Today is an exciting day here at SOASTA: it’s the Winter 2016 release of our Digital Performance Management (DPM) platform!
The SOASTA DPM platform consists of five key technologies – mPulse, CloudTest, TouchTest, Digital Operations Center (DOC) and Data Science Workbench – that work together to provide continuous performance testing, measurement, and analytics.
Enhancements to two of these solutions, mPulse and CloudTest, are the highlights of the Winter 2016 release.
This new platform release introduces a ton of enhancements and services to help digital businesses meet the growing demand for the ultimate measure of performance – the customer experience. In the words of our CEO, Tom Lounibos, “With this new release, we are delivering better DevOps, improved agility, and optimal business performance, with a greater emphasis on ease of onboarding, implementation, and use.”
In this post, I’m going to walk you through how some of the great new features in SOASTA CloudTest and TouchTest will help you meet — and surpass! — your performance, load, and functional testing needs.
New CloudTest features: Faster test creation, SLAs and more
First, I want to highlight the new major features in CloudTest, including how to create tests faster with the Chrome extension, and how to set up continuous load and performance testing with service level agreements (SLAs) and SCommand to manage test load generator grids and tests. (Scroll down if you want to skip ahead to new TouchTest features.)
Faster test creation with Chrome extension
The new Chrome extension for CloudTest (coming in February) speeds your time to first test by making it a one-click install process to build tests in the Chrome browser. By using the extension, only the web traffic from the browser tabs you select will be recorded into your tests.
To install the Chrome extension, connect to your CloudTest server from Chrome and choose Clips>New to open the Clip Editor. When you record a new clip and select “Record HTTP” you will be able to install the Chrome extension:
After adding the extension to your Chrome browser, the HTTP Recording Wizard will show “Extension Recording” as an option:
With the Chrome extension, you can easily record any tab that is open already, a new tab which then will open in Chrome, all new tabs that you open, or any combination of these.
Service Level Agreements (SLAs)
Continuous load and performance testing is joining the CICD process as a requirement for code to be promoted to pass on to the next development stage. SLAs (service level agreements), make performance measurement validations a part of continuous testing. This prevents code that does not meet performance requirements from moving forward toward production.
SLAs (coming in February) are applied to collections and compositions. For a collection, there are seven possible performance evaluations:
For compositions, there are six possible performance evaluations:
When you create an SLA, you pick the type (Collection or Composition), the rule to evaluate, and the values to measure against:
The SLA will be evaluated after the composition has completed, and will either be passing, failing, or marked as warning. These results can be passed to a continuous integration (CI) system to promote the code to a further stage or stop the process if the performance benchmark has not been met.
SLA results for the current test, plus up to ten previous tests, are presented in the SLA Result Dashboard:
SCommand to deploy and manage grids
The next new piece of the continuous testing solution is the upgrade of the SCommand utility that enables automatically deploying and managing load generation grids. In combination with the existing SCommand features of executing tests and collecting results, also available in the SOASTA Jenkins plug-in, this new feature lets you completely automate the testing process, from grid deploy, to test, to collecting results, and finally shutting down the testing grid.
Full details about SCommand are available on the SOASTA Community here.
Many of the CloudTest SCommand features are also available in the CloudTest Cloud Service REST API.
Embed scripts in Clip Editor
Customize default dashboards
With Custom Default Dashboards a tenant administrator can choose one or more alternate dashboards that will open as default for CloudTest or TouchTest users upon login. This reduces the time and steps for users to open and view a pre-selected dashboard (or set of dashboards) by removing the extra steps of selecting the Central tab, then the Dashboards container, and opening the desired dashboard(s).
Add random delays to tests
With this release, you can add Random Delays to a test clip. You can choose the minimum and maximum duration for the delay and a random value between these will be used during the test execution:
Increase password security
To increase the security of your CloudTest and TouchTest software, stronger levels of Password Complexity and Expiration requirements are available to administrators. Now you can apply rules such as minimum password length, require special characters, and set passwords to expire and require changing after a specific number of days.
Test faster in Azure
With the largest partner cloud provider network, CloudTest gives you the flexibility to use load generator servers from many providers and their multiple data centers. As these partners improve and add new features to their offerings, CloudTest is updated to take advantage of these improvements.
Microsoft recently added the Azure Resource Manager API to simplify and speed allocation of services. This CloudTest update uses this feature to provide faster Azure grid provisioning. Just follow the instructions to set up Microsoft Azure as a Cloud Provider account.
New TouchTest features: Unlimited mobile devices, plus iOS9 and Gradle support
Support for testing iOS9 applications is now available in TouchTest with a new TouchTest agent device agent app. TouchTest adds new features to better support Android developers using Android Studio and needing to test scenarios that require accessing platform features outside of their application, e.g. language settings. A new license model for TouchTest allows you to add unlimited devices to your TouchTest server, and to test with any of them simultaneously up to the limit your license allows. This enables testing across a larger pool of devices without extra cost, but without the benefit of greater testing in parallel.
Some of the CloudTest new features described above are also available in TouchTest, including custom default dashboards, password security, random delays, and embedding scripts in the clip editor.
Test iOS 9 apps
TouchTest now includes iOS 9 Support. See this document to review all of the iOS releases and devices and Android releases supported in TouchTest. With iOS9, TouchTest adds a device agent to be installed onto your test devices; iOS8 and prior devices will continue to use Safari to connect to TouchTest.
As many Android developers have moved to Android Studio for their development, the TouchTest Gradle Plugin makes it easier to quickly get TouchTest integrated into existing Android apps. Because Gradle will automatically download the necessary JAR files, no separate download or build steps are required once the changes are made. Full details are available here.
TouchTest is capable of testing an application from end-to-end. However if you want to build test scenarios that test outside of the application under test, you can create additional capabilities using Android UI Automator, a UI testing framework that enables cross-app functional UI testing across system and installed apps.
Tests built with UI Automator are added as custom modules packaged in JAR files. Once the custom module has been added to TouchTest, it can be added as an app action to a test clip. Full details are available here.
Add more mobile devices for testing
Concurrent TouchTest Device Licenses provides greater test device flexibility in TouchTest by letting you add as many devices as you like to TouchTest, even many more than you may have licensed. When a test composition is played, it will start as long as the number of devices used in the composition is within the number your license allows.
With this new feature, you can add new devices to TouchTest without concern for the device license count, and test with them as long as your test compositions don’t use more devices at the same time than your license allows. If you find you have many more test devices than your license, you will have to test on the limited number of devices allowed by your license but can run serial test suites to test on all of your devices—it will just increase the total test time.
You can always increase your device license count to enable simultaneous parallel testing on all of your devices at the same time, so you get your test results faster.
Upgrade your CloudTest and TouchTest accounts now!
If you’re ready to access these great new features, upgrade now by going to the About menu (you’ll find the icon in the upper right corner of the window) and choose About. In the About text you’ll find the steps to upgrade.
(While most of these features are available already in the SOASTA Winter 2016 update, some that are noted will be delivered in February. Update whenever you see the notice to get the latest features and bug fixes.)
About the Author
Tom has more than 20 years of experience as a manager and product manager in the software development tools field. Today, Tom works in product management as Senior Evangelist at SOASTA, the leader in performance analytics. He speaks frequently at industry conferences and meetups on topics, including Web app performance and testing at large scale, mobile continuous integration and testing, automated mobile testing tools, and big data analytics for business value.