At DeCare Systems Ireland (DSI) our software test team is benefitting from the newly released [tag]Microsoft Visual Studio Team System (VSTS) 2008 Test Edition[/tag] which they are using in conjunction with the [tag]Visual Studio Team System 2008 Test Load Agent[/tag] software to web test and load test their [tag].NET[/tag] and [tag]Java[/tag] web-based applications.
The test team, Peter, Mark and Ciara are currently using Microsoft Visual Studio Team Edition 2008 Test Edition on two new client projects which are running on totally different technology platforms. Our large [tag]Spring[/tag] powered Java application which we have been working on for over a year is a web-based Insurance Group and Enrolment Administration project running using the [tag]Struts[/tag], [tag]DOJO[/tag], Spring, [tag]Hibernate[/tag] and [tag]Oracle[/tag] technology stack on [tag]HP/UX[/tag]. Our [tag]Web 2.0 .NET[/tag] application is running on standard Wintel plan and implements a highly interactive interface architecture. The test technology for both projects is the same, Microsoft Visual Studio Team System (VSTS) 2008 Test Edition.
Peter, the test lead explains why his test team is using VSTS 2008 Test Edition, “we were impressed at how easy it was to create, customize and compile a suite of data bound web-tests that could then be incorporated into a mix and used as load testing scenarios. We found that that the web test cases were easy to create and run and that it was quite easy to bind [tag]CSV[/tag] and [tag]XML[/tag] files to these web-tests. As our web based Insurance applications are heavily data driven this ability to quite easily bind a web-test to dynamic data is a major plus for us and it means that we can now functionally test our web applications more thoroughly with a more complete range of data than ever before.”
Peter has also created a comprehensive suite of [tag]load testing scenarios[/tag] which he and his team are using to load test their pre-production application, he explains how he did this. “To generate the initial load test scenarios I used the Load Test Wizard and added a mix of web-tests, a browser mix, a network mix and a load pattern. I then tweaked the settings after the scenarios were created. These load tests allow us to mix several web-tests together and simulate a real user load on our sites. I particularly like the ‘Load Test Summary Report’ that is generated after the load test run has complete, it gives us a cursory glance at how our site is functioning under load and provides the key results in a compact and easy to read format.” Monitoring the load tests in the background was [tag]Quest Software’s PerformaSure (PAS) Application Performance Management[/tag] which provided vital application performance data to both the test and development teams and allowed for rapid diagnosis of any performance related issues.
Ciara another of the testers at DSI installed and ran the Visual Studio Team System 2008 Test Load Agent software so that they could run their load tests in a distributed environment. She used the load agent product to achieve scalable load generation. She installed a single controller and a number of agents which she refers to as ‘a rig’. She explains, “an agent is the part of the rig that is used to run tests and generate simulated load. The controller is the part of the rig that is used to coordinate the agents and collect the test results. The rig can be administered from within Visual Studio”. All in all the DSI test team have managed to author, create, execute and manage an impressive suite of dynamic web-tests and load tests all from within Visual Studio. The tool has certainly assisted the test team at DSI to diagnose performance issues in their pre-production environment in a very short space of time.
Overall, the DSI test team was impressed with the functionality that VSTS 2008 Test Edition offered them. They feel that finally they have in their midst a tool that they can use to their benefit to web-test and load test their current pre-production web-based Java applications, all in one, without writing any code. The DSI test team has come to the conclusion that the VSTS 2008 Test Edition more closely suits their needs than some of the other functional and load testing tools that they have used in the past. Peter and his team have come to the following conclusions:
• With VSTS 2008 Test Edition the DSI test team has managed to create a suite of web-tests and load Tests in VSTS 2008 and have run these tests with relative ease. In the past they have used other load testing tools, for example, [tag]The Grinder[/tag] and [tag]JMeter[/tag] but these required some level of proficiency in coding and were far less easy to configure and run tests in.
• The test team was able to use [tag]Microsoft Team Foundation Server 2005[/tag] a single repository for storing all test scripts.
• In the case of the .NET projects, issue reporting was also centralized within Microsoft Team Foundation Server 2005, allowing the developers easy access to any issues the test team uncovered.
• The [tag]MSDN[/tag] forums contain a wealth of information on Web and Load Testing within Visual Studio, the tool is well supported and the support is relevant and up to date.
• There is real advantage in using a common tool between the development and test departments and between groups using different technologies, essentially it means that we have one common shared tool which we use on a company-wide basis to functionally test and load test our web applications. It means that we can have a consistent approach to our testing and that there is a greater amount of knowledge sharing across the company.