WAPT: Make sure your website or Intranet can handle the load!

While managing IIS has gotten easier over the years, as the versions have progressed and become more intuitive, one area that most IT pros overlook is load testing. I found this is especially true when it comes to an intranet site. Most times we look at the intranet as a place to find out when the company events were taking place and where we could find vacation request forms. The simplicity of the intranet never strikes us as having a need for load testing. However, the intranet at my former company grew in size and complexity very quickly. We moved from a two-office company (with the second site accessing the intranet via Citrix) to a three-office company (with direct intranet access) quickly. We went from a few documents and announcements to a document repository, interactive calendar, helpdesk work order requests, etc. Not to mention that we grew our user base by almost 35%.

What I needed was a way to test that the intranet could handle the entire user population. I tried a few tools most of which were report based. Letting me know where my troubles existed, these were reaction-based systems. I needed a proactive solution which I admit both was due to other more pressing matters and the fact that I left to pursue other career goals I never found. Well a tool I recently heard about caught my attention as I thought back to those days. The tool is called WAPT (Web Application Testing) currently in Version 5.0. This tool allows you to simulate user activity and provides you with reports and graphs on your site's performance.

What I particularly liked about WAPT is the ability to simulate “real” user activity-- not just page hits, but image loading, user authentication, IP spoofing, form input, cookies, etc. WAPT even lets you simulate several types of users creating a real profile (even simulating timing between mouse clicks) as possible.

The 30-day trial limits the test scenario to just 20 users. But you would be surprised what kind of results you can get with that number. The licensed version supports user scenarios into the thousands, depending on bandwidth, hardware and OS of the testing computer. A 30-day trial of WAPT is available from Soft Logics Website. Give it a try and deal with those Web and intranet issues before your boss comes knocking on your door!

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