Load testing is an established and broad area of software development and IT knowledge. Nowadays, several experts specialize in this field, and there are companies out there that are ready to offer useful tips and train you on the subject. Surprisingly, these experts do not agree on basic terms used in the load testing field. For instance, if you search the term load testing, you will find some information articles mentioning terms such as stress testing and performance testing.
There are confusing aspects between load testing and performance. Some professionals argue that you can measure the performance of applications without subjecting them to loads. Moreover, some variants of performance testing may not be dependent on any load at all like performing any action on the client side. In this post, we try to explain these names that are associated with or used in conjunction with load testing.
In essence, load testing can be considered as a blanket term for other forms of testing, which carried out under the emulated load. Every term can be distinguished from another and described by specifying these test options.
- What is the goal of test execution?
- What is the volume and type of applied load?
- What parameters are monitored and measured when the test is being carried out?
- Are there any additional actions to be performed on the test system?
In this case, we consider performance testing as simply a particular form of load testing. Even though it may have a broad meaning, we should look at performance testing carried under a load. Thus, the test is done by gradually increasing the load and adding some virtual users to check and test the performance. Some of the main things to consider include:
- Website response time
- Error rate
- Amount of processed requests in a given time
This form of test answers common questions in load testing: what is the number of concurrent a website can handle and maintain good response time? In this test, virtual users are added gradually until the performance starts to degenerate gradually.
Each system has got the capacity limit. This means that when the load is excess, the website will start responding slowly and may produce errors. The main aims of carrying out this type of testing include:
- Finding that given limit
- Check when the limit is reached whether the website can handle stress as required
- When you reduce stress to the normal levels, the website gets back to normal operation and retains its performance parameters.