How users see a SAP EP Portal perform …

I recently had the opportunity to test a SAP Enterprise Portal (web interface) with several different tools. I used both LoadRunner and QALoad, but in the end the customer chose LR for this, since scripting was somewhat easier in LR.

The performance of the EP portal is fairly good when it comes to communicating with the server on a HTTP protocol level, but boy was the customer in for a surprise when they actually used the interface. The whole EP interface is built around a huge amount of JavaScript (we are talking thousands of lines of code for every page) and is very complicated. It turns out that the client machines rendering the interface was the problem, along with an AntiVirus software that scanned the content. Sometimes drawing the interface on-screen took as much as 20 seconds while the actual transfers of data where in the range of less than 3 seconds.

So all in all, the performance reports shows a good positive thing, whilst the users experienced something totally different. I once again have been reminded that performance testing is not just measuring the servers responses but measuring the end-user experience of the system under test!

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