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Automated Choice configuration in Web Performance Tester 6.4

When building a testcase to simulate your users, at some point, you’ll want to ask how much variation you can add to your testcase. Real users may be doing searches, but there’s a good chance that your users are using different search terms. Likewise, users may be entering records, but most likely not every record should be entered identically. Every version of Load Tester & QA Tester support the use of datasets, to make it easy to create a list of terms, which can be supplied back as a virtual user traverses their workflow. However, for drop-downs or radio buttons, it’s not as obvious how to configure these, since the value sent to the server often can be different from the value seen by the end user. Load Tester & QA Tester 6.4 make this process easier, by now assisting in automatic creation of datasets for drop-downs and groups of radio buttons.

To see how this works, Let’s use bugzilla.kernel.org as an example. The testcase is simple: start with the homepage, go to the Search screen, enter some words and press “Search” to get the results.

Once we’ve created the testcase, our next step is to parameterize the search, starting with the selected status. Simply open the Content View, and select the homepage in the Testcase Editor. We notice that the category appears as a drop-down link.

To configure the field, simply click on the drop-down in the Content View. The Edit Field dialog will appear.

Starting with Load Tester 6.4, you will now see the “Dataset with available options” Datasource. Selecting this value will allow you to configure a dataset complete with all the options visible in the drop down, during the recording. In this example, Load Tester will supply the corresponding value from the “Value” column, when varying the selected search category.

In more complex frameworks, however, it is not possible to rely on the value being constant between different user sessions. For these cases, Load Tester may also offer another option to “Lookup value by index”. For example, here is a sample from an ASP.NET application, where the values supplied by a set of radio buttons are specific to each user’s session.

By selecting this option, Load Tester will now automatically configure the field to lookup the Nth option (using the “Index” column of the dataset), and use whatever value is present at the time of the user’s session. We hope that this new functionality makes configuring your testcases in Load Tester & QA Tester 6.4 easier than before.

Of course, if you have questions or just need help, our friendly support staff is always ready to assist.

Happy Testing!

-Frank
Engineer at Web Performance

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