For many organizations and their customers, software applications are mission-critical. It is imperative to closely watch their performance in order to earn consumer trust and achieve ROIs, which are incidentally dependent upon the longevity and maintenance of the applications. A company must possess an adequate-sized IT infrastructure to provide the high-quality service required by its customers along with the QoS or Quality of Service expected by them. While testing the performance of the product itself is imperative, it is also essential to benchmark it against specific and set values, to see if it is functioning at its optimal.
The need for performance testing benchmarks
A dissatisfied customer is bound to move over to competition if you, as a company, do not meet their expectations. The customer’s baseline outlook is pretty simple – a fully functional software application that can be invoked at any time. Performance testing, by itself, is quite complex and requires meticulous planning. It also comes with its own set of challenges, including the application’s performance in a downgraded environment. It is highly imperative to incorporate it in the application development lifecycle.
Here are some expert views from QAonCloud about the reasons why performance benchmark testing is principal.
Researchers believe that mobile application errors are more than those that are just reported. Most of the time, there are network issues and server congestions to deal with. Unreliable mobile networks impede the smooth working of the app. There are downloading issues, broken images, checkout errors, failed uploads and freezing. A large group of frustrated customers fall into this segment. This, in turn, leads to a loss of revenue. Over 47% of the respondents tend to exit the application if they have a broken image.
Then there are issues pertaining to the speed of connections, which tend to differ from region to region. Testing apps country or region-wise can alleviate all speed and connectivity issues. Various speeds are taken into account across disparate networks to check whether the application can be used conveniently. In developed nations, the app might function at an optimal level but in the developing world, it might be slow. It is, therefore, imperative to run performance tests to stay in harmony with the region’s capabilities.
A widening user base may also impact the performance of the app. For instance, in an initial environment of 1000 users, the app may work well. But with an increase in the user base, it could end up behaving randomly. Performance testing for scalability, speed, and stability, should be carried out at a juncture where high demand is expected.
Various tools and processes are involved in testing to determine whether the app is functioning according to a particular yardstick. This can be accomplished only when performance benchmark testing is planned.
The importance of planning
Performance testing has become one of the most important parts of a software testing process, especially because clients are expecting more than just digital experiences. This is leading testers to adopt a multi-layered approach that goes beyond regular load testing schedules. To get the best outcomes the testing strategy should be able to mirror the real-life environment.
Users view information on a particular screen before switching over to the next – this time frame is called think time. Therefore, the time appearing between two consecutive requests must be fixed while creating test scripts. Component-wise this is the best way to test a system as it eliminates risks that can suddenly crop up during the process.
But before planning, it is imperative to know the benchmarks against which the application will be tested.
What is benchmark testing?
Simply put, a benchmark is a metric or a point of reference against which a software product or application is compared. A repeatable set of standards determine the quality of the product. The results are typically quantifiable. Benchmarks can also be used to assess the current and future releases of an application. One component for benchmarking is always constant – it must be repeatable. Then how imperative is benchmark testing in performance testing?
To know if your application is performing better than the industry average, you must understand the importance of benchmark testing. Skilled and proficient testers use the technique in several ways where the characteristics of performance are primarily tested. Performance benchmark testing, under varied conditions, monitors the response time of the database manager. The consistent availability of the app can thus be determined, keeping in mind the response time for concurrent users. Data loading with various methods along with the utility performance of the system can also be evaluated. After the release of an application, the impact, characteristics and behavior, are monitored.
Benchmark testing is generally done from the SLA perspective.
Phases in benchmark testing
Agile processes for testing are currently in vogue. But QAonCloud follows industry best practices along with modified, proven processes to achieve the success that our clients wish to. We follow the standard phases of testing and add hybrid elements to ensure that the application is fully tested for bugs making go-to-market extremely easy. Nevertheless, here are the fundamental phases of benchmark testing.
As mentioned before, planning is pivotal in benchmark testing, because this is where standards are defined and identified for the testing process. The critical components of the system are recognized, and the benchmark criteria are assessed.
The goals and objectives for the testing process are set besides identifying the root cause of the error. Product quality is improved with this analysis.
Functional goals and non-functional requirements are established, and outcomes shared with the internal stakeholders for approval.
The action phase is continuous, where it is ensured that all processes and standards have been taken into consideration before the actual implementation. Previous successes may also be evaluated to smoothly implement the current scenario by eliminating past bugs and errors. Implemented actions are periodically reviewed, and mechanisms developed so that the application performs at its optimal.
QAonCloud is a full-service benchmark testing company that ensures that your applications are always performing better than the industry average. Reach out to us for all your testing concerns.