Web Performance Load Tester is a powerful and easy to use tool that will allow you to automate load testing and generate reports to help you analyze the performance of a web site.
The 10 virtual user version, which is full featured, is free to use and is ideal for identifying pages that exceed a threshold value for further investigation.
Web Performance Load Tester can be downloaded from Web Performance Load Tester. Once downloaded, follow the defaults to install. No key is required for the 10 virtual user version.
It is highly recommended to view the online demos that are available at Online Demos to get and understanding of the capabilities of the tool.
How to use Web Performance Load Tester.
To Launch Web Performance Load Tester:
When you launch Web Performance Load Tester, the interface will look similar to what is shown above.
Each of panes can be minimized, maximized, hidden or removed to accommodate who you choose to display information.
A quick overview of the panes (not all panes shown):
- Navigator View – shows the contents of each open repository. Double-click repository items (or select a testcase and choose Edit from the pop-up menu) to open it in an editor.
- Toolbars – provides shortcuts for the most commonly used features.
- Editors and Charts – Displays recorded test cases as a tree of pages and URLs, dataset editor for displaying and editing datasets, and report details.
- Detailed inspection views:
Content View – renders the content of web pages
Headers view – displays HTTP request and response headers
Errors view – lists any errors encountered during the recording or replay of a testcase
Replay view – indicates the status of the replay in progress
Fields view – displays the HTTP fields that can be associated with modifiers
Servers view – displays CPU and memory usage metrics for the specified machine
Engine view – display CPU and memory usage metrics for the client machine
Metrics view – displays detailed metrics for the current load test.
- Status View – displays the status of long running operations, such as recording and playback.
Setting up Web Performance Load Tester and IE to record web sessions
Web Performance Load Tester is setup by default to launch your default browser once the record button has been clicked. However, if your computer is using a VPN connection you will receive a proxy error when trying to record. To avoid this, we are going to setup Web Performance Load Tester to not automatically launch the default browser. We will also setup the proxy configuration manually on our browser to force the traffic through Web Performance Load Tester.
Disable auto launch of web browser:
- With Web Performance Load Tester opened, click on Window -> Preferences
- Expand Web Performance and click on Recording. Make sure that “Launch default browser when recording” is unchecked. Also, make note of the HTTP and SSL recording ports since they will be used when setting up our proxy ports on our web browser.
Setup IE to use proxy:
This example uses IE8. Setting up other browsers to use a proxy follow similar steps.
- Launch IE
- Click on Tools -> Internet Options and click on the Connections Tab
- Click Settings
- Check “Use a proxy server for this connection and click on the Advanced button. Note, once you create the proxy settings you can enable and disable the use of the proxy by selecting or clearing the “Use a proxy server for this connection” check box.
- Set the proxy address for both HTTP and Secure to 127.0.0.1 and set the ports to those that we pulled out of the Web Performance Load Tester Recording dialog.
- Click OK, OK, OK to exit the IE settings. You are now ready to record web sessions.
Creating a Testcase
The following steps show you how to create a testcase with Web Performance Load Tester. The testcase can either be evalutated, once complete, or be replayed with up to 10 virtual users over a time span. For detailed information on how to interpret the results, please go to the online videos available at: Online Demos, as well as review the built-in help.
Creating a testcase:
- Launch Web Performance Load Tester.
- Click on the record button in the Toolbar
- Launch IE, making sure that the “Use a proxy server for this connection” checkbox is checked (see details above).
- In your browser, go to the site that you want to record and start clicking around the site. The idea is to hit as many layouts and possible rendering combinations as possible.
- When you have sufficiently navigated around the site, return to the Web Performance Load Tester and click the stop button to end the recording
- The Editors and Charts pane will show the results of your recording:
The recording will show you the title of the pages visited, the size of the page, the duration required, a time goal to compare the duration to (can be changed in the preferences), think time while on the page, status code as well as the URL of the page.
Also, each page can be expanded to show the components (files, images, etc) that make up the page, as well as the size and duration for each component.
- From here you can review the results in a detailed report, replay your existing recording with or without think times, and /or set up a load test with up to 10 virtual users.