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Performance Testing: What is it and is it Really Important?

a man workingPerformance testing is a type of software testing approach, but it does not aim to find bugs. Instead, its main purpose is to help identify and eliminate performance bottlenecks to ensure that the application will work well under a variety of load conditions. Performance testing focuses on checking an application’s responsiveness, scalability, and stability.

There are several types of performance testing tools such as load testing, stress testing, peak testing, endurance testing, volume testing, and scalability testing. Each one of these addresses different possible scenarios.

The importance of performance testing

The functionalities and features of a software application are not the only important aspects. Its performance should also be taken into consideration such as its response time, resource usage, scalability, and reliability. However, many still do not see the value of performance testing. This is one of the main reasons many applications slow down considerably (some even fail) when thousands of users try to access them simultaneously.

Speed, scalability, responsiveness, and stability should be at the core of any application to avoid poor performance. Performance testing aims to capture and resolve such problems before the application goes public by making sure that it performs without issues under its expected workload.

Open source vs. commercial performance testing tools

When choosing the right performance testing tool, you need to ask yourself exactly what you need. You should also take into consideration your budget. If your budget is a little too tight, you may want to consider an open source tool. Yes, it is free, but you need to understand that you’re basically on your own when it comes to learning the tool because there is very little support or training available (sometimes, none at all). Additionally, the time it will take for you to learn it by yourself can cause you to miss deadlines.

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On the other hand, commercial tools are more expensive, but they do have support teams that are readily available should you need them. They also have more features such as excellent analysis tools, advanced reporting, and more. The software vendor is also in charge of all the updates, so you don’t have to worry a thing about the tool.

Performance testing is a very important aspect of application development. A properly executed performance test can help save your application from disasters. Imagine an e-commerce site going down because it cannot handle the workload. Even a minute of downtime can mean losing thousands of dollars worth of potential sales.

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