Performance Testing is different from other types of software testing, in that it does not look for bugs or errors in the code that you have written. Performance testing is primarily meant to gauge and understand how well your software can perform under different conditions of load and stress. A performance testing service is generally used to carry out such tests.
There are six main types of performance testing for softwares:
- Load Testing: Load testing is done by the performance testing service to assess the performance as the load on the system increases. The definition of the load is specific to the software being tested and can be the number of users using the software concurrently or the number of concurrent activities.
- Stress Testing: Stress testing is similar to load testing, except for the fact that in stress testing, the load that is given to the software is purposely more than it will normally be required to handle. Stress testing is done to understand the limits of the software.
- Spike Testing: Spike testing is the type of software testing in which the load is suddenly spiked and then decreased. This deals with continuous and rapid increasing and decreasing of the load to understand the software performance under these conditions.
- Endurance Testing: True to its name, Endurance testing is supposed to test how well software works when exposed to a normal workload for long periods.
- Scalability Testing: Several software falter when the workload is gradually increasing, even if they are good at working under constant increased workloads. Scalability testing is used to assess the performance of software when the workload is constantly increasing.
- Volume Testing: Volume testing or flood testing is used to assess how well the software performs when it is exposed to large amounts of data.
The following are the steps that are followed in performance testing:
- The test environment is decided through the performance testing service so that the challenges to performance testing can be identified early.
- The metrics to be studied in performance testing are marked out.
- The different performance tests that the software has to be made to go through are planned and designed according to the software being tested.
- The test environment and the instruments required to measure the performance metrics are configured.
- The test design is implemented, and the tests are developed according to the software being tested and the metrics to be analyzed.
- All the tests that are required to be done are executed on the software.
- The data is extracted, compiled and then analyzed using various data analysis softwares.
The following are the metrics that are usually measured during performance testing:
- Response Time: This is the time in which the software responds to a request you have sent it.
- Wait Time: This is the amount of a time a user or developer has to wait before the first byte of information is received after a request has been sent.
- Average Load Time: This is the average amount of time that it takes to fulfil a request by the software.
- Peak Response Time: This is the longest duration in which the software fulfils a request.
- Error Rate: This is the proportion of errors among all the requests that are delivered to the software.
- Concurrent Users: This is the number of users that can be active on the software at a particular point in time.
- Requests Per Second: This is the number of requests that the software can handle in one second.
Performance testing is an important part of the life cycle of any software and is carried out by a performance testing service. It allows developers to understand the capabilities of the software that they have developed and improve it accordingly.