Performance Testing experience using Ant and Jmeter - Part 1

Jmeter is a well known open source performance/load testing tool and to be fair it does a lot of stuff really well. if you wants to do some quick performance testing without a whole lots of infrastructure around it then it is great.

I started out my task with jmeter with some objectives:

<li> A tool that i could integrate into a CI tool such as teamcity</li>
<li> Meaningful graphs that could be easily interpreted by any one in the team</li>
<li> Able to integrate the graphs into teamcity</li>    
<li> Able to monitor the performance of the website under test.</li>

After doing an initial round of tests, i didnt like the graphs which were being produced by jmeter and i search for plug-ins to enable me plot better graphs. I came across jmeter-plugins which is an awesome collection of jmeter plugins. Instructions to install can be found on this page.

Whilst, there are lots of usefuil graphs bundled within this plugin, i found the following graphs to be most useful

<li><a href="" target="_blank">Active Thread Over Time</a></li>

<li><a href="" target="_blank">Response Times Over Time</a></li>

<li><a href="" target="_blank">Response Times versus Thread.</a></li>

I could easily put “Active Thread Over Time” and “Response Times Over Time” to get a complete picture of my performance results solely based on response times. And that was good enough for me.

Also jmeter only allow you to specify a ramp up period and the maximum number of thread you want to execute your tests with. I desperately wanted to be able to specify a ramp down time as well and fortunately, the Ultimate Thread Group which ships with the jmeter-plugins solves that problem for me as well.

Having jmeter-plugins installed along side with my installation of jmeter helped to get the best out of jmeter, and i was able to specify my load more realistically as well as having clear and better graphs.

See below.

Response Time Over Time
Thread State Over Time
Time Vs Thread

In the next blog post i would discuss how i have integrated jmeter with ant, enabling me to run jmeter in command line

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