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Performance Testing Tools: Ensuring High-Quality Software Performance

April 5, 2023
Performance Testing Tools

Performance testing is a critical aspect of software development that enables teams to ensure that their applications can perform optimally under various loads and conditions. However, choosing the right performance testing tools is essential for achieving accurate and reliable test results. With the vast array of performance testing tools available, selecting the best tool for your needs can be challenging. 

Open-source software and free tools are gaining popularity among teams looking for cost-effective alternatives to commercial performance testing tools. This blog will explore some of the best performance testing tools, best practices, and concepts to help you achieve optimal application performance.

The Role of Performance Testing

Performance testing is non-functional testing. This testing improves the seamless user experience that deals with Speed, Stability, and Scalability as parameters when an application runs at a load of high level.

The result of the Performance test of an application may vary for different environments such as browsers, operating systems like Linux, Mac, and Windows, network speed, memory efficiency, etc. The result of performance testing of an application varies when loads differ, which means it depends upon the number of users entering the website simultaneously. 

Performance testing evaluates the capacity to handle expected user loads. As performance testing directly depends on the load given to the application, it is also known as load testing.

A software application should be performance tested to avoid the problems like slowness, inconsistencies, poor usability, and server crash that a user faces. For example, a missile application should be performance tested to verify that they operate without interruption for an extended period. 

Therefore, it is essential to test an application to ensure customer satisfaction, avoid downtime and outages, optimize system performance, and comply with industrial standards and regulations, to prevent security breaches.

Recommended Read: Top 25 Test Management Tools 

6 Major Concepts in Performance Testing

6 Concepts in performance testing

Load Testing

Load testing helps to find the bottlenecks in the applications. Load testing aims to find the response time, throughput rates, resource utilization, number of transactions, and software behavior when the number of users/loads increases.

Stress Testing

Stress testing checks how an application reacts to excessive traffic load or data process load. It helps developers to understand the point at which software fails and how it recovers from failure. 

For example: Performing stress testing before a major event like Black Friday sales. 

Spike Testing

As the name suggests, spike testing involves a sudden increase in workload. Testing the application by giving abrupt increases of workload repeatedly and rapidly.

Endurance Testing

Endurance testing checks how an application can withstand the load for an extended time length. It looks at how long software can endure a constant load to provide sustainability. It also analyzes response times and throughput after prolonged use to display whether metrics are consistent or not.

Volume Testing

Volume testing checks how an application performs with varied database sizes. Here it checks the data loss, system response time, data storage, reliability, and more.

Scalability Testing

Scalability testing checks how well a software program Scales Up sustains the user load upon increasing, which includes checking whether the application scales up or down upon increasing the load.

Performance Testing Tools

There are multiple tools available to perform performance testing for an application, with specific testing tools designed for specific performance testing purposes. For instance,

  • Performance testing tools for web applications: Webload, Apache JMeter, Silk Performer, Storm Runner, Locust, etc
  • Performance testing for Websites: Load view, Loadster, Applause, Storm forge, Load Ninja, Kinsta APM, etc
  • Testing tools to automate performance testing: Neoload, Taurus, Rational Performance Tester, Eggplant, Gatling, etc
  • Performance testing tools for Network Performance: Solarwinds, Paessler security, Network monitor, Dynatrace, Zabbix, etc

Let us look at the list of tools preferred by users for performance testing. 

Apache JMeter

Apache JMeter

Apache JMeter is a widely used open-source Java-based performance testing tool for web applications. JMeter can execute performance testing for – 

  • Dynamic and Static resources 
  • Dynamic web apps

JMeter is easy to use, compatible, and can test the application with many load injectors manageable with one controller. The tool is easy to understand, and the user-friendly Graphical User Interface (GUI) needs less scripting, simple graphs, and charts to analyze load data and resource utilization compared to other load testing tools.

Jmeter is a fully Integrated Development Environment (IDE) that allows faster scripting, recording, and debugging. It supports Client Line Interface (CLI) to load tests from OS with Java in Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X. 

Load Runner

Load Runner

Load Runner from Micro Focus is a Commercial tool that tests a wide range of applications, simulates high user loads, and can generate detailed reports. It supports multiple protocols and is used in a complex enterprise environment compared with some performance testing tools.

Load Runner generates the scripts between Client Web Browser and the Applications web server by recording them (Logging HTTP Requests). Scripts such as Apache JMeter, Gatling scripts, Selenium scripts, and many others execute by Load Runner by declaring an Interface Library. Load runner is an Expensive testing tool that provides free trial versions but is impossible to download and use.

Locust

Locust

Locust is an open-source tool written in Python and designed for load testing of Web applications. The tool allows developers or testers to write load tests as code, Making the way easy to integrate with CID (Continuous Integration and Deployment) tools. 

Locust features straightforward basic coding without involving any rich XML or Clunky UIs.

Gatling 

Gatling

Gatling is an open-source tool written in Scala, designed for web applications. It supports multiple protocols, simulates high user loads, and can generate detailed reports. Gatling lets users avoid crashes by anticipating crashes and slow response times. Early detection of issues improves the time to market and enhances user experience. 

Gatling can integrate easily with your development pipeline and is built for continuous load tests. It comprises a web recorder. It also provides advanced metrics for TestAutomation with a paid plan.

BlazeMeter

BlazeMeter

An Enterprise ready cloud-based open-source performance testing platform that allows performing Shift testing. BlazeMeter offers users to create and run load tests in the cloud. BlazeMeter supports a wide range of protocols and can simulate high user loads.

BlazeMeter allows users to create load tests, and the existing scripting can reuse to run them within continuous testing pipelines. 

It enables users to record, upload, and Run and Auto create a JMeter/Selenium script and upload it to Blazemetr.com where we can get a JMX file. This file integrates with Apache JMeter, Taurus, Gatling, Selenium, and more testing tools. BlazeMeter monitors APIs quickly with clarity on code, API call content, structure, and return data.

Rational Performance Tester (RPT)

Rational Performance Tester (RPT)

IBM has developed this tool at an enterprise level that tests the performance and scalability of the web, mobile, and server-based applications.

It is an automated performance testing tool that validates the application, detects performance bottlenecks (Root Cause Analysis) helps in reducing load testing. RPT is an advanced testing tool that creates test scripts with no coding which saves time and reduces complexity.

Apache Benchmark (ab)

Apache Benchmark (ab)

Apache Benchmark is a command line tool included with the Apache HTTP server that executes performance testing for an application and web servers by sending a high number of requests and measuring the time of Response.

Load Ninja

Load Ninja

Load Ninja is a performance testing tool introduced by Smart Bear. It doesn’t need extensive programming, less time for creating test scripts, and the results are readable with highly accurate and actionable data.

It works by permitting to record of client-side interactions. With its True load technology, the tester or developer can test the actual end-user experience on multiple browsers. It is a cloud-based service tool to analyze software performance data on the Web interface and diagnose issues using a machine learning assistant.

Loadero

LoaderoA cloud-based performance testing tool. As Loadero is a cloud-based tool that offers better scalability, it allows one to set up multiple network settings and test the software application or website under different network conditions.

The reporting tool helps to detect system limitations, machine statistics, screenshots, recording, and load times. A paid tool in which a tester or developer can use Selenium, write test scripts in Java, Python, and Javascript to do load testing, and record web sessions for debugging.

Storm Forge

Storm Forge

Storm Forge works in an open workload model, allows you to perform load testing, simulates real-world scenarios, and provides better error detection problems. The tool involves no manual process, offering environmental sustainability to capture actual production traffic and ensure the test delivers authentic traffic patterns.

It is a paid tool that integrates flawlessly with DevOps tools like Jenkins, and Chef, monitoring tools such as Data do, Prometheus, and ecosystems like AWS, IBM, Azure, etc.

LoadView

LoadView

LoadView is a cloud-based load-testing tool in Real browsers. It captures website or app rendering with video recording for better analysis and review. 

LoadView runs tests behind advanced firewalls and offers dedicated IPs. It uses AWS and Azure to manage its cloud network. It is a paid tool that simulates users virtually with Load injectors from approximately 30 global locations.

App Loader

App Loader

App loader is an automated performance testing tool by Automai, code-free scripts or installations on your app server/ VDI. 

A paid tool and free trial versions are available.

Loadster

Loadster

Loadster is a paid tool that loads web applications and offers advanced validation rules to find errors and record values to reuse them. 

Loadster recorder is a free browser extension used to record the application.

NeoLoad

NeoLoad

NeoLoad is a performance testing tool that automates applications/websites and API load testing. A robust codeless design simplifies test creations with conditions, loops, and drag-and-drop controls. Neoload uses a YAML-based human-readable format and can also use Javascript. 

It is a contracted, customized plan tool that integrates with APM and can also integrate with DevOps tools (like Jenkins, bambook, etc.), Soap/ Rest support, Selenium, Azure, etc.

Silk Performer

Silk Performer

It is a cloud-based performance testing tool by Microfocus. It offers a built-in VPN that can execute tests in more than 50 international locations and resolve internet-based apps under heavy load. 

Microfocus also provides another performance testing tool called load runner. Silk Performer is a paid tool having free trial and demo versions.

LoadUI Pro

LoadUI Pro

LoadUI Pro is a completely based performance testing tool. Apart from load testing capabilities, Load UI Pro offers parallel testing, isolated load testing, endpoint testing, server monitoring, and much more. 

It integrates with SoapUI and we can also add more functionality at runtime using 3rd party plugins.

Solar winds

Solar winds

A paid tool offers Extensive Network performance testing with continuous device monitoring and Network availability. 

This tool is built with an intelligent network alerting feature.

Choose the Right Performance Testing Tool for Your Business

Real-Time Test Results

One of the primary goals of performance testing is to obtain accurate and real-time test results. It helps teams identify performance issues and bottlenecks in the system, enabling them to make informed decisions and take necessary corrective actions promptly.

Best Performance Testing Tools

Choosing the best performance testing tools can be challenging, given the vast number of options available in the market. However, as mentioned above, some of the best performance testing tools offer advanced features and capabilities, such as test data management, support for testing in a production environment, and the ability to simulate a huge load with a subset of performance engineering.

Stress Tests and Best Practices

Stress tests are an essential part of performance testing, as they help teams determine how the system will perform under high load and heavy usage. However, it is essential to follow best practices to ensure that stress tests are conducted accurately and provide reliable results.

Test Design and Test Coverage

Test design is crucial for the success of performance testing. It involves developing test scenarios that accurately represent the expected concurrent number of users, load capacity, and application output. Moreover, test coverage must encompass all the critical quality attributes of the system to ensure that it meets the desired performance standards.

Open Source Software and Free Tools

Open-source software and free tools are gaining popularity among teams, as they provide a cost-effective alternative to commercial performance testing tools. These tools offer advanced features and capabilities, such as source code access, test functions, and support for single and soak tests.

Getting Started with Performance Testing 

Performance testing ensures that the application software and server can handle the expected concurrent number of users and load capacity. Therefore, selecting the best load-testing tool for release is crucial to achieving this goal. Advanced features, scalability, and reliability are essential factors to consider when choosing a load-testing tool.

There are many tools to do performance testing. We need to choose a tool to do performance testing based on

  • Efficiency of Tool
  • Ease of use and the Cost of the tool
  • User, Integration, and protocol support
  • Scalability, Extendibility, and Adaptability of the tool during a test

It is crucial to do performance testing for a website or application before entering into a market or when the product is in the market because nobody likes waiting for an application or website to load.

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