Performance testing is one of the most important phases of any product launch as it verifies and validates the overall product performance. This testing can be done in different forms depending upon the resource availability and the type and volume of user base. The main agenda behind conducting performance testing to any product is to make sure the performance of the product is as expected before it gets launched in the market. Through Performance Testing Tutorial, let us learn about Performance Testing in depth.

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Performance Testing Tutorial for Beginners - Updated 2020

In this article, we will go through below topics

What is Performance Testing?

The process of validation of a project or system across parameters like scalability, reliability, speed, resource usage, stability, etc is called Perf or Performance Testing. This testing is done to ensure that the software or the system is durable enough to perform as per set expectations under a heavy workload and generate the desired output. It is a qualitative testing technique that verifies the product under test across these parameters.

Why should we do Performance Testing?

Like any other testing, that uncovers the loopholes and problem points in a given product, performance testing also brings up the weak point in the product under test. It indicates the scope of improvement in any product that is being tested over issues like a delayed response, large turnaround time, problems in running multiple commands simultaneously, and other inconsistencies across the software or the product. A bad test result indicates the overall poor usability of the product and calls for some improvements in it.

Software testing is done before the product is given a green signal to be launched into the market. The customers rely highly on the feedback and reviews of a given product where responsiveness is the most sought-after trait. A good performance test highlights the bottlenecks in the software before it gets to the end user.

Advantages of Performance Testing

There are several benefits to conducting performance testing across the target software before launching it directly in the market. Some of these are:

  • Validation across the fundamental features: The software is measured across the fundamental features that make it acceptable in the market. The reliability and robustness of the product are tested and in case any issues arise, improvisations in the existing product are made. 
  • Mapping the accuracy, speed, scalability, and stability of the product: Along with various other features, speed, accuracy, stability, and scalability are the most crucial ones. A software needs to be tested across these parameters to be reliable enough to be launched in the market. It is also indicative of the fact that how much is the product flexible in terms of any updation to be made as per user’s requirements.
  • Identification of bottlenecks and other discrepancies: Before the product is actually launched into the market, the developers get the final chance to make any rectification or changes in the product. Performance testing highlights any discrepancies in the product and allows developers to rectify it.
  • Capacity management: This aspect revolves around reflecting the true capacity of the product under testing in terms of workload.
  • Optimized working and improved performance: The optimization factor is reflective of how well and efficiently the product can handle any increase in the workload and volume. This gives the developers a hint of the extent to which the product is scalable and durable.
  • The satisfaction of the end users: Finally, your end users are happily satisfied if your end product works fine as per or beyond expectations if you had a trial run in the performance testing phase. A good response and throughput will gain you customer loyalty which is beneficial for your business.

What are the Common Performance Problems?

The most common performance problems are associated with the fundamental features that a performance test checks a system for. These include parameters like speed, reliability, response time, etc.

Some of the common performance problems are: 

  • Poor scalability: Poor scalability refers to the incapacity of the software to accommodate the desired and expected number of users and applications on board.
  • Extended load time: Load time is a major parameter that determines the speed at which an application launches and starts. Users prefer those apps which take just a few seconds to load, hence it should be as short as possible.
  • Bad response time: Response time refers to the time within which the application or the product starts interacting with you by generating outputs. The longer the response time, the poorer the performance.
  • Bottlenecks: Bottlenecks refer to the system faults, obstructions, and glitches that cause any hindrance in the working of the system.

What is the Process of Performance Testing?

The process of performance testing is as follows

#Step 1: Identification of the testing environment

Under this step, the physical environment under which testing will be conducted is set up. These include network configurations, software, and hardware requirements. You can conduct performance testing across different types of environments depending upon the availability and requirement. These may include:

  • A setup similar to the production system with a lesser number of servers with fewer specifications
  • A setup similar to the production system with a similar number of servers with similar specifications
  • A setup that completely imitates the production system
  • The actual production system

#Step 2: Identification of performance metrics

Parameters or metrics across which the product will be tested are determined. These include parameters like speed, accuracy, durability, etc.

#Step 3: Planning and designing of the performance test

Preliminary model(s) are created on the basis of decided parameters. These are like small test cases that are built around metrics including target and variability metrics.

#Step 4: Configuration of the test environment

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Under this step, you need to set up the metrics and other elements of the test cases and environment in order to conduct the testing.

#Step 5: Implementation of the test design

Once the test cases are developed and configured, you can now implement these tests on the target product.

#Step 6: Execution

The penultimate step is to run the developed tests that have been implemented on the target product. This step includes monitoring of the process and capturing all the data that is the outcome of the test.

#Step 7: Analysis

The final and most important step is to analyze the outcome and results of the run performance test and see what areas need some correction. This is where the actual viable results will come from to make any improvement in the target product.

Frequently Asked Performance Testing Interview Questions

What are the Metrics for Performance testing? 

1. Processor Usage

The amount of time spent in the execution of non-idle threads by a processor is called processor usage.

2. Memory use

The given amount of physical memory space that a processor has on a computer is called the memory use.

3. Disk time

The amount of time a disk spends in executing a command like read or write request is called the disk time.

4. Bandwidth

The number of bits per second (bps) used by a given network interface accounts for the bandwidth.

5. Private bytes

A particular number of bytes that have been allocated to a given process and cannot be shared amongst other processes are called private bytes.

6. Committed memory

Committed memory accounts for the total amount of virtual memory that has been used.

7. Memory pages/second

The number of pages that have been used in the whole process to read from or write onto the disk for the resolution of hard page faults is called memory pages/second.

Types of Performance Testing 

#1 Load Testing

The testing validates the target product for smooth functioning under the heavy or expected user load for which it is built. Any glitches in this type must be resolved before the product is launched in the market.

#2 Stress Testing

Stress testing needs to be done in order to determine the break-even point of any software or the product. This testing is done in order to check to what extent can the product handle user stress.

#3 Endurance Testing

Endurance refers to testing the duration to which the product can bear the overload without coming to a halt or breakdown position.

#4 Spike Testing

Spike testing refers to checking the durability of the product under test for a sudden increase in user activity.

#5 Volume Testing 

Volume testing refers to tracking and monitoring the software’s behavior under high volumes of data to see how well the product behaves under increased volume.

#6 Scalability Testing

The scalability testing is reflective of the idea of how well the product can support the scaling up in case required.

Difference between Functional Testing and Non-functional Testing?

Functional testing Non-functional testing
Answers the WHAT in terms of system performance and work Answers HOW in terms of system performance and work
It is done in order to make sure that product is free of glitches and bugs and meets the client requirements It is done to make sure that the developed product is at par with the client’s expectations
Its output is in terms of accuracy of the software Its output is in terms of the behavior of the software
Example: verifying the login step Example: verifying short load time of the homepage
Both manual and automated testing work well Automated testing is more preferred

Performance Testing tools 

Here is the list of Testing tools available for Performance Testing

1. Apache JMeter

It is one of the best and most used testing tools in the market right now. It is highly capable of creating a large number of virtual users working on a web server.

2. LoadRunner

As is its name, HP LoadRunner is exceptional at handling a large number of users for testing.

3. WebLOAD

Webload is one of the best testing tools for stress and load testing. 

4. LoadUI

A great testing tool to map the scalability and speed of the target product.

5. LoadView

LoadView tool is a testing tool that uses real browser-based load testing to generate highly reliable data by implementing multiple scripts that simulate users. 

6. NeoLoad

It is one of the fastest testing tools with a speed around 10 times the traditional testing tools that integrated seamlessly into your existing software with a wide array of tests.

Examples of Performance Test cases

Some of the examples of performance test cases are:

  • Verification of load time of the homepage
  • Verification of response time is under 5 seconds for a user base of 1000
  • Validating the maximum limit of traffic that the application can support without crashing
  • Checking the time it takes for a server to get back to normal behavior after a spike in user activity.

How to choose the right Performance Testing Tool?

Performance testing tools can be selected by factoring in several components that have a considerable impact on the decision. These include:

  • Expenses and budget
  • License type
  • Customer preference if any
  • Training costs on the selected tool
  • Vendor support and policy inclusions

Conclusion

Performance testing is a crucial aspect before the end product is finally aired for public use. Keeping major factors like costs, testing tool type, metrics, and fundamental parameters, extensive testing can be done to ensure the robustness of your end product.

To know more about performance testing and test cases, leave comments in the comment section below.