Think Beyond Application Performance Testing

Application Performance TestingAnalyze impediments to accelerate application performance

In today’s rapidly changing IT landscape, the traditional way of application performance testing and reporting is gradually losing its relevance. Traditionally, performance testers rely on performance and server side metrics to measure and analyze software efficiency. More often, assumptions relating to inferior performance of software applications are based on these metrics (without being certain about the real cause of the issue). Performance testers largely blame infrastructure as the underlying cause for all performance issues and often recommend IT infrastructure upgrades.

For instance, if the CPU consumption has reached 100% during peak hour testing, without a thorough investigation, it is difficult to conclude if this increase was due to hardware limitations or other unidentified factors. Adhering to such traditional practices of performance testing will lead to inaccurate reasoning and may negatively impact the business.

Why Application Performance Management Tools?

In order to maintain and enhance application performance, it is important to monitor browser and server side metrics, as the popular belief in IT goes “You can’t manage what you can’t monitor.” Application Performance Management (APM) tools play a significant role in monitoring and improving the performance of software applications. Further, by adopting APM tools, software developers and performance testers can effectively monitor various components of software applications. These tools also enable performance testers to trace inexplicable code that is consuming additional resources and follow-up with developers to fine tune the code.

The ultimate goal of application performance testing is to ensure that end-users do not face any performance issues. Here are a couple of examples directly related to software application performance issues.

  • Software application consuming additional time to load.
  • IT infrastructure under-utilized by software applications.

Application Delivery Chain

Here are five compelling reasons to start using application performance management tools:

Alert Mechanism

It is all about notifying individuals or teams about the changes in the system they are accountable for. Application performance tools allow testers to set up health rules based on their unique business testing requirements. APM tools can be configured to send out notification messages to relevant teams or individuals on any or all issues being faced by real-time users. For example, performance testers can create a response time rule i.e. when a user logged on to an application is experiencing a high response time (i.e. web page consuming additional time to render), an alert can be automatically triggered using the alert mechanism feature. Similarly, multiple rules can be created to generate alerts, some alert generation metrics include throughput, external services etc.

Real User Monitoring

The real user feature evaluates performance of a software application at the browser level. There are instances, where test engineers obtain good insights relying extensively on performance metrics. However, when it comes to identifying issues at browser level it is rather difficult. At a browser level, there are various issues when a web page takes additional time to render; the underlying issues could be due to AJAX calls, JavaScript errors or .img/.css loading. In such cases, APM tools can be extremely useful to ascertain what’s going on under the hood. Moreover, based on the output from an APM tool the front-end of a software application can be optimized to enhance end-user experience.

Troubleshooting End-user Experience

APM tools provide detailed categorization of the response time at each stage of page rendering; this helps performance testers gain deep insights about the problems and enables them to identify potential issues, e.g. incorrectly coded business logic, database connectivity, or embedded resources on the web page etc.

End-to-end Server Side Visibility

This feature provides end-to-end visibility of a user’s interaction with the application server. It offers exhaustive details relating to higher level calls made to various components starting from the browser level to the database. Further, end-to-end server side visibility feature allows performance testers to find application issues and options to drill down to call stack trace in an application server.

Geo-dashboard

A Geo-dashboard provides details about the end-user activity based on their region/location. This feature allows testers to create a workload model based on real user metrics. Further, a Geo-dashboard also highlights the errors/issues encountered by end-users along with response time graphs.

Summing-up

At Evoke Technologies, we recommend regular application performance monitoring, as it saves time and operating costs that enterprises generally incur for troubleshooting software application issues. Further, application performance testing enables enterprises to monitor end-user behaviour of both web and mobile platform, thereby ensuring effective utilizing of existing IT infrastructure. APM also notifies production issues (if any) instantly, thus preventing any future performance or downtime issues.

Evoke’s – Software Testing Services

Evoke’s software testing services enable firms to optimize their software application quality and performance. Our quality assurance services are designed to ensure a seamless end-user experience with a greater focus on software performance and security. Our mature frameworks and processes coupled with our smart testing methodologies help firms to improve their software applications and delight end-users. To know more about our world-class software testing services, contact us via our website or call us at +1 (937) 202-4161 (select Option 2 for Sales).

Gautam Datta

View posts by Gautam Datta
Gautam Datta is a Software Test Engineer at Evoke Technologies. With 3+ years of experience in performance testing and engineering, he is adept using various testing tools including JMeter, HP LoadRunner and IBM's Rational Performance Tester. He has strong expertise in designing frameworks for various emerging technologies. Gautam is an aspiring blogger and likes to write about performance testing.

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