Basics of Continuous Load Tests

Posted by Load Impact on Oct 19, 2017

Building a continuous load test might seem intimidating, but it’s not. You may think continuous load tests entail extensive integration, finicky server setup, detailed custom scripts, and a lot of annoyance mixed with caffeine and long hours.

But adding continuous load tests to your automation with your continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI / CD) tools is much easier than it might seem. In this short article, we’ll share the three basic steps to get you started.

Here’s the easy step-by-step summary:

  1. Sign up for a free Load Impact account

… or log in if you already have one. You can, of course, take a free test if you don’t want to create an account, but since we’re getting ready to set up an automated system for continuous load tests, we’ll want an account where we can run multiple tests.

This should take less than a minute … so far, so good.

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  1. Create a test 

… for the fastest path to productivity. You can run a simple test against a particular URL with minimal setup and minimal parameters - thus, this step can take less than a minute as well.

However, you’ll likely want to create more complex, realistic tests for your continuous load tests.

You can do that in a number of ways, but the easiest way is to create a model user scenario by using the Load Impact Chrome Extension to record a typical user session. When you record that user scenario, you’re mimicking the user behavior you want to test.

Once you’ve recorded a user scenario, you can adapt and modify it as needed using Load Impact’s powerful scripting capabilities. Creating a script from scratch is also an option, although it’s a more complex way to do it.

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  1. Set up your CI / CD integration

… using Load Impact’s many integrations. For example, you can choose from many continuous integration or continuous delivery (CI / CD) tools, including CircleCI, Team City, AWS CodeBuild, Codeship, Travis CI, Atlassian Bamboo, AWS CodePipeline, Drone.io, Jenkins, Cloudbees, Microsoft Visual Studio Team Services, Microsoft Visual Studio, Gitlab CI, BitBucket Pipelines, Shippable, Wercker, Solano Labs, and Cloudmunch.

It’s important to note here that this may take longer than the few minutes we’ve had to spend in the previous steps. But by comparison, setting up a Load Impact integration is extremely easy. In the past, setting up continuous load tests meant you had to create a dedicated server, running all the time even when not called upon to run a load test. (Since load tests aren’t required as frequently as, say, unit tests, a server dedicated to load tests is going to be a less efficient use of resources.)

That’s the beauty of a cloud-based, on-demand load testing solution like LoadImpact: it runs when you need it, and consumes no resources when you don’t.

Thus, when you set up your continuous load test integration with your CI / CD tool, you are able to avoid the server setup headaches and focus on setting thresholds and notifications instead.

That’s it, in a nutshell. These basic concepts will get you well on your way to using LoadImpact for your continuous load tests, and we’re here to help along the way - just ask.

Happy testing!

Topics: continuous testing, CI, continuous delivery, CD, continuous integration, Load Testing, Continuous Load Test

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