Should Load Tests Validate Functionality?

My answer to this question is a very strong “yes“. You might want to limit yourself a little in the overall validation, but checking response codes only is a strong fail in my opinion. Additionally, just checking the result by checking a single phrase or word is not enough.

Reasons and Examples

  • Modern web implementations often incorrectly return application status pages with response code 200.
  • How do you ensure that you got the entire page back and not only the first 75%?
  • Imagine an e-commerce search that breaks under load and instead of saying “I found 200 matches”, it returns a page saying “no matches found, did you mean …”. The latter is still a valid page but your load test will not discover the flaw.
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It is just HTTPS now

The Blog is HTTPS onlyThe recent events of security problems with WordPress motivated us to speed up the effort to move our blog into the HTTPS only mode. This does not fix WordPress security problems, but makes it easier to spot possible problems later and might protect us against the negative outcome from time to time.

So we set the Strict-Transport-Security header to tell the browser that HTTP is off-limits for this site once and for all. We also turned all links to our blog from our website and internally in the blog including resources into HTTPS links.

Also we set .htaccess redirect rules to force all users to use HTTPS and only hit the domain that has the proper certificate.

The only thing open is to get our hoster convinced to properly support TLS 1.2.

Our New Website is Live!

New Xceptance WebsiteWe proudly announce that Xceptance has a new website. Our 10th anniversary made us look back on where we are coming from, what we have been doing and what experiences we gained throughout the past ten years. It was time to have a new web presence reflect all that!

We took advantage of Bootstrap, Less, Jekyll, Git, Font Awesome, and Jenkins to create a website that primarily wants to help our visitors quickly learn about Xceptance, our services and our product. We wanted it to be modern but plain so that we can communicate what we do in the most comprehensive and user-friendly way possible. No boasting, no bragging, and just a little bit about ourselves. To have it all look nice and work smoothly for the mobile users as well, we used Bootstrap.

Since we’re always looking for new people that want to join us, we added a comprehensive jobs page which lists current open positions in both our offices, Cambridge, MA, USA and Jena, Germany.

Go check it out for yourselves! As always, we appreciate any kind of feedback!

We’ve Adopted the Word “Testen”!

WortpatenschaftThere certainly are things out there that money can’t buy, just like the Beatles once sang. However, you might agree with us that money can do good (things), if managed appropriately.

With the company anniversary in mind we at Xceptance sought to combine both the good deeds and a great company gift. That’s how we found out about the idea of a ‘Wortpatenschaft‘ (engl.: “word sponsorship”), a campaign dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the German language (in cooperation with the German nonprofit association Deutsche Sprache e.V., Dortmund).

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10 Years of Xceptance – The Story

Ten years and 230 projects later it’s time to look back at the beginnings of Xceptance. Let us take you on a quick trip down memory lane!

The Story

In the beginning there was a small group of four colleagues who decided to take a chance and try something new. They pooled their resources, knowledge and QA experience and struck out on their own. The beginnings of Xceptance are thus all about passion and commitment and the belief in making software better.
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SQE training week in Boston

SQE Training TableAt Xceptance we think that “you live and you learn”, so we were eager to read about an upcoming training week by SQE in Boston (March 24-28). The various tracks had promising headlines like ‘How to Break Software: Robustness Testing Unleashed’ or “Testing Under Pressure” but we decided to pick our favorites and chose “Exploring Usability Testing” and “Mobile Application Testing”.

The usability training was scheduled for just one day, the mobile training for two. We knew that it would be tricky to fit an overview of usability testing in just one day of training, and it turned out the instructor was well aware of these concerns.
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Xceptance it is!

Acceptance, huh? Be honest, you almost thought we were being serious about this whole name change! But, as convincing as it might have sounded, we’re not going to abandon our fancy company name, ever!

Despite the uncommon spelling we like our quirky label and the way it usually triggers follow-up questions. It is recognizable and fun and, once you got the hang of it, it sticks. We also trust in SEO and the sanity of our customers so that we don’t feel like there’s a reason to worry much about it. Of course there’ll always be the issue with auto-correction, but we think we can handle that. Having said this: Xceptance it is!

Xceptance becomes Acceptance

New Logo AcceptanceJust in time for our 10th anniversary, we are pleased to announce that the company is going to change its name from Xceptance to something more tangible and easier to pronounce: Acceptance.

With that, we are reacting to the release of a search engine list containing the different versions of the search term users entered to find Xceptance online. Terms reached from “Xcaptence” to “Ecceptance” and even “Axceptacne”. To us, this list was some kind of a wake-up call because we no longer want to take the risk of losing clients just because of a fancy company name. That’s why we decided to settle for this easier to google, user-friendly name because, after all, a company name should represent the company it stands for. An additional benefit of the new name: the auto-correction of mail and office software will never put a red mark on the company’s name again.

Within the coming week we’ll update the website and all other company-related content with the new name and logo. For our current clients and affiliates there won’t be any changes.

Use XLT with Sauce Labs and BrowserStack

Sauce Labs and BrowserStack – What Are They and Why Use Them?

This approach still work fine, but we came up with a much better one. Head over to GitHub and see our Multi-Browser-TestSuite for XLT. It will make multi browser testing a breeze. By the way, all the code is licensed under the MIT license, so absolute flexibility for you.

Sauce Labs and BrowserStack allow you to run automated test cases on different browsers and operating systems. Both provide more than 200 mobile and desktop browsers on different operating systems. The benefit? You can focus on coding instead of having to maintain different devices. You can easily run your test cases written on iOS on an Internet Explorer without actually buying a Windows device; and last not least, you don’t need to worry about drivers or maintenance.

By the way, Internet Explorer even seems to run faster at Sauce Labs than on a desktop machine. Also note that Sauce Labs supports Maven builds.
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