What Is Performance Testing? An Explanation for Business People (2022)

Performance testing is a form of software testing that focuses on how a system running the system performs under a particular load.Performance testing should give organizationsthe diagnostic information they need to eliminate bottlenecks. You can find more information about types, steps and best practices here. This article provides insights and scenarioson performance testing from a business perspective.

What Is Performance Testing? An Explanation for Business People (1)

HowPerformance Testing Impacts Your Business

The world of enterprise IT neatly divides concerns between two camps: IT and the business. Because of this division, an entire series of positions existsto help these groups communicate. But since I don’t have any business analysts at my disposal to interview, I’ll just bridge the gap myself today. From the perspective of technical folks, I’ll explain performance testing in the language that matters to the business.

A Tale of Vague Woe

To prove it, let me conjure up a maddening hypothetical. You’ve coordinated with the software organizations for months. This has included capturing the voice of the customer and working with architects and developers to create a vision for the product. You’ve seen the project through conception, beta testing, and eventual production release. And you’re pretty proud of the way this has gone.

But now you find yourself more than a little exasperated. A few scant months after the production launch, weird and embarrassing things continue to go wrong. It started out as a trickle and then grew into a disturbing, steady stream. Some users report agonizingly slow experiences while others don’t complain. Some report seeing weird error messages and screens, while others have an average experience. And, of course, when you try to corroborate these accounts, you don’t see them.

(Video) Performance Testing and It's types

You inquire with the software developers and teams, but you can tell they don’t quite take this at face value. “Hmmm, that shouldn’t happen,” they say to you. Then they concede that maybe it could, but they shrug and say there’s not much they can do unless you help them reproduce the issue. Besides, you know users, amirite? Always reporting false issues because they have unrealistic expectations.

Sometimes you wonder if the developers don’t have the right of it, but you know you’re not imagining the exasperated phone calls and negative social media interactions. Worse,paying users are leaving, and fewer new ones sign up. Whether perception or reality, user’s experiencehits you in the pocketbook.

The Nature of Performance Issues

At the risk of painting with a broad brush, let’s talk performance issues. Anyone participating heavily in the software development process understands bugs. When you click on “sign up” does the software sign you up, or does it spit out some cryptic error message? If you add $20 to your checking account with a balance of $100, do you then have $120, or some incorrect number? These fall under the heading of “does the software comply with the requirements?”

Everyone in the business likes these types of bugs. Well, relatively speaking. If we have to contend with bugs, we have a much easiertime dealing with predictably wrong behavior. Reproduce the issue to confirm it, then fix it and verify that you’ve solved the problem. Then grab a beer to celebrate.

But performance issues prove far more bedeviling. Sometimes, weird things happen. Occasionally,the login screen hangs for a while. This one time,all of the menus loaded on the side of the page instead of at the top. You try half a dozen times and can’t get these things to happen in production, let alone in your internal sandbox environment. Do they happen randomly? Onlyevery third Thursday of the month? Or maybe only when lots of people go on social media?

Performance issues usually don’t occur with any kind of predictable cadence because they don’t directly involve the software’s behavior, per se. Rather, they involve the way that the software reacts with the unpredictable, chaotic world of production environments. Maybe the developers made some kind of mistake in design that presents efficient scaling. But maybe your data center stuck your app on a server with issues. Good luck figuring this out based on sporadic, frustrated user reports.

(Video) Understanding the business - Performance Testing - Loadrunner Tutorial 4

Why You Need Performance Testing

How can you even begin to address all of the possibilities? It seems hopelessly daunting. In the bad news department, you can’t address all possibilities, since the world is a chaotic place. But you can certainly limit your exposure. And you can do this via performance testing.

Almost every shop out there has some sort of QA process. Software developers write the code, deploying it to some production-representative environment. Once there, the QA group bangs away at it according to some kind of test plan. They do so to ensure that it behaves properly, both in terms of expected behaviors and reasonable response to odd user interactions, like typing their name into a field that says “phone number.” But all too often, the testing effort stops here.

Instead, these shops should make more effort to simulate the harsh conditions of production. This presents a nice two-pronged benefit. First, this effort can expose deficiencies in the software that make it prone to performance problems. And secondly, these tests can showyou what to expect when conditions stress your application. You’ll learn the telltale signs so that, even when you can’t directly address them, you can workaround and manage the situation as it occurs. This is far superior to getting caught flat-footed and unaware.

So what goes into performance testing, exactly? How can a shop inoculate itself, at least partially, against these sorts of problems?

The Kinds of Performance Testing You Want

Well, put simply, performance testing involves seeing how the application performs under production-like conditions. Whereas most QA testing involves seeing how your app behaves with a single person using it, performance testing means simulatinga situation with production-like traffic, for instance. To get more detailed, let’s look at a few common performance testing situations.

You’ll want a strategy for what’s known as load testing. Load testing means that you pick a so-called load to place on your application. In your testing environment, this might mean simulating 1,000 users at a time performing normal operations and measuring how the application behaves. Does it remain responsive? Or does it slow down or even crash? Of course, you won’t do all of this by having 1,000 actual people start messing around with your pre-production environment. You buy or build software that helps you simulate the load. Check out our recent post on the most useful50 loading testing tools here.

(Video) Non Functional Requirements Gathering in Performance Testing.

In addition to load testing, you should also look at having stress testing and endurance testing. With the former, you create a load designed to break your application. This lets you understand at what point it breaks and what bottlenecks you have. Every app has a breaking point, so you may or may not make changes after a stress test failure. But now you know what to look for and when to expect problems.

With endurance testing, you apply a load for a certain amount of time — preferably a long time. Just as you want to know how it behaves with many users, you want to know how it behaves over weeks or months. Better to find out in your own environment than to find out alongside your users in real time.

Operationalize Performance Testing for Success

Now you understand the concept if you didn’t before. You need to go beyond correct behavior in isolation and verify fitness for operation in the wild. And the types of performance testing I mention here should serve only as table stakes. Once you start thinking of the specifics of your application and users, you’ll probably have further ideas for your needs.

But before you run off to secure budget for load testing tools, understand one final thing. You don’t want to make these effortsad hoc. Rather, you want to operationalize them and make them part of your overall approach to quality. And that means discipline.

You need to automate this performance testing and make it a first-class part of your standard process. You then need to get into the habit of understanding, to prioritize, and addressing failures and issues. And, perhaps most importantly of all, you need to start doing it as early in project development as humanly possible. If you start performance testing an app that’s 90% complete, you may find failures caused by systemic architectural decisions. Better to know that earlier than later.

If your group doesn’t currently do performance testing, go start building the case for it as soon as you can. It’ll make the software better in the long run, and it will make you a lot less likely to spend all of your time chasing phantom issues on behalf of frustrated users.

(Video) Understanding business Critical Flows - Performance Testing - Loadrunner Tutorial 5

Prefix and Retrace both function as profilers to collect performance and behavior details about your code. The big difference is Prefix is designed to run on your workstation and show you every single request that occurs. Retrace, on the other hand, is designed for servers and aggregates all the performance details together.

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What Is Performance Testing? An Explanation for Business People (2)

About Erik Dietrich

Erik is the founder of DaedTech, programmer, architect, IT management consultant, blogger, and technologist.

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FAQs

What is performance testing in business? ›

Performance testing is a non-functional software testing technique that determines how the stability, speed, scalability, and responsiveness of an application holds up under a given workload.

What does performance testing mean? ›

Performance testing is a testing measure that evaluates the speed, responsiveness and stability of a computer, network, software program or device under a workload. Organizations will run performance tests in order to identify performance-related bottlenecks.

What is the main purpose of performance testing? ›

The main purpose of performance testing is to identify and eliminate the performance bottlenecks in the software application. It is a subset of performance engineering and is also known as “Perf Testing”. Scalability – Determines the maximum user load the software application can handle.

What is performance testing example? ›

Load testing is one of the simplest forms of performance testing and is usually conducted to understand the behaviour of the system under a specific expected load, for example, the amount of concurrent users on the application performing a specific number of functions within a set duration.

What are the types of performance testing? ›

There are 5 main types of performance testing.
  • Capacity Testing.
  • Load Testing.
  • Volume Testing.
  • Stress Testing.
  • Soak Testing.

What is the benefit of performance testing? ›

Performance testing allows you to keep your users happy

That time is likely to decrease further as connection speed and network capacity increases. Measuring application performance allows you to observe how your customers are responding to your software.

What is performance test results? ›

A performance testing results report is crucial for knowing the areas of defects and improvements in the software. Performance testers are responsible for reporting credible information about the applications and systems they run tests on, and in doing so, must use an effective approach.

When Should performance testing be done? ›

As soon as several web pages are working, the first load tests should be conducted by the quality assurance team. From that point forward, performance testing should be part of the regular testing routine each day for each build of the software.

Is performance testing functional? ›

Performance testing is a non-functional testing technique that exercises a system and then, measures, validates and verifies the response time, stability, scalability, speed and reliability of the system in production-like environment.

How do you perform performance testing? ›

Seven Performance Testing Steps
  1. Identify the testing environment. ...
  2. Identify performance metrics. ...
  3. Plan and design performance tests. ...
  4. Configure the test environment. ...
  5. Implement your test design. ...
  6. Execute tests. ...
  7. Analyze, report, retest.
16 Apr 2021

Is performance testing easy to learn? ›

But it is not easy to handle the complexities of the application testing process. Fortunately, there are training courses like that of a Full Stack Java Developer that can prepare them for handling various challenging issues.

How do you test system performance? ›

Windows
  1. Click Start.
  2. Select the Control Panel.
  3. Select System. Some users will have to select System and Security, and then select System from the next window.
  4. Select the General tab. Here you can find your processor type and speed, its amount of memory (or RAM), and your operating system.

Which is the best tool for performance testing? ›

Top Performance Testing Tools
  • WebLOAD.
  • LoadNinja.
  • HeadSpin.
  • ReadyAPI Performance.
  • LoadView.
  • Keysight's Eggplant.
  • Apache JMeter.
  • LoadRunner.
7 Aug 2022

How do you master performance testing? ›

Performance Testing Using Jmeter | Simplilearn - YouTube

Which testing is performed first? ›

Testing which performed first is -

Static testing is performed first.

What is a performance tool? ›

Performance management tools are a type of HR software that helps organizations track employee performance in a consistent and measurable way. It ensures that cross-functional departments are working effectively and collectively towards achieving the same organizational goal.

What is performance testing lifecycle? ›

Performance Testing Life Cycle is a systematic process to carry out the non-functional testing of a software system or application. Mostly all the software industries follow this process to plan the performance testing activities and find out the performance bottleneck in the software system.

Is Performance Testing required? ›

An effective performance testing strategy is essential for highlighting most of the performance issues. It could be associated with the database, network, software, bandwidth, or the hardware. Performance Testing is done by following industry-defined benchmarks to ensure the application behaves in a particular way.

Which of the following set of tools are the most appropriate for the Performance Testing of an assembly? ›

Apache JMeter

It is used to test the performance of both static and dynamic resources and dynamic web applications. This tool is completely designed on the JAVA application to load the functional test behavior and measure the performance of the application.

What security testing does the company use to prevent system intrusion by hackers? ›

Penetration tests simulate the actions of someone trying to exploit company security vulnerabilities directly using ethical hackers. They rely on various methods during their attempts to compromise a company's security and extract valuable information.

What is reliability in performance testing? ›

Reliability Testing is an important software testing technique that is performed by the team to ensure that the software is performing and functioning consistently in each environmental condition as well as in a specified period. It ensures that product is fault free and is reliable for its intended purpose.

What data you will include in performance test result? ›

Some of the most frequent important included in a performance testing result report are :
  • Average response time number of key performance transactions.
  • Failure rates of key performance transactions.
  • 95 (or what your business may prefer) percentile value of key performance transactions.

Does performance testing have future? ›

The future of performance testing lies in taking a user-centric approach. It's not about CPU usage or disk IOPs, it's about what the user experiences and perceives as performance — whether it's on their mobile or desktop device. The future for performance testing and tuning is always going to be eternal vigilance.

Can we do performance testing manually? ›

While many facets of software testing can be done manually, performance testing is not one of them. It is highly dependent on testing tools, both to perform the actual tests and to help analyze and chart the results.

What are the factors that govern performance testing? ›

The factors controlling the performance testing are given below :
  • Throughput – The throughput is a concept of determining how well a software or an application can perform. ...
  • Response Time – ...
  • Latency – ...
  • Tuning – ...
  • Benchmarking – ...
  • Capacity Planning –
19 Oct 2021

What is performance testing in manual testing? ›

Performance testing is a means of quality assurance which involves testing software applications and understanding their performance at an expected workload or at a given point of time. Also, knowing the response time is an important parameter.

Is performance testing same as manual testing? ›

The manual testing method allows human observation, which may be useful to offer user-friendly system. Performance Tests like Load Testing, Stress Testing, Spike Testing, etc. have to be tested by an automation tool compulsorily.

Which of the following is not a performance testing? ›

Non functional testing is performed only at system testing level. True or false.
...
Q.Which of the following is not a part of Performance Testing?
B.measuring response time.
C.measuring the loc.
D.none of the above
Answer» c. measuring the loc.
1 more row

What is front end performance testing? ›

Front End Testing is a testing technique in which Graphical User Interface (GUI), functionality and usability of web applications or a software are tested.

What is automated performance testing? ›

Level-based performance testing is a process by which automated performance tests are executed on components at various levels of technology stack. Performance testing, particularly automated performance testing, is best done in an isolated manner at each level of the stack.

What is client side performance testing? ›

Client-side performance tests help verify if an application is fast and efficient enough. It involves considering a single user's point of view and checking a web application's response time.

What is the average salary for a performance tester? ›

Performance Tester salary in India ranges between ₹ 3.8 Lakhs to ₹ 7.0 Lakhs with an average annual salary of ₹ 4.8 Lakhs. Salary estimates are based on 1.5k salaries received from Performance Testers.

What is test summary report? ›

The definition of a Test Summary is as simple as the name suggests. It is also known as a Test Closure Report. It provides the relevant stakeholders with a detailed account of the overall test results and the defects found. It aims to formally summarize the results of the entire testing process.

What is end-to-end performance testing? ›

End-to-end testing is a methodology used in the software development lifecycle (SDLC) to test the functionality and performance of an application under product-like circumstances and data to replicate live settings. The goal is to simulate what a real user scenario looks like from start to finish.

How do I create a performance testing framework? ›

How to build a performance testing pipeline
  1. Set up the test environment. ...
  2. Set up your test data. ...
  3. Set up a load generation tool. ...
  4. Set up monitoring tools. ...
  5. Run the tests. ...
  6. Gather and analyze test results. ...
  7. Display test results. ...
  8. Don't forget to clean up.

What is end-to-end testing? ›

End-to-end testing, also known as E2E testing, is a methodology used for ensuring that applications behave as expected and that the flow of data is maintained for all kinds of user tasks and processes. This type of testing approach starts from the end user's perspective and simulates a real-world scenario.

How do you perform performance testing? ›

Seven Performance Testing Steps
  1. Identify the testing environment. ...
  2. Identify performance metrics. ...
  3. Plan and design performance tests. ...
  4. Configure the test environment. ...
  5. Implement your test design. ...
  6. Execute tests. ...
  7. Analyze, report, retest.
16 Apr 2021

When Should performance testing be done? ›

As soon as several web pages are working, the first load tests should be conducted by the quality assurance team. From that point forward, performance testing should be part of the regular testing routine each day for each build of the software.

What is the average salary for a performance tester? ›

Performance Tester salary in India ranges between ₹ 3.8 Lakhs to ₹ 7.0 Lakhs with an average annual salary of ₹ 4.8 Lakhs. Salary estimates are based on 1.5k salaries received from Performance Testers.

How do I become a performance tester? ›

Least Essentials of a Performance Tester:

Experience on any performance testing tool (HP Performance Center, Jmeter, VSTS, etc.). Experience with performance monitoring tools. Experience with diagnostics tools to identify cause like Dynatrace, HP diagnostics. Experience with performance testing JVM-based applications.

Which is the best tool for performance testing? ›

Top Performance Testing Tools
  • WebLOAD.
  • LoadNinja.
  • HeadSpin.
  • ReadyAPI Performance.
  • LoadView.
  • Keysight's Eggplant.
  • Apache JMeter.
  • LoadRunner.
7 Aug 2022

What is performance test results? ›

A performance testing results report is crucial for knowing the areas of defects and improvements in the software. Performance testers are responsible for reporting credible information about the applications and systems they run tests on, and in doing so, must use an effective approach.

Is performance testing required? ›

An effective performance testing strategy is essential for highlighting most of the performance issues. It could be associated with the database, network, software, bandwidth, or the hardware. Performance Testing is done by following industry-defined benchmarks to ensure the application behaves in a particular way.

Which testing is performed first? ›

Testing which performed first is -

Static testing is performed first.

What is performance testing lifecycle? ›

Performance Testing Life Cycle is a systematic process to carry out the non-functional testing of a software system or application. Mostly all the software industries follow this process to plan the performance testing activities and find out the performance bottleneck in the software system.

Does performance testing have future? ›

The future of performance testing lies in taking a user-centric approach. It's not about CPU usage or disk IOPs, it's about what the user experiences and perceives as performance — whether it's on their mobile or desktop device. The future for performance testing and tuning is always going to be eternal vigilance.

Which of the following set of tools are the most appropriate for the performance testing of an assembly? ›

Apache JMeter

It is used to test the performance of both static and dynamic resources and dynamic web applications. This tool is completely designed on the JAVA application to load the functional test behavior and measure the performance of the application.

Is performance testing easy to learn? ›

But it is not easy to handle the complexities of the application testing process. Fortunately, there are training courses like that of a Full Stack Java Developer that can prepare them for handling various challenging issues.

What is the role of performance test engineer? ›

A performance test engineer's primary responsibility is the creation and maintenance of performance test plans, utilizing JMeter load testing software to inject load, analyzing metrics from application and system logs, and simulating system behavior to improve the performance and reliability of applications.

Videos

1. Performance Testing Overview in less than 20 minutes!
(Agile Load)
2. Performance Testing Interview Questions and Answers | Load Testing Interview Questions
(Software and Testing Training)
3. What is Performance Engineering?
(PerfMatrix)
4. Part 1 - The What, why and how of Web Performance Testing
(Inspired Testing)
5. Performance Testing Tutorial For Beginners | Performance Testing Using Jmeter | Simplilearn
(Simplilearn)
6. Common Important Terms used in Performance Testing - JMeter - Part 2
(Naveen AutomationLabs)

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