Choosing JMeter over LoadRunner
If you are a performance engineer who is accustomed to using LoadRunner, you will be pleasantly surprised to learn about JMeter’s new features and capabilities which are helping performance engineers and developers to overcome those initial technical challenges.
New core features and plugins have transformed JMeter into a top-notch load testing tool, with the most advanced load testing abilities available today. Even the UI is more friendly - certain features like the “Search” feature that searches both the requests and responses for unique strings, simplifies the finding of dynamic parameter values in responses, extracting to a variable, and knowing where to inject these variables into requests.
Why Choose JMeter?
Because it’s free, it’s always developing by developers like you who implement their and your needs into it, it’s easier to use and simpler to use and it works on all Java supporting platforms. JMeter and open source in general are also better integrated into Agile work processes. Plus, open source testing skills are a must for developer positions at new companies and startups.
KEY JMeter Feature Differences and Tips
As compared to LoadRunner, here are the top JMeter differences you will initially make you feel like a “fish out of water”. But just knowing about these challenges will quickly enable you to swim comfortably again.
- Thread groups - a thread group contains both the automated script and the load scenario. Click on the thread group to see the load configurations. Expand a thread group to see the steps of the load script.
- Viewing elements in your test tree - JMeter “hides” its key features. In order to “see” these features you need to right click on the thread group and “add” the features which you would like to use. This goes for simple features such as think times, logic, requests, extractions, etc. As well as more advanced features like custom thread groups.
- Adding abilities through plugins - JMeter has plugins available for more user friendly key features. Install these plugins using the Plugins Manager. Instructions are easy and provided here. Key features will now be available to add to your project such as JSON sampler, custom thread groups for load scenarios, throughput controllers, etc.
- Samplers - JMeter uses the term “samplers” for transactions and the image is a scientific dropper. You will want to do is rename each “Sampler” to a business transaction which makes sense for reporting and/or matching the transaction name of your existing LR script. For example, “Login”.
- Listeners - JMeter needs a “Listener” to visualize the execution of a script for development and debugging. You need to right click and add a Listener called “View Results Tree) to see the requests/responses. Multiple formats are available for visualization include raw text, html, xml, etc. Once you can see these requests and responses (and you don’t feel “blind” anymore”), you will see that JMeter layout of boxed requests/Box responses is quite easier to read compared to LR’s chaotic output. Also, JMeter has a “broom” icon to clear out the View Results tree.
The Technical Transition from LoadRunner to JMeter - Some Key Points
1. Recording the scripts – For web applications, yes you will need to re-record the user workflows and this is a manual processes. However, CA BlazeMeter has made this very easy with the chrome browser plugin which contains a slick filter feature to only include the URL’s which you intend to load test- makes for easy and clean scripting.
2. Preserve logic from LR scripts – The main components of your existing LR scripts which you will want to preserve is the logic. Each application can be unique in how it behaves. Time and energy was already invested into creating that behavior using code logic such as loops, if/then’s, waits, etc. Take the time to inspect that script logic and make sure you take the steps to bring that logic over to your open source scripts. In JMeter, you can use Logic Controllers, Pre and Post processors, etc.
(Want to see a live demo of our new LoadRunner to JMeter converter tool? Join us for the upcoming webinar, Moving from LoadRunner to Open Source Testing Tools - Script Conversion & Test Automation, on Wednesday June 28.)
3. JMeter is hierological so you can easily override downstream settings by dragging to the top of the chain. This allows for global changes and makes your scripts more modular. Using the Config element called User Defined Variables at the top, you can set variables for think times, servers, ports, or anything else to make scripting easier.
4. CA BlazeMeter offers consultancy services for switching from LoadRunner to JMeter. Click here to find out more.
Afterwards, you can easily upload your JMeter files into CA BlazeMeter and enjoy all scaling, reporting and integration abilities that ‘JMeter in the cloud’ offers you.
If you’re a LoadRunner user and want to learn about converting to JMeter, click here. Want to learn more about testing with JMeter? Paste the URL you want to test in the box at the bottom of this page.
Switch your LoadRunner scripts to open-source JMeter and Selenium in minutes, with our free online script converter. Learn more about how to switch, here.
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