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How To Improve Web App Performance Using Jmeter

When creating applications, it is very important to understand and know the status of its performance under several workloads. Performance software testing supports you in determining the responsiveness and stability of an application in various scenarios.

Although testing is considered as a primitive part of the application development process, many developers do not give enough importance to it. If you, as a developer, skip the testing phase of app development, it can lead you to issues that are related to functionality, performance, security, and accessibility.

One of the great resources for testing is Apache JMeter, which is a comprehensive Java application and an open-source testing tool that measures the performance and load-tests the functional behavior of your app.

This article will provide you detailed information about the JMeter and how we can use it to improve the performance of web apps.

So, let us dive in!

Table of Contents
Introduction.
What is JMeter?
What are the Protocols Supported By JMeter?
What are the Features of JMeter?
How JMeter Works?
How to Create a Performance Test Using JMeter?
Conclusion.

Introduction

JMeter is responsible for simulating a heavy load in order to test the strength and analyze the overall performance of an app under various load types. JMeter can easily test the static and dynamic application resources. Now, you might be eager to know what these resources are?

Well! Dynamic resources include Servlets, AJAX, and JSP. On the other hand the static resources include Document Object Model (DOM) elements such as HTML and JavaScript.

Out of four main types of performance testing, JMeter does Load app testing and Stress app testing. Let us understand them:

  • Load Application Testing: JMeter is responsible for simulating models and users expected usage. Here users can access the web service and simultaneously allow you to know the number of users your application can support.
  • Stress Application Testing: Every web service is capable of bearing some load beyond which, the system would not perform well. In simpler words, it is the breaking point for any app. In the testing phase, JMeter applies stress beyond the bearing capacity of the apps, and determines the maximum load which a server can easily handle.

Now, let us completely understand this together.

What is JMeter?

Apache JMeter is a software testing tool, which is used for measuring and analyzing the performance of various software products and services. It is an open-source tool and comprehensively written in Java which is also used for testing the FTP application or Web Application.

It is also responsible for executing performance testing, functional testing, and load testing of web apps. JMeter was originally designed in order to test the web apps but now it has been extended to test other functions as well.

JMeter can run on any workstation or environment that accepts a Java Virtual Machine (JVM), for example − Linux, Windows, Mac, etc. Additionally, JMeter can also simulate a heavy load on a server by creating a number of virtual concurrent users to the web server.

Here are some terms associated to the testing of applications:

  • Performance Test: This test is responsible for setting the best performance expectation that is possible under a given infrastructure’s configuration. It is also responsible for highlighting early in any testing process if there is any change that needs to be made before the application goes into production.phase.
  • Load Test: Load test is used for testing the system under the top load under which it was created to operate.
  • Stress Test: Stress test is responsible for breaking the system by overwhelming its resources.

What are the Protocols Supported By JMeter?

Several protocols that are supported by JMeter are as follows:

  • Web − HTTPS, HTTP sites ‘web 1.0’ web 2.0 (flex, flex-ws-amf, and ajax).
  • Web Services − XML-RPC / SOAP.
  • Service − IMAP, POP3, SMTP.
  • FTP Service.
  • Messaging Oriented service via JMS.
  • Database via JDBC drivers.
  • Directory − LDAP

What are the Features of JMeter?

The list of JMeter features is as follows:

  • It is freely available as it is an open source software.
  • It has an impeccable, intuitive, and simple GUI.
  • JMeter can also conduct performance and load tests for various server types − Web – HTTPS, HTTP, SOAP, Database via LDAP, JDBC, Mail – POP3, JMS, etc.
  • JMeter is a platform-independent tool as it can be invoked by clicking on the JMeter shell script on Linux/Unix, and can be invoked by starting the jmeter.bat file on Windows.
  • JMeter features lightweight component support and full Swing (precompiled JAR uses packages javax.swing.* ).
  • It can also store its test plans in XML format. In this way, it allows you to generate a test plan with the help of a text editor.
  • The full multithreading framework offered by JMeter allows concurrent sampling by various threads and simultaneous sampling of several functions by individual thread groups.
  • JMeter is highly extensible.
  • JMeter can also be used to perform functional and automated testing of the apps.

How JMeter Works?

JMeter simulates the users’ group sending the requests to a target server, and returns statistics that are responsible for showing the functionality or performance of the target application or server via graphs, tables, etc.

The following figure shows the working process of JMeter:

How to Create a Performance Test Using JMeter?

1. Create a Thread Group

Install the JMeter application and launch it. Right-click on “Test Plan,” which is located on the left panel.

Under “Test Plan,” Select “Add,” then “Thread (Users)” and -> “Thread Group.”

Congratulations! You have created a thread group successfully.

2. Add Thread Properties

The Thread Group includes 3 prime properties which are responsible for influencing the load test. Enter the Thread Properties with the help of the Thread Group control panel. These properties include:

  • Total number of threads.
  • Loop Count.
  • Ramp-up Period.

3. Add JMetere Elements

Now after creating a Thread and adding Thread Properties. It is time to add JMeter elements:

The JMeter elements include:

  • HTTP request default.
  • HTTP request sampler.
  • Output results.

4. Run Test

After setting up the basic test plan, it is time to run it and see the results.

Under “Test Plan” and “Thread Group,” Select “View Results in Table,” and then “Run” from the main menu.

After this step, Click “Start,” or the green colored start arrow located below the main menu in order to start the test.

5. Analyze Results

Now it is time to carefully analyze the real time graph that you got. There are two key factors that you must consider:

  • Throughput: It is the server’s measuring capacity, or how much the server can handle.
  • Deviation: It is the variation from the average. This number must be zero, or very low.

Conclusion

Thus, after going through the above mentioned article, we hope you will find it helpful. Here we understand that testing is the most critical part of any software development process. Performance testing is a vital step to determine the performance of your web apps under heavy loads. JMeter is an ideal tool for performance testing, as it has the ability to discover various users that your web app can handle.

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