Today, every business wants high-performing and high-quality software. But usually, it is seen that most of the applications fail to deliver expected performance under peak load or fluctuating network conditions. To ensure that users get high-performing software that works seamlessly under all load conditions, performance testing is necessary. This test helps to measure the speed, scalability, reliability, and stability of software under varying loads, thus it ensures stable performance. Today, let's learn more about this testing type in depth.
What Is Performance Testing?
Performance testing is a non-functional type of software testing technique that is performed to know the performance of the current system. It checks the system’s responsiveness, speed, and stability under varying workload conditions. This test helps to ensure that the application performs as expected irrespective of the conditions like fluctuating network, bandwidth availability, or traffic load. Some of the issues identified with this type of testing are runtime error, optimization issues related to speed, latency, throughput, poor response time, load balancing issues, etc.
When Should Performance Testing Be Taken Up?
Usually, there are two approaches to software testing — namely the agile approach and the waterfall approach. To decide when testing should be taken up, first decide which approach you will be following. If you are following the waterfall approach, wait until the end of development to start testing. Here the performance tests will take the form of acceptance testing and if the criteria are met, the system will be sent to production. If you decide to follow the agile approach, the testing starts from the very beginning i.e., with unit tests. It is essential to have a continuous integration environment so that you can run tests throughout the SDLC.
Though both of these methods have pros and cons associated with them, it is more advisable to go with an agile approach i.e. to continuously test the performance of the system throughout the lifecycle. Also, since the agile approach helps to identify and resolve issues earlier as compared to the waterfall approach, and also helps to minimize risk and gain faster feedback, it is advised to go for the agile approach to do this test.
What Are the Different Types of Performance Tests?
Load testing is performed to check how the system performs under normal conditions — approximately 70% of peak load. It also evaluates a system's performance during peak user load conditions.
Stress testing helps to identify the breaking point of a system when it is subjected to a user load beyond the expected peak. The breaking point can be defined as the load at which either the response time degrades beyond 10% or transactions start falling by more than 5%.
Endurance testing checks the stability and responsiveness of a system when it is under significant load for a longer period — these conditions are considered to be 70% of peak load for anywhere between 8 to 72 hours.
Spike testing is a subset of stress testing and checks the behavior of the system by suddenly varying the number of users. It verifies that the system can handle a suddenly increased user load.
In volume testing, multiple data-intensive transactions are performed to validate how the system performs under such data volumes.
High-performing software that works well under all load conditions is the need of the hour, and many enterprises are struggling to achieve such quality software. Today companies adopt various testing services to test the quality and reliability of their software — performance testing is just one type. There are many reasons why you should test the performance of your system before its launch and regularly afterward. One of the most significant reasons is that that under increased load, your web or mobile application, software, database, and server all should function as expected.
Leverage performance testing services from a next-gen QA and software testing service provider to get high-quality software that works well under all load conditions and delivers a seamless UX.