Check a Virtual User validity

A Virtual User simulates a real user accessing a series of web pages. When you have created and defined a Virtual User, an essential step is to check this Virtual User. Making sure the Virtual User is valid before using it in scenario will guarantee that Virtual Users work at least on a per user basis. This is all the more true when the pages used by the Virtual User contain dynamic information such as parameters or form values. The following screen shot depicts a situation where a Virtual User has been defined with three pages. This has been achieved selecting NeoLoad Design mode and working in the Virtual Users tab.

In the example, the Virtual User called SimpleUser navigates through three pages which log the user on to the application. The first page /loadtest/welcome is the welcome page of the application, the /loadtest/signOn page is where the user will enter his or her identifier and password, finally the /loadtest/signedOn page is the page following the sign on and confirming that the user has successfully signed on. The example is simple and rather unrealistic—a Virtual User would obviously simulate a more complex behavior—but it will be kept simple to illustrate error situations.

Checking a Virtual User is achieved by selecting the Check button. NeoLoad displays the Check Virtual User dialog box. Launching the check, in other words executing the Virtual User, is achieved by selecting the Start checking button.

The following information is provided by the Check Virtual User dialog box:

In the example, when the login process fails, the application returns a page indicating that the operation has failed. This implies that no error, whether it be a server error or a NeoLoad error, has been detected. And yet, this situation is surely an error situation. Had your Virtual User contained additional pages depending on the fact that the login had succeeded, an error would most probably occur later on in one of those pages. It is therefore essential to use assertions to detect such situations. Assertions will help you identifying an error situation early in the scenario and avoid analyzing incomprehensible errors due to earlier misbehaviors.