Book Review – Performance Testing Guidance for Web Application

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Performance Testing Guidance for Web Applications – Microsoft Corporation

Do you need to get up-to-speed on core performance testing activities? Or do you need a quick refresher on some performance concepts and terminology? Have you ever wondered how to use performance testing in an agile environment? Do you know what the seven main core performance testing activates are?

Authors

Authors J.D. Meier, Carlos Farre, Prashant Bansode, Scott Barber and Dennis Rea have set out to address all those questions and more in the Performance Testing Guidance for Web Applications – Patterns and Practice by Microsoft Press.

If you’ve ever attended a testing conference, you’ll probably be familiar with Scott Barber, who is usually the main speaker in the performance testing tracks. Having attended a few of his sessions, I can personally attest to the fact that Scott really knows his stuff – which gives me confidence in the performance testing methodology presented in this book. It was clearly written by engineers who want to share the performance testing lessons they’ve learned in the real world.

Performance Testing Guidance

Book Format

The book is written in small, pithy chapters chock-full of checklists and key considerations to think about during each phase of a performance test’s lifecycle. Chapters are grouped together in the following seven core performance activities:

  • Identify Test Environments
  • Identify Performance Acceptance Criteria
  • Plan and Design Tests
  • Configure Test Environments
  • Implement Test Design
  • Execute Tests
  • Analyze, Report, and Retest

All discussions are written to be tool agnostic – so if you’re looking for a book on how to do performance testing within a specific tool like LoadRunner, you won’t find it here. Most of the chapters are written at a high non-technical level . Which is great for managers and engineers who may need a quick refresher or need to quickly get up to speed on certain performance testing concepts

My Opinion

I personally found the chapters under the Analyze Results and Report heading to be must-reads for any performance engineer. (The chapter on how to manage an Agile performance test cycle, in my opinion, is priceless.)

To be honest, I didn’t consider this book a gripping read from beginning to end, but that is perfectly fine. The layout of the chapters make it a great reference book inside which you can quickly find relevant sections.

The next time I start a new performance testing project I’ll definitely be checking out my heavily-highlighted, dog-eared copy of Performance Testing Guidance for Web Application.

Verdict

Recommended!

4 comments
Simon Knight - January 11, 2012

I’ve got the book too and think it’s pretty good. By far even more helpful are Scott’s “Beyond Performance Testing” and “User Experience not Metrics” series of articles, which can be found here: http://www.perftestplus.com/pubs.htm

Reply
    Joe Colantonio - January 11, 2012

    Simon Knight » Thanks Simon for the links to more awesome Scott Barber resources!Cheers~Joe

    Reply
Rasmus Koorits - January 11, 2012

Just wanted to mention that the book has been made available online for free.
http://perftestingguide.codeplex.com/releases/view/6690

Thanks for the review, will definately read it cover to cover.

Reply
    Joe Colantonio - January 11, 2012

    Rasmus Koorits » Hi Rasmus – I didn’t know that the book was available free! thanks! Call me crazy but personally I would rather have a hardcopy of a book:) Cheers~Joe

    Reply
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