Performance testing SOA

Performance testing service-oriented architecture requires different things from the tester. Expert Scott Barber explains how to conduct performance tests on SOA and why it may actually be easier than testing regular applications.

I have done performance testing for J2EE & .NET Applications and I have done the statistical workload modeling and capacity planning for these applications. But when it comes to SOA applications, there are a lot of constraints in applying them. Can you provide me with a few tips to strategize my performance test approach?

Performance testing SOA is quite a buzz, but in reality it's easier than performance testing most applications, because the simple answer is that you just don't performance test the SOA part unless your team wrote it.

If you are performance testing an application that simply uses a service, all you can do is stub it out (or use the "secret test data" from the service provider), performance test "around it," then add the performance numbers from the service-level agreement (SLA) into your results. If that results in unacceptable performance numbers, you have four choices:

  1. Renegotiate the SLA (which typically means paying the provider more).
  2. Get a new provider.
  3. Tune the part that your team build enough to make up for it.
  4. Build a replacement service in-house.

Software performance testing:
Why do we test for performance?

How to test Web services

What is performance testing?

If it so happens that your company actually built the service, that team should be doing performance testing at a component level -- possibly using one of the many tools currently on the market that support SOA protocols. Even if this is the case, assuming you're in charge of performance testing the system end-to-end, treat the service just like any other component you're used to testing, such as a database or application server.

Hope that helps!

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