Thursday, 9 May 2013

Load Testing: The Ultimate Way to Control the Queue

As the current trend goes, developers are into the habit of releasing brand new mobile apps with an aim to generate a queue for the users before a comprehensive support system can be built up for their app to fix evident issues. From the usability point of view, implementing a queue is indeed a great idea. It generates a lot of excitement within your users and also succeeds in adding that exclusivity factor to an application while the developer can deal with the scalability concerns in parallel.

However, let’s have a look at the other side of the coin. Having a queue may indeed be exciting for a few days but making users wait for the applications while the issues are being sorted out may prove to be a very risky bet for the developer or application owner, particularly when the switching cost for a user is very low. This gives a lot of scope to the impatient user to cross out your application and switch over to the subsequent one, without even getting the chance to appreciate the quality of your application.

There is off course a brilliant way to reduce this risk factor, and that’s where Load Testing comes in. It is the process of subjecting your system to high load and participation and evaluating the response. So, before making your application/app public, try to figure out the application’s performance against peak load conditions, maximum anticipated load. This will help you understand whether all the systems will synchronize in the proper manner and manage the burden of the entire user base.

Significance of Load Testing Services The fundamental goal of Load Testing is to make sure than an application will register a good performance, in the production stage itself. With the help of load testing, you will be able to find out whether you application will cease to function or function inappropriately under heavy load and if the application is sturdy enough to fulfill the pre-determined performance levels. Moreover, load testing also gives a fair idea as to the number of users the website or application can simultaneously handle.

Some of the common performance issues that applications may face are the following:

  • Issues related to software configuration (for database, web server, load balancers and so on)
  • Problems arising from improper network configuration
  • Imperfect software code
  • Inadequate hardware assets

The sole means to identify these performance setbacks at the production stage is load testing, i.e., simulating a plethora of concurrent users. It also has a positive impact on the company’s Return on Investment by reducing the financial cost arising out of service interruptions and poor performance.

Generally speaking, this type of testing is most applicable to multiple-user systems, usually those operating on a client-server model, like web servers. But load testing can also be done for other software systems. For instance, you can always verify whether a financial package is suitable enough to process years of data and create a report accordingly or if a word processor can read an exceptionally bulky document. Things to consider while Load Testing

  • The following things need to be considered in order to ensure that your load testing is successful:
  • The load goals should be clearly defined and measurable in terms of relevant parameters like requests per second, concurrent users, etc.
  • Specify the goals based on real-time scenarios. For example, when you are setting the load goals in terms of number of concurrent users, specify according to the expected number within a particular time span.
  • In case your application is brand new and there are no previous or specified server logs, take help from those involved in the company’s promotional activities and decide the peak.
  • Set the response time based on the user acceptance quotient.

Load Testing is the ultimate means to identify the shortcomings in your website or application before launching, to ensure that even the user who is the earliest in the queue, is not facing any performance setbacks. In the long run, this will help you rise above the low ratings and unfavorable reviews, and make your application seamlessly sail through.

We provide software performance testing services. Our certified load testers can help increase the robustness of your application. To know more how, please visit Mindfire Solutions.

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