Today's sophisticated business applications need to support fast-moving transactions. Performance analysis and testing ensure that your tools meet your users' demanding expectations.
Solidify Your System With Performance Analysis
When web applications were first introduced as a tool to support business processes, they automatically provided dramatic improvements in throughput by reducing calculation times and virtually eliminating wait times between process steps. Today's business environment has continued to accelerate, so software systems need to ensure that they perform as quickly as possible.
Clear business requirements, excellent application architecture, and high-quality coding, while essential, are not sufficient to ensure that applications meet their performance targets. Performance analysis and testing have become critical tools to guarantee application performance requirements are achieved.
Why Develop with SitePen
At SitePen, we believe that quality is the single, most important aspect of any project we undertake. Our commitment to delivering bug-free solutions infuses every part of our development activities.
You will start to experience this as soon as you reach out to us. Our Sales and Project Management teams work with you to understand your goals and expectations, identifying the characteristics that have the most significant influence on the application's quality.
Our engineering team will then develop the solution with these goals in mind. They also create extensive suites of automated tests that ensure that the code continues to work as intended. Finally, we continuously monitor the project in search of refactoring opportunities to improve the code's structure as it evolves. While not usually considered an essential aspect of quality assurance, we have found that superior code organization often leads to exceptional quality in the final product.
As the application approaches completion, we will shift the project to examine the quality of the solution. During this phase, we conduct tests that exercise all aspects of the complete solution. We verify the business logic's correctness, ensure the code is performant and will not bog down under real-world workloads, and harden the application against the vast array of security threats that today's applications face.
Naturally, the final decision concerning the quality of the application resides with you. We will work with your infrastructure team to deploy the solution to a staging environment that allows you to conduct your own quality assurance verification. When all findings have been identified, we will resolve them, ensuring that you receive the most reliable and accurate application possible.
Types of Performance Testing
Performance is an overloaded term when speaking about web applications. A successful web application must be able to function under many different scenarios. Several different types of performance tests are available to verify the system's ability to operate quickly and stably in production.
Load, or volume, testing is a type of performance analysis that measures an application's ability to function when exposed to real-world workloads. Usually, one or more test clients are configured to send realistic requests to the system-under-test. Metrics are gathered, including response times, to measure that the application manages multiple concurrent requests without degrading the users' experience.
Stress testing is an extreme form of load testing. Load testing analyzes a system's ability to handle realistic workloads. In contrast, stress testing attempts to find the limits of the system. This type of test is often used to measure the excess capacity of the system and its infrastructure, allowing the business to balance the system's ability to absorb unusually high activity with the capacity of the underlying infrastructure.
Many systems perform well subjected to stable loading. However, a sudden increase applies transient stress to a system that can cause degraded user experiences. Spike tests are used to simulate these sudden increases in demand. These tests are often used on systems that can elastically scale their infrastructure to confirm that the scaling apparatus can respond quickly enough to maintain the system's quality of service in the face of increasing demand while also reducing resources when demand drops sharply.
Soak testing, also known as endurance testing, confirms that a system can perform under long-term, stable conditions. This type of testing is ideal for finding sporadic bugs, often caused by difficult to trace race conditions in the software. It is also very good at confirming that the system is appropriately releasing resources that it no longer requires. Resource monitoring is a crucial component of soak testing since it can highlight gradual increases in resource consumption that can eventually lead to degraded performance or system failure.
Performance Testing Tools
JMeter is an open-source project that is designed to load test web applications. It provides a test development model where test engineers can precisely control how the target application will be tested. Once the tests are developed, load tests can be automatically executed and analyzed via HTML-based load reports.
k6 is another popular load testing tool for web services and web applications. It offers a complete set of capabilities for writing tests that ensure that the application performs well in various loading conditions, such as load testing to guarantee performance, stress tests to confirm system capacity, and soak tests to verify application stability over time.
LoadNinja is a cloud-based performance testing platform that seeks to accelerate test development via a scriptless model. Instead of manually writing the performance tests, a recorder is used to capture a real user's interaction with the web application. These test scenarios can then be replayed on many real web browsers to provide highly representative test runs and sophisticated browser-based metrics for post-run analysis.
Industries We Serve
Among SitePen's greatest strengths is its wide-ranging experience across multiple industries. We have worked with some of the most notable names in numerous markets, with each engagement serving to refine our ability to address each enterprise's individual needs. Among the industries that we have worked within are:
- Financial services
- Public Safety
Choosing the Right Software Performance Testing Team
When selecting a performance testing team, there are three major characteristics to look for. The best performance testing teams can identify the most performance-sensitive aspects of the application. Most applications have a very small number of code-paths that form the critical performance chain of the application. Correctly identifying these paths allows the test developers to focus their efforts, ensuring that the application performs well without overloading the test suite with unnecessary performance checks.
Performance testing teams should be familiar with the wide range of performance tests and tools available on the market. Inexperienced teams tend to use a large number of tools in an attempt to guarantee the application's performance. We believe that selecting the minimum number of tools that will provide the necessary verification is a better approach. When the right tools are employed correctly, all the essential metrics can be gathered while minimizing the test suite's complexity.
Once performance metrics are gathered, and trouble spots are identified, a performance testing team should be able to analyze the application's source code to provide actionable recommendations for how to alleviate the performance concerns. This ability offers invaluable information to developers who can then immediately start creating solutions to improve performance.
Benefits of Performance Testing Services
Without performance testing, most applications are only subjected to a few users at a time during development. Developers run individual instances as they create features, and business users often select a small team to verify application behavior. While these scenarios can verify the application's correctness, they are insufficient to confirm that an application will be stable and performant in real-world scenarios. Performance testing encompasses a range of loading and analysis techniques that ensure that the application will work as intended at scale.
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Performance Testing FAQs
There are two primary types of performance testing - loading and stability. While these can be broken down into subcategories, these types capture all performance testing and analysis intent.
Load testing involves subjecting the application to a large number of transactions over a limited time. This type of testing aims to verify that the application can remain performant and responsive to users. These tests are often conducted over a relatively short time.
Stability testing seeks to confirm that the system remains stable under a steady, long-term load. These tests are intended to ensure that the system does not have bugs that compromise the system's ability to remain functional over long periods. Stability tests are often used to identify data races that can introduce sporadic errors. They are also used to confirm that resource consumption remains stable (i.e., memory requirements and CPU loading remain stable over time).
Performance tests are often the first opportunity for a development team to confirm their assumptions about system architecture and infrastructure sizing for the application. During the initial development stages, the team is focused on requirements and business feature development. As the application nears completion, however, it can be subjected to performance testing to confirm that the system will run effectively under real-world loading conditions.
Some performance testing can be done on critical code paths as they are identified, but most of this type of testing must wait until the system is nearly complete. When the primary features of the application are done, representative workflows can be completed. This completeness level is often necessary to truly understand how the system will respond after being deployed to production.