Why is it important to test system performance?
As a rule, it is not enough to create an innovative and useful application. If it hangs, takes a long time to start, and works slowly, all of its advantages will be easily outweighed by these disadvantages.
Applications with low performance cause frustration for users, which can reduce their engagement. In order to give customers the best possible experience, it is very important to consider performance when developing an application.
Our experts can help assess the performance of your application and suggest the best options to increase it. Check out our Outstaffing service.
Users interact with the system by entering some kind of data: touch, movement and speech. In response, they get a reaction from the application. Performance is the quality of how the system responds to the user.
Performance may include:
- CPU loading
- Memory usage
- Power Consumption
- Network and storage usage
- Animation performance
As a rule, software performance is divided into:
- the performance of the software that users pay attention to:
From the user’s point of view, software performance is the software’s response time to user actions. For example, when a user clicks a button, sends an instruction, or clicks a link on a Web page, from the moment the user clicks the mouse, the application system displays the results of that operation in a way that the user can perceive.
- software performance, which the testers pay attention to:
From the tester’s point of view, the performance of the software system is primarily reflected in the response time of the system. This is the same as the user, but the tester also takes care of information related to the state of the system. For example:
- How reasonable is the use of application server and database resources?
- Can the system be expanded?
- Maximum number of users supported by the system
- What is the maximum processing power of the system?
- Can the system support business processing 24/7?
- The performance of the software, which the developers of the product pay attention to:
Developers will talk about all the issues of users and testers (users directly feel performance, testers want to test performance) because for them, users and testers are the object-oriented aspects of the product being developed. Application performance can cover many stages of the development process. This affects everything from the chosen data structure to the technology chosen to create the application. Developers must consider all the factors that cause software to perform badly.
How is system performance measured?
Performance should be tested regularly as part of application updates and maintenance.
- Reaction time is the amount of time it takes for the system to respond to a user request. It is a measure of how fast the system works.
- Capacity – the system can handle the highest load level without a significant increase in response time or decrease in stability. It is a measure of how powerful the system is.
- Stability is a property of a system that indicates its ability to maintain its level of functioning.
- Scalability is a property of a system indicating its ability to expand easily. This means that the power of a perfectly scalable system should increase in proportion to the capacity of the system resources.
- Number of virtual users per unit of time – how many users can simultaneously work in the system?
- The number of operations performed by the system in a certain period of time (throughput).
- Transactions per second (TPS) refers to the number of transactions that the network is capable of processing each second. By comparing the actual transaction time to the expected time (or the number of transactions per second), you can conclude how successfully the system has passed the load test.
- Error rate is calculated as the ratio of wrong answers to valid answers over a certain period of time.
System performance testing
System performance testing is a testing process that allows you to test the behavior of a software product under realities, that is, under conditions of active use of the product by end users in the required volumes of data.
Many tests are done without any attempt to comprehend their real goals. The business question should always be asked before testing begins: “What is our goal in testing performance?”. The main goal of performance testing is to identify and eliminate its bottlenecks in the software application.
There are many options for performance testing tools. Choose the ones that you think are best suited to test your system requirements.
Testing is best done as soon as you make the code available. This will help developers get real-time feedback to fix issues as early as possible.
It is very important to detail the requirements and document them in some plan. Ideally, this is done at the requirements stage of system development, before working out the details of its design.
Subtypes of system performance testing:
- A stress test is a test that detects that a system’s performance is limited by some bottleneck. Stress testing allows you to evaluate the behavior of the software product under increased intensity of operations and establish the maximum performance level of the solution.
- A fixed-load test is a test that is run with a fixed number of virtual users over a period of time to measure response times under various load conditions as defined by the capacity test. This test measures how fast the system is running.
- A stability test, also known as a stamina test, is a very long, high-load test to check the stability of a system. The endurance test shows how stable the system is.
Up-to-date knowledge obtained as a result of system performance testing allows you to correctly manage the computing power that the system uses and maintain the required level of failover.
The benefits of system performance testing
- Testing guarantees that all features, functionality and systems work optimally to provide the best user experience.
- Allows you to track how the software behaves under pressure and gives you important insights into how it can handle scalability.
- By looking at the test results, developers can learn what changes they should make to the software to overcome the negatives and make it more effective.
- Measuring the performance of key features and functionality of the software helps you make informed decisions and plan your business strategy when setting up the software.
- You can quickly address any problems identified and focus on improving your technology instead of struggling with issues after release.
- With testing, you can better handle volume and load, and optimize your software so that it can handle a large number of simultaneous users.
It is necessary to constantly analyze your software product, to think in advance about what can happen, what scenarios of behavior are typical for users. Customers need to consider this point, and think “What happens if we don’t do load tests and the end user faces the consequences of this decision?”
Performance testing does not reveal bugs, but it helps to find out what the system is capable of. This way you can be sure that the site or application won’t crash when more users or the database grows.
Remember, the first impression of your software is crucial to deciding whether users will want to continue using it or hit the uninstall button. Performance testing helps you meet the required characteristics of the software and allows your users to continue to use your software, increasing your revenue.
Softacom can help you create valuable products with a highly-skilled, professional team that works under your control. We know how to bring your idea to life. Contact us for more information.