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  1. #1
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    Snowdrop HR: Perf. testing the user experience?

    Hi everyone.

    Snowdrop HR is a thick client, client / server application in the HR business area. Back end can be SQL Server or Oracle, front end is MS Windows based thick client executable. That, so far is all I know but am awaiting feedback from supplier.

    Meanwhile, has anyone any experience of this product, and moreover has anyone performance tested it?

    I need to identify potential tools that can specifically work with Snowdrop and the client executable:

    1. load and perf. rest the database back end, preferably free or cheap but will consider rental of QALoad/LoadRunner etc.

    2. load and perf. test the user experience, i.e. factor in the client side response time, again preferably free or cheap but will consider rental of QARun/WinRunner etc.

    I'm also looking for strategies that may work combining 1. with 2. where tools can not simulate load where the scope is purely 2., i.e. the user experience.

    As part of the above I need to document the underlying infrastructure and object model of the client executable as part of validating tools for 2., ideally I do not want to do pixel based capture/playback with masking.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    Re: Snowdrop HR: Perf. testing the user experience?

    1. Measure the financial risk to the company if this deployed solution does not scale. Will the company be out tens/hundreds/thousands/millions of dollars/euros? Will the company have to shut its doors as a result? Keep in mind the risk associated with deployment when selecting your tool and setting your budget for testing. Consider the following situation

    Risk: If it doesn't work, the company will have to close to lay off many employees
    Budget: Shoestring. Management has mandated the use of free tools.
    Time allowed: We'll fit you in if/when we can if the deployment date doesn't have to shift. No time has been allocated to fix, only to test.

    It is not too far from the truth in many situations.

    2. Consider a tool which allows for the use of a Graphical Virtual User. Tools which have a distinct commercial history harkening back to the dawn of client-server performance testing on Windows often support such virtual user types. Often licensed in groups of five or less, these items are used to determine the relative weight of the client. However, the benefit is most often derived when you have access to the source code to tune the client side code in case something is slow.

    If you have a commercial application and don't own the client code and cannot modify it, how much benefit will you derive from a graphical virtual user which identifies a very thick client code section? Very little unless you have buy in from the owner of the code to modify it and turn it around to you (without modifying the conversation between the client and server) very rapidly. You are now testing and runing someone else's code for them.

    Both HP|Mercury and Compuware's QALOAD Solution support the interface you desire and the use of a graphical virtual user.
    James Pulley

    Replace ineffective offshore contracts, LoadRunnerByTheHour. Starting @ $19.95/hr USD.

    Put us to the test, skilled expertise is less expensive than you might imagine.

    Twitter: @LoadRunnerBTH @PerfBytes

  3. #3
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    Re: Snowdrop HR: Perf. testing the user experience?

    Thank you, James. I should have added that the Snowdrop HR application is already in place, but we are looking to measure an expansion of it's use to a wider range of employees and new infrastructure across which it will have to perform.

    My concerns were partly technical, having used QARun/Load, SQA/Rational Robot/Loadtest and Wunrunner/Loadrunner on applications where the developer has used some arcane framework that the test tool can not hook into or where the middleware was not one of those on the tool providers then list, leaving us with screen scraping and pixel masking.

 

 

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