XLT 4.3 Preview

We are looking forward to release XLT 4.3 soon. A lot of work has been invested to improve XLT and to provide a much easier way to gather all information from our powerful report engine. Have a look at some of the new features below.


New summary statistics directly on the overview page

It´s easier than before to get a quick overview of the performance of a system in general. Right on the overview page you will find information about summary statistics calculated over all transactions, actions, requests and custom timers. In addition to these statistics you´ll find a summary graph on the respecting category pages:

Trend reports will also contain summary charts, summary statistics will be available in comparison reports.

Arrival rate charts

We have already explained in detail why using the arrival rate model is best suited to simulate realistic system behavior. It was about time that we are offering dedicated charts to observe the arrival rate of a test run.

New error overview table

In addition to the detailed error table there will be a brand new reduced overview table which provides a quick overview about occurred errors:

Better readability for charts with high peaks

Charts with peaks (for example, caused by timeouts) can be hard to interpret as the relevant value area is squeezed together. We will offer two ways to improve this:

  • The report generator can produce charts with a logarithmic scale instead of a linear scale.
  • The maximum displayed y-value can be limited to a certain upper value, using a configurable factor multiplied by the mean value.

Both ways can be controlled within XLT settings and can be combined as well.

More report improvements

  • It will be possible to switch to the same chart tab for all shown timers
  • Added sorting feature to certain report tables such as the error and the response code table
  • Overview about all responses grouped by their content type

Under the hood

  • XLT 4.3 will use HtmlUnit v2.11
  • It will be possible to ping agent controllers to briefly check whether all configured agent controllers are alive and run the same version of XLT.
  • Improved error messages
  • Added include feature to configuration files which makes it much easier to create flexible test suite configurations for different environments and with different load profiles.

There are many more improvements and several bugfixes. Stay tuned!

HPQC and XLT – Integration Example

You have to work with HP Quality Center (HPQC), but you don’t want to execute all the test cases manually. You automated some tests using XLT Script Developer and like the outcome. You want to use the Script developer much more but you face one last problem: You still have to enter the test results manually into HPQC. This renders some of the test automation advantages useless.

The following example can mitigate that problem. HPQC offers an API called Quality Center Open Test Architecture API (OTA API).
Using this interface, you can set test results automatically.
Continue reading HPQC and XLT – Integration Example

Statistics, Facts and Figures: Web Performance on Black Friday and Cyber Monday

According to onvab.com CyberMonday 2012 was the biggest buying and spending day ever!

Whether you are a fan of facts and figures or find such data rather boring – statistics published on dzone.com are really interesting: http://css.dzone.com/articles/black-friday-cyber-monday-2012

Short Summary

  • Most of the shop seemed well prepared. Congratulations!
  • Big players like Amazon and Apple came in with good results and obviously did their homework.
  • Barnes & Noble should review their site really carefully: Up to 262 requests per page and about 10 seconds until a page was fully loaded – this upsets even patient customers.

Now imagine you run a retail site that doesn’t handle the increased traffic on such an important day. Without doubt this will bring revenue down big time, which leads to an upset CEO and rolling heads. Not to mention all the nasty comments on Twitter and Facebook.

But how to prepare for THE day?

Option 1

You could hire thousands of students (each of them owning a notebook, smartphone or tablet) and let them shop your site. If you want to repeat this scenario, you obviously have to pay them twice or three times or…

Option 2

You could automate common page flows using a good test automation tool and run load tests frequently, watch the trends, and really run your own BlackFriday before BlackFriday.

It´s up to you! Afraid we can’t help you with option 1…