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Hemanth Yamjala for Cigniti Technologies

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The Top Performance and Load Testing Tools

Performance Testing Services
Every software application needs to undergo a series of testing to validate specific attributes. These include usability, performance, security, and functionality, among others. Performance testing happens to be one of the critical testing methods to ensure the software or system works to its capacity even when the traffic is significantly high. It helps to determine the responsiveness, throughput, speed, scalability, and stability of a software application, device, system, or network under a workload.

Types of performance testing

In this type of testing, the performance of a system, application, device, and network includes achieving throughput, response times, and levels of resource utilization as per expectations. It is of six types:

  • Load testing: It verifies if the application or system under test can manage the expected transaction numbers. Also, it verifies the behavior of the application or system during normal and peak load conditions (number of users).
  • Capacity testing: It determines the number of users the application or system can handle before the performance goals go haywire. This type of performance testing tells about the thresholds – of users and volume of data.
  • Volume testing: It verifies whether the system or application can handle a large volume of data and focuses on the database.
  • Stress testing: It verifies the behavior of a system or application when the load is increased beyond its design capability. It lets the load performance testing specialists know the component(s) that fails first when the system is put under stress. Stress testing helps to design better systems.
  • Soak testing: Also known as endurance testing it involves running a system or application after subjecting it to high load levels for a prolonged period. It helps to identify the performance problems for an extended time period.
  • Spike testing: This type of application performance testing checks the behavior of the application when subjected to a sudden increase in load (a huge number of users).

Top performance and load testing tools

There exist plenty of load testing solutions (commercial and open-source) to help developers and testers in the Agile-DevOps scenario to verify the performance of a system, application, database, or network.

Apache Jmeter:

This open-source application performance testing tool can be used to measure and analyze the performance. The features are as follows:

  1. Built on the Java platform the tool comes with an intuitive GUI
  2. Supports many types of servers and protocols
  3. Seamlessly runs on any Java Virtual Machine environment
  4. Can easily extract data from formats such as JSON, XML, and HTML


This software application load testing tool from SmartBear can identify performance glitches quickly and reduce test time by 50%. It can work with real browsers and derive actionable inputs. The features are as follows:

  1. Debugs glitches in real-time with VU Debugger
  2. Executes scriptless load test with InstaPlay recorder
  3. Manages virtual activity in real-time with VU Inspector
  4. Cloud hosting with no requirement for server machine and upkeep
  5. Advanced features for analytics and reporting


It allows testers to view the actual performance of the application under load the way users would experience. The tool performs browser-based load testing for APIs, websites, and web applications. Besides, testers can create scripts to simulate the interaction of users with the application or website by using EveryStep Web Recorder. The features are as follows:

  1. Load testing using cloud-based real browsers
  2. Supports RIA (Rich Internet Applications) like PHP, Ruby, HTML 5, and Java, among others
  3. Ensures scalability and identifies glitches
  4. Generates reports and performance metrics for capacity planning with various stakeholders
  5. Can create test scripts quickly


As a strong application load testing tool, it can easily solve testing scenarios that are difficult or tricky to be addressed with other tools. It can test for load scenarios related to web, mobile, and enterprise applications. The features are as follows:

  1. Supports cloud-based tests with load generators
  2. Supports application platforms with an easy to access UI
  3. Supports secure authentication methods such as web forms, Kerberos, Basic, and NTLM
  4. Supports three programming languages to write scripts
  5. Creates key performance metrics

IBM Rational Performance Tester:

This automated load test tool identifies bottlenecks that prevent a seamless system performance. It allows QA specialists to validate the scalability and reliability of web applications. The features are as follows:

  1. Provides reporting in real-time for any performance-oriented issue
  2. Can be used for both web-based and server-based applications
  3. Identifies and fixes issues or glitches in the website or servers
  4. Supports operating systems like Windows, Mac OS, and AIX


The above-mentioned top performance and load testing tools can be the smartest choice to be employed by QA specialists to test attributes like throughput, response times, scalability, and stability, among others. There is no best performance testing tool per se and businesses should select one that suits their testing requirements in the best possible manner.

Discussion (2)

qainsights profile image
NaveenKumar Namachivayam ⚡

Wondering how LoadRunner is missing in this list :)

0x12b profile image

Yeah, as well as Gatling, locust, k6, flood. :)