Performance Testing

Performance Testing

Performance testing is a type of non-functional testing where the software application is tested for the way a system operates, rather than its specific behaviours.

What is Performance Testing?

Performance Testing is a software testing process used for testing the speed, response time, stability, reliability, scalability, and resource usage of a software application under particular workloads. The primary purpose of performance testing is to identify and eliminate the performance bottlenecks in the software application.

The focus of Performance Testing is checking software programs -

  • Speed – Determines whether the application responds quickly

  • Scalability – Determines maximum user load the software application can handle.

  • Stability – Determines if the application is stable under varying loads

Why Performance Testing?

Features and Functionality supported by a software system is not the only concern. A software application’s performance -response time, reliability, resource usage, and scalability are crucial to its overall integrity. Performance testing aims not to find bugs but to eliminate performance bottlenecks.

Performance Testing provides stakeholders with information about their application regarding speed, stability, and scalability. More importantly, Performance Testing uncovers what needs to be improved before the product goes to market. Without Performance testing, the software is likely to suffer from issues such as -

  • running slowly while multiple users use it simultaneously

  • inconsistencies across different operating systems

  • poor usability

Performance testing will determine whether their software meets speed, scalability, and stability requirements under expected workloads. Applications sent to the market with poor performance metrics due to non-existent or inadequate performance testing are likely to gain a bad reputation and fail to meet expected sales goals.

Also, mission-critical applications like telecommunications software should be performance tested to ensure they run long without deviations.

Types of Performance Testing

  1. Load Testing - checks the application’s ability to perform under anticipated user loads. The objective is to identify performance bottlenecks before the software application goes live.

  2. Stress Testing - involves testing an application under extreme workloads to see how it handles high traffic or data processing. The objective is to identify the breaking point of an application.

  3. Endurance Testing - is done to ensure the software can handle the expected load over a long period.

  4. Spike Testing - tests the software’s reaction to unexpected large spikes in the load generated by users.

  5. Volume Testing - tests, when large numbers of data are populated in a database and the overall software system’s behaviour is monitored. The objective is to check software application’s performance under varying database volumes.

  6. Scalability Testing - tests to determine the software application’s effectiveness in “scaling up” to support the increased load. It helps plan capacity addition to your software system.

Automation of Performance Testing

Looking at the testing Pyramid, non-functional testing like Performance testing is the pyramidion. Being at the top, many companies acquiesce and run these tests manually or not in some test cycles. A commitment needs to be made to strategy and tools to automate performance testing.