RSW Software’s e-Test Suite contains four main components. The reusable scripts recorded with RSW e-Tester (the functional testing tool) feed RSW e-Load (the performance and stress-testing tool). For reporting and analysis purposes, results gathered during performance testing feed to RSW e-Reporter. The final tool, RSW e-Monitor, is responsible for monitoring the status of Websites by sending periodic page requests and validating them against previously recorded results.
BDO Seidman, LLP was in the process of developing a new time entry system for its field consultants and accountants that incorporated the World Wide Web as the primary interface. The new system used the latest in Java application servers and high-speed databases. Although this all looked impressive, one of the questions raised was "How will this perform in the real world?" To answer this, BDO looked to RSW Software's e-Test™ Suite 3.1 to provide a solution that would emulate real-world performance scenarios. The opinions expressed here are mine alone, and they are neither an endorsement nor a critique of these products by BDO Seidman, LLP.
RSW Software’s e-Test Suite ( www.oracle.com) contains four main components. The reusable scripts recorded with RSW e-Tester (the functional testing tool) feed RSW e-Load (the performance and stress-testing tool). For reporting and analysis purposes, results gathered during performance testing feed to RSW e-Reporter. The final tool, RSW e-Monitor, is responsible for monitoring the status of Web sites by sending periodic page requests and validating them against previously recorded results.
RSW e-Tester uses a concept called Visual ScriptsTM for script development. This tool takes a totally new approach to the old standby of record-and-playback test development. Many applications have the ability to record actions and then play them back, but often the scripts must be edited by hand to make them playback correctly. RSW has eliminated the need to edit scripts manually. It differs from other record-playback tools by recording scripts at the browser-object level instead of the lower http-traffic level. Because of this, changing the location of a textbox on the form will not cause the script to fail. Through visual scripts, the user simply clicks from page to page and enters values for those pages that need them. The program records all aspects of the page's functions (including all “behind the scenes” session information) necessary to completely emulate traffic to the server.
Once you've planned the sort of tests you want to run for your Web site, start up e-Tester. You're immediately presented with a window containing Microsoft Internet Explorer on the right, a "treeview" on the left that will contain the list of visual scripts, and the testing results window at the bottom. Press the record button and start navigating to different Web pages to begin testing. As you do, you will notice that the pages that are being recorded appear in the visual script listing on the left side of the screen. Once you've finished recording, you press the stop button.
RSW has added a feature called "Site Spider" that makes recording functional scripts VERY EASY. To use this function, you start the e-Spider, navigate to the first page in your Web site, and run the e-Spider. It traverses all links on the site. You can later play the resulting scripts back to determine when pages have changed or when navigation links are broken.
Probably one of the most powerful features of the visual scripts is their ability to dynamically pull data from a file to feed to a Web page. To use this feature, you open the "Data Bank Wizard." This wizard controls all values that can be entered on a page and allows you to manipulate them. For our tests, I used Microsoft Excel to generate lists of data we would use, including user accounts and other data relevant to each user session.
When doing performance tests, it is imperative that varied data be used over the testing cycle. If the same data is used repeatedly, the server will start to "cache" that information—leading