We get countless inquiries from suppliers keen to gauge the potency of various test automation tools. We appraise these tools when we feel they can be useful to our readers. Even though we receive evaluation copies for these assessments, the majority of these tools also provide demo versions for you to test on your own. After all, to truly master a skill, you need to practice.
This review will provide an overview of a notable web application performance tool – WAPT Pro, suitable for first-time users or those interested to try it.
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WAPT Pro 4.0 is the most recent version of the highly-regarded web load testing tool developed by SoftLogice Inc. The former version was denoted as 3.5, making this a major update. We will primarily contrast these two versions in this review.
Learn more => Here’s further information on WAPT’s earlier versions.
(Note: You can click on any image for a zoomed-in view.)
The revamped version continues to maintain the same user interface (GUI) as its predecessor, retaining all familiarities for regular WAPT Pro users, albeit with marginally overhauled graphic elements. The left view has been arranged more productively than previously, with the addition of more pages containing log and report configurations.
Performance counters are now somewhat differently managed, offering practically identical functionality. The number of predetermined counters has also been increased.
Initiating a new scenario still presents the Wizard as before.
It remains user-friendly for novices, offering ample advice and propositions. But in this release, the bewildering and potentially confusing choice between different types of tests has been omitted.
This page now lets you directly select the load type. The choices remain limited as before to three options. The following Wizard pages are mostly unchanged.
Introduction of the new Recording mode:
The first notable distinction from earlier versions appears when trying to record a profile. Once the “Rec” button on the toolbar is clicked, WAPT Pro enters recording mode, which differs significantly in the new version.
All trapped HTTP requests made during the recording are displayed in the left view under the “Recorder” folder. Unlike in the past, they aren’t immediately recorded into the profile. The requests, including “page elements,” are shown in their raw format instead.
Selecting a request only reveals its headers on the right view. This modification is aimed to boost the overall visibility of the recording process.
(Click the image to view it larger)
Properties can’t be modified until recording has finished. However, it’s possible to insert bookmarks to highlight the structure of the profile and mark logically complete parts. When the “Stop Rec” button is clicked, WAPT Pro processes the recorded content and converts it into the typical profile format, similar to the way it functioned in earlier versions.
This transformation process may take several seconds, during which there might be a slight delay. That said, this negligible delay is a small sacrifice for the significant enhancement in recording speed and visibility. In previous WAPT Pro versions, the recording process often resulted in considerable delays, leaving users uncertain whether it was still continuing or if it had encountered problems. This confusing issue appears to have now been resolved.
In WAPT Pro 4.0, SoftLogica has at last issued a 64-bit iteration of the workplace component. A few years back, they introduced the option to use 64-bit load agents for broad scale tests, but the workplace remained 32-bit in all versions until now.
While most users weren’t affected by this, those dealing with exceptionally long profiles or tests requiring a lot of data often experienced crashes due to insufficient virtual memory. This issue has now been fully rectified, and impressively, at no extra charge. If you own a WAPT Pro license, you can choose to install either the 32-bit or 64-bit version. However, the 64-bit load agent, known as the x64 Load Engine, is still a separately paid add-on.
The updated version is also likely to be more suitable for larger and more complex trials in various other ways. All GUI elements function much faster, even with thousands of items in the views. This improvement is not the only one in terms of usability. Previously, you could only use one workplace window at a time on your system, which was inconvenient as it hindered you from conducting tasks simultaneously while running lengthy tests. This limitation has now been removed. However, although you can still only use one window at a time for running tests and another for recording, you can open as many extra windows as required for browsing, comparing test results, working with profiles and logs, etc.
Another remarkable advancement is the option to specify pass/fail criteria for any trial. This opens up the possibility to determine if the trial fulfills the performance requirements or not, effectively making it a vital part of the quality assurance process. In WAPT Pro, you can now establish exact conditions separating successful trials from failed ones.
One feature that I find somewhat hard to grasp is the “performance degradation” metric. To utilize this feature, you need to assign a “baseline time” for each request, and WAPT will compute the deviation from that baseline during the trial. In my view, this results in redundant figures in the report while essentially offering the same outcomes. However, if you wish to, you can deactivate prompts related to this feature and remove the surplus values from the report.
For example, you can find out the slowest response during the whole trial or contrast error rates between various users. Such features are seldom required in practice, but they may turn out to be beneficial in highly unique and intricate trial scenarios where the application’s functions may somehow interrelate with its performance.
Some additional minor features have been added as well, for example, the ability to overlook errors on certain HTTP requests. Summing up, most users are likely to observe enhancements chiefly in the product’s usability. Yet, in certain cases, these improvements could be substantial. Certain users may also value the new features introduced, such as integration with Jenkins.
The standard version of WAPT was upgraded concurrently with the Pro version and includes some of the mentioned features.
However, the normal version uses a distinct numbering system, so even if the number is higher, WAPT Pro 4.0 corresponds to WAPT 9.0. You can also upgrade from one version to another for a fixed cost without affecting your maintenance period.
By the way, all types of upgrades are now listed on a distinct page on the SoftLogica website, removing the need to buy a new license at full price to update your older WAPT or WAPT Pro license.
If you have any questions about this load testing tool, don’t hesitate to connect with us.