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Introduction to Load Testing

What’s load testing and how it is important to identify the underlying vulnerabilities of an online application?

What is Load Testing?

Load testing is a non-functional software test that comes under the umbrella of performance testing. The intention of conducting load testing is to determine how a particular software program functions when several users are using it at once. To do that, the software application will be tested under a predetermined expected load. By doing load testing, it tests the application under expected real-world scenarios. So it’s clear that the aim of the deployment of load testing is to eliminate performance bottlenecks and guarantee the stability and efficient operation of software applications.

When is it ideal to perform load testing?

Professional testers usually recommend performing load testing at the time the project is nearing its conclusion. Most importantly, since this is a performance metric, this testing type can be used to evaluate the performance of servers, networks, electronic peripherals like computers, etc.

Why is applying load testing important for a software application?

The number of active internet users has exceeded 5 billion within the last two years, which is a significant increase. With this gradual increase in internet users, online applications like websites, mobile applications, and social media platforms also need to be robust accordingly in order to cater for the massive user loads.

On the other hand, with the advancement of immersive technologies, nowadays, application users are also showing higher expectations when it comes to the user experience. 

For instance, If someone checks out the play store or app store, they will be able to see numerous solutions have been introduced to choose from. In the same way, there are countless web apps and websites launched on the internet to make life easier. So all this discloses what is none other than the tough competition in the software market. Hence, in order to win the market, as IT professionals, it’s our responsibility to satisfy the customers’ high expectations by providing a greater level of user experience. Enhancing the performance of the application is one way of doing that.  So load testing is a crucial non-functional test requirement for any software. 

This testing type is capable of identifying the following statuses of software.

  • The maximum operating capacity of an application
  • Determine whether the current infrastructure is designed to scale under stress when running the application.
  • Sustainable behavior of the application with respect to heavy user load.
  • The number of concurrent users that an application can use, and the scalability of the application to access it with the increase in the number of users.
  • The response time it takes for critical action in the application is acceptable against the user specification or KPI

Other than these, most importantly, performing load testing in advance, helps to be cost-effective by identifying the defects and vulnerabilities like app crashes, system failures, and server-side failures, that can occur when multiple users access the application simultaneously. For instance, if you take an e-commerce application, it has a higher possibility of expecting high traffic, especially on days like Black Friday. Imagine if the system fails to handle such short-term peak requests that are 5x or greater than the average load and paves into system downs, it would be a great loss to all the interested parties of the business.

Simply, performing load testing for a software application is vital in building a greater user experience, system reliability, and a quality product at the same time.

What are the benefits of performing load testing?

Load testing in software testing has several benefits. Here are some of the main benefits of QA load testing:

  • Encourage improvement of the loading time of the application.
  • Encourage the improvement of the scalability of the application.
  • Minimize the risk of system, and server downtime.
  • Lead for greater customer satisfaction by returning a greater level of user experience.
  • Minimize the cost of failure by controlling bottlenecks and bugs from leaking into the production environment.
  • Identify deficient and slow-moving code.
  • Establishing service level agreements. (A mutually agreed contract between a client and a service provider.)

The top load-testing tools

Open source load testing tools :

Corporate and enterprise-level load testing tools :

Wrapping up

In conclusion, load testing enables us to discover critical defects and vulnerabilities caused by the rising user load. Therefore, performing load testing for digital products is essential for preserving software quality and also making sure that the application operates effectively under all possible real-world scenarios. Load testing should unquestionably be a part of a company’s strategy to improve the effectiveness, performance, and consumer-centricity of in-house-built software applications. Eventually, the performance of these applications will give them the power to compete with rivals and be a market leader in the rapidly growing software market.