Saturday, April 02, 2011

Load testing / Performance testing SSAS for evaluating scalability

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APT (Application Performance Testing) is one of the standard environments, among the different environments that are set up in any typical SDLC. Results from APT environment are considered as direct indicator of the capability of any solution to scale. Load Runner is one of the most successful and widely used tools in this environment. Use cases are provided to testing teams, steps for each use case are executed and scripts are recorded, and the same scenario is repeated for a targeted number of users. This creates a simulation of a predefined number of users accessing the solution concurrently using most probably use case scenarios. The results from these tests provide direct insight into scalability, concurrency and other aspects of the solution.

Load Runner though a very useful tool, is more suited to be used by testing professionals. And it's also not a free tool. It's always good to have some load simulators in the hands of developers to load test their development artifacts, so that they can figure out the probable bottleneck areas even before the solution reaches APT environment. Again it's better if such tool is a part of the development IDE itself or if it's a freeware, as business stakeholders won't entertain a separate licensed tool for developers. One such tool of the same flavor for SSAS has newly made entry on Codeplex, and it's known as AS Performance Workbench. It can be seen as a micro version of load runner, but if the tool provides what it claims on the project home page, it would be a brilliant tool to have. I would be more happy if this tool is fused with BIDSHelper. I suggest to download and checkout this tool, and you might find another nuke to store in your arsenal of developer tools.

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