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What do we mean by performance testing and what is the real purpose?

For many years the generally accepted approach has been load testing, with the general intent of determining that capacity planning has been sufficient. When the dynamic web content is largely gernerated server side, using JavaScript primarily to show and hide content this was enough. It gave us a general picture of performance and life was good.

Most of the new web development I see utilizes some form of MV* JavaScript framework. This creates a whole new world for performance testing. We are no longer serving up dynamic content. We are now serving up data, usually in JSON format, although the format really doesn’t matter. What matters is that much of the processing that used to take place on the server now happens in the browser. With the Single Page Application (SPA) pattern the network traffic generally becomes more chatty, but very little traffic is actually going across the network.

Does the traditional performance test still meet our needs? The simple answer is “in part”. I say in part because we still need to make sure we are insuring sufficient server capacity to handle the network traffic. Despite the fact that we aren’t typically sending as much data across the network, we are using more connections. Where we used to pull down one dynamically generated page and the associated static content (e.g. image files, JavaScript files, CSS) all of which are typically cached by the browser, we typically pulled down one page. Now we are making several AJAX calls to REST services per “page”. These REST services are generally nothing more than a light weight HTTP wrapper around a database call. [...]


To read the whole post and interact, please visit the SogetiLabs blog: What do we mean by performance testing and what is the real purpose?

Matthew Elmore
Matthew Elmore
Manager - Software Development & Integration
+1 515-954-7678