Load Testing- Did You Know These Facts

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There is always a solution to most of our problems. Similarly, software testing solves several problems related to software quality. In the software testing process, various phases are designed and strategized according to the distinctive features of the software/website to be tested. One of the features includes the load capacity of the software/website. To assess the same, organizations need to perform load testing.

Let us understand load testing and its importance in detail!

Meaning of load testing and its types:

Load Testing helps analyze and record how the software behaves, when subjected to different levels of load in real-time. These tests are performed by creating artificial test cases using different amounts of load. For example, how your application will perform with 100 active users versus how it will perform with 500 active users.

When an application fails to perform and function smoothly under any condition, it can directly affect the user experience (UX). Bad UX can result in affecting the traffic, revenue, and overall ROI and brand reputation. Effective load testing will allow software testing experts to identify and remediate the challenges related to the performance of the software/website that is tested.

Types of load testing:

Load testing can be performed in variations, and it serves different purposes to analyze software performance under varied conditions.

Here are some of the types of load testing:

  • Stress testing- Stress testing is a type of load testing, and as the name suggests, it is done to detect how much stress the software is capable of handling. The software can face diverse stress levels, ranging from heavy usage, data loss, cyber-attacks etc. Therefore, you must perform stress testing and analyze how much your software can endure. This is why stress testing is also known as endurance testing.
  • Volume testing- This is another aspect of load testing, performed specifically for software that deals with enormous amounts of data. Volume testing is performed to discover how the software reacts with heavy data like big data applications. It is also known as flood testing as it helps you evaluate the performance of the software when it is flooded with data.
  • Soak testing- Load testing is performed to check the software performance under heavy load. However, soak testing is specifically performed to measure the software behavior under heavy load for an extended period.
  • Spike testing- This is a type of load testing that helps evaluate load under different conditions. It helps monitor behavior of a software that is expected to face a fluctuation in its volume. For example, when an e-commerce website is having a one-day sale and the volume of users suddenly spikes, then how your website will handle such a situation is analyzed with the help of spike testing.

4 key factors for successful load testing:

Load testing is crucial, however, when performed without a foolproof strategy or plan of action, it can waste your resources and time.

Here are the most important aspects of a good load testing plan:

  1. Speed is one of the most challenging and attractive features of any software for superior user experience. Hence, software testing experts must devise a plan of action keeping in mind the essential aspects of delivering software
  2. Distinct types of software require different forms of load testing services. Therefore, it becomes necessary for software testers to understand the needs of the application and plan a strategic approach to testing the same.
  3. Any specific application has an expected performance goal that is analyzed based on its user interaction. Therefore, it is vital to understand the goal and align the load testing services with the expected goals.
  4. Before running a diverse set of load testing services, QA experts need to evaluate every expected problem that might arise and then perform these tests. Therefore, having a load testing plan will help you solve every expected problem, thus saving you from wasting your resources and time.

6 best practices of load testing:

When load testing is performed, it is not just about using the right tools but also about planning your actions, as discussed above.

Consequently, the following are the best practices to consider when planning your load testing activities:

  1. Test in stages: It is crucial to understand and determine at what volume the application is expected to fail. Therefore, test in stages and keep highlighting what exactly fails under what conditions.
  2. State the business goals: It is especially important to communicate the business goals to the software testing teams. Identifying the goals will help you achieve the expected outcomes.
  3. Choose the right tool: Using tools assist us in the testing process, but using the appropriate tools is necessary. Hence, ensuring that you understand the test plan and select the tool as per the requirements is important.
  4. Analyze the environment: Load testing should be performed under different circumstances. Understand and create environments to perform strategic load testing.
  5. Write proper test cases: The load testing teams must consider both positive and negative conditions while creating test cases. However, these cases must also be created keeping the requirements in mind.
  6. User-based testing: Load testing must be performed, keeping the end-users in mind. This will help your software perform to provide a delightful user experience.

Top 7 load testing tools:

To perform load testing, you require the appropriate tools. These tools can help in making your work smooth and efficient.

Here are the top seven open-source tools effective for performing load testing:

  1. JMeter
  2. nGrinder
  3. K6
  4. Siege
  5. Gatling
  6. The Grinder
  7. Locust

Conclusion:

Applications and websites can perform differently under varied circumstances. Therefore, it becomes important to test them under as many situations as possible. To provide your users with a smooth and pleasant experience and match their expectations, organizations must perform load testing as it directly impacts software performance.

To understand more about performance and load testing services, speak to our experts and get the best-in-class support for all your software testing needs!