Creating an application that is fully functional is important, but ensuring it performs well is also important. A growing number of mobile product leads, developers, managers, and marketers have come to realize that there are significant distinctions between the two when it comes to software performance, which is threatening the reputation of their companies. As a result, we are able to break the illusion that “good software can do everything and testing it for performance is only an option.”
In reality, it is the exact opposite. A brand, or an owner of an app, would never understand what is driving their uninstalls unless they have effective testing and metrics to show how an application performs in real life and how it can be improved. A key part of understanding the importance of performance testing is to understand that it has its own set of challenges, which include a change in how an application behaves in an environment that is scaled back. It is, however, first necessary for us to understand why this is a requirement in the first place.
Why use performance testing?
Organizations can use performance testing services to identify computing bottlenecks or communication bottlenecks within their systems. The bottleneck in a system is one component or point that slows down its overall performance.
For instance, a computer that operates at even the fastest speed will have a hard time using the web if the bandwidth is below one megabit per second (Mbps). The reason for slow data transfer rates may be inherent in the hardware, but it may also be a result of software problems, such as too many apps running simultaneously or a corrupted web browser file.
The goal of performance testing is to help identify where software-related performance problems might be occurring by highlighting areas where an application might be failing or lagging. An organization can also use this type of testing to ensure it is prepared for predictable major events. The performance of a system can also be verified to ensure it meets the specifications described by its manufacturer or vendor. In this process, two or more devices or programs are compared.
Major Challenges of Performance Testing in 2023 with full proof Solutions
The complexity of applications and their development stages has resulted in drastic changes in performance testing tools and environments over time. In the following section, we have listed some of the biggest challenges that performance testing will face in 2023 with its full proof solution. Let’s take a closer look at them without ado.
1. A not so Perfect Plan
When designing a comprehensive testing strategy for a project, there is a lot of work involved in identifying and prioritizing the risks that are associated with the project and deciding on the actions that are supposed to be taken in order to mitigate those risks.
There are several steps involved in this testing process, including determining application performance characteristics, designing appropriate tests to exercise those characteristics, simulating actual user interactions, and testing the API services as part of the test strategy as well as verifying that all these services are working. It is difficult to achieve effective results from performance tests when there is no proper brainstorming during the creation of test strategy and test coverage.
The Solution: Strategic approach
Ideally, the performance team should devote considerable attention to analyzing and understanding the application architecture as well as other performance characteristics such as load distribution, usage model, geographical location, reliability requirements, availability requirements, resilience requirements, technology stack, etc. The performance characteristics should be validated through a clear test strategy to get effective test results.
2. Lack of Time and Resources
A load test requires a significant amount of time and money to yield effective results. When software development is not planned properly, budgets and resources are not allocated to many important execution parts than performance testing activities are dependent on low-skilled resources who lack a thorough understanding of their scope. This may lead to the use of open-source tools in the project, which might increase the risk of the project in the long run. Taking all of these factors into account impacts the overall quality of the process of performing a performance test.
The Solution: Calculating Budget Parameters Prior
In this sense, it is essential that businesses plan their performance testing activities at the beginning of projects in order to account for the necessary resources, timeframe, and proper budget allocations associated with them.
3. Using inappropriate tools for testing
When selecting tools for software testing, various factors must be taken into account. Among them are the cost of the license, the skills of your team, or even the features of the application that you are using. You can waste a lot of time by choosing the wrong tool, which may have a significant impact on the SDLC as a whole and thus affect your whole team and project.
The Solution: Deep-dive knowledge of various tools
Various tools have to be thoroughly understood by the quality assurance team in order for them to be effective. It is also essential that the team have a clear understanding of what the application’s functionality is before deciding which tool to use.
4. Managing and reporting test results
It has become the norm to expect flawless code quality. Especially in today’s highly competitive market with limited resources, it has become increasingly important to offer high-quality code to customers as a quality assurance measure. The first step in ensuring code quality is to script and run performance tests. Testing and engineering teams will need to identify if any memory, CPU, or other bottlenecks have been identified after the tests have been run, as this can result in slow-downs or other discrepancies in transactions.
Development and DevOps teams can resolve code quality problems by looking at test results. The process of analyzing audit logs or code-based results can be tedious and does not always provide engineers with a clear understanding of the main problems. It is difficult for engineers to derive actionable insights from these results because they lack information and context.
The Solution: Actionable and Insightful Observability Reports
A tool that generates reports and displays application and protocol testing results clearly and comprehensively can make code issues easier to understand for engineers. When metrics such as error rate, response time, and hits/s are displayed, users can drill down into problems and research them further. This allows developers to focus on fixing issues rather than deciphering them.
Furthermore, it is recommended to take a look at a tool that can integrate with APM solutions like DynaTrace, New Relic, and Datadog. Using these solutions, you’ll be able to gain even more insight into events and the impact they have on your infrastructure and server.
Also Read – Guide To Write A Quality Bug Report
5. Lack of knowledge about need for performance tests
There is a general lack of recognition by stakeholders and budget makers regarding the importance of performance testing company services during software development. Most of the time, after a software release, is made public, many performance issues will occur, which can result in the website, application, or software crashing. And all of this happens just because of performance problems.
The Solution: Expert Team needed
Tests should be conducted by subject matter experts, and results should be again analyzed by them only. A good expert knows what the customer wants and how to make it possible. It is, therefore, essential to have an expert team that can successfully perform various tests, understand the complexity of the application, and acts accordingly.
6. Managing the User Experience Under Traffic Loads
Tests are typically divided into frontend and backend tests. Testing the backend examines aspects like server performance, load, and memory, whereas testing the front end focuses on what the user will see. But what is the connection between them?
For engineering teams to maintain competitiveness in the market, they must understand what users see under heavy loads in order to provide a proper user experience. Normally, a dedicated tool is needed to accomplish this since running a frontend and backend test simultaneously is not precise enough in terms of coordinating the timeline well. Furthermore, overlaying the two tests is a technical challenge as well.
The Solution: End User Experience Monitoring
7. Securing APIs
In recent years, cybersecurity attacks have become more sophisticated and frequent, and this will not change in 2023. Attackers could use API vulnerability to access your Services, Infrastructure, and Data in order to gain access to any information they consider sensitive. API vulnerabilities such as code injections, broken authentication and authorization, excessive exposure, and insufficient logging can all be exploited by threats and put your data at risk.
The Solution: Shift Left Security
Security is shifting left in the current era, allowing developers and DevOps teams to take responsibility for minimizing risks rather than just security teams or departments. Testing API security is also an essential part of API testing. Using such tests, API gateway security policies can be validated, abnormal hits per second can be identified and logged as an indication of an attack, and the results can be monitored.
Also Read – Introduction to API Security Testing
8. Graceful Shutdown
The process of users logging off of your application or website at various times and frequencies is commonplace in real-user scenarios. Despite this, it is a regular practice in developing performance tests to terminate them abruptly at the end of the test. Hence, the system cannot be tested to see how it reacts to users leaving sporadically. Also, abruptly shutting down threads may result in errors that interfere with test results. An inaccurate test could have an impact on your production and your customers’ experience.
The Solution: Incorporating Iterations in Test
Time-based tests can be enhanced with iterations to simulate real-world shutdowns. Moreover, threads will have the ability to limit the number of iterations they use, preventing them from starting a new one only to shut down soon after. Therefore, threads can gracefully end their iterations after iterations have been completed.
9. WebSocket Testing
In a nutshell, the WebSocket protocol is a method for communicating two-way between web browsers and servers through one TCP connection. Due to its increasing popularity, more and more enterprises are seeking WebSocket testing solutions as part of their testing programs. Furthermore, they need the ability to view the WebSocket in its entirety.
The Solution: JMeter WebSocket Samplers
The JMeter software includes WebSocket plugins that can be downloaded and used. The plugins allow for the load testing of WebSockets as well as visibility into them.
10. Wrong interpretation of results
You can analyze the functionality of your application by performing a performance test. It is unfortunate, however, that incorrect analysis of test results could lead to performance failures. The test’s purpose will not be served if the results are inappropriate, which will result in an inefficient application for the market.
The Solution: A team of Subject matter experts
The testing process should be performed by a performance tester with experience who can analyze the scenarios and keep refining the tests and adding new ones as necessary to make sure they are consistent. Performance testers should have a good understanding of application architecture.
It’s also important for the performance tester to have knowledge and experience spanning multiple areas, such as OS concepts, OSI models, web architecture, networking concepts, client-side performance concepts, data structures, and server-side performance concepts. The results of these tests can be quickly analyzed by performance experts.
11. Performing tests in a real production environment
A production environment that is fully functional makes it difficult to conduct load tests. It is really important to take into account the fact that real-time users are using the product during these tests, so any change made to the production environment will likely affect the user experience.
The Solution: Replica the environment
A close watch is necessary in the production environment to spot irregularities. It would be ideal for planning performance testing activities in a production-like environment instead of a real-life production environment.
Whenever a business requirement demands a particular activity to be executed in an actual production environment, such activities should be performed only during periods of off-hours so that perfect time can be given for corrective actions if an application crashes under load in the production environment.
Earlier, load testing was mainly executed as a means of simulating basic user actions on a protocol level. Nevertheless, load testers should balance automation with exploratory testing today as more complex applications are being developed with intricate user actions.
Regardless of how dependent your continuous integration workflow is on performance tests, it is a necessity to integrate them. Even if testing takes a little time, the benefits it can yield are well worth it. Furthermore, it can help you reduce risk.
All in all, tests are an essential part of the development process that cannot be ignored. However, performance testing certainly poses some challenges. But we are confident that you won’t face them if you sincerely follow our suggested solutions.