With every successful launch of a piece of software or mobile application there have been a rigorous set of load test performance reviews accomplished. Load testing is when a specific program is actually put through the paces by simulating what it would be like when many users jump on to activate that program or application. Nowadays multi user systems are the norm in terms of developing mobile applications. This holds true for applications that apply to cell phone devices or even web pages. The performance testing tools that are utilized need to come as close to the actual use of an application in the real world as opposed to just using a hypothetical testing model. In other words, a load test won’t do you any good unless it’s not a true experience.
If you’re not familiar with how performance testing tools operate you’re not alone. Many developers contract independent load test companies to perform these types of reviews. This involves setting up numerous accounts just as it would occur under normal usage conditions. Whenever a user taps into an application or website a script recorder will be creating a data log of all the interaction that takes place during this session use. This data can then be uploaded to a load generator that can replay those recorded scripts and test out the parameters. During his replay phase the hardware and software parameters can be closely monitored. Some of the kinds of specific information gathered during this load test is the functionality of the CPU and memory capacity of a particular application.
A proper load test is going to subject an application to a variety of live users during the monitoring phase of this review. A perfect example would be a website or application that has some sort of purchase feature like a shopping cart. The goal would be for this shopping cart to be able to maintain as many users as possible without crashing the system. One of the performance testing tools would be to create 25 to 50 simultaneous virtual users that will log into the application, browse through the many features and then activate the shopping cart. All of this will be going down under strict laboratory conditions to make sure that the application is functioning as it has been designed to.
Another element of the load test is to apply that same software or application across many different platforms. Take a quick glance at any electronics store that sells mobile phones and you’ll see how horrid it is to have a load test work across those many platforms. The best performance testing tools also comes with a way to fix any problems that might arise. This has more to do with the specific company you hire and their level of experience than with the actual test itself. The bottom line is that all the results of a load test need to be interpreted and put to practical use for the continued development of the product.
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