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Stress Testing In Software Development Life Cycle

stress testing

Testing has evolved along with software development‘s numerous improvements. Each software comes with different needs and has distinct requirements. Testing examines software for factors such as stability, quality, etc. Results of which are fewer software app faults, improved security, and improved app speed. Today, let’s know about Stress Testing. How does it work, what are its benefits, and more? 

Stress Testing

Testing the stability and response time of an application by applying the load more than the designed number of users is called Stress Testing.

Formula:

Designed no of Users< Applying Load.

Stress testing is a software testing method used to verify how stable and reliable your application is. A software’s error handling efficiency under heavy traffic is tested. Stress tests application over ordinary point operation and examines its operating settings.

Stress testing is also known as Endurance testing. The most effective use of stress testing is to check the maximum capacity of the application. It also sees if the system can handle errors well in difficult situations. Usually, applications tend to crash when there is an unexpected volume of requests from colossal traffic. That gives users a negative experience and leads to massive customer and money loss.   

In stress testing, applications go through various scenarios. Let’s have a look at the reasons why to conduct stress testing:

Why is Stress Testing Needed? 

The reason behind conducting stress test is it helps you to know the performance of the application. All of this is done to learn how the program would react if it is tested under tremendous pressure settings. It is a must to handle unexpected traffic surges. Lack of preparation to deal with this unexpected influx of people might lead to income and reputation losses. 

Another key feature is that it evaluates if the program can store data before crashing. So, if the system fails, can the data be recovered? There are many other reasons behind conducting Stress test. Stress testing is vital for “mission-critical” software, but it is also used for any software. Stress tests focus more on resilience, availability, and error handling under excessive load rather than correct performance.

The goal of Stress Testing

The final goal of stress testing is to see how the system recovers after failure, ensuring the process is smooth. Stress testing examines the application and its user behavior to discover the underlying cause of a system crash. Further, the action is taken based on the errors and data gathered during the test. Below are some of the goals for conducting stress test.

The primary goal of stress testing is to ensure that the system recovers after a failure, a concept known as ‘recoverability.’

What are the Different Types of Stress Testing?

Stress Test has various methodologies. The system must produce an error message for effective stress testing when under high stress and recover once the load returns to normal. During this, the test involves checking how the software will perform in various scenarios. Testers perform several types of stress test for different situations to discover specific flaws.

Distributed Stress Testing

This type involves all clients who are linked to a particular server. All of the clients have a stress test, and the client system’s condition is monitored. The Distributed type of test is conducted to check if the client system can communicate with the server during the stress test. After which, the debugging is done to resolve the issue. When the system is under stress, one or more client systems in the network may not interact with the server. Hence, distributed testing is important to check multiple clients at the same time.

Application Stress Testing

This testing focuses on detecting flaws in data locking and blocking. Also, it checks network difficulties and performance restrictions inside an application. This type of testing is more specifically related to the application.

Transactional Stress Testing

In a transactional stress test, the transactions that occur between the apps are tested. As a result of this testing, the application may be optimized and streamlined for optimal performance.

Systemic Stress Testing

Systems that operate on the same server undergo systemic stress testing to see how well they work together. Systemic testing is to detect any data on one system that prevents the other system from working.

Exploratory Stress Testing

Under high stress, exploratory stress testing creates scenarios that are unlikely to occur and determines how a system might respond. Some examples of these challenges are:

Process of Stress Testing

Stress testing steps or methodology is somewhat similar to performance testing. 

“How do we actually conduct stress test?”

Let’s look at the step-wise presentation of how to conduct any performance testing.

Identify the testing environment

The first step includes the selection of a testing environment. To execute the stress test, identify the hardware, software, network settings, and available tools.

Know performance acceptance criteria

Analyze the performance of the application under stress by classifying the metrics. Indicate what constitutes success for stress test too.

Plan and design stress tests

Planning holds a vital place. Create a stress test strategy and define test scenarios in this stage.

Configure the test environment

Once features and components are available for testing, prepare the test environment, tools, and resources to perform each approach.

Implementation of test design

Create the stress tests in line with the best practices for test design.

Performing the tests

Carry out the tests and monitor them. Validate the tests, as well as the test data and outcomes.

Analyze the results

Gather and share the results obtained. A specific scenario on a particular setup is complete when all the statistical parameters are within acceptable bounds. No thresholds have been broken, and all the necessary information has been gathered.

Example

Many apps link to servers through the internet and are used by a specific number of logged-in recipients. Such applications might work well with a smaller number of recipients. However, if user activity increases significantly, the program detects strange behavior.

For example, a clothing company decides to release an online application for their store. The application ran well under stable traffic. Following this, the brand decided to bring in a sale. On the day of sale, the traffic was insane, which resulted in overloading and a complete shutdown of the server. The customers lost server connection for several hours until the failure was resolved. Due to this, the users were disappointed and could not utilize the application.

Conclusion

Performance testing is essential in Agile Software Development. The differences between load testing, stress tests, and other tests should be understood while creating a test strategy. As part of your Software development process, you should also ensure that these tests are constantly executed.

As we all know, stress testing is a component of performance testing.  It is an essential step in assessing the usability and user experience of any application. Such testing helps eliminate issues before the application is released. The testing ensures that no negative experience is encountered even during peak user traffic.