Friday, June 26, 2009

JMeter to the Rescue

Recently I was involved in a high priority performance testing effort. The tools at hand were Webload and WAPT. I have previous experience with Webload so that is the initial path we took. The testing effort is relatively simple. The goal was to have concurrent users doing a series of gets and posts. Clarification the posts are actually http puts. I quickly could not find a way to get Webload to emulate an http put. Further complicating things was the system under test, SUT, requires secure header keys. Information on the internet on Webload seemed very limited and I was not able to rapidly find the answers to these two concerns.

The time line was limited so there was not bandwidth for a coding effort nor to purchase any new tool.

We quickly turned to JMeter. This is going to be a short post, but there are a couple of key advantages we had with JMeter.

Observed advantages:
  • JMeter out of the box could handle puts
  • JMeter worked well with RAKE
  • Fast installation and short learning curve
  • Easily extensible
  • Ability to run headless (no GUI) via RAKE
Observed dis-advantantages:
  • Executing tests with the GUI dropped threads as load increased due to utilization of machine java processes
  • graphic listeners are of extremely poor quality
  • A single instance appears to be limited to approximately 300 concurrent threads
The bottom line to this post is that JMeter came to the rescue and has sound potential for future performance projects.

There are some key action items for me.
  • Evaluate the ability to distribute load across several machines
  • Evaluate the ability of JMeter to interact with Web-based applications (ajax stuff etc...)
  • Develop Ruby scripts to calculate and report out data metrics as the number of transactions increase.
  • Understand the limitations of this tool
  • Evaluate other open source plugins developed for JMeter
I am looking forward to working more closely with the development teams to expand the use of jMeter for performance testing.

Happy Testing!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Selenium RC plus RSpec

It has been an extremely long time since I posted to this humble blog. I have currently changed jobs and I am newly energized to learn, implement, and build out a test automation framework.

There are a zillion frameworks to choose from. I have been using the WATIR framework for several years as I had bandwidth. I never had the opportunity to learn and execute a full solution. I recently interviewed several teams at the new company and I found one common theme with respect to test automation. Every team has selected Selenium RC as the foundation.

Initially I attempted WATIR to execute the tasks required by the team. With the complexity of the web pages and solutions, I quickly learned that WATIR may not be the best solution.

One of the teams built a Selenium & RSpec framework. Although there is some learning curve for me, I am liking what I see.

As I go on this adventure I will attempt to do a weekly post on the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Keep on Testing!