Before going live with a sophisticated piece of retail software like those produced by Retek, you should do what it takes to be certain that it will perform the way you need it to perform. If it underperforms with any of its functions, that has significant consequences for your business. After all, you are counting on it to track and manage practically every level of the retail sales process.
That said, testing is not all that exciting to many companies, and many companies do make the mistake of under testing their software. Sometimes this is due to simple oversight, but other times it is due to the unappealing nature of load testing in particular. The results can be disastrous, even hitting the bottom line in some cases.
This does not have to be the case. Load testing does not have to be a costly, ineffective process. If you do it right, load testing can give you useful results in a relatively short amount of time at an affordable cost.
In this article, you will learn how to properly load test your Retek software so that you can identify and fix performance issues before those issues cost you money.
The first, and perhaps most important part of load testing is selecting the right Retek load testing application. If you select the wrong load tester, then your load testing efforts may very well be expensive, time consuming and frustrating. On the other hand, if you select the right load tester, then your load testing efforts will not be those things.
So what kind of load tester should you select? The most important features in a good load tester are protocol independence, end user testing, quality data reporting, and ease of use. A load tester with all four of those features will give you the best results and make the following steps very easy.
Once you have the right load tester, it’s time to actually set up and execute some load tests. First you need to sit down and create a plan for your load testing. During this planning phase, you need to estimate how much stress the software will be under at any given time.
Retail, of course, goes through different levels of activity depending on the time of year. For example, the December holidays are usually a busier time than the middle of April. With your load testing, you should test for both of those kinds of stresses. Come up with estimates for both normal stress and higher-than-expected levels of stress.
If you already have a similar type of software set up, then by all means use the stress that they are under as a general guide for your estimates.
Once you have your estimates, you need to actually set up your load tests. Ideally the load tester that you selected should make setting up a load test a simple matter of telling the load tester what to stress and how much stress to put it under.
It is important to run load tests for both normal levels of stress and higher than expected levels of stress. You should load test each component of the software at both levels. In addition, you should simulate the different types of devices that will be accessing the software.
Once you have executed the load tests, then you should have enough data to go back, identify the bottlenecks and improve the software’s performance. If there are no bottlenecks, then you can launch the software into a live environment with total confidence that it will perform well.
A great load tester for Retek is AppLoader. The reason AppLoader is so good is that it includes all of the features discussed earlier, such as protocol independence, end user testing, quality data reporting and ease of use. It allows you to test your software fast at an affordable cost.
With a great load tester and a good strategy, you can easily conduct the load testing that you need to conduct in order to take full advantage of Retek. If done properly, load testing ultimately pays for itself.