jMeter - Overview

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Before digging into the JMeter, let us first understand few jargons mostly associated with the testing of any application.

  • Performance Test: This test sets the ‘best possible’ performance expectation under a given configuration of infrastructure. It also highlights early in the testing process if changes need to be made before application goes into production.

  • Load Test: This test is basically used for exercising\discovering the system under the top load it was designed to operate under.

  • Stress Test: This test is an attempt to break the system by overwhelming its resources.

What is JMeter?

JMeter is a software allowing to load test or performance oriented business (functional) test on different protocols or technologies. Stefano Mazzocchi of the Apache Software Foundation was the original developer of JMeter. He wrote it primarily to test the performance of Apache JServ (Now called as Apache Tomcat project). Apache later redesigned JMeter to enhance the GUI and to add functional-testing capabilities.

This is a Java desktop application with a graphical interface using the Swing graphical API, can therefore run on any environment / workstation accepting a Java virtual machine, for example: Windows, Linux, Mac, etc.

The protocols supported by JMeter are:

  • Web: HTTP, HTTPS sites 'web 1.0' web 2.0 (ajax, flex and flex-ws-amf)

  • Web Services: SOAP / XML-RPC

  • Database via JDBC drivers

  • Directory: LDAP

  • Messaging Oriented service via JMS

  • Service: POP3, IMAP, SMTP

  • FTP Service

JMeter Features

Following are some of the features of JMeter:

  • Its free. Its an open source software.

  • It has simple and intuitive GUI.

  • JMeter can load and performance test many different server types: Web - HTTP, HTTPS, SOAP, Database via JDBC, LDAP, JMS, Mail - POP3

  • It is platform-independent tool. On Linux/Unix, JMeter can be invoked by clicking on JMeter shell script. On Windows it can be invoked by starting the jmeter.bat file.

  • It has full Swing and lightweight component support (precompiled JAR uses packages javax.swing.* ).

  • JMeter store its test plans in XML format. This means you can generate a test plan using a text editor.

  • It's full multi-threading framework allows concurrent sampling by many threads and simultaneous sampling of different functions by separate thread groups.

  • It is highly Extensible.

  • Can also be used to perform automated and functional testing of your application.

How JMeter Works?

JMeter simulates a group of users sending requests to a target server, and return statistics that show the performance/functionality of the target server / application via tables, graphs etc. The figure below depicts this process:

JMeter Process

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