Not long ago, software testers had every right to be
nervous about performance testing. Frankly, most of the tools
that were available deserved their fearsome reputations.
Performance testing was more suitable for software developers
The introduction of IBM Rational Performance Tester changes the
game. The same simplicity that the IBM Rational Software Development Platform
brings to J2EE development is now available to those seeking a
world-class, yet easy to use, performance testing solution.
Find Problems Faster
Simply put, if your
development colleagues are already doing J2EE development
using the IBM Rational SDP, there is no reason not to stress
test what they build with IBM Rational Performance Tester.
They're already benefiting from top-notch Eclipse-based tools.
Why not add an arrow to your quiver by adopting IBM Rational
Unlike most tools of this genre, IBM Rational Performance
Tester is equally appealing to novice and expert users.
Novices will find its point-and-click user interface
refreshingly productive. Expert users, who also admire IBM
Rational Performance Tester's inherent simplicity, will find a
highly flexible tool that can test even the most complex
IBM Rational Performance Tester was designed from the
ground up to be a visual tool. There is no scripting language
waiting to swallow you up. While many performance-testing
tools now provide a "visual interface," they merely shield the
tester from the scripting language that is hiding just below
the surface. You either follow the path ordained, or get your
hands dirtier than you bargained for.
In contrast, every important task in IBM Rational
Performance Tester can be accomplished using the
point-and-click interface. And, if for some reason you need
specialized capabilities, test extensions can be created using
industry-standard Java code.
IBM Rational Performance Tester
deals especially well with the requirements of dynamic Web
sites, where server responses may vary according to data a
user entered. Often, these responses have a bearing on future
information that will pass between client and server. IBM
Rational Performance Tester can detect dynamic server
responses and automatically make them accessible for re-use in
tests involving subsequent server requests. This ensures that
the test accurately simulates the system load of a real world
Realistic performance testing also requires corresponding
variations in test data. For example, when the test was
recorded, a certain username/password combination may have
been used. It is desirable to use a variety of
username/password combinations during playback. The
parameterization of such input values is supported through
datapools. A datapool is a structured data source that is
pre-populated with relevant data. Testers can easily assign
datapool fields to page elements that expect user input.
In IBM Rational Performance
Tester the creation of a test and the scheduling of the test
are separate events. This allows testers to create a library
of tests (i.e. browse inventory, add to cart, checkout, etc.)
and schedule them to run in various proportions. For example,
it would be simple to schedule the browse inventory test to
run 80 percent of the time, add to cart for 15 percent, and
checkout for the remaining 5 percent. More complex schedules,
including those with loops and conditionals, can also be
The scheduling phase is where the number of virtual users
and think times associated with the test run is specified. IBM
Rational Performance Tester has a low memory and processor
footprint so it easily scales to support very high user loads.
It can also distribute the load across multiple load
generation severs (including z/OS machines).
View Progress Now
There's no need to wait until
the test run is complete to check the performance of your
application. IBM Rational Performance Tester generates
performance and throughput reports in real time, enabling you
to detect performance problems at any time during a test run.
These reports provide multiple filtering and configuration
options that can be set before, during, and after a test run.
Testers can look at system-wide performance metrics such as
processor utilization, disk activity, page faults, etc. or
examine application-specific metrics such as page throughput
and response times. Whatever metrics suit your needs, IBM
Rational Performance Tester clearly presents information in a
variety of useful charts and graphs.
Cross the Chasm
The capabilities of most
performance testing tools stop at problem detection. You'll
know which pages are slow but without knowing why they're slow
(or how to fix the problem). Developers have little
information to work with and must insert reams of debugging
code into the application (which unfortunately changes its
Since IBM Rational Performance Tester is based on the same
platform as IBM Rational Application Developer, it
naturally has the smarts to drill deeper into the problem. The
companion IBM Performance Optimization Toolkit bridges
the gap between problem detection and problem resolution by
extending IBM Rational Performance Tester's analysis
capabilities. The information it collects shows what happens
beneath the hood of an application. It allows developers to
find the root of problems by presenting detailed call chain
timings in a variety of ways (such as UML2 sequence diagrams).
Speed Is on Your Side
While there are many tool
choices in the world of performance testing, IBM Rational
Performance Tester stands alone in its combination of ease of
use and extensive features. It opens performance testing to
testers of all skill levels and provides the insights into
application behavior that can make the difference between
success and failure.