What is Volume Testing?

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Volume Testing, aka Flood Testing, is a non-functional test used to see the software or application's performance when introduced to a high volume of data. The volume here refers to the size of the database or the file subjected to the test.

Under the volume testing, the developers will keep adding data until the database reaches its threshold. Then the system will be analyzed for its response.

For example, you want to add 1000 new products under the "TV" category on your eCommerce site. Before adding those entries into the database, you must ensure whether your site can handle such an extensive database. This is where Volume Testing can help.

Characteristics of Volume Testing

Following are the primary characteristics of a volume testing process −

  • Developers test a small volume of data during the development phase

  • Software performance gradually declines as a high amount of data are added over the time

  • Accumulating test data requires a test data generator

  • The test data is crucial to check the system performance

  • Developers gather test cases from design documents

  • Upon completion of the test, the results are logged and tracked

Why is Volume Testing Essential

Volume testing helps in validating and testing some of the crucial parameters of software usage. It informs the developers about the essential software capacity, allowing them to make necessary changes before releasing it to the end-users.

  • An integral part of the performance tuning process

    Volume testing helps developers to determine the storage requirement and capabilities of the system. Having this information beforehand makes it easy for developers to eliminate the tuning issues that prevent the system from reaching the SLA.

  • Detects system degradation at its earliest

    Excessive load in the database increases the likelihood of system breakdowns and degradation. By detecting the system's overall capacity and performance, developers can take proactive measures to resolve such issues.

  • Improvement in software architecture

    Volume testing empowers developers to test the software efficacy under high data volume. The results of the volume testing give the best possible information for improving the software architecture.

  • Amplify system response time

    System response time refers to the time a system takes to display the data after receiving it. Of course, developers want to minimize the response time. Through volume testing, developers can know how long a system takes to display large size of data.

  • Eliminates data loss during the test

    Volume testing helps in checking any partial or complete loss of data used in the software testing cycle. This allows developers to take corrective measures ensuring the system does not delete any existing data after adding a new database,

  • Proper storage of data

    Volume testing enables a system to store data at the correct location and form. This is essential as it allows end-users to operate on safe and reliable data.

How to Perform Volume Testing

Although one can do volume testing manually or using tools, we recommend developers to use tools for more accurate results.

Before starting the volume testing process

  • Convey all instructions to your team

  • Inform your team about database changes and how they will affect their work

  • Configure the testbeds

  • Prepare the testing baseline

  • Prepare the data volumes for testing

Volume testing is conducted to test whether

  • Adding data reflects in the app or website as expected

  • Updating data displayed accurately in the app or website

  • Deleting a particular data cause issues with other data or the system

  • Adding high volume data crashes the system

  • Adding data deletes existing data

  • Introducing new data to the database causes the app or webpages to time out

  • The latest data overwrites the current data

  • Adding high data volume has a negative impact on other modules

  • The response time of the database is within the satisfactory range

Limitations in Volume Testing

Volume testing plays a crucial role in the performance testing cycle. However, it comes with few limitations that need to be taken care of by the development team −

Hard to populate databases

Relational databases contain robust structures and complicated adjacent tables, making them hard to handle.

Solution − QA specialists must collect data from a diverse field.

Analyzing data types is tough

Specialists have to deal with diverse data such as valid, invalid, wrong, boundary, and absent. It is challenging for an inexperienced tester to find connections and differences between different data types.

Solution − Organizations must hire highly experienced testers

It is an extensive and exhilarating process

Managing extensive data sets can increase workload and invites complications in the automation process.

Solution − A large team of experienced professionals is required


What are the differences between Load Testing and Volume Testing

Volume testing is performed to check the system or application performance when a massive amount of data is introduced in the database.

On the other hand, load testing is done to analyze the system performance/behavior when multiple users access the app or software simultaneously.

Volume Testing
Load Testing
Analyzes the capacity of the system
Analyzes the overall stability of the software
System is tested under normal and abnormal conditions
System is tested in a normal conditions only
Revolves around data storage and data loss
Revolves around security issues

What are some best Volume Testing Tools

Both open-source and paid volume testing tools are available in the market.

HammerDb - It is an open-source tool supporting numerous databases like oracle, MySQL, SQL Server, PostgreSQL, etc. It is compatible with both Windows and Linux OS.

DbFit - It is an open-source tool for testing automated databases. It supports all major DBs such as Oracle, SQL Server, MySQL, DB2, PostgreSQL, HSQLDB, and Derby. It allows writing, managing, and executing tests directly from the browser.

NoSQLMap - It is also an open-source tool written in python language. It allows auditing and automating injection attacks in NoSQL databases and web applications. It is perfect for exploiting default configuration weaknesses as well.

Is volume testing mandatory for mobile apps

No, it's not in most cases.

Usually, you can skip volume testing for mobile apps. Since a single person uses a mobile app, it doesn't put a considerable amount of stress on the system like a web or system app.

Unless you have an overly complicated app involving a considerable amount of data (music apps or video streaming apps), you can skip the volume testing.

Updated on 18-Mar-2021 10:59:00