Second Life of a Hungarian SharePoint Geek

September 21, 2012

Performance testing SharePoint applications

Filed under: SharePoint, SP 2010, Testing — Tags: , , — Peter Holpar @ 19:34

Note (to avoid disappointment): This post is not intended to be a general introduction or walkthrough of performance testing of web / SharePoint applications. It is rather just a quick tip on a tool I found useful performing such tasks.

A developer should never forget, that functional testing is only one – although a very important one – part of the application testing. There are other things to test, for example, how do the components of your system behave in a stress situation.

Recently we had to perform a load test on a server-intensive Silverlight application. The client side calls a lot of RIA web services methods to query and update data stored in the SQL database and other back-end systems. So I had to choose a tool that makes our test easy to perform.

In the past we already had a similar issue with a SharePoint application, where we decided to use Web Performance Test Recorder included in Visual Studio Ultimate for the load test, but unfortunately in this case the Ultimate edition was no option due to licensing considerations.

My next idea was Fiddler, the free tool I used quite frequently to monitor network traffic (especially when playing with the SharePoint Client Object Model), and whose ability to record and perform such tests I was beware of, but before starting the actual test I wanted to check the SL forums to see the experience of other developers in this area. In this thread I found a particularly interesting Fiddler extension called StresStimulus, as well as a quick start about how to use this tool.

I’ve downloaded a trial version of this product, and found it can really help the web developer (on a relative low budget) to monitor the performance of the network and the server on a high load situation.

A few of the nice features of the tool are the ability to parameterize the requests sent to the server as well as the capability to use a set of username/password pairs for authentication.

// Regarding SharePoint, the TechNet article about performance testing describes the Visual Studio Team System (Team Test Load Agent), and MSDN shows the usage of the Web Performance Test Recorder, but the list of performance counters to monitor is independent from the tool you choose for testing.

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