Web 2.0 Application Performance Testing

Fat client applications have been widely replaced with rich browser-based, so-called Web2.0, applications. Those companies who have not followed this trend have already lost or are very likely to lose important customers in the future.

But, what is the magic behind Web2.0 applications? Just to mention a few, Facebook, Amazon or Zalando are successful examples how Web2.0 applications can lead to absorbed users who continuously return again. Also, Web2.0 applications run on any device are easy to use and provide a first class user experience.

What performance test strategy should be used for Web2.0 applications? Those who have ever conducted performance tests of such a Web2.0 application sometimes failed to identify the root-cause of performance issues. Based on my experience Web2.0 performance testers need to consider three main aspects:

  1. First, web page design analysis according to best practices from Google or Yahoo needs to be considered in early stages
  2. Second, WAN impact tests should be executed to verify if response time requirements could also be held even if network latency is high
  3. Lastly, protocol level virtual user simulation does not provide the real end-to-end response times. Successful Web2.0 performance tests require browser-based user simulation including the correct caching strategy. First time or revisiting user could have a massive impact on your response time measurements.

I recommend making performance testing part of your development process and adapting your Web2.0 testing approach to avoiding reliability issues.

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