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The Art of Application Performance Testing: Help for Programmers and Quality Assurance

The Art of Application Performance Testing: Help for Programmers and Quality Assurance [Kindle Edition]

Ian Molyneaux
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

This practical book provides a step-by-step approach to testing mission-critical applications for scalability and performance before they're deployed -- a vital topic to which other books devote one chapter, if that.

Businesses today live and die by network applications and web services. Because of the increasing complexity of these programs, and the pressure to deploy them quickly, many professionals don't take the time to ensure that they'll perform well and scale effectively. The Art of Application Performance Testing explains the complete life cycle of the testing process, and demonstrates best practices to help you plan, gain approval for, coordinate, and conduct performance tests on your applications. With this book, you'll learn to:

  • Set realistic performance testing goals
  • Implement an effective application performance testing strategy
  • Interpret performance test results
  • Cope with different application technologies and architectures
  • Use automated performance testing tools
  • Test traditional local applications, web-based applications, and web services (SOAs)
  • Recognize and resolves issues that are often overlooked in performance tests

Written by a consultant with 30 years of experience in the IT industry and over 12 years experience with performance testing, this easy-to-read book is illustrated with real-world examples and packed with practical advice. The Art of Application Performance Testing thoroughly explains the pitfalls of an inadequate testing strategy and offers you a robust, structured approach for ensuring that your applications perform well and scale effectively when the need arises.

"Ian has maintained a vendor-agnostic methodology beautifully in this material. The metrics and graphs, along with background information provided in his case studies, eloquently convey to the reader, 'Methodology above all, tools at your discretion...' Ian's expertise shines through throughout the entire reading experience."-- Matt St. Onge, Enterprise Solution Architect, HCL Technologies America / Teradyne

About the Author

Originally hailing from Auckland, New Zealand, Ian Molyneaux ended up in IT purely by chance after applying for an interesting looking job advertised as "junior computer operator" in the mid '70s. The rest is history, 30 years later I've held many roles in IT, although I've shied away from anything management related as I'm a techie at heart. His current role is EMEA SME (Subject Matter Expert) for Application Performance Assurance at Compuware. Presently residing in Buckinghamshire, U.K. with wife Sarah, daughter Sasha, and two cats, and trying to get used to the idea of turning 49!

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1438 KB
  • Print Length: 158 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (15 Jan 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0026OR3HG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #295,887 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book would have saved me lot of stress (and hair) if it had been available all those years ago when I started the dark art of performance testing! In this very readable book the author provides a clear methodology on how to approach and execute performance tests. It pretty high level stuff (i.e doesnt go a great deal into automation tools) but is a solid introduction to the field. A must read for anyone new to performance testing and especially for any project managers who don't want nightmares the night before the system goes live!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A book every software developer should read 22 July 2010
By Mike
Like most software developers I have always considered testing as something to be done at the end of the development life-cycle, not something to be taken into consideration from the beginning.

In his easy to read book, Ian describes the what, why and how of performance testing in such a way as to encourage even the most test-phobic developer to invest time and resources in testing right from the start.

Five stars and a personal recommendation from me.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You need this book! 16 Feb 2009
This is one of those rare computer books because its one you will actually read from cover to cover. I read it in an afternoon and it has changed how all of my future software development projects will be carried out. I learned a lot quickly as its concise but full of info. Cool!
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nothing new for seasoned performance tester 26 Feb 2010
By John
I was a bit disappointed after reading this book I have to say. And that's not because it is a bad book, but for me, as a rather experienced performance tester I discovered nothing new in this book. Everything the book tells I already do that or I do it different.

For a new or inexperienced performance tester it would be a good book to start with I think, because the book explains the performance testing process very clear.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.6 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Primer, Lacks Depth 5 Feb 2009
By Techie Evan - Published on
This well-written primer provides just enough information to help one get started with automated performance testing. It outlines several recommended practices to automating performance testing (e.g., user activity recording, deploying software monitors, etc) and describes how some of them were put to use in two case studies and how they helped in root cause analyses. It discusses desirable capabilities to look for in performance testing tools and only briefly mentions special considerations for technologically complex applications such as those that use AJAX, SAP, or Citrix, for example. A more in-depth discussion of those considerations and how to address them would have been really useful. Although information on select tool vendors and the type of tool offerings they provide is included, there is no additional description of any of the tools' capabilities or qualities (for this, the reader has to visit the provided vendor's website). Finally, most of the sample scenarios discussed in the book pertain to performance testing in Windows environments; while this won't matter to most readers because the principles discussed are equally applicable to other OS environments, this may matter to some readers who do not work with Windows environments at all.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Overview For Managers 30 Jun 2010
By Philip R. Heath - Published on
As I've mentioned in my reviews of Effective Software Testing: 50 Specific Ways to Improve Your Testing and Implementing Automated Software Testing: How to Save Time and Lower Costs While Raising Quality, I recently became the manager of my company's automated and performance testing team. My background had previously been in application development, and I purchased this book to get an overview to performance testing. For the most part The Art of Application Performance Testing was a good choice. The core of the book is in chapters 2-4 where the author discusses the fundamentals of performance testing, the process of performance testing, and analyzing the results of a performance test. There were times when I didn't exactly follow some Molyneaux's thought process so I didn't get 100% of the material. This meat and potatoes section of the book is also only about 90 pages so it wouldn't have hurt to have a little more explanation. The biggest example of this was the example he gave where he calculated the virtual user numbers for an application that was going to have an increase in concurrent users. The table with the current production numbers and the numbers for the test seemed to drop out of the air with minimal explanation. This surprised me a bit because I rarely have difficulty following technical books. The other issue I had with this book is one that should never happen. A number of the tables and charts used fonts that were too small to be readable. I have 20/20 near vision, and I have never had a problem with a technical book like this. The final consideration I would offer readers is the price in comparison to the size of the book. The chapter material tops out at 114 pages, and I would say that the cover price of the book is probably overpriced by about 30-40%. Perhaps the author thought that the lack of already published material on this subject merited the higher cost.

It may seem that my comments to mesh with the number of starts that I gave the book. In the end the two material issues I had with the book did not keep me from achieving the purpose I set out with when I bought the book. I know have a good understanding of performance testing so it was worth the investment even if I consider it to have been a little higher than necessary. People who do performance testing as their day to day activity will only find a base level of knowledge here. This is not a stopping point if you are looking to build up your performance testing skills. I would almost put this in the "for managers" category.

Overall: B-
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great reference 10 Jan 2011
By Trisha Davis - Published on
Though this book is geared towards Quality Assurance testers, developers can take away a lot from this material. The book explains methodologies at a high level and remains vendor-agnostic which is nice, but the context always seems to hover around Windows. If it were not for the specific case studies (which seem like they are from the author's personal experience) I would have to say this book would be more on the boring side.

The author did a great job of "teaching a man to fish" instead of "giving a man a fish". For example, in chapter 2, instead of simply giving a list of tools and telling readers to try them, the author goes into details about what to look for in a performance testing tool and how to choose one based on the scenario.

I would recommend this text to anyone who is new to testing as a great introduction, but I would suspect that experienced testers would also gain some insight from it as well.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Performance Testing Practice 9 July 2009
By B. Franklin - Published on
I am building a new performance testing practice at my company. This book is the most comprehensive writing I have found on the topic of application performance testing. The book flows well and is replete with valuable metrics and graphs that have been of great benefit to the task at hand. Additionally, the book will serve as a beneficial source of reference for future performance testing engagements.

Well done.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Insightful informations on Performance Testing 21 Dec 2010
By ,Serge Poueme - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I recommend this book to any Quality Assurance specialist who is involved in performance testing. It provides details on how to effectively plan and conduct performance testing. While the book helps to define a test strategy, it also explain how to analyze the performance test results.
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Popular Highlights

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Load test This is the classic performance test, where the application is loaded up to the target concurrency but usually no further. The aim is to meet performance targets for availability, concurrency or throughput, and response time. &quote;
Highlighted by 5 Kindle users
Choosing an appropriate performance testing tool Designing an appropriate performance test environment Setting realistic and appropriate performance targets Making sure your application is stable &quote;
Highlighted by 4 Kindle users
You might think that all we need do to ensure good application performance is observe the behavior of each of these areas under load and stress and correct any problems that occur. The reality is very different because this approach is often “too little, too late” and so you end up dealing with the symptoms of performance problems rather than the cause. &quote;
Highlighted by 4 Kindle users

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