Preparing Your Performance Testing for 2023: 5 Challenges and Solutions

The technological and digital transformation boom of 2022 encouraged enterprises and startups to accelerate their development velocity. Consumers demanded more applications within shorter timeframes and of higher quality. What are the performance testing challenges for 2023? Find out everything in this BlazeRunner article.

By Sesha Palakodety, Director of Customer Success at BlazeRunner.

In 2022, companies turned to technological solutions and methodologies that enabled them to respond to the growing demand and achieve these goals: microservices, cloudification, and shifting left. 2022 is coming to an end, and the rapid changes it brought are slowly being replaced with global uncertainty, which is affected by international events like the war in Ukraine and the economic recession. 

How will these tectonic shifts affect development and testing? We asked BlazeRunner customers what the most significant challenges they expected to face in 2023 were. 

We summarize their responses as follows, with 5 challenges and proposed solutions: We summarize their responses as follows, with 5 challenges and proposed solutions:

✔️Challenge #1: Test Results Reporting and Monitoring

Flawless code quality has become the standard expectation. Now, in a competitive market with limited resources, it has become all the more important to provide high code quality to customers. Scripting and running performance tests are only the first steps when ensuring code quality. After the tests are run, testers and engineers need to identify any CPU, memory, or other bottlenecks that slow down transactions or cause other discrepancies.

By looking at test results, the development and DevOps teams can determine how to fix any code quality issues. However, looking at audit logs or code-based results is a tedious process that doesn’t always help engineers understand the main issues. These results often lack information and context, and engineers can’t derive actionable insights from them. 

The Solution: Actionable and Insightful Observability Reports

An automated testing tool that pulls reports and shows application and protocol testing results in a clear and comprehensible manner can help engineers easily understand the code issues. Displaying metrics like response time, error rate, and hits/s enables drilling down into issues and investigating them further. In these reports, issues should pop out immediately, so developers can focus on fixing issues, not deciphering them.

It is also recommended to find a tool that integrates with APM solutions like New Relic, DynaTrace, and Datadog. These solutions go deeper into infrastructure-related and server-side metrics, providing an even more granular view of events and their impact.

To get more insights into your BlazeMeter tests, including error insights and easier bottleneck identification, you’re welcome to check out our new observability tool, BlazeRunner BPI.

What is BlazeRunner BPI? 

BlazeRunner BPI is a new SaaS tool that provides easy access to error details. It allows users to run a quick analysis of all error. jtl files associated with a test, so you can understand exactly what was called and what the responses were. This provides an extra layer of visibility on top of BlazeMeter’s current summary information.

To enhance the information in the analysis, BlazeRunner BPI also enables importing data from additional data sources, like Perfmon logs, to enhance existing reports. In addition, BlazeRunner BPI can collect log information from the application server environment. This enables correlating the data to errors generated by the test, making it easier to analyze data from disparate sources.

✔️Challenge #2: Managing the User Experience Under Traffic Loads

Testing is traditionally divided into backend and frontend testing. While backend testing focuses on aspects like loads, server performance, and memory, frontend testing observes what the user will see on their screen. But what’s the connection between the two? To ensure a proper user experience, which is essential for remaining competitive in the market, engineering teams should be able to understand what the user sees under heavy loads.

This requires a dedicated tool since just running a frontend and backend test simultaneously is not accurate enough in terms of timeline coordination. It is also technically challenging to overlay both tests.

The Solution: End User Experience Monitoring

Open-source Taurus enables running a Selenium test while the load test is running and lining up the two results in a single report. In the report, engineers and testers can see the user’s point of view when their website is under heavy traffic. Then, based on the results, teams can determine if they want to adapt their UI in some instances. For example, pause JavaScript executions when the site hits a certain number of users.

Learn more about how to set up these tests from this BlazeMeter Guide.

✔️Challenge #3: Securing APIs

The frequency and sophistication of cybersecurity attacks have been growing in recent years, and this is not expected to change in 2023. Vulnerable APIs could be targeted by attackers as a way to access your infrastructure, services, and data. Broken authentication and authorization, code injections, excessive exposure, and insufficient logging are API vulnerabilities that could all be exploited by threat actors and put you at risk of a data breach.

The Solution: Shift Left Security

Nowadays, security is shifting left, making risk mitigation the responsibility of developers and DevOps, not just security teams. When running API tests, it’s also important to include API security testing in the workflow. Such tests can validate the enforcement security policies as part of API gateway security, identify an anomalous number of hits per second that could indicate an attack, and log and monitor results.

✔️Challenge #4: Graceful Shutdown

In real-user scenarios, users log off of your application or website at different times and frequencies. However, when building performance tests, it is a common practice to end them abruptly. This prevents testing how the system would respond to users sporadically leaving. In addition, threads that are abruptly shut off might display errors, which interfere with test results. Inaccurate testing could affect production and the experience customers have with your product.

The Solution: Incorporating Iterations in Tests

To simulate real-world shutdown, add iterations to your time-based tests. Then, when threads run, they will also be limited to a certain number of iterations and will not start a new one close to the end of the test, only to be shut down. As a result, threads will be able to complete all iterations and gracefully shut down.

✔️Challenge #5: WebSocket Testing

The WebSocket protocol provides a two-way communication channel between web browsers and servers over a single TCP connection. With its growing popularity, more enterprises are looking for WebSocket testing solutions. In addition, they require visibility into the WebSocket itself.

The Solution: JMeter WebSocket Samplers

JMeter provides WebSocket plugins available for download and use. These plugins enable load testing WebSockets and gaining visibility into them. Learn about how to download and use them, with sample scenarios, in this BlazeMeter blog.

Looking Forward to Testing 2023

Code quality is a key factor in a successful and widely-adopted product. The five challenges listed above – touching on observability, user experience, security, and advanced technologies – all impact code quality in various ways. By choosing the right testing tools and methodologies, engineering teams can provide high-quality features and ensure business stability, for themselves and their customers, despite any external changes.

Schedule a consultation with one of our testing experts at BlazeRunner today.

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