Load Testing and Performance Testing

If you’re a Quality assurance engineer or a developer, you need to conduct various performance tests, to make sure each code change or feature added doesn’t break the system, and works.

But the question is which types of performance tests should you conduct and which test is suitable for which situation? In this article, we will cover the answers to these questions and some more things. 

Performance Testing

Performance testing is the general name for simple tests that check how your system performs and behaves. It examines responsiveness, scalability, stability, speed, reliability and resource usage of the software and infrastructure. Various performance tests provide you with different data.

Before testing, it’s important to determine your software’s business goals, so you can find if your system’s performance is good or not according to your customers’ needs.

After running the performance tests, you can inspect different KPIs, like hits per second, latency, and bytes per second, errors per second, as well as the links between them. Through these reports, you can identify bottlenecks, bugs, and errors, and decide what needs to be done.

If you’re using the waterfall methodology, then you’d release a version each time. When you want to check your app, website performance, as well as servers, etc., and while shifting left and going agile, you should run the test continuously.

Load Testing

Load testing checks how systems handle heavy load volumes or how system function under many virtual users performing various transactions over a definite period. There are some types of open-source load testing tools, in which JMeter is the most popular.

If you want to find how many users your system/server can handle. You can find a different user framework that lets you focus on your system’s different parts, e.g. the checkout page on your app or website for web load testing.

Load behaves can also be determined, such as to determine how the load builds and assists in the system. This is something you’ve to do all the time, to check that your system is always in focus. That is why it should be integrated into your Continuous Integration cycles, by using tools like Jenkins and Taurus.

White Box and Black Box in Load Testing

If you're considering different software testing methods, it’s worth exploring White Box testing versus Black Box testing.

The logic behind White Box testing is that let the tester observe what occurs inside the box during the test. This involves a level of understanding in terms of the internal architecture and code of the application. Still, that skill will allow you to better understand the final test results. 

On the other hand, there is Black Box testing, in which the application architecture is hidden. It has a defined and expected set of outputs and inputs, so then the tester will raise a red flag if the reality isn’t same to the assumptions. If every assumption is met, the system is good to go.

Load Testing White Box

White Box testing is having one big advantage over the Black Box testing logic that you must have knowledge about the system working. Then you’ll be able to delve into the system at hand, and can split it up into various subsystems for smarter tests and analysis. E.g. when you crash into an error you don’t have to quit the test cycle. As you’ve knowledge about how the system is built, you can work around the errors and continue your test to reveal more problems.

This strategy saves a great deal of energy and time. Eventually, the advantages of White Box testing are the disadvantages of Black Box testing.

The disadvantage to White Box testing is that it needs the testers who could be prejudiced because of their ability to look inside the system.

Black Box

It’s quite simple in terms of how it’s applied to load and performance testing. In this testing, the tester doesn’t need any knowledge about the internal operations of the system - tester only must focus on the user actions and expected outcomes. Because of this, the test is being easier to create and maintain.

Black box testing enables the tester to closely return user actions. The user doesn’t know what’s inside the box. Therefore, the tester acts more as a user and less as a developer. Because of this, the tester may uncover bugs and errors that might not have been otherwise found. 

The greatest challenge that remains is properly defining the test framework. Because the tester doesn’t observe what is happening within the system, they will often simply replicate the typical user flow. The Black Box tester creates scenarios by producing various input combinations without having a solid knowledge of the apps internal operations. With this method, it is quite difficult to spot which one of the frameworks will have an influence on a specific aspect of the system.

Final thoughts

·      The most effective solution comes about when developers find their own errors and bugs right from the start. That is why they can ensure a speedy and high-quality solution.

·      When Quality Assurance finds errors after apps have left the developers’ hands, more people and resources are involved, inevitably extending the process.

·      Its’ worst case scenario is when a customer reports a problem. In these cases, the Quality Assurance, deployment engineers, and developers have already worked on the app that has ultimately led to an unsatisfied customer.