The key differentiator in today’s tech driven world is not the volume of applications churned out by companies, but the quality of those applications. In the Agile and DevOps based tech environments, application performance testing has become a key testing requirement – essential to test the performance, responsiveness and load bearing capacity of an application. When an application or software faces severe workloads such as e-commerce sites during holidays, an untested one will not withstand the stress and behave differently – showing latency or generating error prone output, besides crashing. Such a dire situation might impact the company negatively – losing brand value, trust, regulatory actions or lawsuits. The year 2016 saw a greater need for performance testing as more and more customers got into the digital world.
The six needs that necessitated performance testing in 2016 are as follows:
- Digital transformation: As the advantages of moving into a digital economy became more apparent aided by increased penetration of smartphones, incentives by governments and corporations, ease of operation, paucity of time, and increased security, digital platforms have been overwhelmed with traffic. This has called for app developers in an Agile environment or performance testing experts in a traditional digital test environment to carry out load tests. The test is imperative for it validates responsiveness and performance, besides securing the software against probable latency and downtime. This is of utmost importance as teething problems of latency can put off potential customers, besides hampering the brand equity. The worst case scenario for such a situation can be the Brexit vote site that crashed.
- Increased use of cloud based resources: Increased competition has put a premium on the software development life cycle with companies looking to reach the market faster to get the elusive customers’ attention. In the quest for being the probable early bird, companies are relying upon cloud based resources to perform load or burst test on their applications. This not only reduces cost but also quicken deliverables.
- Virtualization: One of the most cost intensive attributes of performance testing is to build the right test environment. As the test or production environment is dependent on too many variables with some of them driven by third parties spread across geographies, building a virtual environment is of great help. Performance testing experts can carry out load testing on critical aspects of the software by creating end users, services, networks, and data virtually.
- Growth in Internet of Things: As the sweeping architecture of IoT envelops more and more domains, the task of performance testing experts has grown manifold. To ensure the performance of embedded objects to their optimum level performance testing has become the sine qua non.
- Mobile performance testing: Applications and websites receive traffic from different devices like mobiles, tablets and computers. As these devices differ in their functionalities, sizes, characteristics, speeds and responsiveness, performance testing on sites vis-a-vis mobile based traffic should be carried out. This has acquired salience in 2016 due to increased mobile based traffic.
- Agile requirement: Consequent to the demands of ensuring quality and faster time to market, paradigms of Agile and DevOps have taken firm roots in 2016. Hence, performance testing is slowly giving way to performance engineering wherein scripts are pre written to address any load related issue pertaining to an application or ERP software.
Michael works for Gallop Solutions, which is North America’s largest Independent Software Testing Services & company operating since 2003 with offices in Philadelphia & California.