IBM Rational Performance Tester, hereafter known as Performance Tester, is a performance test creation, execution, and analysis tool that helps development teams validate the scalability and reliability of their Web-based applications before deployment. Many of Performance Tester's features have been explicitly designed with the novice load tester in mind. Performance Tester allows you to use one of several Web browsers (Internet Explorer, Mozilla, or Firefox) to test a Web-based application. The results of your interaction are captured and recorded on the operating system of your choice (Windows or Linux). The test is presented in a concise tree-based editor that is capable of exposing underlying details to the expert on an "as needed" basis.
Test scripts are then grouped together in various combinations to reflect the multiple types of user that comprise the projected user population. You can specify the number of simulated system users at execution time. Test execution is accompanied by easy-to-read, real-time reports that update throughout the test run. Bottlenecks based on metrics such as round-trip performance, transaction rates, and system diagnostics are highlighted in these reports.
You can also use Performance Tester to further identify the root cause of poor performance problems from the hardware- or software-component level through advanced resource monitoring and response-time tracking.
Although this tutorial focuses on testing a J2EE, Web-based application, you can use Performance Tester to test any Web-based application. You can also extend Performance Tester to test the performance of additional application types such as Siebel, SAP, and Citrix (see Resources).
There are several steps you need to perform to setup your own environment to execute the steps described in this tutorial.
- Download and install the trial version of Rational Performance Tester. Installation instructions are provided on the trial download page.
- Download and install WebSphere Application Server 6.0. Note that the Adventure Builder sample application used by this tutorial is only available with WebSphere Application Server 6.0, not 6.1.
- Install the Adventure Builder reference application supplied with WebSphere Application Server 6.0. Instructions for installing the Adventure Builder application can be found by launching the "First Steps" application from the Windows Start menu once WAS has been installed.
- Instrument the application server to enable Performance Tester to collect response-time breakdown information from the application. The Application Server Instrumenter is launched from the Windows Start menu under IBM Software Development Platform > IBM Rational Data Collection Infrastructure > Application Server Instrumenter.
- Be sure to start the Data Collection Infrastructure (DCI) before playing back any Performance Tester test that has response-time breakdown enabled. The DCI is started from the Windows Start menu under IBM Software Development Platform > IBM Rational Data Collection Infrastructure > Start monitoring.
To force some interesting results to examine later, you will now introduce a performance problem into the Adventure Builder application.
- Stop the WebSphere Application Server. Click IBM WebSphere > Application Server v6 > Profiles > default.
- Open a Windows Explorer: C:\Program Files\IBM\WebSphere\AppServer\profiles\default\installedApps\machine-nameNode01Cell\OPC.ear where machine-name is the computer name of the machine on which your WAS server is running.
- Download the
opc-ejb.zipto this folder and extract the .jar file.
- Restart the WebSphere Application Server.
Performance Tester needs to be associated to a workspace. A workspace can be any directory location where your work is stored. In your case, this workspace will contain two projects you will import from the attached archive file.
- Download the RPTHelloWorldTutorialProjects.zip file.
- Start Performance Tester, accepting the default Workspace, if prompted.
- Close the Welcome view, if present.
- Import the projects from the zip file you downloaded. From the Performance Tester menus, select File > Import > Other > Project Interchange. Select zip file. Click Select All, then click Finish.
The first project is the Adventure Builder Application. This project contains the source code for the Adventure Builder sample application you will be testing. The project is only in your workspace so that Performance Tester can navigate to the source code later when you are attempting to find the root cause of a performance bottleneck. Don't be alarmed if there are compilation errors in the source code due to references to resources that don't exist on your machine. This will not impact this tutorial.
The second project, Adventure Builder Performance Tests, is the test project you will use to store your tests, datapools, schedules, and results. If you expand the project, you will see several folders used to organize your test assets. You can add, remove, and customize folders as you like. There isn't much to examine in this project yet. You will look more closely at it once you have recorded a test.
Figure 1. A Performance Tester workspace viewed in the Test Navigator