Innovations like 5G and AI are transforming the world of mobile app testing. However, while those technologies have yet to reach mass adoption, software performance engineering is becoming the norm.
For mobile teams big and small, it's important to know the differences between performance engineering and performance testing. In this article, we will take a high level look at both categories and highlight the differences between each. We'll also discuss why companies are making the shift and how to make the best out of both.
Mobile App Performance Testing
In order to assess a mobile app’s performance, the best approach is software performance testing. To break it down, the metrics that a mobile app’s performance is tested against are:
- Stability: Is the app capable of carrying various loads?
- Scalability: What is the max amount of users that the application can handle at the same time?
- Speed: How fast can the app reply?
Performance tests usually come in the form of scripts that check for bottlenecks in the application. In the software development lifecycle, there are various phases: gathering requirements, architecture and design, development, testing, and release. Software performance testing has input in two of the phases: requirements and testing. The testing phase itself breaks down into smaller sections that follow a similar pattern to the overall app development lifecycle.
Mobile App Performance Engineering
Unlike performance testing, which is executed and done, performance engineering is more of a culture that systematically applies techniques to meet software performance requirements. While performance testing is applied in two phases of the software development lifecycle, performance engineering is part of every phase. This mindset prioritizes performance and includes:
- Defining nonfunctional requirements in the requirement gathering phase
- Designing and analyzing architecture for improved performance
- Applying coding standards and unit performance in the development phase
- Performance testing in the testing phase
- Monitoring releases, while optimizing and managing capacity to get the best performance
Performance engineering doesn't stop at testing and suggesting improvements for performance. It's a proactive cross-functional effort where teams work together to build a system that is in line with performance standards. This active engagement involves employing performance optimization techniques at every phase of development. Instead of reacting to an issue, teams have already aligned to prevent the issue from occurring. And validation tests make sure app performance is up to the standards set.
Making the shift
Since performance testing is included within performance engineering, they aren't mutually exclusive. Adopting performance engineering ensures that mobile app performance testing reaches new heights and their systems are designed and assessed from the start to have the best performance.
Performance testing is mainly aimed at identifying issues and bugs in performance through running test scripts and analyzing set metrics. Performance engineering involves designing and observing the entire app and system to identify any aspect that can be optimized further for performance. This contributes to business objectives and generates competitive advantage by optimizing scalability and achieving parity with industry standards or better. Having the best app possible will only make it more successful.
Get the best performance with the right tools
Performance engineering and testing both need the right tools to get the best output. The most popular tools for performance testing on the market include NeoLoad, WebLOAD, Jmeter, Gatling, and LoadRunner.
Taking it to the next level and shifting to a performance engineering culture means monitoring and improving app quality at all stages. Instabug is a comprehensive solution for real-time contextual insights across the entire app lifecycle. With comprehensive bug and crash reports and contextual surveys and feedback, your teams can release and iterate with confidence.