The Importance of Pre-launch Performance Testing

CC Source: NYC Media Lab via Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/nycmedialab/13976646866

As technology becomes more complex, accurately predicting how well critical transactions respond in the real world becomes more difficult. Performance testing, with sub-categories of load, scalability, and stress testing, is the only rigorous way to determine how well an application will function outside the cocoon of its development environment.

More and more organizations, from government to business to charities, are understanding that poorly performing applications are an unacceptable risk to their customers’ satisfaction – and hence to their bottom line.  Further, they are re-learning the old truism “first impressions are lasting ones”. So, they’re starting to use customers as testers. Application go-live as the first ‘performance test’ of their application is being seen more and more as what it is: an unacceptable, avoidable risk.

Performance testing allows you to simulate how your application responds under real world conditions. It gives you an opportunity to evaluate the speed of your key business processes while you still have time to take corrective action.

A typical performance test cycle evaluates:
1) How well the application can handle expected load (load testing),

2) How much more the architecture can handle before it starts to degrade (scalability testing),

3) And how it responds over at sustained high loads or short duration spikes in use (stress testing).
Without this window into how an application is likely to perform in the real world, you’re playing at dice. There’s no real way to quantify how well an otherwise perfectly designed application is going to be received if it simply doesn’t work when you put more than a handful of users on it.

How well an application responds to these conditions, how well it meets these speed requirements: These are key performance indicators of interest from everyone to the most junior developer to the most senior stakeholder.  A guess, no longer how well educated or informed, is seen more and more as unacceptable. Measure your performance instead.

Need assistance with performance testing? Contact iBeta today.