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How do I define my user profiles?

One of the questions I hear the most from newcomers preparing load tests is about defining proper virtual user profiles.

If you are familiar with testing, you probably heard about the 80/20 rule, also know as the Pareto principle. Apart from impressing the ladies at parties (you know, probably), this principle states that roughly 80% of the effect (performance) comes from 20% of the cause (functionalities in our case). This principle is widely used when selecting the functionalities to test and avoid too much and/or too long user profiles.

Performance testing is not functional testing

Ok, I know, thanks captain obvious.


But still I see a lot of testers creating more than 10 user profiles to test the performance of simple applications. You must keep in mind that these two types of tests differ in terms of objectives, but also in terms of preparation cost.

Yes, a performance test first objective is usually to improve performance. Well this is not always true, but that's another debate.

How do I survive the stampede?

As a performance tester, I am always surprised to see how unprepared most retail websites are. Even when load testing has been done (to prepare for sales or marketing campaigns), most of the time it is nowhere close to the real users behavior. We've already seen the importance of response times in a previous article, but there are other aspects we should consider.

For instance, unless you spent the past years on a different planet, you have probably seen these videos where thousands of people rush into stores during sales. There is no reason why thing would happen differently on a retail website. So the question is how do I survive the stampede?


Focus on what you already know

As obvious as it may seem, you should start by analyzing your users behavior. If this is not your first rodeo, you probably know what to expect. Also, websites like google analytics will give you an idea of what should happen. But never underestimate the importance of analyzing this data.

How to Design Virtual Users as Fierce as RuPaul

Rupaul is an American actor, author, drag queen, model and recording artist born in the sixties.

What is recording

Recording consists of creating a snapshot of the interactions between a web browser or a mobile app and a remote HTTP server. This step is particularly important to create realistic load tests. We have already made great tutorials about recording using JMeter, Fiddler and Google Chrome.

Improved Import

We're excited to announce that we've added the following features:

  • New Record Wizard: the wizard has been greatly reworked for enhanced readability,
  • Automated containers (business transactions): when importing a Google Chrome or Fiddler HAR, we create containers for you automatically,
  • Automated Dynamic Resources: a recording can be bloated with many requests to resources like Javascript, Images or Css. You can now choose to remove them automatically, and we switch HTML request to download those resources dynamically.

Let's take a tour of all these features and see how they help to create realistic virtual users quicker than before!

How to load test a Rest API

REST APIs are becoming widely popular. Our own application is designed with a REST API. What does it mean? It's a software architecture where a client (the Web Browser) talks to a server (an HTTP server in our case) mostly using the HTTP protocol.

REST services used to communicate using an XML based protocol called SOAP. SOAP is still used by big companies in legacy REST services. Nowadays, REST APIs are mostly communicating using the JSON format. JSON is human readable, like XML, but simpler. It lacks all the security layers SOAP can offer, but most of the web application don't require them.

In this article, we explain how to easily run thousands of concurrent users on your REST Api using OctoPerf.

Response time is critical for E-Commerce

Online E-commerce business is growing very quickly. From 2007 to 2015, the US Online retail sales have grown by 38%. And the market is still growing rapidly year over year.

Online E-commerce Growth

In this context, being able to follow the business growth is critical. The goal of any online retailer is to increase the number of visitors, and thus increase the number of orders. But, bringing more people on an online shop can quickly become a pain if the shop is not prepared for it.

Imagine you have an e-commerce. The local TV makes an interview of you, a successful entrepreneur. Many people will see you, and want to visit your shop to see what you are selling. This is where the nightmare begins. The opportunity to make more sales is compromised by the absolute slowness of the website. The servers are overloaded.