When we are developing an application that time you may notice one thing like the application can work smoother for a single user but when the user count increase you may see some of the functionalities of the application is not working as expected.
So, when we talk about the development you should have some kind of idea that how your application behaves under load. Nowadays there are different tools available for load testing in order to test the performance and functionalities of the applications under different user counts, which will help you to analyze your application so that it can be improved.
So in this article, we are going to discuss in detail load testing.
What is Load Testing ?
Load testing also called stress-testing or performance testing is a process where you test the application under different loads so that you can analyze its behavior and get to know how it will behave when your users are using it. By knowing this you can improve the performance of your application by implementing better codes in it.
For Example: suppose you have developed an application where if there are more than 100 users using your application it will crash but if there are less than 100 users then it will be working as expected. In this case, you don’t want users to use your application because it will not work properly. It is best that you fix this problem as soon as possible so that you can handle the user count in peak time.
So, load testing helps you analyze the performance of your application under different loads and at the same time verify if it is working properly or not.
Why Load Testing is Important?
Well, load testing is important because it helps you to know the behavior of your application under different loads. We should know how our application is going to behave when the user count increase.
So, it will help you to improve the performance of your application and also:
- Helps to analyze and find out bottleneck of the application.
- Helps you to optimize your application for better performance.
- Helps you to know about the changes or improvements in the functionality.
- Helps you to find out how your application is behaving under different loads.
- You can compare your application with other popular applications so that you can get to know how your application is performing when compared with others.
Importance of Load Testing
Load testing is important for development and it will help you to analyze and improve your application, so let us see the importance of load testing in software development.
- It helps to find weaknesses in your code or application under different loads. For example, if there are any bottlenecks in the code then it will show up when a large number of users are using it. So you can get to know about the weak points in your application by doing load testing on it and this will also help you to fix them because these weaknesses can affect your app performance badly.
- Load testing also helps you to find out how the changes are done in the functionality of the application works and what impact they have on the user experience. For example, when you have introduced some changes in the application and afterload testing on it you found that there is a drop in user experience than with the help you can remove those changes so that users can have a better experience of using your application.
- Load testing also helps you to find out how different modules or feature works when they are used together, for example, if there are any existing problems in API then again test them by load testing on it so that they can be improved and fixed.
- Load testing can be also useful when you want to compare your app performance with other popular applications as well as this will help you to improve your app performance and quality before releasing it in the market.
- Load testing also helps you to find the bottlenecks in your app, so that improvements can be made and it will work better for users.
- The best part of load testing is that as per your requirements you can test multiple different types or varying loads on an application and then analyze its behavior with the help of various tools available for load testing.
- So finally after all these above advantages if we talk about cost effectiveness then the benefits you are getting from load testing are definitely worth its price tag.
What are its different types of Load Testing?
So, now let us see the types of load testing which is done in software development.
Functional Testing: This type of testing includes all the major functionalities of the application and it basically checks whether your application works correctly or not with different configurations (like if you are using Windows OS then you should check it on another operating system like Mac, Linux, etc.), this type of testing also helps you to find out how your app performs when the user inputs wrong information in the forms during working. So, overall it’s an important test that needs to be done before releasing any new version of your application.
Stress Testing: This is again a very important type of test because this will help you to find out where there are any weaknesses in your application and how it will work when you are having a heavy load on it. For example, if your application is having a single server then by performing stress testing on it you can find out if there are any bottlenecks in that or not, so by doing this kind of test you can get to know about the weak spots and make sure that they have been fixed before release.
Recovery Testing: This type of testing comes very handy when we want to test our application’s behavior after losing data due to some problem like database failure or system crash etc., for example during recovery testing we might lose all data from our database which means we need a backup but what happens when we do not look at then, so with the help of recovery testing we can check whether data has been lost from our database or not and what happens if that happens. So, in short, this type of testing can be very helpful when you want to test your application’s behavior after losing data.
So now we have seen all the different types of load tests which are done during software development, but there are also many other reasons for performing it like checking the stability of applications under heavy loads. These things may cause any problem to customers as well as for us developers when it goes live because users will definitely be using it heavily.
Performance Testing: In performance testing applications are tested under high workloads which generates a good amount of stress on the system. It is used for measuring the performance and scalability of an application under heavy loads.
Reliability Testing: In reliability testing, applications are tested for their ability to run continuously without any downtimes or errors in response. This type of testing is commonly known as “continuous testing” which ensures the uninterrupted running of an application for a more extended period of time. These tests also help you to detect faults and remove bugs from your system by doing this kind of stress test on it at regular intervals.
So these were some important points that you need to consider while performing load testings so get started early. But anyone can say that how much load will be enough? So I would suggest using load tests tools like JMeter or Loadrunner which comes with pre-defined scripts so that you don’t need to write all those codes and processes.
Basic Steps Of Load Testing
Here we are going to discuss the basic steps for load testing. Let’s see what these steps are:
Defining Load: It is the most important step of load testing, where you have to decide the user count or objects that will be used while performing load testing. Here you have to be very careful, because if you define your user count or objects more than the server’s capacity then it will cause a failure in the test. In this step, you must be sure that your server has the capacity to handle the defined load
Connecting The Servers: Connecting two servers is a very important part of load testing because this will allow you to simulate an actual working environment. That’s why here also it is important that you have a good bandwidth so that no doubt can be created in your mind about the accessibility of servers.
Recording The Result: After connecting both the servers, you have to start recording the result. You can do it manually or if you want you may take help from some software that will record every activity that happens on the server and so that you don’t need to write everything in a notepad.
Understanding The Data: This is the most crucial step of load testing, where you have to carefully go through recorded data and understand it properly. In this part, you must be very alert because if your application fails in any way then definitely you will see it here by analyzing recorded data.
Implementing The Changes: After properly understanding recorded data you have to analyze it and implement changes (if required) in your application so that everything will work smoothly. Here I would like to tell you one thing, if possible then don’t apply the changes directly on the live server, instead develop a patch and test it with load testing.
Advantages of Load testing
Here are the benefits of doing load testing in the application:
- Helps to measure application’s responsiveness in real world conditions.
- This will help you to find out how your application performs when you are having high traffic on it and how user interaction affects the performance of application.
- Load testing helps to identify software bottlenecks , resource shortages and other performance issues.
- This type of testing helps you to find out how your application behaves if it is loaded with heavy data so that you can avoid any critical problems and make sure that your application will handle that kind of loads.
- It helps to estimate the capacity of the system and check whether it will able to handle the amount of traffic that we are expecting to get or not .
- Load testing allows us to find out how our application behaves if network connection is lost because it will definitely happen sometime and so we must be ready for it.
- With the help of load testing we can check the performance of our application under different types of load.
- This type of testing helps us to find out how our application behaves when it is hosted on a server that is not handling the load properly.
- Load testing helps to identify performance bottlenecks and other errors in your applications.
- This type of testing helps us to find out how our application behaves with the increased amount of concurrent users.
Disadvantages of Load testing
- It is a time taking process as it requires to be repeated multiple times in order to get proper and accurate results.
- This type of testing needs to be done on multiple servers in order to simulate the real world environment.
- It requires a good amount of resources and bandwidth for testing an application.
- It will not be able to find out how our application performs when it is hosted on a poorly configured server.
The above-mentioned points are the pros and cons of load testing so now you must be thinking that should we perform it or not? My answer is yes definitely. Load testing is a must to have a good application because it will help you and your clients in getting the best possible results.
Load testing is very important for all web and mobile application developers. Load testing helps us to identify errors in our application before actually going live because after going live it becomes a little bit difficult to change the things that we did wrong.
So, here I would like to conclude this article by saying that if you want your application to be successful then perform load testing.
If you guys have any questions related to this article then ask them in the comment box below, I will try my best to assist you as soon as possible.