End-to-End Performance Testing: challenges and needs in comprehensive application delivery

Dynamic business demand for accelerated mobile, cloud and other cross platform software deployments is driving the need to evolve and adopt end-to-end performance testing and management. The push to deploy has led to strong adoption of agile approaches to development, with a majority of organizations evolving and standardizing on agile processes.

 

With these considerations, an “end-to-end” application performance testing strategy becomes particularly important given complex sourcing, including offshoring and outsourcing, open source usage, regularly compliance and emerging new development paradigms. As a key strategy for complex sourcing, there is a need to define best practice for conducting performance testing as part of Application Lifecycle Management. Automation in this context, coupled with effective, iterative processes supported by tools that capture analytics and insight, can enable collaboration and provide metrics and consistent data access. All of these dynamics drive the business need for high-quality software performance across hybrid environments throughout end-to-end performance and life-cycle phases.

 

Situation Overview: Market Trends and Evolution

 

Software drives business optimization now more than ever, and given the complexity, velocity, and dynamism of mobile and other delivery environments, old approaches to performance testing and overall quality are rapidly becoming inadequate. Organizations need a comprehensive, adaptive performance test strategy that enables them to face the challenges of complex, highly dynamic applications.  Coordination between agile approaches to development efforts to test and validate performance is critical.  This coordination is especially significant in environments where complex application architecture, application dependencies, distributed development teams, and the need for visibility into end-user experience are the norm.

 

Developers and testers need a context for collaborative interaction, supported by integrated solutions and effective processes that provide common data.  The earlier that a problem is found in the application lifecycle, the less costly it is to resolve.  Since the impact of failed quality is rapid and visible, end-to-end performance testing and early detection are particularly important for both mobile and social software development. Agile approaches demand up-front continuous testing, which can be better enabled via automation, test planning and management.  Without appropriate end-to-end performance testing, organization losses can be acute.

 

Below Are Several Key Areas of Consideration:

 

end to end approach.png

 

Automation

Narrow, shortsighted approaches to performance testing can lead to delays, poor visibility, and lack of data about actual performance.  Additionally, inept application performance strategies result in sluggish production software with no time for tuning, and environment issues that block progress to delivery.  Before automated end-to-end performance testing, a company had little to no visibility into performance challenges.  As business complexity increased, ad hoc, single project approaches to testing became too costly and software defects resulted in performance and downtime issues that created significant business impact.  Damages were immediate as well as public, with repercussions to corporate reputation and severe costs to businesses.  Thus, effective automation tools across ALM and end-to-end performance testing are essential to increase application performance agility and user satisfaction throughout the life cycle of the application.

 

Integration

A well-designed, integrated performance testing framework offers support throughout the application life cycle. It is necessary to take performance management to the level demanded by current environmental challenges. This integrated framework should include performance testing techniques for leveraging requirements, with respect to testing during development, security, and code analysis as key aspects of quality and performance analytics.  Capturing the progress of a developer’s work together with the progress of the entire iteration is essential.  With an integrated approach, application teams get end-to-end traceability between all ALM artifacts to create an orchestrated development process. This is sure to deliver enterprise-wide visibility across distributed application teams.  A tightly integrated solution provides complete insight to all application teams, with updates to automatically document the linkage of a task and relevant requirements, user stories, defects and attachments. All of this results in a superb end-to-end performance testing solution.

 

Agility

Organizations should evaluate and better understand end-to-end application performance management in the context of an agile approach with respect to ALM. Development environments that are increasingly agile, mobile and complex, so pragmatic adoption and execution are key considerations.  Savvy IT organizations are increasingly focused in agility so that performance testing is connected to core ALM phases such as requirements, test management, user experience, monitoring and development. This brings performance testing processes and results back into the life-cycle process.  Such considerations of agility in performance testing strategy enable predictability and user satisfaction throughout the life cycle of the application.

 

Given the need to evaluate and articulate the value of IT services, project optimization, value, risk and cost across multiple business units, these three areas are key considerations within the performance testing framework.  Successful and secure evolution of end-to-end performance testing within the enterprise can create a key link between business and IT.  Be sure to read the white paper here: IDC Driving Business Optimization with end-to-end Performance Testing.

 

Have a great insight for successful application development and deployment? Leave us a comment below or tweet us @hploadrunner!

 

For all things HP Loadrunner please visit us at hp.com/go/loadrunner

 

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WW Sr Product Marketing Manager for HP ITPS VP of Apps & HP Load Runner
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