Best Practice: Keep Functional Tests Separate from Performance Tests

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It's very important to maintain a distinction between functional tests of your web applications, front-end web performance, and tests of your network and servers under load.  

  • Functional tests should, as the name indicates, test some functionality or feature of your application. The output of these tests should generally be a simple "pass" or "fail" - either your functionality worked as expected, or it didn't. While running functional tests, it can also be advantageous to run front end performance tests that can help identify any regressions in JavaScript logic executed in the browser. When you use Sauce Labs for functional testing, you can test your website under specific network conditions and collect network and application-related metrics. 

  • Load tests, in contrast, should gauge and output network and server performance metrics. For example, can your application server handle a particular load, and does it behave as expected when you push it to its limit? These types of tests are better undertaken with a testing infrastructure that has been specifically developed for load testing, so all baseline performance metrics are well established and understood before you start the test. 

By maintaining the distinction between functional, front end performance tests, and load tests, and the different outputs that you expect from them, you should be able to more precisely design your tests to uncover the specific kinds of issues that you need to address to make your application more robust under any conditions. 

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