Performance testing is often left to the latter stages of the application development life cycle. This is typically because this is the stage at when all the assets come together and full end to end testing can be completed. While this is good at identifying issues this approach can come too late to effectively introduce major changes to the code.
It is well known that the earlier functional defects are identified the less costly they are to fix this especially true for performance issues which can require a redesign of the whole solution or complex code changes. For this reason it is recommended performance testing start asearly as possible.
Testing earlier has its issues but these shouldn’t prevent you from introducing a performance testing mind set early on in the development lifecycle. This can be as simple as architecture reviews of designs or more commonly component level testing of individual parts of the solution. A risk based approach can be used to identify candidates for component testing such as new technologies or major code changes.
There are many tools sets which can be used to test at the component level but tools such as Green Hat (now part of IBM Rational) or Visual Studio. Tools such as Green Hat which enable you to create stubs for interfaces which haven’t been developed are particularly useful for early testing and has the advantage that stubs can be used across multiple environments meaning testing can be conducted at all stages of development replacing stubs for real code as and when it becomes available.
If you’re not sure what tool to use for your early performance testing, try using our performance tool selector.
Other useful approaches which can be completed earlier in the lifecycle are benchmarking hardware such as web servers or database instances to investigate capabilities of the underlying infrastructure. Performance testing should be become an integral part of the development process testing as early and as often as possible. Early identification of your issues and concerns is the first step towards guaranteeing success. StarBase has developed a way of working that allows you to tailor our services to your specific needs.