Vivek Agarwal’s Portal/Java Blog

An IBM Gold Consultant’s weblog about IBM, Lotus, WebSphere, J2EE, IT Processes, and other IT technologies

Testing – functional and load web testing tools

Posted by Vivek Agarwal on March 11, 2007

Blogging sure does take a back seat without a whole lot of determination and motivation. I have had the hardest time doing any with all the things that have been going on at work, but here is an attempt to resurrect my blog.

Lots to write about, but I will start with testing. I have not been a fan of automated web testing tools for a long time since in my opinion, they did not have enough ROI on smaller projects with smaller project teams. My preference was to have automated JUnit tests for the back-end Java code and a living test cases document that captured all relevant test cases at the web application level. The test cases were only documented to a level of detail adequate for the development team to understand and execute them. My expectation has been that the test cases document will evolve over a project lifecycle with its initial creation before feature development begins, edits as new test cases are discovered during design and coding, edits during iteration testing by testers, edits during system testing, and finally as features get modified or bugs are discovered.

However, in the last year I have discovered Selenium as an excellent open-source, free, functional testing tool for web applications. There are scores of such tools around, but on a recommendation from a friend I have discovered Selenium and it seems to deliver the promise of automated web testing with minimal effort – or least a level of effort that I can live with. With its IDE plugin for Firefox, it has the capability to record your actions and create a test plan. There is excellent support for page response validation, forms, parameters. I suggest Selenium to everybody looking at a functonal test tool.

On another front, I have rediscovered JMeter as a load testing tool. I had used it way back when in 2002 for some load testing – at the time, I had to hack JMeter to support JavaScript links and links whose URLs kept changing everytime you hit the page – I was testing a WebSphere Portal based site at the time and WP generated different URLs for portlet actions each time you visited a Portal page. We are now using JMeter to simulate user loads and it seems to work well. Again worth a few minutes of your time if you need a load test tool and you are cheap like me! 🙂


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