The Ultimate Guide to Testing Application Scalability: Best Practices and Tools

By Prometteur solutions 17 Min Read

Software testing is a very important aspect of the software development process because of its many benefits to the end users and the business. It follows a process that ensures that the software being tested meets every performance and quality requirement as designed and expected by the users. One of the top ways to get the testing right and fix issues in the software for enhanced user experience is to perform application scalability testing.

Always remember that businesses around the world have a knack for fast growth and increased profits so they will always need an online app that will fit into the “scalability” requirement of their growth and users’ demand. You may ask if at this end we can say that application scalability testing is also on the rise? And yes you would be right.

Importance of Performing Application Scalability Testing

When an application’s scalability testing is performed, a lot of things are identified and fixed so that the app performs in conformity to increased demands. In other words, testing the scalability of applications helps you ensure that your app handles various loads without breaking down or lagging or even having any sort of glitches. 

Another importance of  testing scalability of applications is that it enables the team to identify weaknesses, issues and errors that may lead to losing of customers which will be damaging to the business. By this advantage, application scalability testing helps business and development teams to save time, and resources. 

When scalability testing experts use the right testing tools to identify the weaknesses and errors in your app, they write a comprehensive report about any issues found and hand it over to the right team for implementation. It is during implementation of the solution of fixing the issues found that the development team fix the issues.

Application scalability testing also plays a big role in helping businesses to stay relevant in the market and compete with others for top business positions. This is so because after scalability testing techniques have been deployed in the app testing, the team offers the development team with different reports and feedback that will serve as relevant clues on how to penetrate the market, especially as regards the ever-changing metrics for increased sales.

What Application Scalability Testing?

Application scalability testing follows scalability testing methods that serve to ensure that application software is able to handle a large flow of traffic without glitches or breaking. When you have your app scaled, you only ensure that it performs well even when the influx of traffic is ridiculously high when your visitors increase.

Application scalability testing is very important for several reasons and one of the top reasons remains how it helps you to identify different eros and weaknesses which are then addressed by the dev team to enable the app meet up with visitor’s demands for enhanced user experience..

You can imagine scalability testing as when hunters go hunting for something to fix their hunger with. In the case of the testing, the hunters are the testers and they hunt for errors and other mistakes that when addressed will help in preventing the app from crashing from too many users.

How to Perform  Testing Scalability of Applications

We have already emphasised the importance of application scalability testing in the second section of this blog post, remember? So, now is the time to look at how Application scalability testing is done.

To put it very simply, application scalability testing is performed by carrying out different types of load tests using hardware. A load test is a type of performance test in which the performance of a computer system, or a component of one, is assessed by subjecting it to a series of repetitive tasks, each increasing in size and complexity, until the system’s ability to process them fails. For example, if you decide to create application testing, an HTML page and then increase the numbers of your tests.

If you are building a website and want to test the scalability of your server, you might first create an HTML page and load it onto the server.

Then, you might increase the number of requests that the server Testing has to handle, for example by loading 10 concurrent users. 

After loading up the app with increased visitors or traffic and it gets to a stage where it fails or breaks down, you have your test.  In other words, the load test is complete when the server fails.

The Attributes of Application Scalability Testing

Scalability testing checks for the following attributes:

  • User-number-related performance
  • Response time
  • Memory usage
  • Threshold load
  • Throughput
  • Threshold load:
  • Network usage
  • Screen transition

Response time is one of the application scalability testing attributes and it has to do with the amount of time it takes for the app to respond to a user’s request.

Response time can be greatly impacted by the application’s load which means as user loads increase the response time of an app may decrease and as user loads decrease, the response time of an app may increase. Whatever the case though, an application with the fastest response time will always be ranked higher than ones with lower response time.

Throughput is another attribute of application scalability testing and it has to do with the number of requests processed by the application in a given amount of time.

A typical example is that an online app’s throughput is measured using the total number of requests that the app is able to handle within a particular unit time.

Another example is when you consider testing a database server’s throughput. You can do this by using the total number of queries that are completed within a unit time.

The Performance measurement with number of users makes up the lists of application scalability testing attributes and this particular one depends on the program type. That is, the performance measurement is determined by checking how many users the app can take before it goes crashing.

Threshold load is another type of application scalability testing attribute with a different approach. This attribute has to do with the total requests which an app can handle using the required throughput. 

CPU Usage application scalability testing attribute is simply a measurement of the use of CPU during an execution, especially when it has to do with running of codes and or instructions. CPU usage attributes use Megahertz to carry out its measurements.

Memory Use application scalability testing attribute deals with the use of memory. That is, the amount of memory that is consumed by an app or program in order to complete a task. It is mostly measured in units of bytes.

Network Use application scalability testing attribute has to do with network usage. Network use is simply the total bandwidth that a test program requires. Network use is measured in bytes per second, frames per second, segments received and delivered per second, and so forth.

How to Write Application Scalability Testing

  • Create a repeatable procedure for performing scalability testing.
  • Establish scalability testing criteria.
  • Determine the software tools you will require to execute your tests.
  • Create a test environment and set up the hardware needed to execute scalability testing.
  • Make and test a visual script.
  • Make and test load test scenarios.
  • Execute the test. Analyze the outcomes.
  • Create the necessary reports.
  • Carry out your tests
  • If there are any lags, make adjustments to the server and run the tests again.
  • Examining Test Results

The application scalability testing attributes will help you to identify 40% of your performance testing target. It is a very important part of your test; identifying weaknesses and fixing them at an early stage for an optimised application. 

The result of your application scalability testing can be compared in the following ways 

(Virtual) Users in Relation to Response Time

It is a c common practice that some businesses prefer to use time intervals and occasionally increase the numbers of users on the server load while they observe how the server will behave under increased loads/traffic.

So, this means that your application’s scalability testing will use different types of users and take reports of different response time.

Types of Scalability Testing Techniques,

There are some good options or combinations of scalability testing techniques that you can always use to test your app, find weaknesses and issues and fix the problems for an improved app that meet the user requirements.

Let us take a look at some few

Load test: 

One of the scalability testing techniques is the load testing type which uses simulation to test the way your application will behave under increased flow of traffic or what will happen when a certain number of users use your app at the same time.

Performance test: 

Performance testing is also one of the top scalability testing techniques that measures  how well your application is able to handle too much traffic.

In performance testing, it checks to see if your app will develop any issue when your users increase and ask questions like “how quickly can users gain access to certain features under increased traffic”

End-to-end test: 

End to end also makes up the list of the scalability testing techniques and it has to do with processes that simulate real users using your app. It measures how well your app’s features and functionalities can still perform under different users at all times.

Although it is kind of difficult to achieve, there are some ways you can get around it. For example, you set a goal whereby you want your app to have flawless performance for all users and work towards making your app’s response time to be “minimal”.

Another goal to set here is to try to maintain average response time of like 3 to seconds for up to 100 concurrent users. 

Whatever you finally decide to work with, ensure you have very clear goals that are also smartly created. Also, performing using scalability testing techniques will help you in determining where the actual problem is coming from as it can sometime be from your server or your app, or a software, plugin, or even a hardware.

Application Scalability Testing Goals: 

The goal of scalability testing is:

  • To determine how the application scales as the workload increases.
  • To calculate the software product’s user limit.
  • To ascertain client-side deterioration and end-user experience while under load.
  • To assess server robustness and deterioration.

Tips for application performance and scalability testing  during development

  • It’s crucial to know exactly how the project will be scaled before beginning a new web development project. This includes making projections for the application’s expected user base, the traffic the site will get, and its capacity to manage growth.
  • Making sure your site is scalable while it is still in construction will assist ensure that it can handle the growing traffic and user expectations.
  • You can be sure that your app will be able to handle the increasing traffic and user demands by testing the site’s scalability while it is still under development.

How to improve application scalability testing post-launch

If your company is new or has recently gone live, you should ensure that your app is scalable and capable of handling increased traffic so that you do not experience the heartbreak of a crashed app when your business is about to start booming in the market. It’s crucial to test your app’s scalability before launch to ensure everything goes without a hitch.

You can do the following things to enhance application scalability testing:

Make sure your app is first SEO-optimized. Your app will rank higher as a result on search engine results pages (SERPs).

Second, consider how you can speed up your app. Your website will become more user-friendly as a result of the decrease in load time for your visitors.

Third, confirm that your app is being hosted correctly. This will keep your app operational and online.

Fourth, make sure you have a fallback strategy in place just in case. Make sure you have a team in place to support you during these trying moments and that you always have a plan on how to handle any problems.

Conclusion & best practices

Performing application scalability testing is a very important aspect of ensuring that your business meet user requirements when it has to do with how your app handles traffic. Once you have a good plan in place, you can hire testers and get the job done.

You may begin by performing load testing so as to discover the type of traffic that your app can currently handle, identify the level at which your app or server will crash and fix the issue. Sometimes, performing this test helps you to also make important changes to your app design which will also be beneficial for your business and impact traffic and sales.

Finally,  you must always ensure that you have a good team and a back up plan for emergency fixings. Remember that issues identified will be reported on priority and you should approach addressing the issues based on their levels of importance.

We really do hope you enjoyed reading this blog and that you were able to learn a few things on how to do scalability app testing and why it is very important. Among all the exciting things we discussed, we thought it would be helpful to highlight some tips for successfully implementing scalability testing. 

Thank you for reading, and we look forward to hearing about your success story.

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