Do the websites, software, and apps you use work as intended? Are they secure and reliable? If so, thank performance testing. If not, well, then you understand why performance testing is needed. These automated processes detect errors and bugs and allow them to be resolved.
But what is required to start performance testing? How does this process work from beginning to end? We’re blogging about some of the basic requirements of a performance test, and sharing some short checklists to help you act on these insights.
What Are the Two Major Requirements of Performance Testing?
The two major requirements of performance testing are clearly-defined goals for the tests, and an adequate testing environment.
The goals that companies and developers set for their performance testing are called the test requirements. These might be functional requirements, like confirming the buttons and forms within an application are working properly and sending data to the right place. Or, tests can also be non-functional, like testing the security of the software, or how many people can use the form at once before it breaks.
All of these tests have a unique structure and setup and may need to be run individually. That’s why setting the requirements for the test is the first major task—everyone needs to have shared expectations and understanding of what will be learned from the performance test.
Once the test requirements are defined, the next element is the test environment. The environment is the setup of hardware and software that will run the test. This setup is unique for each test, potentially including different operating systems, databases, and network structures.
Industry Standards for Performance Testing
There are no published standards for software performance testing as its own industry. Don’t let that concern you—the reason is because industries where performance testing is needed often have their own standards since they are all so different. Healthcare, finance, government services, and gambling are examples of industries that are regulated over the performance, security, and accessibility of their digital products like websites and apps. Even eCommerce sites and B2B companies have a basic legal duty to care about aspects of quality like cybersecurity and ADA compliance. This means you should work with a software quality assurance provider who knows the regulations specific to your industry.
Performance Testing Requirements Checklist
If you are planning to implement software quality assurance testing in your workflow, here are some basic steps to get started:
- Explore Available Test Environments: What processing power, network bandwidth, and memory are available to use for the test at your business? How could you scale up these resources?
- Choose a Performance Testing Software: At Foulk Consulting, we have five different tools we rely on in different scenarios: Dynatrace, Neoload, Instana, Flood.io, and Zenoss.
- Create a Written Plan: Document when the tests will be run, the setup required to run them, who is responsible for each task, and even the known risks and cross-dependencies of the system being tested.
Performance Test Environment Setup Checklist
When you are setting up a performance testing environment, here are some of the requirements to make sure everything runs well:
- Confirm the Test Environment is Self-Contained: This means running the test on servers that are not being used for other purposes. This minimizes both the chance for test failure and the chance for an error to compromise the rest of your system.
- Set Up Backup Servers: Virtual servers or other solutions can allow teams to have a backup or overflow in case a server can’t handle the load of a test as needed.
- Make Considerations for Disaster Recovery: Before the test, both the test data and the code under review should be backed up elsewhere.
Mobile App Performance Testing Checklist
Performance testing mobile apps comes with unique requirements. Here are some action items to pull it off:
- Use Different Operating Systems: Test the mobile application on Android, iOS, and Windows mobile devices, including phones and tablets, to ensure both the front end and back end are compatible across systems and devices.
- Test the App Under Different Network Conditions: Check how the platform works with a low signal or no network at all.
- Check Settings and Configurations: It’s important to know if the performance of the app changes along with each user’s settings like screen resolution, camera settings, security and privacy settings, and more.
Trust Foulk Consulting With Your Performance Testing
Foulk Consulting has the performance testing experience to support your website or app from its initial launch all the way through its growth. Since 2002, it has been our mission to help businesses solve problems through technology. With performance testing in particular it’s our goal to identify errors and risks that could compromise success in a digital product. Our team also has the skills to collaborate and solve the issues in the product to achieve a successful launch. Before you do all the work of setting up performance testing yourself, reach out to Foulk to learn how we collaborate with DevOps teams and make performance testing a seamless part of the workflow.