5 Performance Testing Tips and Techniques

Guest post by

Sarah Roderus, CTFL, CI, ASE

TCT Computing Group, Inc.

 

Performance Testing is one of the many tests that is often rushed or mis-scoped to accommodate the true traffic an application must endure. Below are five performance testing tips and techniques that I’ve found useful over my several years as a performance tester.

 

#1 - Obtain REAL Load Levels


Improve and focus the communication with your client. Hold one-on-one interviews to determine the expected “real world” load levels. If the application is already in production, take the time to gather live usage data.

 

#2 – Let the Business Owners / Experts Identify the Key Business Processes


Conducting one-on-one interviews with clients will help identify the key business processes. Remember to focus on the processes using these four guidelines:

  • Is the business process mission critical?
  • Is there a heavy amount of throughput generated by the business process?
  • Does the business process contain many dynamic and/or complex data or calculations?
  • Is there any other process that would pose a risk to the business should the business process fail?

If the answer is YES to any of these questions, it is a business process that is a good candidate for the performance test.

 

#3 – Concentrate on ONLY Key Business Processes


Concentrate on a maximum of eight key business processes for performance testing. This is NOT a functional test. Keep in mind what we identified as key business processes from tip #2. Don’t create a performance test that is actually a functional performance test!

 

#4 – Develop a Solid Test Plan and Stick to the Plan


A complete custom plan will include goal load levels, business process steps, transaction name and acceptable response times. These are some of the key items to include in a performance test plan. Don’t change the goals to match the results – the test MUST model expected reality.

 

#5 - Remember Your Environment


In today’s world, many applications share the same infrastructure. Sometimes, during performance testing, Application 1 and Application 2 will perform well in a test environment when tested separately. However, what happens when Application 1 and Application 2 run concurrently? Can the infrastructure handle THAT load? I call this the BIG KAHUNA Performance Test! What happens when you put everything together? I guess we will have to discuss that situation in my next post =)

Comments
NaveenKumar N(anon) | ‎06-07-2013 09:46 AM

Very useful tips.

Prashant Chambakara(anon) | ‎09-24-2013 02:55 AM

Nice article and thanks for sharing the information. Performance testing of website is way to find bottlenecks in the website and the applications associated with it. It plays a vital role in entire app development and testing cycle.

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