The Top 8 Load Testing Tools in 2019

In the modern cloud computing era, it’s essential to optimize IT infrastructure for speed, efficiency and reliability to meet rising consumer expectations. To do so, IT professionals must conduct performance measurement tests with specialized tools. For help selecting the right one, we’ve created a list of the top 8 load testing tools for 2019.

Who uses load testing tools?

 

There are many different kinds of professionals who use load testing tools, including:

  • Testers employed in a corporate Center of Excellence for Testing (CoE)
  • Developers testing APIs
  • DevOps team members
  • Performance Engineers
  • QA professionals who know how to use load testing tools

When selecting a load testing tool, it’s important to consider the profiles of potential users as their competency levels will vary.

When should you use a load testing tool?

 

Load tests are used to determine how an application will behave under realistic load conditions and to identify the threshold at which the load exceeds the application’s or website’s ability to function properly. Some examples use cases for performance testing are:

  • Testing a new feature or API within an agile software development environment
  • End-to-end testing a complete and complex application
  • Checking for updates to existing packaged and/or desktop applications
  • Migrating an applicationlication to a new infrastructure for example in the cloud
  • SAP S / 4 Hana application migrations
  • Deploying a new application
  • Custom development of an application

It’s important to perform tests with powerful tools in order to obtain reliable data before releasing your product to the users. In fact, the launch of your new application could be severely impacted if it’s found to be incapable of dealing with heavy loads.

Try NeoLoad, the most automated performance testing platform for enterprise organizations continuously testing from APIs to applications.

 

Why use load testing tools?

 

The load test identifies bottlenecks in a system by applying different scripts. This helps minimize the risk of malfunctions after your application goes live in production with real users.

A modern load testing tool follows an agile process to leverage the ability of the performance test and provide a competitive advantage – focusing on quality and speed of execution. Your chosen tool should let you establish reliable performance tests that optimize the entire software delivery chain. It should also be adaptable to additional performance management and application monitoring strategies.

What are the different types of load testing tools?

 

There are two broad categories of load testing tools:

  • Graphical user interfaces
  • Coding environments

Performance testers either use a graphical interface tool or manually code their performance tests.

Depending on the complexity of the tests you want to run, the technologies that you want to test, your testing team organization and skill set, there are different subcategories of load testing tools to consider:

 

  • Open Source tools—such as Jmeter—suitable for simple tests that don’t require advanced testing capabilities.
  • More comprehensive tools capable of meeting even the most complex of testing needs for advanced Enterprise requirements. NeoLoad, one of the emerging leaders in this field, is a great alternative to the likes of LoadRunner and Performance Center that have existed for decades.

What are the main features of load testing tools?

 

Features will depend on the tool you choose. There are some tools that boast a wide range of additional features, however there is a baseline set of features you should be looking for in any load testing tool. Consider load testing software that has the ability to:

  • Create a variety of realistic performance test scripts
  • Conduct performance and load tests with realistic load and scale of virtual users for the application being tested
  • Update and maintain performance scripts as code changes
  • Integrate with other pieces of software to test applications in realistic environments, similar to those used in production
  • Automate performance tests as part of a continuous integration (CI) pipeline

Automate API and end-to-end application performance testing with NeoLoad, the continuous performance testing platform.

 

What are the main criteria for comparing load testing tools?

 

In addition to the features mentioned above, that are essential for any modern-day load testing tool, there are other factors you should consider when comparing different tools. This includes: 

 

  • The time it takes to create and update a test script
  • The ability of the tool to simulate user behaviors and real-world user scenarios
  • The simplicity of automation and integration of performance tests into CI environments
  • The ease of integrating the tool into other testing tools—such as APM tools—and the ability to share that test data in both directions
  • The level of support available for critical original use cases – such as mobile, IoT, web, desktop, SAP, etc
  • The ability of the tool to reuse existing test resources as performance tests

How to choose the right load testing tool for your needs

 

There are a number of factors and considerations to include in your decision-making process when selecting a load testing tool for your project. Although not an exhaustive list, below is a collection of the most important factors we think will help you make the best choice: customer needs, how does it respond to issues, how often does it innovate, etc

 

  • Speed of test design
  • Ease of implementation (e.g. fast docker image)
  • Required level of script maintenance
  • Ability to use the tool “as code” or with a graphical user interface with Little to no code required
  • No special expertise required
  • Ability to collaborate in teams, and enable the sharing of test resources and results between teams
  • Test support for most commonly installed website and applications – such as SAP
  • Potential for integration with the main functional test tools (Selenium) and APM tools (Dynatrace, AppDynamics, NewRelic)
  • CI tool integration potential
  • Ability to easily connect the test tool to others through open APIs
  • Quick learning curve
  • Customer support: how responsive is the service provider to customer needs, how does it respond to issues, how often does it innovate, etc

Start testing with NeoLoad, the fastest, the most realistic, and the most automated continuous performance testing platform.

 

List of top performance testing tools

 

In order to help you select the right tool for your needs, we provide a list of top load testing tools and are their strengths and weaknesses.

 

  1. NeoLoad
  2. LoadRunner/Performance Center
  3. StormRunner
  4. Blazemeter
  5. JMeter
  6. LoadNinja from SmartBear
  7. Gatling
  8. IBM Rational

Tool

Overview

Strengths

Weaknesses

NeoLoad
  • NeoLoad is the most automated performance testing platform, and therefore the most suitable for organizations that continuously test APIs and applications. It also fulfills the requirement of large end-to-end application tests that are usually done manually.
  • SNeoLoad offers testers and developers automatic test design and maintenance, the most realistic simulation of user behavior, fast root cause analysis, and plug-and-play integrations with the full SDLC toolchain.

 

  • NeoLoad allows you to reuse and share test resources and results from functional testing tools through the use of analysis tools and APM measurement tools.

 

  • Additionally, NeoLoad supports the full range of mobile, web and packaged applications—such as SAP—to cover all testing needs. Plan, manage and share resources and test results across the enterprise to ensure optimal application performance.
 
LoadRunner/Performance Center
  • Existing desktop graphical interface tool for testing loads on traditional applications.

 

  • Three separate tools must be installed and used for this tool to function:
  1. a tool to create ‘Virtual User Generator’ (VuGen) scripts
  2. a tool to run ‘Controller’ tests
  3. a tool to analyze the ‘Analysis’ test (similar to a professional NL license)
  • Web application to preserve resources, run tests, analyze dashboards, results, scenarios and test scripts, and create a repository on the server.

 

  • It’s easy to share across the business, create users, and connect with projects and permissions.
  • Isn’t designed for native API testing and CI integration.
StormRunner
  • Full SaaS, no on-site test interface required for LR testing, JMeter testing, Selenium testing, or running TruClient scripts. StormRunner makes customers spend more on LGs. The smallest LG machine can generate 500 to 1000 virtual users, and the largest can do double that for a simple Http protocol script.

 

  • The tool helps you run tests with TruClient much more easily. This is because TruClient consumes a lot of resources, and StormRunner helps simplify the implementation of load generators in the infrastructure.
  • StormRunner is a lightweight solution that doesn’t require any special expertise to use. Everything is in the cloud and set up for you.
  • You need expertise using LR to create and update scripts. LGs are in the cloud or on site.

 

  • According to McGraw Hill’s reports, the tool can only reach a maximum number of 500 UV per incoming LG.
Blazemeter
  • BlazeMeter focuses on cloud testing and small development test cycles.

 

  • BlazeMeter is very similar to JMeter. There isn’t a lot of troubleshooting support for the tool from its community of users, and it can be inefficient and difficult to deploy to many teams.
  • This solution provides reporting and cloud computing capabilities on top of those provided by the open source JMeter solution.
  • Only offers the Chrome web recorder.

 

  • BlazeMeter requires the use of the JMeter user interface to run scripts.

 

  • No correlation framework.

 

  • The tool forces you to restart scripts at each change of the workflow.
JMeter
  • Open source load testing tool for analyzing and measuring the performance of a variety of services – with a particular focus on web applications.

 

  • Also an open source tool for performance testing, but with limited technical support and no customer support to speak of.
  • Open source.
  • This tool doesn’t let you create transactions during registration.

 

  • You have to manually create transactions and consolidate requests, and must know your application inside out in order to get the most from JMeter.

 

  • JMeter provides limited protocol support and scalability options, as well as a general lack of support for the entire testing process – including analysis and reporting on tests.
LoadNinja from SmartBear
  • LoadNinja is a graphical interface load testing tool. Its APIs are still relatively immature at this stage and quite limited – they offer half of what NLP web APIs can offer.
 
  • LoadNinja offers a limited number of integration, and the tool can’t meet all reporting requirements.
    It’s a fairly expensive tool, particularly as it can’t be used in isolation. What’s more, the application only provides weekly and monthly data – it’s not possible to get results in real time.
IBM Rational
  • IBM Rational is an on-premise or cloud / SaaS load testing tool.

 

  • It can be used to perform high-volume performance tests to measure system response time for server-based applications.

 

  • This load testing tool requires in-depth expertise and significant setup and implementation lead times.
  • The IBM Rational tool integrates well with other IBM software development tools – including IBM Urban code.
  • However, it requires a high level of competence to use properly and IBM has a lower level of innovation than other suppliers.
Gatling
  • Gatling is really designed to let developers run simple tests (APIs / microservices). Complex tests on complex applications will require an intense test effort that isn’t sustainable and therefore not advisable.
  • Fast and easy to use by developers to create API tests
  • Developing test cases requires the use of Scala, and the tool doesn’t provide a graphical interface to assist the design process.

 

  • Reading a script to determine if it works is limited (command line) and debugging scripts isn’t intuitive.

 

  • No monitoring is possible with Gatling, very limited monitoring is possible with Frontline.

Test API and application with NeoLoad, the most automated continuous performance testing platform.