Imagine this: You are getting ready for the launch of your favorite brand of mobile phones and when pre-orders begin, like many others, you are frantically trying to choose the right model and make a payment before stocks run out. However, the website takes too long to load, times out, leaving you feeling disappointed with the disrupted experience. These and numerous other instances emphasize the need for investments in Performance Testing.

Performance is key to a great user experience and the top engineering organizations among other enterprises consider performance as a crucial feature of their most critical applications. Besides this, the increasing competition in the digital space and the continuous rise to the top paves the way for focusing on performance in design and architecture in addition to the wider performance engineering picture. Therefore, slow loading or non-responsive web pages have an impact on financial revenue due to frustrated users.

While uninterrupted and seamless experiences are the results of perfect performance testing scenarios, the traditional methods do not give you the holistic view of your user experience, therefore paving the way for loopholes that affect your application performance. In fact, the more time you devote to performance testing, the better your software or application’s ability to handle unprecedented loads across any situation without any compromises. This means enterprises have to factor in an effective performance testing strategy to highlight performance issues by following industry-defined protocols to ensure the application behaves a certain way.

What is Protocol-based Performance Testing?
This testing methodology involves the simulation of virtual users by generating high levels of requests at a protocol level and performances are measured based on request-response behavior. For websites, client-side metrics like response time, throughput, errors, etc. are measured during peak times.

Benefits of Protocol-based Performance Testing:

  • Easy setup and use
  • Ability to generate high volumes of virtual users with minimum resources
  • Availability to use third-party tools to perform protocol-based testing

Protocol-based performance testing is considered to be one of the earliest ways of testing performance. Its capacity to deliver quick insights was one of the reasons enterprises opted for this approach. However, with modern technologies being used as the foundation for websites, software and applications, important aspects of user experience and flows are overlooked. Performance testing tools like JMeter usually capture the HTTP/S data traffic as server-client interactions through programming scripts. This involves huge loads of manual labor as testers have to develop scripts for various components. It requires additional effort to decode the application’s performance as results from the scripts do not account for the time to process responses between the server and the end-user interaction.

Drawbacks of Protocol-based Performance Testing:

  • Simulates only network traffic and ignores modern web technologies consisting of several client-side scripts
  • No end-to-end testing coverage. Reported response time does not cover the browser-based response time contribution
  • Performance varies between different browsers

Test Beyond the Protocol:

Page load time is one of the most important metrics to be considered in performance testing. Most modern applications spend more time in the browser than like on the server-side. The reason is that nearly all web applications use JavaScript-heavy frameworks such as React, AngularJS & JQuery.

Without a full browser, it is not possible to measure actual end-to-end response times of the web pages and verify the site’s functionality and speed as perceived by the end-user.

The traditional performance testing approach simulates traffic on the protocol level. This has become increasingly outdated with the rise of rich web client technology. Front-end frameworks and negligent front-end programming can easily lead to poor performance products.

To check the real-time performance of the application from an end-user perspective, we should focus on end-to-end testing using real-browsers.

Browser-based Performance Testing:
A fairly new testing methodology, browser-based performance testing involves creating real-browser instances for generating loads. It provides realistic conditions through the simulation of real-world scenarios for access to websites or applications. With the results, you can measure actual website performance from an end user’s perspective.

The Future is Now: Do it Right with APTf
APTf is Aspire’s Performance Testing framework. It is designed using industry-leading open-source tools and techniques to realistically test and assess enterprise application performances. With our in-house framework, enterprises have the flexibility to test both server-side and client-side performance of web applications using a hybrid approach.

This framework for end-to-end performance testing helps to avoid performance deterioration and improve application performance when new features are added to existing systems. In the case of new product developments, early-stage performance testing cycles can be conducted to ensure high quality and faster time-to-market.

Kickstart Performance Testing with APTf 2.0
The all-in-one framework APTf 2.0 in its latest upgrade ensures your browser-based testing conditions are taken off. Its real-browser testing helps enterprises mimic testing scenarios and measure outcomes as it would happen in the real-world ensuring preparedness for any unanticipated situations too.

Key Features of APTf 2.0

  • To ensure better performance of the application and deliver high-quality performance, our expert testers have considered both server-side and client-side performance testing approaches in the APTf framework. This includes:
    • Server-side performance testing – HTTP-based load simulation using cost-free load testing tools to check server behavior under specific loads
    • Client-side performance testing – Real Browser-based load simulation using functional-test codes to calculate browser page navigation response times
  • Re-use functional tests for performance data when multiple test cycles are conducted
  • Capture industry-standard front-end performance metrics including Time to First Byte, DOM Interactive Time, DOM Content Loaded Time, Page Load Time, First Paint, etc.
  • Conduct testing using different browsers and its version available in the market
  • Continuous Integration: To verify new builds with additional features and keep enhancing product quality and customer satisfaction
  • Live monitoring: Real-time tracking of test results during actual test execution
  • Server Health Monitoring: Monitor the health of all relevant servers during, before or after test execution
  • Effective Reporting:
    • Compare test runs using archived test results for trend analysis across builds/phases/releases in the agile world
    • Easy-to-understand reports allow even non-technical people to understand server and client-side metrics
    • Detailed reports and raw-data access for in-depth analysis to diagnose performance bottlenecks
  • SLA: Automated analysis against defined SLAs
  • Network Throttling the internet speed of machines when tests run in real browsers
  • Email notifications with Test Results after test completion

With all these features in place, this ready-to-use framework can help you achieve 40% in cost savings.

Want to know more about how APTf 2.0 can make a world of a difference to your performance testing cycles?

Roshini Cherian

Roshini Cherian

She is a Content Specialist and brings with her experience in marketing communication and content development across the industries of IT, customer experience, food and lifestyle. She enjoys traveling, exploring food trails and a Netflix binge when she isn't stringing words together.
Roshini Cherian