What is a Load Test?

Load Testing is the process of putting demand on computer devices to analyze the performance of the device under extreme conditions. Usually, the load test is carried out to gauge the response under normal conditions; however, testers also use load test to measure the extreme load that a device is able to handle. During the test, the system evaluates the operating capacity of the computing device to check for potential errors and bottlenecks. There is a variety of load testing software programs available in the market, which are primarily used to determine the slow performance. Accordingly, the slow performance can be attributed to malfunctioning application server, database server, networking or client-side processing.


Difference between Load Test and Stress Test

In the computer industry, there is usually a difference between load testing and stress testing. Basically, a load test is used to test the response of a device under normal conditions. In contrast, stress testing is used to test the device under extreme conditions, which may give error results, mostly. Since there is no pre-defined limit on what constitutes load test and stress test, it is useful to understand that stress testing can also be conducted to determine an extreme load under which an operating device will behave normally.

After optimal performance parameters are determined using load test, technical experts often put additional load on the application to test its functions under adverse conditions or during times of high traffic. Such tests, carried out to check the feasibility of an application beyond its normal usage, are often termed as stress test because the system is hypothetically under a lot of stress.

How the Load Test is Conducted?

In the software performance industry, the load test refers to the normal operating procedures when multiple users use an application. For the purpose, a testing facility may conduct several load test before approving the application for public use. Hence, various live users and virtual users may be used to test the application. While one type of load test may evaluate number of virtual users and live users using an online shopping cart, another load test may test how the shopping cart behaves when these users add and delete multiple items simultaneously in a quick succession. The load test can also vary according to the number of users involved. In addition, the test can also involve testing the system using different configurations.

Alternative testing resources:

Oracle Load Testing