Software performance testing is conducted at regular intervals, mainly for the validation and verification of both qualitative and quantitative attributes of the software under development. Since many organizations tie valuable resources such as money and time to software development, performance tests are control mechanisms that draw attention to deviation from agreed standards in scalability, resource usage, and reliability.
The goals of performance testing
A performance test is undertaken to evaluate the performance of a system, a network or a software program, under a specific workload. The key parameters include speed, responsiveness, stability and scalability tested in diverse load conditions. The primary goal is to assess the usability of the final product and to rectify any running time issues before the final release. The major types of performance testing include load, endurance, spike, volume, and stress testing.
Performance tests are not one-off but are continuous improvement practices
To tap the best benefits of testing, the multi-faceted process must happen on a continuous basis and not as a piecemeal exercise. Identifying the test environment is an important juncture. The test environment must be reflected, as much as possible, the characteristics of the production environment. Abnormal application behavior must be intuitively identified in performance tests so that timely corrective action may be taken. Real-time application performance monitoring, when integrated at the right time will help identify and reduce software bottlenecks.
Timely detection and correction of software errors and technical glitches
Source code and design are the key areas in testing a software product for its performance. For optimum results, testing must be used alongside software applications development. Innovate or die has become the smart age digital mantra and only foolproof IT products will help organizations in achieving this. The performance testing processes in many bussing organizations are still in levels of infancy and are focussed more on mere pointing out errors, rather than throwing light on ways to correct and rectify.
Too many tests can compromise software quality: Developing an optimum testing strategy
We hear of a multitude of software tests – right from compatibility testing, alpha, beta, development testing to regression and acceptance testing. Often the IT team gets its testing schedules overloaded so that testing standards are compromised due to a paucity of time. In a dynamic web environment, single-serve software products are outdated and hence there is a need to plan a combination of tests that are optimum with regards to time and cost.
In short, performance tests ensure that the throughput and the final product is in tune with client requirements. More and more organizations are voting in favor of custom web applications development, and software solutions in preference to ready made templates. As a result, there is a need to quality-test at every leg possible so that the development, operation, support teams, and the client are on the same page.
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About the author
Santhiya is a senior SDET at Zuci Systems. She specializes in Test Automation and has hands-on experience in working with popular tools. Get in touch with her at Santhiya PanneerSelvam