Modern-day applications aim to cover a wide range of users’ needs in a flexible and scalable manner. The software development landscape is moving at a fast pace, and the competition is so fierce that a business simply can’t afford to offer a low-quality product. Thorough testing of both functional and non-functional aspects of a software application has become an essential step in the software development process. It ensures that users get the best version of your product.
Volume testing is a non-functional type of performance testing. It allows you to determine how your application performs when it’s exposed to a large amount of data or when many people are using it simultaneously.
In this article, you’ll understand why volume testing is important and how it fits into your overall software testing strategy. Also, you’ll see what a volume testing plan includes and how you can prepare your application for it.
Volume testing, also known as flood testing, involves examining the stability and response time of a system by transferring huge volumes of data. You can evaluate a variety of different system components like databases, software, etc., and it’ll help you determine if a system can handle existing and anticipated data volumes. Furthermore, volume testing is important because it enables you to:
The purpose of software testing is relatively simple but extremely important during a software development life cycle (SDLC). It allows you to detect issues that could be detrimental to the quality of your software and address them in a timely and efficient manner. Software testing consists of multiple levels of testing that need to be conducted to ensure high quality before a product is released to end-users. One of these is the system testing level, where it is determined whether the fully integrated application meets the functional and non-functional software specifications.
Performance testing is a subtype of system testing, and its role is to evaluate and monitor how the system performs under pressure conditions. With performance testing, you aim to detect inefficiencies that can significantly affect the overall performance of your application. Performance testing, in turn, includes a wide variety of testing types, such as volume and load testing. These two types are often confused, but each has a different approach to performance testing and is designed for different use cases.
Volume testing can be beneficial to businesses and end-users alike. Some key benefits of volume testing, specifically, include:
Volume testing can be performed in a variety of industries. Although running volume tests isn’t necessary for low-traffic tools, it’s valuable for applications intended to be publicly accessible, and that expect to receive a large amount of traffic.
The following scenario illustrates the importance of volume testing:
If you plan to take any action that will put your database under pressure—for example, think of having an e-commerce site with millions of products, and you offer an eighty percent discount for all purchases made in the next two days—you’ll want to first make sure that your system can handle the increased traffic.
When you perform tests with the projected, high-volume data, you will adjust your infrastructure capacity to handle them efficiently.
By doing so, you’ll be able to detect warning signs and understand how your system behaves under extreme conditions. Then you can develop a plan that will prevent any vulnerabilities from reaching your users in the production stage.
The volume testing plan must be created in detail and designed to be as close to the live environment conditions as possible. To achieve this, you should create test cases that cover all the scenarios and use data that will accurately replicate the actual data your application will have to handle.
Here are some of the key metrics you should monitor when conducting volume testing:
The first step toward volume testing is to understand your environment. You’ll want to consider things like:
Knowing the answers to these questions will help you create the most appropriate tests for your situation.
The next step is to design test cases that capture what you want to achieve while also considering any constraints. During this step, you’ll identify different user scenarios, gather data that will accurately simulate real-life conditions, and define your metrics.
Then, you’ll need to make sure that your test environment is set up properly and ready to go. You should make sure that your tools are configured correctly and that your resources are organized.
Now it’s time to run your tests and get your results back. You’ll be able to analyze your findings and make adjustments to your application based on them. Then, you can start the process over from the beginning to verify whether the applied changes have improved your system’s performance.
Data quantity plays a vital role in any system. Volume testing is used to detect risks like data loss and slow response times that might lead to system failures and a poor user experience. These risks might occur when your system deals with (or is expected to deal with) large amounts of data.
Volume testing will help you verify the load capacity of your application. This is critical to know
before you release your product or when you need to scale it up in real-time. Although volume testing is a time-consuming process and faces many difficulties, like reproducing a close-to-reality production environment, in most cases, the benefits outweigh the challenges. With volume testing, teams have at their disposal a very useful tool that can ultimately help improve software quality.