Eight reasons why Open Source helps improve test coverage for your Test CoE

Today, everyone is looking for ways to get top-quality software releases to market faster. The solution, of course, is to test early, test often and test everything through test automation – catching and fixing errors early in the development cycle when they are less time-resource consuming to address.


If you’re using proprietary testing tools like LoadRunner in the Test Center of Excellence (CoE), this may be easier said than done. You likely don’t have the scale, speed and flexibility you need to test every piece of code as development is underway. Your option has been to either test less and do it infrequently while you catch up, or to slow the development cycle of your Agile teams as your developers embrace use of alternative solutions (Shadow IT). Unfortunately, neither option in test automation is great for the reputation of your Test CoE and for your business.


Fortunately, Open Source testing tools like Apache JMeter™ now offer an effective alternative. With Open Source, performance testers and developers can work in lockstep to deliver top-quality apps that delight your end users. Performance testers can test using the same Open Source technology that developers use each day in their integrated development environment (IDE) of choice.


No more cumbersome technology barriers and testing bottlenecks. You can test earlier, test often and build quality into each bit of code – all while avoiding high license costs and hassles of slow, expensive upgrades as you address the needs of Agile teams to release quality applications fast.


And by augmenting your Test COE’s LoadRunner platform with a commercial ready Open Source based testing platform, this will give you a way to extend test coverage to distributed Agile teams at enterprise scale, to support continuous testing and to accelerate application time to value.


The impact of Open Source on application performance testing


Performance testing is crucial to determining that your mobile/web applications will stand up to load requirements. And when you layer Open Source tools like JMeter over traditional, legacy test platforms like LoadRunner, you bring new scope and efficiencies to your load and stress testing.


A Java tool specifically designed to test and analyze the load on client and server applications, JMeter can run tests on various platforms – both static and dynamic – as Java objects, FTP server, servlets, files, SOAP, database and queries, Pearl scripts, HTTP, POP3 and many more. Here are some of the many benefits you can expect when you add an Open Source test tool like JMeter to your Test CoE:


1. Stay updated with the latest technology hassle-free: JMeter is backed by a strong, vibrant community of users who continually add new features and deliver support. As a result, JMeter keeps getting better. And it does so without concern of vendor lock-in, high licensing fees, and slow costly upgrades.


2. Flexibility of running tests in the Lines of Businesses: Running large-scale performance tests using LoadRunner can be resource heavy. You need a performance testing lab with a significant numbers of user licenses. On the other hand, JMeter makes running performance tests for Agile teams simple, with plugins and tools that are freely available. There are no access restrictions. Anyone on your team – developers or quality assurance engineers – can use JMeter to set up their own load generators. And to do it in minutes.


3. Ease of an intuitive, self-service user interface: JMeter’s user-friendly graphical user interface makes it easy and intuitive to add http requests and other new elements. You simply click on a tree scenario to add and append comments. Parameters are simple to describe and to understand. Scripts, scenarios and analytics are all shown on a single pane. 


4. Test creation made simple: LoadRunner test scenarios can be difficult for novices to understand – with complex test scripts, test flows and processes that have been layered on over the years. JMeter, though, is easy to configure. You don’t need to add beginning or ending transaction elements, arrange scripts or manage different agents. 


5. Scripting isn’t essential: Since LoadRunner requires scripting knowledge and supports C language only, it is tough to shift testing left or right to eliminate bottlenecks and to deliver better support your developer and DevOps teams. With JMeter, you can run a complete load test without knowing anything about scripting.  


6. Streamlined test runs: JMeter significantly shortens the time required to complete a test cycle. A single developer-tester can complete a typical  web/mobile test project in 40 to 50 hours. A similar project in LoadRunner might take 200-300 hours (five to six times more) and would typically require the involvement of multiple team members. 


7. Easier resource planning: LoadRunner requires advance coordination to make certain performance testing time slots are available. But no scheduling is necessary with Open Source test tools like JMeter. Tests can be run via a local machine. There also are differences in load test execution. When you run LoadRunner via your performance center, you can’t set up goal-oriented scenarios based on throughput. Instead, you need to synchronize with the number of virtual users and pacing. JMeter offers a constant throughput timer you can use to define various load conditions based on requests (hits) per second.


8. Open test-automation framework: JMeter is compatible with modern, cross-platform or browser-based solutions running Java over Unix/Linux/Windows/Mac. It supports multiple languages, like BeanShell, Groovy, Javascript and more. Since LoadRunner supports C language only, its use is restricted to a Windows/Linux -based development environment. This matters for the Test CoE, who is looking to evolve and adopt Agile best practices when adopting an Open Source testing platform.


Not all Open Source tools are created equal


To take Open Source test tools to the next level, many companies are adopting CA BlazeMeter – a continuous testing commercial platform that is fully compatible with JMeter and other Open Source tools. And when they do, they experience a number of advantages. Here are a few examples why Test CoEs benefit when they extend their Open Source test coverage, for Agile teams to test applications early and often with CA BlazeMeter: 


1. BlazeMeter’s affordable, SaaS-based subscription rates makes it economically viable to extend decentralized test resources to Agile development teams. Where the Test CoE continues to bridge-broker test coverage for distributed Agile teams across the business. 


2. BlazeMeter helps you overcome LoadRunner’s limited load-generation capacity – to load test and emulate network conditions across multiple geographies on-demand, in scaling up to two million virtual users in an instant and across multiple projects at the same time.


3. BlazeMeter runs tests on multiple application projects simultaneously, each within its own dedicated workspace, and without the need for a test lab. As a result, distributed Agile teams across your business can test early and often across the development lifecycle. For teams to pinpoint defects quickly, for them to address bad code and built better applications faster.


4. BlazeMeter simplifies test creation, with a user interface that facilitates self-service use and helps decentralize test coverage for the Agile teams. Run performance, functional and API testing use all from a single, integrated toolchain with zero platform dependencies when doing so.


5. BlazeMeter can record test scenarios directly to a .JMX format – no scripting required. In addition, you can use BlazeMeter’s free, self-service script converter – a drag and drop tool for converting LoadRunner test scripts to.JMX. Everything in the BlazeMeter UI is to load and go without proprietary languages for both Test CoE and Agile teams to learn.


6. BlazeMeter lets you consolidate and share reports generated within each dedicated testing workspace. You can quickly find bottlenecks using rich, interactive graphs. You can analyze results online or download critical metrics, including response time percentiles, bandwidth and errors. You can track trends over time from multiple builds. And you can collaborate and share interactive test results and graphs with teammates or other stakeholders — keeping everyone on the same page.


7. BlazeMeter meets the needs of Agile teams today, with the use of a built-in editor feature for developers to write tests in simple syntax and describe a full-blown script in about ten lines of text from their local IDE of choice. For Agile teams to frequently define-execute to small scale tests off their local machines, and seamlessly switch and run these tests at scale when ready.


8. BlazeMeter supports a plug-in architecture that makes it easy to add new functionality, to build out the tool chest for Test CoEs as they performance engineer for DevOps practices – in supporting a frictionless, continuous integration/continuous delivery pipeline for continuous application quality. 


Test-drive Open Source tools with our free trial


To experience the many benefits that Open Source testing can bring to your Test CoE, start by converting your LoadRunner test scripts to Open Source with the use of this self-service BlazeMater Script Converter. Next, request your free BlazeMeter trial today. We also encourage you to join the Apache JMeter™ Training Academy to learn tips and techniques that can save time and help you work more efficiently in an Open Source environment. To learn, more visit www.blazemeter.com/shiftleft.

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