Best Practices When Starting Performance Testing

Posted Oct 30, 2020

man on computer

Sauce Performance is a feature that helps development and QA organizations capture and address performance regressions earlier in the cycle. This post will explain the best practices when using Sauce Performance and how Sauce Performance works with the greater Sauce platform.

We just announced that Sauce Performance is now available on all Sauce accounts including free trial, self serve, and Enterprise. Sauce Performance is a performance testing tool that allows developers to test the front-end performance of applications in the Sauce platform at no additional cost. Rather than testing performance at the end of the testing cycle with a third party application, Sauce users can test the front-end performance of their application at the beginning of the testing cycle. 

How to Get Sauce Performance Setup with Selenium Tests

Sauce Performance is set up with machine learning-derived baselines with Google Lighthouse (recently updated to version 6) and a front-end audit and history. You can begin the process of creating performance tests by leveraging existing Selenium tests as well. While this shouldn’t be your process every time, it can be a very easy way to get started.

In this example below, you can see how to start capturing web application performance for existing Selenium tests: 

performance selenium

Sauce Performance is currently only available for tests executed on the latest three versions of Google Chrome. 

While many testers might want to use their current Selenium tests, there are also some other best practices to follow to ensure you are getting the best results from your performance tests.

General Best Practices for Sauce Performance 

  • Separate performance and functional tests: As front end performance tests serve a different objective than functional tests, you want to separate them from GUI tests and make them a separate step in your CI pipeline.

  • Run performance tests on only a single operating system: Typically, users see more predictable results when running tests against Chrome on a single dedicated OS.

  • Choose metrics that align with your application/user needs: Sauce Performance allows users to validate front-end performance regressions across a wide range of metrics (Performance Score, Time to Interactive, Time to First Meaningful Paint, etc.). We recommend exploring verifications across a mix of metrics that closely align with the most important desired end-user experiences you wish to achieve. 

  • Optimize your scripts for performance: While Sauce Performance is able to validate metrics/regressions around page loads, users should be aware of other actions the test script is performing (e.g., assertions for the presence of content on the page) and determine if they are necessary in gathering performance metrics. 

  • Focus on core app experiences first: Performance testing and validations should focus on core application experiences as a start. Prioritize your performance validations the same as you would your frontend functional tests—test key pages more frequently. 

By following these best practices, getting Sauce Performance up and running with your Sauce account is easy and efficient. Once Sauce Performance is integrated into your pipeline, your team will be able to have a single quality signal for your functional and performance tests getting you one step closer to feeling digitally confident.

Test Performance for Yourself!

Sauce Performance is now enabled across the entire Sauce Labs platform and you can even access it on the free trial. Go ahead and give it a try on our free trial or contact us to learn more about the Sauce platform.

Written by

Abigail Kurtzman