Thursday, December 31, 2009

Welcome to New eValid Users

We'd like to welcome the following new and continuing eValid customers to the growing eValid user community:

Here's an expanded list of several hundred Selected Customers by Industry Sector.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Seasons Greetings!

We would like to take this opportunity to wish the entire eValid community -- users, resellers, technology partners, and potential users and partners -- the very best for a peaceful and prosperous NEW YEAR!

-- The eValid Team

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

eValid Webinar: Architecture & Applications

Breakthrough Automated Browser Tests ANY Web Application
RIA Monitoring, AJAX Regression Testing, Cloud-Based Loading
Realistic Results, Easy-To-Use, High ROI

Thursday, 10 December 2009 — 2:00 PM Eastern Time / 11:00 AM Pacific Time

eValid's unique architecture -- a fully automated record/play engine implemented inside a fully featured brower -- provides you unequaled flexibility and power when testing a web application.

eValid DOM-based structural scripting and DOM-synchronization options prevent test failures due to non-consequential changes or timing anomalies in your AJAX or Web 2.0 application.

Your reliable, robust AJAX/Web 2.0 regression and RIA monitoring tests are directly scalable to provide Cloud-based server loading.

eValid will give you greater productivity with smaller budgets and maximize your IT investment value. You will get more work done in less time with less energy.

Webinar Outline:

  • Architecture: How eValid's unique architecture and implementation makes web application testing easy, reliable, and durable.
  • Advantages: Overcomes HTTP-based recording limitations, maintains internal state during tests, does not conflict with JavaScript execution, fully AJAX synchronizable, small footprint, and very high ROI.
  • Regression Testing: Easy and reliable before and after application comparison, including image comparisons. Test suite manager included.
  • AJAX Testing: Test AJAX applications with built-in synchronization and validation, regardless of complexity. Structural testing commands work at the visual level.
  • RIA Monitoring: True user perspective, accurate real-world timings. DOM-based structural tests tolerate page changes.
  • Cloud-Based Loading: All results 100% realistic. Easy creation of complex load scenarios. Highly scalable -- think 100's of Emulated Users (EUs) per machine image.
You are cordially invited to attend this free Webinar.
REGISTER NOW!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Recent and Upcoming Conferences & Technical Community Events

Here are links to some technical meetings that could be of general interest to WQN readers:

These events all deserve careful consideration!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Using eValid to Tune Web Pages

We have had a number of users ask us how to improve the performance of their web pages?

Usually that means that they have some page that is slow or sluggish and they want to know the features of the page that are causing the problem. And, that requires being able to look at pages as they load and see what is going on.

There is a way to do this very simply with eValid, described in our Using Paused Playback to Study Page Timing data.

In a nutshell what this amounts to is to (a) set the timing level for eValid's EventLog to "Detailed," (b) run a script with a Breakpoint command to have eValid "Pause" with the browser active, and then (c) study the details about all of the page components to find where a performance problem lies.

This process builds intuition very quickly, because the detailed timing data reports every page component's size, download speed, and order of completion. Try this on a big website like CNN.com and you'll be able to see the nearly 200 page elements that make up what you see in the finally-composed and rendered browser face.

Try the same on a page that is done with AJAX and you can see the page components that are updated after the original page load is complete.

Users with this kind of detail don't have much trouble finding the "big offenders" in their pages.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Examples of Google Docs Testing

We have been updating our worked examples to include application of the structural testing commands in eValid to some of the popular types of applications --ones that are good examples of "difficult to test" web applications.

We have recently completed two examples that deal with different aspects of Google Docs:

  • Spreadsheets
    Here the issue is whether you can easily create a new spreadsheet, or open an existing one, manipulate it easily, and validate results. You can see the results at this page: Testing Google Docs -- Spreadsheet Option.

  • Text Documents
    In this case the issue is similar, but now the job is just to be able to perform basic actions on a Google Docs document. Our example can be seen here: Testing Google Docs -- Document Option.
What ties these two examples together is that the basic script was created "from life" using eValid's recording capability. From that recording we modified some of the passages to use the pure-structural commands that manipulate the DOM to produce the right playback effects.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Interesting Posts to the eValid Forum

Here is a selection of interesting recent queries and responses in the eValid User Forum:


We invite eValid users to create an account on the eValid User Forum and post queries or responses.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Windows 7 (W7) Operation With eValid Confirmed

We're pleased to report that eValid runs fine on Microsoft's new Windows 7 (W7).

We brought up a copy of W7, installed IE 8, and installed eValid V9 and ran our entire internal test suite. New W7 users can have confidence that eValid can readily test web applications that run on Microsoft's newest OS.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

eValid Being Used At Lousiana State University For Course on Web Analytics

eValid is pleased to be able to provide copies of eValid to Lousiana State University, Department of Information Systems and Decision Sciences for use in a course on Web Analytics (ISDS 4118) that Prof. James R. Van Scotter being offered for the first time this Fall.

One goal of this course is to have diagnose web site design and usability problems and recommend improvements to the web site owners. Students will use eValid to create sitemaps, calculate web site metrics, and perform other analytic functions. The results will be used to examine website navigation design issues, identify broken or incorrect links, and pinpoint slow-loading pages and investigate other performance related issues.

Prof. Van Scotter's class will be organized into 6-7 groups and each group will be comparing 4-5 websites.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Useful Factoids About eValid Site Analysis

Recently we've had a number of companies show very strong interest in eValid's ability to scan websites. As users may know, such scans are done entirely from the user's point of view, using eValid's unique client-side InBrowser technology.

Some recurring questions come up, however, because the eValid method is so unlike any of other several non-client-side, non-browser based scanning technologies. The fact that the eValid scanner is built into a browser sometimes
blurs users' understanding of what's going on.

Here's a short Explanation of Key Facts about Site Analysis that aims to answer some of the most common questions users have about eValid's site analysis (spider). If you have more questions please don't hesitate to ask!

Webinar: Structural Testing for AJAX/Web 2.0

Run Functional/Regression Tests on Complex, Dynamic AJAX for Web 2.0 Applications
Extremely Robust Tests Are Based on Structural Page Features


Thursday, 22 October 2009 — 2:00 PM Eastern Time / 11:00 AM Pacific Time

When web applications change in subtle ways, your functional/loading/monitoring tests may begin to fail if your test scripts are brittle.

New eValid capabilities make it possible to prevent test failures due to non-consequential changes to your web application. Using Index/Motion commands you can develop an Algorithmic/Structural tests that can handle any AJAX or Web 2.0 application -- even when page structure and details (but not essential intent and effect) -- change substantially.

Learn how to achieve greater productivity with smaller budgets, maximize your IT investments, and get more work done in less time with less energy.

Build reliable, robust AJAX/Web 2.0 tests once -- and you won't have to worry about them again.


Webinar Outline

  • Introduction to eValid's Architecture.
  • Functional Test Creation: "What you see and do, is what eValid records, is what eValid reproduces".
  • Methodology Overview: Record From Life, Adapt From Page Facts
  • Index/Motion (Algorithmic/Structural) Command Summary
  • Typical Script Passages: "Recorded From Life" and Structural Versions
  • Script Enhancement for AJAX/Web 2.0: Bullet-Proofing Your Playback
  • Practical Experience & Recommendations

Speaker Edward Miller, eValid's Chief Architect
Moderator Rita Bral, VP Corporate Communications, Software Research, Inc.

You are cordially invited to attend this free Webinar. REGISTER NOW!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

eValid Chosen For Classroom Use in USC Center for Systems and Software Engineering

eValid is pleased to be able to provide copies of eValid for classroom use in the USC Center for Systems and Software Engineering. eValid will be used in the full-year advanced graduate level course on Software Engineering I -- CSCI 577a/b -- that is co-taught by Prof. Barry Boehm and Prof. A. Winsor Brown.

One goal of this course is to have students use eValid to perform regression testing, loading, and site analysis activities on student-developed websites. All of the projects are involved are being done for real clients of the Center, and all of these developments involve a browser-based user interface. The class will be organized into 14 teams and each team will be responsible for one project that runs through the entire school year.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

SJSU Course on Software Test Automation Features eValid

Students in Prof. Jerry Gao's course on Software Quality and Testing (CMPE 296X) scheduled for the Fall 2009 will have access to eValid as part of the regular coursework. This semester Prof. Gao's course is being taught by Prof. Sandeep Bhatia, and experienced software engineer who also works full time at Intuit.

All in all, some ~65 students in the course will be using eValid to test a particular tree-processing example program's GUI component.

We're pleased to be able to support this coursework in this way and we hope to continue to provide eValid support to SJSU and other academic institutions in the future.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Selected Forum Posts

Here is a selection of interesting recent queries and responses in the eValid User Forum: We invite eValid users to create an account and use the eValid User Forum.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

PerformanceTest Services

Our fixed-price PerformanceTest services are now being offered using cloud-based test injection. It's now possible to get 40,000 eValid combined Emulated Users (EU's) + Virtual Users (VU's) running in parallel.

EU's are done with full eValid instances, and usually represent about 10% of the total user count; VU's are simulated with the eVlite engine using HTTP page gets in 1000-thread instances.

In terms of performance vs. price, these services represent unusally good value for money! As low as $0.32 per user.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Structural Testing Methodology

Using the eValid DOM manipulation commands it's possible to build playback scripts that are effective even in the context of AJAX-based and dynamic content web applications. The only requirement is to have some structural invarients on a page that can be used to direct playback actions.

The eValid Structural Testing Commands show how to manipulate DOM elements and element values.

There is a simple Manual Script Creation Process that generates a purely-structural test by using the technical details a "from life" eValid test recording. As the Algorithmic/Structural Testing table points out, this process is likely to be significantly less work than pure scripting.

In addition to these special eValid capabilities you can also take advantage of our fixed-price test development services -- we guarantee a working structural test based on your specifications for a low fixed price.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Webinar: Structural Testing for AJAX/Web 2.0

Run Functional/Regression Tests on Complex, Dynamic AJAX or Web 2.0 Applications
Extremely Robust Tests Are Based on Structural Page Features

Thursday, 17 September 2009 — 2:00 PM Eastern Time / 11:00 AM Pacific Time

When web applications change in subtle ways, your functional/monitoring tests may begin to fail if your test scripts are too brittle.

New eValid capabilities make it possible to prevent test failures due to non-consequential changes to your web application. Using Index/Motion commands you can develop an Algorithmic/Structural test that can handle any AJAX or Web 2.0 application -- even when page structure and details, but not intent and effect -- change substantially.

Learn how you can gain greater productivity with smaller budgets, maximize your IT investments and get more work done in less time with less energy. Build reliable, robust tests once, and you won't have to worry about them again.

Outline

* Brief Introduction on eValid's Architecture.
* Functional Test Creation: "What you see and do, is what eValid records, is what eValid reproduces".
* Methodology: Record From Life, Adapt From Page Facts
* Index/Motion (Algorithmic/Structural) Command Summary
* Typical Script Passages: Natural and Structural Versions
* Practical Experience & Recommendations

You are cordially invited to attend this free Webinar.
REGISTER NOW!


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

MediaBeta Interview

MediaBeta, an Italian web technology and design firm located in Messina, Sicily, Italy, recently published an in-depth Interview with Software Research's CEO.

MediaBeta's Francesco Micali asked some very pointed questions, mostly focusing on web server performance and how it can influence the end-user's experience. We think it makes for good reading.

And, for our Italian-speaking colleagues, here is the same interview, published in two parts:

  • Part 1 (Italian)
  • Part 2 (Italian)
  • Friday, August 28, 2009

    Selected Forum Posts

    Here is a selection of interesting recent queries and responses in the eValid User Forum: We invite eValid users to create an account on the eValid User Forum and post queries or responses.

    Thursday, August 13, 2009

    Regression Testing for AJAX/Web 2.0

    Run Regression Tests on Complex, Dynamic Applications
    Make Tests Resilient and Robust, Tolerant Of Application Changes

    Thursday, 20 August 2009 — 2:00 PM Eastern Time / 11:00 AM Pacific Time

    Peace of mind equals knowing that your web application is performing as you expect. Yet, web applications change in subtle ways, and you want your tests to be tolerant of just the right amount of change, without spending more.

    eValid capabilities such as Adaptive Playback, Index/Motion (Algorithmic/Structural) commands, and DOM Checking capabilities can make tests very reliable -- even when page structure and details, but not intent and effect, change drastically -- and even for dynamic Web 2.0 applications.

    Learn how you can gain greater productivity with smaller budgets, maximize your IT investments and get more work done in less time with less energy. Build reliable, robust tests once, and you won't have to worry about them again.

    Outline
    • eValid architecture and structure: How eValid works.
    • Functional test creation: "What you see is what you record is what eValid reproduces".
    • Adaptive Playback: Automated tolerance of basic page changes.
    • DOM Synchronization: How to keep asynchronous (AJAX) operations from spoiling your tests.
    • Index/Motion (Algorithmic/Structural) commands: New ways to bullet-proof tests aimed at Web 2.0 applications.
    • eV.Manager Operation: Put your tests into a test suite with central execution control.

    You are cordially invited to attend this free Webinar.
    REGISTER NOW!

    Saturday, August 8, 2009

    Demo of eValid RIA Monitoring

    One of the growing application areas of eValid technology is in the monitoring of complex AJAX applications.

    To monitor an AJAX application realistically you need to be able to emulate a real user performing a real transaction, keep track of the state of the session, and record intermediate "step times" so that an observer can dermine if everything is working as expected. All that stateful complexity is why it's often called "Rich Internet Application (RIA)" monitoring.

    eValid scripts are used in a growing number of customers' internal monitoring solutions, with eValid providing
    the RIA monitoring engine to feed the data in to a reporting system.

    To illustrate how this all works, we have put together a demo system in which eValid RIA playbacks with banded (i.e. layer cake or tiered) type event time reporting are displayed with the NagVis system in the Groundwork variant of the Nagios network reporting system.

    You can log in for yourself at monitor.evalidator.net. You'll see a set of scripts running at regular intervals with banded (layer-cake, or tiered data) displays of intra-step timings. Some of the scripts are rather simple, but a few of them involve some of eValid's advanced AJAX synchronization steps that involve active interrogation of the DOM underlying the [dynamic] page.

    An explanation of what you're seeing in this demo is found at RIA Monitoring Demo Explanation.

    Let us know if you have any questions or if we can supply any details about this demo., or if we can set up a similar demo on your own application.

    Wednesday, August 5, 2009

    Selected Forum Posts

    Here is a selection of interesting recent queries and responses in the eValid User Forum: We invite eValid users to create an account on the eValid User Forum and post queries or responses.

    Saturday, August 1, 2009

    Recent and Upcoming Conferences & Technical Community Events

    Here are some pointers to interesting technical conferences that could be of interest: These events all deserve careful consideration, so please take a look at them!

    Tuesday, July 21, 2009

    Monitoring Performance Case Study

    eValid seems to be used increasingly for monitoring applications because it is a stateful, realistic, efficient and reliable engine for collecting user-oriented response-time data.

    In monitoring mode, the Windows scheduler launches one or more eValid playbacks via the batch interface, and the data that's generated shows up in the network monitoring environment. We have standard PERL-based integrations with Nagios, Nagvis, GroundWork, Springsoft, Hyperic, Zenoss, etc.

    A common question is: How do I size my machine to get the most eValid output?

    Here's a case study that gives you some idea of what you might get, based on recent inputs from one of our customers.

    The machine being used to drive the monitoring is a 2.8 GHZ dual-core Pentium with 4 GB of RAM running in Windows 2003 Server (SP2). The machine has been "adjusted" to modify the OS internal performance priorities, adjust the heap space, and adjust the virtual memory sizing parameters.

    The scripts being by the eValid instance run are fairly typical of functional tests used in monitoring mode. They break down as follows: (a) ~20% "simple", being just visits to one or two URLs; (b) ~60% "typical", involving a login and post-authentication visits to several pages; and, (c) ~20% "heavy", meaning they involve playback into detailed AJAX pages that involve many of eValid's more-advanced features. Most of the tests can be run in parallel -- as many as 8 in parallel, in practice -- but some of the tests have interactions that require them to be run serially.

    CPU utilization of about 40% happens when this one machine is running about 600 tests per hour, all re-run at a 5-minute interval. This totals out to about a half-million tests per month.

    At 600 tests per hour and at 40% utilization we think this machine is pretty much at its limits. Pushing any more runs the risk of not having enough extra time available in case one or more or many of the tests start to take longer.

    All in all, it is a pretty impressive result.

    Monday, July 20, 2009

    SJSU Course on Software Test Automation Features eValid

    Students in Prof. Jerry Gao's course on Software Quality and Testing (CMPE 296X) scheduled for the Summer 2009 will have access to eValid as part of the regular coursework.

    All in all, some 35 students in the course will be using eValid to test a particular tree-processing example program's GUI component.

    We're pleased to be able to support this coursework in this way and we hope to continue to provide eValid support to SJSU and other academic institutions in the future.

    Thursday, July 16, 2009

    Webinar: Regression Testing for AJAX/Web 2.0

    Run Regression Tests on Complex, Dynamic Applications
    Make Tests Resilient and Robust, Tolerant Of Application Changes

    Thursday, 23 July 2009 — 2:00 PM Eastern Time / 11:00 AM Pacific Time

    Peace of mind equals knowing that your web application is performing as you expect. Yet, web applications change in subtle ways, and you want your tests to be tolerant of just the right amount of change, without spending more.

    eValid capabilities such as Adaptive Playback, Index/Motion (Algorithmic/Structural) commands, and DOM Checking capabilities can make tests very reliable -- even when page structure and details, but not intent and effect, change drastically -- and even for dynamic Web 2.0 applications.

    Talk about saving time, money and getting more work done with less energy. Build reliable, robust tests once, and you won't have to worry about them again.

    Outline
    • eValid architecture and structure: How eValid works.
    • Functional test creation: "What you see is what you record is what eValid reproduces".
    • Adaptive Playback: Automated tolerance of basic page changes.
    • DOM Synchronization: How to keep asynchronous (AJAX) operations from spoiling your tests.
    • Index/Motion (Algorithmic/Structural) commands: New ways to bullet-proof tests aimed at Web 2.0 applications.
    • eV.Manager Operation: Put your tests into a test suite with central execution control.

    You are cordially invited to attend this free Webinar.
    REGISTER NOW!

    Wednesday, July 15, 2009

    DOM-based Commands - "index/motion" Commands

    We have been getting a lot of interest in the ability eValid has to process pages in a high-level way using some of its DOM-based commands.

    We've been calling these "index/motion" commands because they have to do with identifying objects on the page by their element index and then moving around on the page so you can take action on a particular page feature or element value.

    Here is a description of this process, which in eValid is used to convert a recorded script into one that is less dependent on dynamic page variations.

    See: Manual Script Creation Process

    The set of commands available really gives a tester a kind of algorithmic or structural way of doing the testing, and we thought it would be valuable to outline how that capability plays out.

    This description of eValid's Algorithmic/Structural Testing capability makes the role these commands have very clear.

    Tuesday, July 7, 2009

    Scripts, Synchronization, Index/Motion vs. AJAX Text Box Tricks

    It seems that AJAX is sneaking in everywhere you look these days. Improving the user experience, as it is supposed to!

    It's probably not news to you that Google's venerable main search page now has an "autosuggest" feature -- it feeds you possible targets of your search, based on the keystrokes that appear. It's a powerful, user-friendly feature, and it's done with AJAX methods that continuously interrogate the server with what you've typed as you type it and dynamically modify the page in your browser -- all as you continue to type in your search.

    The main question is: How do you test this kind of thing? Here are some answers:

    • If you want to make a manual recording the regular steps don't work, because it's AJAX. Here is how to make a good recording, using out-of-the-box methods for Recording of Autosuggest Text Boxes.

    • But if you want to do the same test, but you're willing to spend the time to create the commands using eValid Index/Motion commands, here is an example of Autosuggest Test Box Processing with Index/Motion Commands
    • A rather more complex example of the technique is this scripted solution which exercises the ICEfaces Autocompleter Function, where the script, like the one above, is entirely self-synchronizing and fully tolerant to all but drastic page structure changes.
    All three examples illustrate distinct ways eValid methods can be used to test dynamic autosuggestion boxes automatically.

    Tuesday, June 30, 2009

    Selected Forum & Blog Posts

    Here is a selection of interesting recent queries and responses in the eValid User Forum or in the eValid BLOG: We invite eValid users to create an account on the eValid User Forum and post queries or responses.

    Wednesday, June 24, 2009

    Recording Autosuggest Text Boxes

    In the last couple of months some of the most popular search engines have added a new "autosuggest" feature into their primary search window. When you type a character or two the search engine adds in some possible suggestions for what you might want to search for, and you can either click on the suggestion of keep typing characters and seeing more suggestions.

    To be clear, this activity is done with an AJAX process in which the browser interacts with the server to make suggestions from its lexicon of search terms. [A related concept, called "autocomplete", relies on the use local search history and maybe what is stored locally in cookies, but that is NOT done with dynamic AJAX interactions.]

    In all the cases we've seen, however, if you type enough characters into the text box eventually the search engine gives up and stops making suggestions. At that point, you have a regular non-AJAX text box (see below).

    The question then becomes, what does this mean in terms of testing? How do you record a test (or hand script a test) to account for this kind of dynamic behavior?

    The first thing to note is that after some point, the autosuggest feature stops making suggestions. So in this case you can record your test as you always have, because the behavior is the same as if there the autosuggest feature isn't there.

    Where it becomes tricky is when you DO want to record -- and maybe even validate -- the behavior of the AJAX-based autosuggest processing of a text entry. Just to be clear, you certainly can do this with eValid, but you have to be reasonably careful about how you go about it.

    To make it simple we've made up a simple step-by-step Recording Autosuggest Text Boxes recording protocol that shows how easy this is to do. Let us know if you have any trouble following the protocol.

    Friday, June 19, 2009

    AJAX Application

    We get a lot of questions these days from people who are concerned about (a) regression testing of an AJAX application and (b) setting up a script to continuously monitor an AJAX application to confirm availability and measure performance.

    eValid has special "index/motion" commands that can be used to drive the eValid browser in various ways. Scripts developed with these commands have these properties:

    * They don't depend on where particular things are on the page, just that they are there.

    * They can handle AJAX synchronizations that involve waiting for page-internal signals.

    * The overhead for this kind of synchronization is so low that you can get reliable "how lond did it really take" measurements, the kind of data you want for 24x7 monitoring.

    To illustrate this we've prepared this Google Finance AutoCompletion Demonstration Script that shows off eValid's abilities to meet all of these requirements.

    Monday, June 15, 2009

    Less Is More: Three Applications in One - Applying eValid Technology

    Test Complex Applications -- Including AJAX -- Simply and Reliably
    Regression Testing, Monitoring, Server Loading Tests,
    All From The Same Test Engine

    Thursday, 18 June 2009 — 2:00 PM Eastern Time / 11:00 AM Pacific Time


    The challenge posed by global economic changes forces all of us to work smarter, not harder. To do more in less time, with fewer ressources and on a smaller budget.

    How would you like to get a single pair of shoes and discover that you can wear them to work, and on the beach, and for a heavy hike in the Rocky Mountains? No matter their use: they always fit and feel right. No blisters, just comfotable.

    No, we are not giving shoes away. But in this webinar you will discover how eValid's technology provides you with a single point solution for every web application quality assurance and testing need. By embodying the test functions in a full featured browser, eValid provides a unified, reliable, efficient and easy to use engine for every kind of web application testing: from regression, to load, to monitoring, to AJAX. Plus you can re-use the same test scripts.

    Talk about saving time, money and getting more work done with less energy.

    Outline
    • eValid architecture and structure: how eValid works.
    • Functional testing: "What you see is what you record is what eValid reproduces"
    • AJAX testing: How to handle asynchronous operations.
    • Monitoring: Regular tests feeding data to a Status Reporter
    • Server Loading: Amplifying functional tests and scaling up.

    You are cordially invited to attend this free Webinar.
    REGISTER NOW!

    Friday, May 29, 2009

    Great Ideas and Great Offers for Tough Times

    It is genuinely "tough times" right now — we're sure this applies to everyone! So to do our part to help our customers get over the hump we have put together some ideas for big savings and hugh productivity gains:
    • Get a big payoff with eValid based PerformanceTest™ server loading services: you can beat the $1 browser-hour barrier. (A browser-hour is one browser applying a test continuously for one hour.) In fact, in some cases you can even lower your costs below 25¢ per browser-hour. Choose the level of load you need from five scaled options. There's sure to be one to fit your budget.
    • Here's the PerformanceTest Press Release on the new service option.
    • If you purchase a PerformanceTest™ project you can take 33% off all eValid licenses requested in the same order.
    • Here's how we produce rapid increases in applied load: Illustration of Step Function In Server Loading. This approach give you the ability to control 100's to 1,000's of eValid browsers located anywhere.

    Check our website for upcoming special eValid offers! We're on your side!

    Wednesday, May 27, 2009

    Selected Forum Items & Blog Items

    Here is a selection of interesting recent queries and responses in the eValid User Forum: or in the eValid BLOG: We invite eValid users to create an account on the eValid User Forum and post queries or responses.

    Sunday, May 24, 2009

    Recent and Upcoming Conferences & Technical Community Events

    Here are pointers to interesting recent and upcoming technical conferences that should be of interest: These events deserve careful consideration, so please take a look at each of them!

    Thursday, May 21, 2009

    Simple AJAX Synchronization Example

    There has been a great deal of discussion lately about using eValid to run tests on AJAX applications where the behavior of a test may be affected by how fast the server-side part of an AJAX-based page performs.

    These are always complicated scripts, but we came up with a very simple example that seems to make all of the points.

    In "MooTools" AJAX Synchronization Example the simple trick we use to illustrate how simple Sync-on-Text synchronization works is to play the script back with all of the natural delays (what was recorded "from life") multiplied by 0.0.

    The resulting script "plays ahead" of the AJAX example -- an autocompleter function done with the MooTools kit -- until you add a SyncOnText command. After that, even with the delays all at zero seconds the script plays back fully synchronized.

    Tuesday, May 19, 2009

    eVlite Statistics Updated

    Users of the LoadTest features in the eValid suite of tools may already be familiar with the fact that eValid Loadtest runs can involve a number of full-reality Emulated Users (EUs) but also can incorporate HTTP-based activity generators that work like Virtual Users (VUs).

    When you want ultra-realistic emulation of actual user activity then you have to use EUs, but in parallel with that many LoadTest runs also involve using a number of VUs -- using an included eValid utility called eVlite.

    We have updated the eVlite Limited Fidelity Playback Option Performance Estimates based on recent experiments.

    That page includes a table that shows how many VUs an instance of eVlite can generate, and the total number of VUs that appear to be possible on a realtively modest machine.

    The numbers show that you can have, on one machine, upwards of 30,000 VUs if you REALLY want to impose a heavy work load on your server. In practice, experienced load test and performance engineers generally choose to have a mix betwen EUs and VUs -- a ratio of about 100:1 seems to be a good mix -- to produce load testing scenarios that are as realistic as possible.

    Monitoring Performance Benchmarks

    When you run a functional test in "monitoring mode" you typically report the test results to a network reporting system (e.g. Nagios, or GroundWork, or Hyperic, or Zenoss, or some other similar system). One of the questions we often get after the reporting integration is done is this: "How many tests CAN you run with eValid on one machine per hour?"

    We just heard from one of our customers who is using eValid on four agent machines, and he reports that the aggregate effect of his four agent machines is over 1,800,000 tests per month.

    This works out to about 625 eValid playbacks per machine per hour, every hour, 24x7x30 -- every day of the month.

    Clearly he has to use multiple instances of eValid on each agent machine to get this kind of result. Given that the typical test he runs takes one or two minutes, this particular installation achieves a parallelism of about 10:1 or more on a continuing basis.

    The CPU utiliztion of each of these agent machines -- and our customer says that they are very hot CPUs with a lot of RAM -- runs about 40% on the average. It would probably be imprudent to try to run these with any closer safety margin.

    Monday, May 18, 2009

    Webinar: Functional Testing of AJAX Applications

    Test Complex Applications -- Including AJAX -- Simply and Reliably
    Run Regression Tests, Monitoring Tests, and Server Loading Tests

    Thursday, 21 May 2009 — 2:00 PM Eastern Time / 11:00 AM Pacific Time

    Outline: Automation with AJAX is all around us: in banking, airline reservations, online shopping. More machines, and fewer human agents. Hence, we need to automate testing and monitoring these sophisticated applications.

    Fortunately technologies like eValid provide you with the peace of mind that your Internet Presence is stable and that every customer who uses your web application will be well served. Even if your web application uses AJAX – as do many of the newest web apps – you can still get 100% realistic and reliable tests that confirm reliable operation.

    This webinar shows how the eValid functional test engine can record AJAX application tests quickly, and then use them for functional/regression testing, availability monitoring, and server loading.

    Speaker: Edward Miller, eValid's Chief Architect, will discuss key aspects of use of eValid as a test engine for complex AJAX applications:

    * How to use eValid effectively and efficiently.
    * What makes an application AJAX? What does AJAX really mean?
    * Manual vs. automated sync: Why wait times are not reliable?
    * How to sync on text in a page.
    * How to sync on internal DOM properties.
    * How to validate dynamic pages.
    * Recommendations for usage in regression, monitoring, and loading contexts.

    Moderator: Rita Bral, VP/Communications of Software Research, will act as moderator for the webinar, drawing upon her years of experience as a communicator (Rita speaks five languages), and her background as an event organizer.

    WEB: www.e-valid.com
    BLOG: e-valid.blogspot.com
    USER FORUM: forum.e-valid.com

    eValid Division
    Software Research, Inc.
    1663 Mission Street
    San Francisco, CA 94103 USA

    Tel: +1 (415) 861-2800

    FAX: +1 (415) 861-9801

    Thursday, April 30, 2009

    Recent and Upcoming Conferences & Technical Community Events

    Here are pointers to interesting recent and upcoming technical conferences that should be of interest:

    These events deserve careful consideration, so please take a look at each of them!

    Wednesday, April 29, 2009

    Selected Forum Items

    Here is a selection of interesting recent queries and responses in the eValid User Forum: We invite eValid users to create an account on the eValid User Forum and post queries or responses.

    Monday, April 27, 2009

    New PerformanceTest Pricing Option

    If you are concerned with server capacity issues when you have users running complex web applications -- including those with heavy AJAX components -- then you will want to take note of the newly updated PerformanceTest Service Overview.

    There are now five server loading options to choose, from 5,000 users to 40,000 users. What's more important is that there is special introductory pricing. The leverage in this new eValid-based service offering comes from use of machine images running "in the cloud". Contact us if you have questions.

    Wednesday, April 22, 2009

    EC2 Sample LoadTest Screenshots

    There has been a lot of discussion recently about using the "compute cloud" as the test driver of choice for various kinds of testing including, in particular, server load testing. Cloud images are inexpensive, powerful, and increasingly widely available.

    Readers of this BLOG are aware that evalid has some unique characteristics that suit it well for driving very large amounts of load. Recently we provisioned some tests for the Amazon EC2 compute cloud and took a set of EC2 Sample LoadTest Screenshots.

    These images show (1) four machine instances each with a 100-browser test ready to go, (2) a zoom-in view showing the test script ready to launch in singleton mode, (3) a mid-playback view after the LoadTest scenario is launched and all 100 eValid copies are running, (4, 5, 6) individual from-the-cloud eValid reports taken at the end of the run, and (7) the EC2 control panel showing the four instances.

    Let us know if you would like more details about how to use eValid for server load generation from cloud images.

    Monday, April 13, 2009

    Webinar: Server Loading Made Simple

    Load Your Web Application With User Emulations -- No Virtual Users!
    Two Clicks Gets You A Script And 100+ Users.
    Leverage Up To 10,000+ Users With Cloud Computing.

    Thursday, 16 April 2009 — 2:00 PM Eastern Time / 11:00 AM Pacific Time

    Outline Automation is all around us: in banking, airline reservations, online shopping. More machines, and fewer human agents. In this world, machine performance equals business performance. Because downtime or poor performance - slow response time of your specific application - translates directly into lost revenues.

    Fortunately new technologies like eValid provide you with the peace of mind that your Internet Presence is stable and that every customer who uses your web application will be served. Even if your web application uses AJAX - as so many of the newest web apps do - you can still get 100's of actual user emulations from each PC image.

    This webinar shows how the eValid functional test engine can record tests quickly, and then put them in "server loading mode" to perform stress and capacity checks of your server.

    Speaker Edward Miller, eValid's Chief Architect, will discuss key aspects of use of eValid as a Rich Internet Application (RIA) monitoring engine:
      * How to create reliable, reproducible functional tests of your application quickly and inexpensively.
      * How to provision your test for LoadTest operation.
      * How to create a LoadTest scenario that launches 100's of eValid instances.
      * How to scale the volume of users you expect.
      * How to run eValid LoadTest scenarios on Cloud instances, to get 1000's of user emulations.
      * How to find the "knee of the curve" of response time version total number of users.
      * How to pinpoint bottlenecks and constraint points.
    Moderator Rita Bral, VP/Communications of Software Research, will act as moderator for the webinar, drawing upon her years of experience as a communicator (Rita speaks five languages), and her credentials as an event organizer.

    Wednesday, April 8, 2009

    Saturday, April 4, 2009

    eValid Monitoring Demo Upgraded

    In an earlier post we pointed out the live demo done by the SuperVisions group in Belgium, which uses eValid to monitor access to various websites and display detailed timing data, using a combination of the GroundWork network monitoring system and the new NagVis graphic representation system from Nagios, for which the SuperVisions team is now the sponsor.

    To see the demo go to the Super-Visions IT Peace Of Mind page and log in using the account "demo" with password "demo" to see the monitoring/reporting dashboard.

    Under the "S-V_website_infra" [Super-Visions Website Infrastructure] option you'll see a picture of their web support stack, with the servers and associated networks on the left, and the eValid engine simulating a user working the website on the right. In this diagram you can hover over a "checkmark" to see immediate details, or double click on it to see the data expanded.

    Wednesday, March 25, 2009

    eValid V9 Operation with IE8 Confirmed

    We are pleased to announce that eValid V9 is now certified operational with the newly released IE8.

    As eValid users know, eValid uses the same DLLs for page rendering as the underlying IE browser, and the certification here should tell users that they will have no difficulty in upgrading to IE8 in terms of script compatibility and overall script reliability.

    Validation of eValid V9 on IE8 assures users of continued upward compatibility of functonal testing and
    server loading scripts.

    Monday, March 16, 2009

    Webinar: Monitoring Complex AJAX Applications with eValid and Hyperic

    Improve complex web application monitoring using eValid functional tests and direct reporting into Hyperic's Network Reporting Engine

    Thursday, 19 March 2009 — 2:00 PM Eastern Time / 11:00 AM Pacific Time


    Outline

    In times like these, reliability of your web application really counts! You want the peace of mind that ANY customer who uses your e-commerce application will have a good experience!

    And, if your web application uses AJAX -- as so many of the newest applications do -- having confidence that your application is running normally is even more crucial to your bottom line.

    This webinar details use of the eValid functional test engine in "monitoring mode" to perform availability and performance checks of complex web applications -- including AJAX applications.

    Once the data is collected by eValid playbacks, the information transported and displayed in the Hyperic network status indicator system.

    Speaker - Edward Miller, eValid's Chief Architect, will discuss key aspects of use of eValid as a Rich Internet Application (RIA) monitoring engine:

    * How to create reliable, reproducible tests quickly and inexpensively.
    * How to tag key performance data to monitor application performance.
    * How to handle playback synchronization in AJAX applications.
    * How to integrate eValid results into network monitoring engines, and Hyperic in particular.

    Speaker - Marty Messer, Hyperic's Director of Customer Success, will describe the Hyperic monitoring solution:

    * How to include eValid-produced data into the Hyperic architecture.
    * Show how Hyperic reports application performance results.
    * Explain how to integrate eValid data into status monitoring products.


    Moderator - Rita Bral, VP/Communications of Software Research, will act as moderator for the webinar, drawing upon her years of experience as a communicator (Rita speaks five languages), and her credentials as an event organizer.

    Friday, March 13, 2009

    LoadTest Monitor Display, DOM Synchronization Support Items

    • LoadTest Monitor Display Snapshot
      Recently we completed a fairly large server looading project that involved 100's and 100's of simulated users. Along the way we generated this ScreenShot that shows the images of 100 eValid copies (minimized, tiled in cascading form). If you study the 30-second video carefully you can see the individual eValid copies executing individual script steps. Note: The video clip is 20 MBytes and is set up to run in Windows Media Player.

    • Adaptive Playback and DOM Synchronization
      There have been a number of questions lately about how the adaptive playback feature in eValid interacts with the use of in-the-browser DOM-based synchronization. As eValid users may know, adaptive playback is a method built into eValid that allows a playback to compensate for a limited range of changes in the underlying web page. eValid includes this feature because it makes tests less brittle and therefor extends their life.

      Here is a new writeup that gives a detailed Adaptive DOM Synchronization Explanation concentrating on a subset of the available commands that perform this kind of action. We've found that the combination of DOM-based sync plus use of adaptive playback makes a lot of sense when functional tests that are used in "monitoring mode" -- that is, when they are run hundreds or thousands of times a day to confirm continued operation of a complex web application.

    Thursday, March 12, 2009

    Current Conferences & Technical Community Events

    Here are references to interesting upcoming technical conferences that should be of interest to the Web Quality Community: These events deserve careful consideration, so please take a look!

    Wednesday, March 11, 2009

    Adaptive Playback and DOM Synchronization

    There have been a number of questions lately about how the adaptive playback feature in eValid interacts with the use of in-the-browser DOM-based synchronization.

    As you may know, adaptive playback is a method built into eValid that allows a playback to compensate for a limited range of changes in the underlying web page. eValid includes this because it makes tests less brittle and therefor extends their life.

    Here is a new writeup that gives a detailed Adaptive DOM Synchronization Explanation, concentrating on a subset of the available commands that perform this kind of action.

    We've found that the combination of DOM-based sync plus use of adaptive playback makes a lot of sense when functional tests that are used in "monitoring mode" -- that is, when they are run hundreds or thousands of times a day, to confirm continued operation of a complex web application.

    Monday, March 2, 2009

    eValid V8 Support Ending

    With the introduction of eValid V9 we are strongly recommending users to move up to the latest eValid builds. V9 installations will experience better performance and are likely to be more reliable.

    As has been our practice in prior years, formal support for eValid V8 will be ending at 30 April 2009.

    Friday, February 27, 2009

    Current Conferences & Events

    Here are references to interesting upcoming technical conferences that should be of interest to the Web Quality Community: These events deserve careful consideration, so please take a look!

    Friday, February 20, 2009

    eValid V9 Introduced

    eValid's Ver. 9 has arrived! With an already rich feature set, eValid V9 has expanded its features for testing complex web applications with special emphasis on AJAX:
    • Comprehensive DOM-element motion commands, to permit detailed manipulation of the web application.
    • Enhanced eValid programmatic interface (EPI) to allow eValid commands and browser actions to run from a CPP/C++ programs.
    • Advanced methods for DOM-based AJAX synchronization.
    • A capability to create "lite" URL-based HTTP type load tests.
    • New commands to support RIA monitoring reporting and control.
    Here is the complete eValid V9 Press Release announcement.

    Tuesday, February 17, 2009

    Web Testing Productivity: Less IS More (Webinar)

    For tough times you need efficient, compact, powerful, and cost-effective solutions.

    This eValid Webinar focuses attention on these key issues:

    Web Testing Productivity: Less IS More!

    That page gives a short description of the Webinar and provides complete registration instructions.

    Friday, February 13, 2009

    Comparing Two Screen Results

    A common problem in regression testing is to compare two results that typically are arrived at by differnt methods, and show up on different screens. This is more complex that the usual case, when you know the correct value in advance and all you need to do is to validate it against the current value. In this more-complex case you need to compare TWO values, both computed in real-time, not known in advance, and showing up on two separate screens.

    Here is a description of how this is done in eValid using the DOM manipulation features that are included in eValid V9 release: Result Value Validation Using DOM Commands.

    Saturday, February 7, 2009

    Update on eValid Monitoring, New Demo

    Here is a minor update on use of eValid functional tests in "monitoring mode" -- that is, running the functional test over and over and having the data the playback generates fed into a database for studying trends.

    Monitoring Mode Statistics

    We've heard from one customer last week that they are running over 1,000,000 eValid playbacks per month in their application monitoring installation. To do that they have multiple eValid playback agents running multiple tests on each machine.

    We think that over 1,000,000 tests per month in a single customer installation is a real milestone for eValid.

    Example Monitoring Illustration

    In a different context, but still dealing with eValid monitoring agents, the SuperVisions group in Belgium has fielded a demonstration of their implementation of the Groundwork/Nagios monitoring system that includes an illustration of eValid application testing.

    To see the demo go to the Super-Visions IT Peace Of Mind page and log in using the account "demo" with password "demo" to see the monitoring/reporting dashboard. Under the "S-V_website_infra" [Super-Visions Website Infrastructure] option you'll see a picture of their web support stack, with the servers and associated networks on the left, and the eValid engine simulating a user working the website on the right.

    In this diagram you can hover over a "checkmark" to see immediate details, or click to see things expanded. The graphs typically show the response times for a four-step sequence of viewing a web page and manipulating it.

    Monday, January 26, 2009

    Typical User Forum Entries

    eValid customers regularly post really good questions to the eValid User Forum about how to apply eValid to a wide range of applications. Here is a sampling of interesting recent user forum postings:

    We encourage readers to review these User Forum posts, and the wealth of material about eValid that you'll find there.

    Thursday, January 22, 2009

    Current Conferences & Events

    Here are a couple of upcoming conferences that should be of interest to the web testing and quality community that focus on model-based approaches:

    These events deserve careful consideration, so please take a look!

    Sunday, January 18, 2009

    Random Input in LoadTest Mode

    We've had some inquires recently about how you use eValid's random input test data capability to drive inputs during a LoadTest run.

    This turns out to be simple enough. You use the eV.Generate random number generation to create the random strings that you need for input, and you can prevent two (or more) eValid instances from creating a conflict as the random number process runs with a Lock/Unlock command.

    There's a complete explanation of this process in the Random Email, Context Confirmation, Loading Example, which focuses on creating email accounts.

    This example also uses a little bit of DOM manipulation to make sure that a submitted random email account "verifies" correctly by retyping it as a confirmation. (You need this extra step because a second run of random email account name generation will produce a different results.)

    Wednesday, January 14, 2009

    Programming the eValid Automated Browser

    In response to user requests, we've prepared a couple of pages that describe how to program eValid for certain effects that are outside the usual record/play mode of operation.

    Remember: the most cost-effective solution is to record your test "from life" and then make small manual modifications to perfect the script to meet your specific needs.

    Wednesday, January 7, 2009

    Typical User Forum Entries

    eValid customer regularly post really good questions to the eValid User Forum about how to apply eValid to a wide range of applications.

    Here is a sampling of recent user forum postings: