What is Performance Testing

Michael Harvey
August 5, 2022
 Mins Read

Performance testing is the process of examining a program’s speed, scalability, stability, and effectiveness. Often implemented along with stress testing, performance testing is a method of ensuring the quality of performance of an application under varying loads. The main goal of such type of testing is to find and resolve bugs and eliminate performance bottlenecks in the design and architecture, such as poor usability and inconsistency across different OS before the application hits the market.

The process of performance testing involves quantitative tests that measure the response time or the MIPS (millions of instructions per second) at which the system functions, and qualitative tests that analyze the maximum user load that the program can handle.

Types of Performance Testing

1. Load Testing:

To check an application’s capability to perform under probable user loads

2. Stress Testing:

To test an application’s ability to handle high traffic

3. Endurance Testing:

To ensure that the application can handle the expected load for a longer time period

4. Spike Testing:

To test an application’s reaction to unexpected large spikes generated by excessive load

5. Volume Testing:

To check an application’s performance under varying database volumes

6. Scalability Testing:

To determine an application’s effectiveness in supporting an increase in user load

Some of the best tools available in the market to test the performance of an application are HP Loadrunner, HTTP Load, and Proxy Sniffer. However, the tool that is to be used depends on a variety of factors, such as the types of the protocol supported, hardware requirements, platform supported, license cost, and so on.

Process of Performance Testing

The objective of performance tests will always remain the same, regardless of the methodology adopted. The process of performance testing can either help in demonstrating that the software system meets the pre-defined performance criteria or identify the parts that are degrading the performance.

Generally, the steps involved in the process are:

1. Identifying Testing Environment:

This step includes gaining knowledge about the physical test and production environment along with the hardware, software, and network configuration details and the tools available.

2. Identifying the Performance Acceptance Criteria:

This includes resource allocation and defining goals for throughput.

3. Planning and Designing Performance Tests:

In this step, a tester has to determine key scenarios and the usage variability among different users.

4. Test Environment Configuration:

This is the most essential step in the performance testing process as the testing environment has to be prepared.

5. Implementing the Test Design:

Performance tests are developed in accordance with the test design in this step.

6. Executing, Monitoring, and Validating the tests

7. Finally, Analyzing, Tuning, and Retesting

Benefits of Performance Testing:

  • Facilitates prediction of an application’s performance characteristics
  • Enables decision-making on addressing the performance issues based on the prediction
  • Aids in determining the efficiency of an application
  • Enables a tester in making informed decisions about why and when the system should be tuned
  • Verifies that the desired performance characteristics are exhibited by an application within budget
  • An effective way of comparing an application’s current and desired performance

In conclusion, performance testing is essential before marketing any application to ensure customer satisfaction and protect the stakeholder’s investment.

Article by
Michael Harvey

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