However, you need to have t... (more)

How to Test Application Throughput: Keep It Real

Often we see the workload to a web application measured by throughput. It's a way of quantifying the volume of requests/responses in relation to time. Transactions per second or TPS is the most common ratio used. A performance test plan usually contains certain throughput goals. The "GO or NO GO" decision for rolling out a new release or architectural change relies heavily upon a web application handling a certain TPS. Management wants a "Pass" stamp, but it's your job to make sure that the achieved TPS is indeed realistic - not an illusion of phony numbers. My advice is to "keep... (more)

Eleven Tips to Becoming a Better Performance Engineer

The ability to conduct effective performance testing has become a highly desired skillset within the IT industry. Unfortunately, these highly sought-after skills are consistently in short supply. "Front-end testers" can work with a tool to create a realistic load and although this is an important skillset, creating the load is just the beginning of any performance project. Understanding the load patterns and tuning the environment makes the unique talents of a "performance engineer" worth their weight in gold. Performance engineers require skills in data analysis such as resource ... (more)

Mobile Performance Testing: Demystified

How does the approach to performance / load testing extranet mobile applications change from testing other RIAs? In some ways, not much. Yes, the user activity for every mobile application will be unique, but the same goes for every web application. Different technology stacks, different deployments, different load patterns, different types of users profiles, and different content delivery… All make each web application, in its own right, unique. The approach to methodical performance testing for capacity planning and identifying scalability issues remains the same. The mobile ... (more)