Performance Testing vs Load Testing

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May 29, 2022
#testing101

Performance Testing vs Load Testing

Have you ever tried to log into software and all of a sudden it crashed? Or maybe felt a significant slowness in the system’s response time? Those are all related to performance issues regarding a software application. In order to estimate our software robustness, as well as prepare for end-user real-life situations, it is necessary to perform several varieties of performance testing types. While performance testing is an umbrella term, load testing is a specific test type.
In this article, we covered the essential details, goals, and advantages of performance testing and load testing so you could easily understand and differentiate between these two software testing terms.

Performance Testing vs Load Testing

What is Performance Testing?

Performance testing is a broad term that covers a wide range of testing types that are considered non-functional testing. Among these family-related performance tests, you can mention stress testing, spike testing, load testing, and so on. The main purpose of this test is to check the performance of the software in a certain workload. The workload volume is set based on the type of performance test you execute and the goals you want to achieve. For instance, in stress testing, the workload volume is extreme and over the system’s breaking point since the intention is to examine how the software performs in those situations.

In performance testing in all its forms, the goal is to understand how different aspects of the system are affected by the workload volume like time-response, robustness, scalability, and resource usage. Executing performance testing helps the tester set the benchmark and define the standards of the software. Since performance aspects are affecting the end-users directly, it is crucial to ensure a flawless user experience and detect different performance bugs before releasing the product.

Advantages of Performance Testing

  • Set the benchmark and define software standards
  • Measure important aspects like speed and robustness of the system
  • Help to keep a high level of user-satisfaction
  • Detect and resolve performance bugs before the release of the product

What is Load Testing?

Load testing is a particular type of test that is a part of the performance testing family. The objective of this test is to understand how the system performs in a normal and high workload volume. The load test imitates a real-life situation so the workload volume is set based on the expected users of the application. Hence, the load testing is reaching the breaking point of the system and allows the tester to understand the upper limit of it before the performance gets damaged. The high volume load part of this test also helps to reduce the risk of system downtime after releasing the software.

The execution of load testing is critical since it helps to uncover and remove bottlenecks in the process. Also, load testing is efficient in finding memory leaks, buffer overflows, and different code issues. There are many testing tools available on the market that can sustainably assist you in your loading testing efforts.

Advantages of Load Testing

  • Help to figure out how the software performs in a real-life situation
  • Allow understanding the upper limit of the system’s breaking point
  • Reduce the risk of system downtime after the release
  • Uncover bottlenecks, memory leaks, and code issues

Comparison between Performance Testing and Load Testing

Performance Testing Load Testing
Definition Performance testing is a broad term that covers a wide range of testing types that are considered non-functional testing Load testing is a particular type of test that is a part of the Performance testing family and imitates a real-life situation from a user-experience point of view
Purpose The main purpose of this test is to check the performance of the software in a certain workload The objective of this test is to understand how the system performs in a normal and high workload volume based on the expected users of the application
Testing scope Wide scope Narrow scope
Testing Attributes Time-response, robustness, scalability, and resource usage Server throughput, identify the breaking-point, and memory leaks
Testing technique Black-box testing Gray-box testing
Limit Below and above the breaking point Below and until the breaking point
Advantages
  • Set the benchmark and define software standards
  • Measure important aspects like speed and robustness of the system
  • Help to keep a high level of user-satisfaction
  • Detect and resolve performance bugs before the release of the product
  • Help to figure out how the software performs in a real-life end-user situation
  • Allow understanding the upper limit of the system’s breaking point
  • Reduce the risk of system downtime after the release
  • Uncover bottlenecks, memory leaks, and code issues

Summary

In brief, performance testing is a vital part of the entire testing process in software development. The performance testing efforts ensure proper system performance and great user experience in real-life situations. Performance testing is an umbrella term that unifies several different tests that are intended to check how the system performs on different workload volumes. Load testing is a particular test from the performance testing family. It is designed to test the system’s performance in normal and high workload volumes as expected to be in real life.
In order to manage all of the different performance testing types you execute in your software development, you can use a test management platform such as PractiTest. This platform will significantly help you achieve better traceability and visibility of your entire testing process.

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