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Web Performance Testing

Many testers make huge efforts to test the functionality of Web sites working to tight deadlines with only limited test staff and equipment. The site is released to production and the features work. However, response times are slow in live operation and the site cannot handle peak loads. In addition, the site isn’t robust and cannot routinely recover from errors. If you’ve already been there, or don’t want to go there, this course goes beyond the basics of functionality testing to ensure that your site works in its live production environment before users discover problems.


Lecture presentations are supported by a realistic case study, based on a fictitious Web site, which allows reinforcement of learning and enhances the understanding process. In addition, various testing tools will be demonstrated.

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Learning Objectives

At the end of the course attendees will be able to:

  • Examine performance requirements and ensure that the requirements are realistic and achievable.
  • Specify what types of performance tests are required and create tests, test cases and test scripts.
  • Communicate adequately with appropriate technical personnel to ensure that the correct test environments are set up.
  • Understand the capabilities of performance testing tools and make a significant contribution to tool selection.
  • Execute performance tests and analyse the results.
  • Make a contribution to diagnosing performance problems.
  • Understand how to test a site’s reliability and scalability prior to release.


A good knowledge of Internet architecture and Web software testing. Attendance on the Web Software Testing course would be an ideal prerequisite.

Course Content

Web Architecture
Communication Protocol Models, The Four-layer Model, Packets, Routers, Domain Name System, HyperText Transfer Protocol, Client Internet Access (fixed), Wired Local Area Networks, Ethernet, Wireless Local Area Networks, Client Internet Access (mobile), Firewalls, Example Firewall Architectures, Virtual Private Networks.

Performance Test Specification
Performance Degradation, Prerequisites to Performance Testing, the General Process, When to Start Performance Testing, Categories of Performance Tests, Single-Shot/Smoke Testing, Load and Scalability Testing, Stress and Hot Spot Testing, Spike and Bounce Testing, Integrity Testing, Defining and Selecting Test Objectives, Response Time Requirements, Defining the Workload, Think Times, Site Arrival and Abandonment, Usage Patterns, Client Platforms, Client Internet Access Speeds – Fixed and Mobile, ISP Tiers, User Geographic Locations, Background Load.

Acquiring the Test Scripts and Data, Identifying Data Requirements, Identifying the Sources of Data, Specifying the Test Environment, Selecting the Loads to Run, Sampling Errors, Concurrency, Load Generation Options, Manual Load Testing, Home-grown Load Testing Software, Open Source Tools, Integrated Development Environments, Web-only Load Testing Tools, Hosted Load Testing Services, Enterprise-class Load Testing Solutions, Network Considerations, Load Generator Calibration.

Running the Tests, Specifying the Number of Runs, Measuring the Load, White-Box and Black-Box Measurements, Full-Blown and Focused Testing, Phased Load Testing, Component Level Stress Tests, Infrastructure Load Tests, Architectural Load Tests, End to End Load Tests.

Statistics Available from Testing Tools, Response Time Graphs, Margins of Error, Diagnosing Performance Problems, Troubleshooting Strategies, Improving Performance.

Scalability Factors, Scalability Testing Objectives, Server Scalability, Web Server Scalability, Application Server Scalability, Database Server Scalability, Server Farms and Load Balancing, Web Site Mirroring, Web Site Caching.

Reliability and Availability
Testing Objectives, Categories Of Tests, Low Resource Testing, Endurance Testing, Volume Testing, Peak Loading, Network Quality Of Service, Web Site Failover Testing, Server Failover Testing, Parallel and Serial Dependencies.

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