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Install OctoPerf in your company

We have come a long way since the original release of the OctoPerf On-Premise Infra 30 months ago. We have added so many features since then that it felt important to regroup them in this blog post to highlight how easy it has become to install and manage your own OctoPerf server.

I will refer to our documentation a lot because all of these features are detailed there. But documentation can sometimes make the decision process more difficult just because of the sheer amount of information it gives. That's why the purpose of this post is to follow a simple use case and highlight all the possibilities on each step of the way.

Documentation and Agile Performance Testing

Once upon a time documentation was one of the most important aspects of Quality Assurance and this was not limited to the functional test efforts but the non-functional testing as well.

We spent days, weeks, months even creating Performance Test Strategies, Approaches, Plans, Test Case, Completion Reports etc.

Most of these documents were required before any automation could be written and before a sensible performance testing framework could be considered.

It was expected before performance testing began, during the performance test cycles and after the tests completed it was a constant cycles of documentation creation, review, update, review and sign-off.

With a bit of Performance Testing in the middle.

Surely many of us remember the difficulty in getting some of these significant and lengthy documents approved by many, many stakeholders.

Before I go on to tell you why documentation is overrated I want to caveat it with the fact that for some organisations it is a necessity as they are following the wishes of their customers and clients, and for some organisations they still follow a strict waterfall approach to software development and their way of working delivers for their organisation.

This is all fine, this post is more about Documentation for Performance Testing in Agile Delivery and this is an important distinction.

Hidden Benefits of Performance Testing

If you are a performance testing specialist or a QA Manager or Programme Manager or anyone involved in the production of quality software then you understand why performance testing is required and its benefits in ensuring your products meet your Quality Criteria for release into production.

The costs of delivering performance testing are easily worth the investment as software that performs not only ensures you and your company have a reputation for delivering well performing software but business users will, in my opinion, overlook and embrace small functional workarounds if the software performs well.

As an investment it is worth the cost of building robust and reusable performance tests for the purposes of performance regression testing and that in itself will justify the cost of keeping them current and executable against the latest versions of code which is a maintenance activity that needs to continue as your product changes and evolves.

Some organisations leave their performance tests purely for the purpose of performance testing but there are other uses for these performance tests and by using them for these additional uses you can save time and money on the building and maintaining alternative tests.

We are going to look at some of the additional uses of performance tests in this post that will further justify the building of a complex performance testing suite.

Simple Way to Create Complex JMeter Scenarios

Creating complex performance testing scenarios in JMeter can be a complicated but necessary problem you will encounter as you build tests to mirror real user behaviour in your testing.

There are many add-ins that can support you in the creation of these scenarios. Which is good if they do what you want them to do. But if you want the flexibility to build tests without the limitations of 3rd party add-ins then there are several techniques you can use which come with the standard JMeter install.

All you require is a bit of imagination, a basic understanding of Groovy and the JMeter Switch Controller.

The resulting JMX script can be downloaded here.

JMeter Beanshell Server

The Beanshell Interpreter in JMeter can act as a server which as stated in the JMeter documentation is accessible by telnet or http.

So what, I hear you say, well this can be useful and we will explore some of these uses in this Blog Post.

Before we move on the definition of a Beanshell can be found on the official Web Site.

But at a high level:

You can use BeanShell interactively for Java experimentation and debugging as well as to extend your applications in new ways. Scripting Java lends itself to a wide variety of applications including rapid prototyping, user scripting extension, rules engines, configuration, testing, dynamic deployment, embedded systems, and even Java education.

In short, BeanShell is dynamically interpreted Java, plus a scripting language and flexible environment all rolled into one clean package.

So effectively the Beanshell can dynamically change properties or variables while the test is running.