Web Testing Has Changed the Testing Landscape
Within days of each other, and coinciding with the Internet 2000 conference,
Mercury Interactive Corp. (NASDAQ: MERQ) and Segue
Software (NASDAQ: SEGU) announced agreements with web infrastructure
companies to provide performance measurement and testing tools for websites.
Interactive announced an expanded strategic alliance with Akamai
Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: AKAM) to help online businesses improve
performance of their web sites by making web testing and monitoring services
more widely available. Mercury Interactive offers an integrated suite
of tools, ActiveWatch and ActiveTest, to monitor and test
web sites. ActiveWatch is powered by Topaz technology, while ActiveTest
is LoadRunner technology. Akamai provides global, high performance
services for the delivery of Internet content, streaming media and applications,
serving over 2,800 customers worldwide.
part of this agreement, Akamai will resell Mercury Interactive's web performance
management products. These products will also be offered through the I.AM.AKAMAI
portal. As part of the arrangement, Akamai will deploy a special network
of dedicated servers reserved for Mercury Interactive's exclusive use.
The deployment will be worldwide, including ten locations in Asia Pacific,
twenty in Europe, and approximately sixty-five in the US. This network
will enable Mercury Interactive to develop new root cause analysis and
early detection capabilities to augment the performance monitoring products
and services in its current suite of web performance management products.
to Mercury Interactive, "It is important to remember that any component
within the Web infrastructure-including routers, firewalls and load balancers-can
potentially contribute to performance bottlenecks. Because these devices
perform demanding operations, such as packet cracking, IP source address
analysis, protocol analysis URL parsing, cookie parsing and others, they
can easily cause bottlenecks that are difficult to detect. For this reason,
it is critical to monitor these components when load testing a system."
Conrades, chairman and CEO at Akamai adds, "Our content, application and
streaming media customers are looking beyond performance metrics; they
need solutions like Mercury Interactive's that can test, monitor, isolate
and fix performance problems that affect the overall user experience.
Taking our relationship with Mercury Interactive to the next level serves
our top priority - making our customers successful."
Software announced NaviSite as its first Hosted Services Partner.
NaviSite, acting as an ASP, will enable Segue's customers to deliver
actionable results to their own customers by using Segue's eConfidence
suite of services. This suite includes eConfidenceScale (eCScale),
Virtual Private Monitoring (VPM) and Continuous
Verification Monitoring (CVM).
a Segue Hosted Services Partner, NaviSite can offer these value-added
testing to assess customer site scalability
to measure the response time of global networks
to confirm the accuracy of information exchanged between databases and
Segue's eCScale's technology allows for testing with as many simulated
concurrent users as a network can support.
is a perfect fit for the Hosted Services Partner program," said Stephen
Butler, president and CEO of Segue. "We have the experience of more than
1,500 scalability engagements, and NaviSite possesses the infrastructure
to support the Hosted Services Partner offering. Many of NaviSite's current
customers already need scalability and performance testing. Now they can
get the hosting and testing services they need from one organization."
announcements reflect the real challenges of testing Internet applications.
A web site is a complex system with interacting infrastructure, hardware
and software. The complexity of these interactions means that test plans
cannot be comprehensive and typically require a number of types of expertise.
They must attempt to identify problems that will appear only under conditions
of stress or when one or more components are in atypical states - situations
that occur much more frequently on the Internet than for client-server
or desktop applications.
Interactive and Segue have both turned to Internet service and support
vendors to market their web performance management solutions. Before the
explosion of e-business, performance management and testing tools focused
primarily on testing functionality, and were marketed directly to the
application software companies. Mercury Interactive has been providing
load testing for just over ten years, focusing on CRM, ERP, and similar
architectures prior to the web explosion. LoadRunner has been testing
web applications for over four years.
to the development of major web business projects, Mercury Interactive
and others developed new testing tools, including ones that test critical
aspects of web usage, application performance, scalability, and user experience.
site testing is an area of much confusion and conflicting claims as each
company scrambles to assert its position as the one to supply the tools
for testing your web site. Some of the earliest web testing tools were
little more than existing tools modified to accommodate web sites and
the Internet. They didn't test the factors that cause a web site to fail.
Only recently have testing tools that involve the hosting servers and
anticipated demands on the web site been announced.
Users have to evaluate vendor information carefully to determine which
ones are actually testing web site performance. Before the Internet, software
testing tools focused on functionality. Developers needed to be sure the
software was doing what it was supposed to do. Now that everything is
moving onto web sites, reliability and performance are becoming key issues.
Load testing is essential for sites that expect a lot of traffic.
web site is hostage to the ability of others to deliver it efficiently.
As you investigate a tool or tool set to purchase, ask yourself this:
if your site is not working, will the testing tools help you determine
where in the complex infrastructure of your web site the fault lies?
Mercury Interactive alliance with Akamai demonstrates
an active involvement by both parties in providing the necessary web infrastructure
testing tools. The offering of Segue's web testing tools to NaviSite customers
does not display the same level of involvement, although it does imply
that NaviSite considers these the testing tools of choice for their customers.
in mind that the provider of performance management tools becomes yet
another selection criteria to consider when selecting a company to deliver
your applications over the Internet.