performance - Intro Predicting the way a system is going to...

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Intro Predicting the way a system is going to behave when faced with certain load is a very difficult and complicated task, specially if we are talking about Web Services. Current Web Services are extremely complicated because they run in hardware and software developed by several manufacturers, they have an infinity of different technologies, and in most of the cases, there is a total indetermination caused by the unpredictable actions of the users. The only effective way to anticipate the behavior of a system is to execute performance testing. It is very common to see large and mid-sized companies with teams almost completely dedicated to test the functional reliability of the response time of their web service software instead of the usual testing that measures wether or not a software complies with the minimum requirements. Performance testing, which is part of what we call Quality Assurance is becoming more necessary every day in today’s world. In the web services area, the response times above the acceptable values, the excessive difference between the response times depending the load of the system, and the problems of reliability and availability most be considered errors as serious as the functionality bugs. These performance “bugs” are provoked by causes that can be classified in two categories: predictable and unpredictable. A correct testing methodology for response time testing should be capable of detecting and correcting both kinds of problems very early in the process. Necessity The main necessity for us to execute performance testing is obvious and even more on Web Services; usually, the main issues that we find in our daily use of web services are not anomalies of the code, but problems with the performance and degradation of resources. The goal of performing performance testing is to simulate the utilization of the system before it goes live. During this process, we put our system to the test with situations that we predict it will face in order to make corrections as needed. Limitations Performing the performance tests that will provide us with truthful and utile information is not an easy task. There are too many variables on the table: we are rarely going to able able to test the web service in the same environment as the production one, the various combinations of inputs are impossible to predict, we will never able to simulate the behavior of a real user and we will always have a margin of error in all of our results. Performance testing never gives absolute results: they provide approximations, which contain
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This note was uploaded on 11/04/2008 for the course CSE 1002 taught by Professor Marico during the Spring '08 term at FIT.

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performance - Intro Predicting the way a system is going to...

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