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Why Your Software Needs a Performance Testing Strategy?

Mar 12, 2020
8 min read

So, you built a killer application for your business, and the ideas you presented in the start-up meetings were accepted with smiles and handshakes. Everything looks great, and even your beta testers have given you enthusiastic thumbs-ups. Now, the only thing you need to figure out is:

Can your software stand firm against unexpected hurdles like problematic internet access and unexpected surges in user traffic?

The most reputable softwares in the market are built with the help of a methodical performance testing strategy. Without going through a thorough performance testing process, software owners will only be able to guess the true potential of their business solution.

Taking your software through a rigorous strategy for performance testing and having the right employee to oversee its effectiveness can eliminate all of its potential weaknesses. Once it has been verified against extreme traffic levels and its problems debugged, your software will finally be ready for its end users.

A solid performance testing strategy can position your software to meet your end-users’ demand patterns and needs – and that’s not even the best part. It can also prepare your software to meet your business’s internal needs too!

Simply put, performance tests are supposed to reveal how your application behaves in different situations. A system may be running smoothly with a thousand concurrent users, but a performance test strategy reveals how it would run with a hundred thousand.

In terms of performance, you should be aiming for stability, scalability, and high-speed applications, and performance testing can get you there. This should be a major priority for every business owner before releasing an application. It should also be implemented earlier on in the process in order to save time and money further down the line. 

Table of Contents

  1. Performance Testing Objectives
  2. Types of Performance Testing for Software
  3. Why Performance Testing is Important for Software
  4. How to Measure Software Performance
  5. Benefits of Working with QAs for Better Performance Testing Strategies
  6. Tips to Create Your Performance Testing Strategy
  7. Steps of Work that Your Performance Testing Teams Need to Follow
  8. What Is Losing Your Business Without Performance Testing?
performance test strategy

Performance Testing Objectives

Requesting a performance testing strategy without having an objective in mind can be quite risky. Your business might end up spending too many random areas of improvement, while the most critical performance testing objectives remain unchecked.

On the flip side, with well-agreed and pre-defined objectives, performance testing will lead to a more effective evaluation of software performance. Here are three examples of what performance testing objective looks like:

1.    Define Measurements and Metrics for Application Under Test (AUT):

It is very important to understand what a ‘good’ level of performance is for your software. When metrics and measurements are defined clearly, they can clearly indicate your application’s performance levels. Here are the most common performance metrics:

·       Response Time

This is the amount of time it takes the application to respond to requests.

·       Resource Utilization

Resources like database, memory, I/O, and CPU are used by every application. This is why parameters can be set for each of these resources.

·       Workload

This measures the number of users and concurrent tasks an application can manage.

·       Throughput

This measures the amount of AUT transactions your software can implement in a pre-specified period of time – like seconds.

2.    Make an Effective Test Case

Any performance testing approach as only as effective as the test cases it utilizes. This is why an effective performance testing strategy needs careful planning with the help of application designers and resource experts. An effective test case should include:

·       Testing for Stability against Heavy Traffic

·       AUT Reliability

·       Varying Users Loads

How does your application behave against ramp downloads, user peak loads, and user ramp-ups?

·       Regression Analysis

How does new functionality affect the response times and existing performance of your application?

·       Capacity Testing

What level of traffic is the point of degradation for your application?

3.    Analysis of Test Results

Just as it is important for applications to go through test cases, it is also essential that the results of each test be analyzed by experts. These results can be used to set performance testing goals to improve the user experience of your application, for example, better time responsiveness and effectiveness against bottlenecks.

performance testing approach

Types of Performance Testing for Software

Load Testing

Also known as ‘volume testing’ and ‘endurance testing’, this performance testing strategy is meant to test your application against increasing loads until it reaches its maximum potential. When we say increasing loads, we mean increasing the number of transactions and concurrent users; for example – testing a mail server by opening a thousand mailboxes at the same time.

Stress Testing

This is another performance testing approach that checks the stability of your application but with regards to hardware resources like disk space, CPU, and memory. The main idea behind this test is to add a large number of processes at once to determine how your system fails and recovers.

Spike Testing

This performance test is a subcategory of stress testing, and it is carried out to test the application’s load volumes against different workload models.

Scalability Testing

Scalability tests determine the capability of your software to scale its operations with regards to data volumes, number of transactions, and user load levels. The main aim of this test is to seek out where the system peaks.

Endurance Testing

Endurance tests have your application checked against expected amounts of user load – but over a long period of time. Say, your application was designed to work for 4 hours. Endurance tests will, therefore, judge how your system endures for 8 hours. 

Volume Testing

As the name suggests, this test checks how your software application holds up against a large amount of data and whether its processes deliver constant efficiency.

performance testing objectives

Why is Performance Testing Important for Software

It Helps to Validate System Speeds

By doing so, the performance testing process can help you make decisions about what aspects of your application needs to be improved. What’s more, these analytics can also be used to present reports to stakeholders to better understand the development strategy.

It Eliminates Bottlenecks

The testers of your application will easily be able to determine weaknesses in its system and how they can slow down its functionality. It can help answer questions like: Is the time to process requests more or less than was anticipated?  Or are there errors in just one or a few of its functions? Or is your application prone to crashes over extended periods of time or against high traffic?

It Can Create a Benchmark for Regression Testing in the Future

With initial rounds of performance testing and its subsequent tweaks in performance, your testers can create a benchmark for future software modifications or even the development of a newer version.

performance testing process

How to Measure Software Performance

Software performance metrics illustrate specific areas of development where certain software applications or modules can be applied. Simply put, these metrics take random data from your application’s development lifecycle, and then, they are used to measure the productivity of the software.

Software productivity is defined as the ratio between software development expenses and the functional values of the software itself. That said, software performance metrics consist of 2 main categories:

Function Related Metrics

These metrics represent the software’s useful functionality in a set period of time. From this category, application points and function points are the most common forms of metrics for software development projects.

Size-Related Metrics

These metrics illustrate the size of outcomes from activities – such as the number of lines written in source code.

Benefits of Working with QAs for Better Performance Testing Strategies

To develop an excellent application, you need to understand your business, your customers, the ecosystem of software, and the challenges you need to overcome. Other than all of this, you will also need to craft a thorough QA strategy as well. Doing so will help determine whether your software will be used by the end customer or your business’s internal administrators.

Working with a QA analyst can help your team determine whether your performance testing strategy benefits your project and its goals. With their help, your software development teams can implement efficient performance testing strategies. In other words, understand the problems of your application and subsequently build a strategy to overcome its problems in functionality.

Tips to Create Your Performance Testing Strategy

First, Identify the Key Features of Your App

Here, you and your technical teams need to review your software’s traffic analytics (which is basically its typical usage patterns). These patterns can work as a great starting point for performance testers to begin.

Then, Identify Its Expected User Traffic

The next step would be to identify realistic user loads by gathering information about the peak levels of user traffic and how many people are using the application. Readily available analytics can speed up this process, and your involvement can determine how users may increase over time.

Collaborate With Teams to Produce a Performance Testing Strategy

If you are planning on using your software for business needs, then you must make use of strategic testers in your technical team. The best technical teams should include an effective strategy for performance testing.

performance testing strategy
Program development concept. Young man working in office

Steps of Work that Your Performance Testing Teams Need to Follow

Here is an example of how technical teams should implement a software performance test strategy:

Stage One: Preliminary Planning

1.Project Vision: What do you think are your milestones for progress, and what are you trying to accomplish?

2.Situational Analysis: Where does your project stand right now, and what targets have you set for it?

3.Goals and Objectives: What is your end goal after performance testing has been completed?

4.Assumptions and Analysis: What assumptions do you have before performance testing, and what analysis can be made regarding your goals from testing?

5.Limits: What parts of your software can be tested, and what cannot?

Stage Two: Determining Your Current Setup

6.Software: What are the current specifications of your software and its production environment? 

7.Hardware: What are the current specifications of your hardware and its production environment?

8.Automation Tools: What performance tools are going to be used?

Stage Three: Metrics

9.What metrics will be used to implement your performance test strategy?

Stage Four: Approaching the Actual Test

10.Script and Workload Criteria: How are test scripts going to be developed and how do they relate to business functions or workload scenarios.

11.Checklist: What steps will you execute before performance testing?

12.Execution: How will your tests be executed?

13.Capture Results: How will the performance test results be collected and represented?

What Is Your Business Losing Without Performance Testing?

Without a performance testing strategy, your business cannot identify critical issues with applications and will not be able to deal with user loads. If you do opt for a performance testing approach, you will be able to significantly improve the application’s overall quality – right from its beginning all the way down to its development effort.

If you need help accurately identifying all the bottlenecks in your software’s performance, you need the help of a reliable software testing expert. PFLB is a software testing service that has served over 500 companies across a wide variety of domains that range from finance and healthcare all the way to retail and technology.

With years of experience at our disposal, we can ensure that your mobile application delivers the highest quality of service while outperforming its competing applications.

Besides Performance Testing, our company has expertise in other core software testing services, such as Manual Testing, Usability Testing, Integration Testing, Test Automation, and much more. To learn more about our company, feel free to visit our website.

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