Performance Engineering in the Digital Era:
After 2020, your business is either digital or does not exist.
Yes, it is evident that digital presence has become the key to survival in the current era. COVID-19 has rapidly changed the way we work, communicate, and socialize while leaving us with the challenge of making significant changes in a matter of days.
Take a glimpse of COVID-19 driven digital adoption rates.
Why is Performance Important For Your products
Today, most organizations have accelerated their pace of digital adoption irrespective of their understanding and outlook towards digital transformation in the pre-pandemic times. Although organizations are speeding up their digital initiatives and investing in relevant tools and technologies, there is not enough attention to the performance side of digital initiatives.
If digital is a survival requisite, the digital application experience is a necessity for business reputation, resilience, ROI, and customer satisfaction. If an application has an amazing user interface and innovative features but lacks good execution – it is bound to fail. In a nutshell, digital transformation can be the front-facing need for businesses but performance is the driver that ensures the success of the digital transformation efforts of the organization.
The Performance Engineering Perspective of Digital Transformation
Gone are the days when software and application testing was all about checking functional bugs. Today, the non-functional elements like load handling, security and vulnerability issues, user experience are on the rise.
Whether your team needs to serve more mobile users on an application, or you are shifting from an in-house cloud solution to a third-party solution provider, everything should be well tested, and optimized with the right strategy.
What is Performance Engineering?
Performance issues just don’t happen. They are designed within the application. Well, that is not because the software engineers are malicious, it’s because they are human beings. They make some assumptions about the software while writing the code. And it is not possible for them to know how the system will perform and where bottlenecks will turn up when they start coding the software.
Here the concept of performance engineering comes into the picture.
“Performance engineering is all about improving the speed and efficiency of the product while embedding the key performance decisions into design, architecture, and implementation.”
The performance engineering process lets you understand the product fall-backs in the very early phase of the software development lifecycle. It allows seamless collaboration between tools, processes, and teams via continuous feedback loops while preventing expensive changes later down the line. A proactive focus will result in saving your valuable time and cost while boosting the value of the product, from business as well as user perspectives.
How is Performance Engineering Different from Performance Testing?
Key Performance Areas
Time to market
Faster as the fallbacks are identified in the early stages.
Slower as the testing is performed after the release of the product.
More time to work gradually as it is a continuous process.
Limited validation scenarios due to budget and time constraints.
A proactive approach that works with development and testing parallelly.
Reactive after other testing levels.
High as the team works in collaboration.
Low as different teams work on various tasks and cannot collaborate properly.
Early detection of issues
High as the issues are identified and resolved during the script development process.
Low as issues are identified after the end of all other testing processes.
No requirement for dedicated time.
Dedicated time is required for knowledge transfer as there is no or little collaboration among teams.
Why Do You Need Performance Engineering?
Software engineers have been stumbling over hundreds and thousands of assumptions since the dawn of programming. For example, ten years ago, an online airline ticketing system offered very limited services. You could only search for flights and buy tickets online, but only if you were on the right browser.
Today, everything is so seamless. In addition to purchasing a ticket, you can check-in, book a seat, pay for additional baggage, choose a meal, manage your account, and much more. There is a basic need to support all popular browsers, mobile devices, as well as mobile apps. These new features and frameworks have to work well with the back-end code to manage the system while meeting all the performance requirements.
A crash of even a few minutes can cause a loss of thousands or millions of dollars. While finding and resolving the source of error in a complex system can take a lot of time and cost. This means the managed performance of the application and user experience needs to be incorporated throughout the software lifecycle, not only when it is first launched.
With a growing number of applications, performance engineering ensures regular testing, as well as on-demand testing to ensure the quality of the existing application as well as every additional integration. The performance engineering methodologies align perfectly with agile processes to address the issues earlier in the development process.
Can Performance Engineering Replace Performance Testing?
There is a lot more to performance engineering than the testing process. It enables you to understand how all the components of the system fit together, knowing what performance metrics matter, and building the right user experience right from the initial stage. Performance engineering practices are a broad set of processes as compared to testing. You can easily please customers, support employees, and boost revenues. Here’s why performance engineering will never replace performance testing.
1. Vital for the bottom line
Did you know that the average cost of network downtime is over $5,600 per minute and amounts to over $300,000 per hour? Until your site is up and running again, there are high possibilities that consider a switch to your competitor. The consistent performance support allows you to safeguard data loss and public embarrassment due to a system crash.
2. Time to monitor performance properly
The performance testers lack the support to repair defective environments. While the overall performance is monitored from the initial stage of the development cycle. The performance engineering environment monitors the system to identify the scope of better experience and implement the required changes on a regular basis.
3. Objectivity and independence
Just like you would not expect a writer to review their work, you cannot get the design and testing of the software application by performance testers. Here, the impartial insights are provided into the application to ensure the best-in-class performance.
4. Performance metrics
Performance testing can track the server throughput, concurrent user loads, browser performance to assess the overall quality. But mostly, testers rely on their creativity and intelligence to match the expectations of end-users. Therefore, performance engineering has a phased approach to ensure a high-performing application in the long run.
5. Efficient reporting
While the testers need to assess the performance and make reports, the performance engineering methods measure the experience of individual layers, including the web server, application server, network etc.
When performance engineering is done right, it is surely going to improve the planning of deployment time with high-quality products. In addition, it reduces the business costs arising out of unforeseen issues. A clear and step-by-step testing approach ensures that organizations move towards better web applications and mobile experiences.
The Right Approach to Performance Engineering
The performance engineering practices should align well with the metrics that really matter to businesses. While testing identifies the gaps, the onus of architecting it correctly lies on the engineering team with proactive actions from the quality assurance team. Let us explore the standard approach to a performance engineering culture.
Understanding of performance risks:
It is important to understand the performance expectations of customers from the application. It helps in identifying the potential risks and assessing the damage it can cause. Then, these risks are ranked in terms of probability of the risk occurring, severity for proper resolution.
Establishment of performance objectives:
Set quantitative objectives to control and assess the efforts. However, it is important to set realistic objectives considering the number of requests received by the system.
Set the parameters that matter:
Consider the viewpoint of multiple stakeholders and accordingly, consider the parameters that matter to the customers and business. It is vital to ask pertinent questions related to response time, bottlenecks in a multi-user environment, etc. It helps in understanding the real user environment and its challenges to ensure a quality user experience.
The early focus on performance helps in gaining real-time insights into architectural issues, and optimize the multi-user application before it goes live. Besides faster deployment, it is extremely important to deliver uncompromised quality.
As you implement performance engineering, it is also vital to assess the architecture. It is recommended to process the architecture based on reusability, reliability, scalability, and quick modification.
Implementing automation throughout the testing process helps in getting faster and better performance results. You can yield better coverage by implementing the automation based on multiple scenarios the application might face.
Don’t wait to start your performance engineering journey with QAonCloud. Our team consistently checks and validates the capabilities at the time of developing and scaling the product. Getting the right process and architecture will help you achieve a high-quality product. Plus, it reduces performance costs arising out of unforeseen issues.