Best Practices for Successful Performance Testing

Performance testing is the process that ensures the application meets the criteria for proper responsiveness under a reasonable workload.

Digital Quality
8 min
Digital Quality
Best Practices for Successful Performance Testing

Applications before being released to the market, it is a necessity to be evaluated for its speed, scalability, and other conditions with the aim of determining if the application is ready for wider usage.

Performance testing is the process that ensures the application meets the criteria for proper responsiveness under a reasonable workload.

What is performance testing?

The essence of performance testing is related directly to observing how a system performs by putting it into a set of testing interactions. By which, the speed and effectiveness of an application or system are determined.

Through running these tests, and observing the results of it we gain a clearer picture of how the system/ or the software performs in terms of responsiveness and stability under a particular goal of workload.

We should be aware that performance testing is different from testing features or functionality. By running performance tests, operational attributes or features of the software are measured.

This type of software performance testing is done under the simulated scenario which reflects closest to the real environment.

Organizations by integrating the performance testing from the early stages of product development will minimize the possibilities of product failure on later stages and will avoid technical debt for their teams.

This way, teams that are in charge of running regular performance tests throughout the application lifecycle can find and remediate concerns as early as possible. 

Best practices for successful Performance Testing

Though the rules below represent a few of the best practices or steps that Performance testing teams should follow to improve the application effectiveness and performance, they aren’t exhaustive by any means.

1. Understanding the Application first

The first steps towards a successful performance testing are knowing the application, how it is supposed to work (knowing the desired outcomes), how and when it can become vulnerable to failure (what are the weak points of the application), knowing all the capabilities it offers and the kind of circumstances in which it is supposed to thrive.

Knowing these and other specifications of the application helps teams of performance testing to consider where to focus their testing efforts and try to simulate real event scenarios as much as possible.

Thorough application analysis is required and the development of the system under test must be all set and completed. Otherwise, the outcome of the performance testing results can’t be seen as realistic and comprehensive.

2. Incorporate performance testing at an early stage

Performance testing should be taken into account in the early stages of application development. This is something that many organizations miss and as a result many performing deficiencies appear in later stages of product release.

Implementing performance testing in the later stages of the application development usually drives more costs in time and money to make the needed optimizations.

Having said this, it is always useful and advisable to consider embodying performance testing in the testing unit from the beginning of the product development.

This would contribute to the early identification of performance issues by the teams and thus, revise and rectify them in the early stages of their appearance.

3. Performance testing metrics

Creating unrealistic expectations for the application’s abilities and performance effectiveness can lead to setting up unrealistic scenarios for performance testing.

When scenarios aren’t compatible with the real product performance expectations, the outcomes of those tests aren’t fully useful and do not help the improvement of the product itself.

Such example we might face when, metrics for application traffic are anticipated to use different devices, browsers, and different operating systems. Other than this, the load time cannot be predicted for sure.

In this case, in order to avoid the uncompleted performance testing results, all of the different devices and other conveying factors should be taken into account while evaluating the performance of the application.

Picking up adequate metrics is closely related to the understanding of the application or product first, and then placing the benchmark of what you want to test, and what result you aim to achieve for each action of the performance testing.

4. Performance from the user’s perspective

Despite having a clear understanding of the project and the performance testing metrics all set, considering the use of the application from a user perspective is of special importance.

The technical knowledge and testing environment are good but not enough. If the server load tests provide positive results, it does not necessarily mean that users will have the same experience.

Releasing a Beta version of the product and combining it with the user experience, it enables to capture of a more comprehensive user experience.

The results of the user behaviors and the results from technical metrics can be used to solve the experience-related issues before publishing the application to the masses.

5. Implementing DevOps approach

Nowadays every organization is striving for achieving a short development timeframe with test automation processes incorporated in the production cycle.

Performance testing is a time-consuming process that requires constant human intervention to be able to successfully deliver the product.

The solution to being more efficient is by bringing together the DevOps and the performance testing team and helping identify errors in the early stages and through continuous testing.

Types of Performance Testing

Performance testing should extract different testing results of an application in order to determine if the application is ready to perform on specific circumstances.

types of performance testing

Briefly what they are all about;

  • Speed – Measuring and validating the system performance under the anticipated number of loads.  
  • Response time – Testing and monitoring the response of the application to sudden large spikes in the load.
  • Latencies – Testing and validating whether the application can perform and manage the expected workload in the long run.
  • Scalability –   Monitoring and validating the effectiveness of the applications to scale up and support the increase in the user load.
  • Reliability – Testing and monitoring if the software is performing and functioning consistently in different environmental conditions against a high volume of data .
Performance testing tool

Because of the different tests that are run during the performance testing, the tools that serve for these actions differ as well.

Tools are those through which testing teams improvise realistic environments by establishing real-life scenarios, tracking and reporting performance testing metrics.

Few of performance testing tools that are part of test performance team’s working asset;

  • HP LoadRunner
  • NeoLoad
  • WebLOAD
  • Apache JMeter
  • IBM Rational Performance Tester
  • LoadNinja

There are many other performance testing tools that are dedicated to the different nature of products/applications.


Running application performance testing is a critical element that needs to be taken seriously into consideration and in the early stages.

Thus, obstacles, errors, and other issues will get optimized earlier avoiding future bottlenecks and technical debt for teams and organizations in general.

Since the aim of performance testing is to aid organizations in reaching the anticipated goals, Adservio pays close attention to creating realistic environments for Performance Testing.

Reach out and let us take care of performing professional and thorough testing of your product before it kicks the variety of technologies and devices.

Published on
November 3, 2021

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