A Complete Guide to Performance Testing
Dec 28, 2022 | 42Gears Team
Performance testing is an important step in the software development process. However, it is often ignored and begins after the functional testing is completed. As a matter of fact, sometimes it is executed right before the code or application is ready to be released. Because of this, apps don't always give users a good experience, which forces businesses to make expensive fixes or even take the product off the market.
In this blog, we will explore some of the most important aspects of performance testing. Let’s begin.
What is performance testing?
Performance testing is a non-functional testing technique that ensures that software applications perform well under the given workload. It helps to determine the scalability, stability, speed, and responsiveness of applications under the given conditions. Performance testing is mostly conducted before app launch; however, whenever there is any change in code, regression testing must be done to check the performance of the app after a recent development or change.
Why should you conduct performance testing?
Performance testing is important because it reveals bugs and gives developers the opportunity to improve the code before its launch. Performance testing is necessary to assess the output of the application, workload effectiveness, processing speed, memory utilization, command response time, data transfer rate, and network bandwidth usage.
You need to conduct performance testing in order to:
- Verify whether an application can handle the workload or if it satisfies all performance requirements
- Determine an app's stability during peak traffic hours
- Identify the best system by comparing multiple systems
- Know the computing problems within an app
- Develop high-quality services to deliver a positive user experience
- Identify the issues that can prevent an app from performing as intended
In short, performance testing helps resolve issues that may hinder the user experience.
What are the various types of performance testing?
A variety of tests must be run in order to evaluate the various aspects of an application. These include:
Scalability testing helps measure the performance of an application as the workload increases. Sometimes applications may crash, take longer to load, or have other issues while scaling up.
Load testing is used to understand the bottlenecks before an application is released. It evaluates the app’s performance under normal load conditions.
The goal of endurance testing, also known as soak testing, is to uncover system problems such as memory leaks, which can impair an application’s response time. It evaluates how the app performs under the normal workload over an extended period.
Stress testing determines how an application manages high-traffic levels or data processing during extreme workloads. It helps identify the weak points of the application.
Spike testing evaluates an application’s performance when workloads increase quickly and repeatedly over a short period of time.
Volume testing is also known as "flood testing," and it measures how an application performs when it is flooded with a large amount of data.
What all is included in the performance testing process?
To test an application, you can follow the steps given below:
Identify the test environment
The process starts with the identification of the test environment. The test environment is where networks, software, hardware, and infrastructure are set up to perform the tests. Identifying the environment and performance testing tools helps testing teams understand the challenges and design tests accordingly.
Identify the performance testing metrics
Performance testing metrics are essential to understand the effectiveness and quality of the testing. These metrics include response time, average latency or wait time, error rate, peak response time, average load time, load size, CPU utilization, memory utilization, hit ratios, rollback segment, etc.
Plan and design the performance test
Plan and design performance tests based on end-user variability, test data, and possible use cases.
Configure the test environment
Prior to the test, prepare the test environment using the necessary tools, instruments, or resources.
Implement the test design
Then, implement the test design to create performance tests.
Now, execute the performance tests, and also monitor and capture the results.
Analyze the tests and retest
In the end, analyze the test results. If needed, run the test again using different or the same parameters.
What problems are solved by performance testing?
The following are some typical performance issues that can be identified and fixed using performance testing:
Responses and Load Time: Using performance testing, speed issues, such as slow responses and longer load times, can be easily identified and solved.
Scalability Issues: Performance testing can identify scalability issues that can delay the results and increase errors.
Configuration Issues: Performance testing can identify software configuration issues that prevent the app from handling the workload.
Obstructions: Performance testing helps to understand the obstructions in a system. Obstructions result when an application does not have adequate capacity to handle the workload, and this may halt or interrupt the data flow.
Hardware Problems: Performance testing can detect the insufficiency of hardware resources. It may also help identify memory constraints and low-performing CPUs.
What are the best practices in performance testing?
Consider the following best practices in performance testing to get the desired results:
- Tests should be run as early as possible as it may be less costly than making major mistakes later.
- Tests should be run in an environment close to the production systems.
- Tests should be run on individual units and modules.
- Multiple tests should be conducted to get consistent results and find metric averages.
- Developers and testers should be involved while creating the test environment.
- The performance testing environment should not be mixed with the quality assurance testing environment.
- Test reports should be prepared keeping in mind the audience and they should include all the system and software changes.
- The effect the test results on end users should be monitored.
Building a reliable, fast, and economical performance testing system with AstroFarm
An app needs to be tested on multiple devices before launch. These devices may be of different makes and run different operating systems (Android, iOS, Linux, and Windows). Also, devices may not always be physically available for testers to run tests at a given point in time. This means that if a required device is located in a different geography, it may need to be transported to the location where testing is being performed. This, in turn, increases transportation costs and delays the app launch. All these challenges can be addressed using AstroFarm, a platform that helps you create your own device farm. With AstroFarm, you don’t need to purchase the same set of devices for each of your testing hubs located across different geopolitical zones. AstroFarm enables remote sharing of devices across locations, so testers and developers can easily access any device at any time, from anywhere. This helps companies reduce their transportation as well as testing costs.