By: Katie Johns
Software Performance Testing is essential to determine the functioning of the system under different conditions and loads. The main purpose of performance testing is not to find bugs or defects but to assess the performance of the system against a set of standards and expectations. It is a critical testing approach to help identify the bottlenecks in the applications being tested and to increase their performance.
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Software Performance Testing has been identified as a major 2018 software testing trends. It was earlier considered as an afterthought and performed just before the project ended. Enterprises, however, are taking performance testing more seriously and started including it earlier in software development lifecycle. There are enterprises that include performance testing approach in continuous integration process.
Performance testing is a complete full lifecycle activity, which has checks to test each component as soon as they’re built. Load tests must be automated and can be invoked, whenever required.
Difference between Performance and Functional Testing
Performance testing are different from functional testing. It usually follows functional testing.
Performance testing is different functional testing (it implies testing the software functions). Functional testing includes unity sanity and interface testing. On the other hand, performance testing examines the software preparedness and performance.
Continuous Integration and Performance Testing
Continuous Integration or CI is one of the most critical elements in Agile Development. When it is performed along with performance testing, CI can be important to detect and mitigate performance issues that can unsettle your system. It can give you a real ROI as you can prevent failure of your system, brand reputation and company revenue.
What are the top 5 essential testing types that are part of performance testing?
Performance testing helps to identify and test the performance aspects and help you pin up all the hurdles that can threaten the performance of the software.
Soak Testing – It is an assessment to check how the system performs over a long period of time when exposed to normal workload. This assessment roots out system issues like database resource utilization and log file handles.
Scalability Testing – This form of testing analyzes the performance of the software when the workload is increased.
Load Testing – It can examine how the software performs when there’s a surge in workload (refers to the volume of transactions, number of concurrent users under normal conditions). It measures the response time and
Spike Testing – With spike testing, you can assess how the software will respond when it is repeatedly exposed to huge and quick amounts of workloads.
Stress Testing – This form of testing will test how a system will perform under abnormal conditions. For example, it examines how will the system respond if it’s faced with an unexpected number of transactions or has large number of concurrent users. It allows testers to check the performance of the software under pressure and its ability to recover from failure.
Most common issues uncovered during Performance Testing
Scalable – Usually performance testing can uncover issues related to scalability related to CPU usage, memory leaks, operating system limitations, poor network configuration and disk usage.
Bottlenecks -It uncovers issues related to data flow that might be interrupted since the system does not have adequate capacity to manage the workload.
Insufficient hardware resources – Physical memory issues or CPU performance issues are typically the kind of hardware related issues discovered.
Software configuration challenges – The software settings are insufficient to handle the software workloads.
8 critical steps involved in Performance Testing
1. Identify the testing environment
Identify the software, hardware, tools and network configuration to setup the performance testing environment.
2. Identify the performance metrics
The performance testing metrics are related to response time, constraints, throughput and other metrics related to system’s performance.
3. Plan and design a test plan
Recognize performance test scenarios that take factors like test data, user variability and target metrics into account.
4. Configure the test environment
Arrange the test environment and instrument elements required to monitor resources.
5. Implement the test design
This is the step where you develop the test cases.
6. Perform the tests
It’s action time where you run the tests, monitor the test results and encapsulate the test results.
7. Analyze and prepare report
Assess the data and share the results of the performance testing report.
Performance test needs to be conducted with the predictable and unpredictable parameters.