Today, the customers determine the quality of the app not based on likes or no. of downloads, rather by the performance it delivers. Customers use the product first and then decide the usefulness and reliability of the product. If the customer faces any performance-related issues chances are high that the customer will either stop using the app or will switch to competitors’ platform This is where performance testing is needed as it helps teams to ensure that the product performs as expected after it goes live. However, there are certain challenges associated with this testing technique. Let us now try to understand this testing type in more detail.
What is performance testing?
It is a non-functional type of software testing method in which an application or software is tested to know its current system performance. It determines how the system responds under varying conditions. This test checks the responsiveness, speed, and stability of the software and ensures that software is free from all performance bottlenecks. This test typically ensures that the application performs as expected irrespective of the conditions like network fluctuations, bandwidth availability, or traffic load.
Why is performance testing needed?
- It measures the speed, scalability, reliability, and stability of the software under varying loads.
- This test helps to ensure that the application is stable and delivers consistent results, irrespective of the number of users accessing it at any point in time.
- This testing method helps to ensure that the apps load spontaneously and perform seamlessly under varying load conditions.
- This test helps to check whether the server responds to the user with requested data within the stipulated time or not
- This helps to enhance customer experience (CX) as teams ensure that high-quality and high-performing software is delivered to end-users
What are the 7 most common challenges in performance testing?
- Selection of wrong testing tool – One of the common challenges of this testing method that enterprises face is the selection of the wrong testing tool. The tool selection depends on various factors; first, it should suit your testing needs and business requirements, communication protocol, application technology stack, skill-level of the performance tester, and the licensing cost of the tool. Selection of the wrong tool can result in loss of testing days and efforts
- Lack of proper test strategy and test coverage – Before starting the test it is very important to prepare a test strategy that takes care of identifying and prioritizing project risk and actions to be taken. Due to the lack of proper brainstorming while creation of test strategies and test coverage, it becomes difficult to get effective performance test results.
- Time and budget constraints – This testing process essentially takes some time and budget to get effective results. Due to the lack of proper planning during software development, allocation of resources or budget is not done properly which leads to dependence on low-skilled resources, who do not understand the full scope of performance testing activities. It also might lead to usage of open source tools which might lead to increased project risk. All these factors impact the quality of the overall performance testing process.
- Lack of knowledge about the need for performance tests – Most business owners, stakeholders, and budget makers do not recognize the value of performance testing during software development. Due to this post-production release of the software, many performance issues may crop up which result in the crashing of the website, app, or software.
- Improper analysis of test outcomes – Testers needs to analyze the test results accurately. But sometimes testers face challenges in analyzing the test results accurately due to which stakeholders face difficulty in making an informed decision.
- Difficulty in conducting the test in the production environment – Conducting load tests in a fully functioning production environment is quite challenging. Especially while testing in such situations, real-time users are using the product and any change to the production environment might affect the user experience.
- Inaccurate test environment – The inaccurate test environment leads to incorrect decisions. The best approach is to replicate the production environment exactly.
How to overcome performance testing challenges?
- The QA manager and the QA team should properly evaluate the application under test (AUT) along with the licensing cost to choose the best performance testing tool
- The performance team should spend significant effort on analyzing and understanding application architecture and other performance characteristics like load distribution, usage model, the geography of usage, availability requirements, resilience requirements, reliability requirements, technology stack, etc.
- A proper and clear testing strategy should be developed to ensure the validation of these performance characteristics to get effective performance test results.
- Businesses need to plan for proper performance testing activities accounting for required timeframe, resources, and proper budget allocations.
- The stakeholders, product owners, or test architects need to plan for performance testing as part of an end-to-end testing strategy.
- The performance testing activities should ideally be planned in a production-like environment instead of the actual production environment.
Conclusion: High-performing software that works well under all load conditions is the need of an hour and many enterprises are striving to achieve such quality software. Today, companies adopt various testing services to test the quality or reliability of their software. One such testing type is performance testing. There are many reasons why you should consider testing your application for performance. Some of the most significant reasons are performance testing helps to ensure that under increased load, your web application, software, database, and server all function as expected. Though there are certain challenges associated with this testing technique as mentioned in this article but by adopting some of the best practices these challenges can be overcome.
Leverage performance testing from a next-gen QA and software testing services provider to get high-quality software that works well under all load conditions and delivers a seamless experience to the users.