Browser-based load testing is a new type of testing we developed at Tricentis to enable teams to quickly test modern applications that are increasingly difficult to test using traditional protocol-based load testing.
Browser-based load testing is very similar to traditional automation testing. We simulate a user's actions, allowing us to test how the application we're targeting reacts. We can do this by interacting with the UI of the application using the mouse or keyboard and following a set of steps in our test script.
As the test runs, the browser makes requests to the servers for more information, inserts records, or performs a business function. For each action, dozens or sometimes hundreds of network requests happen in the background. With protocol-based load testing, we would simulate these requests and increase the rate of requests to increase the load.
Protocol-based load testing has become more difficult as applications have grown in complexity. This means that simulating requests is often challenging to do realistically and requires huge commitments to maintain, which is why we see teams doing load testing only for critical releases at high demand times of the year, such as Valentines Day, Black Friday, or before Christmas sales periods.
Modern apps are becoming easier to use, and this makes it easier to test. Using browser-based load testing, we can increase the load against the application under test by increasing the simulations we run concurrently without increasing our tests' complexity, as would be the case with protocol-based tests.
Overall, browser-based load testing makes testing more straightforward, more maintainable and generates realistic load without needing an intimate understanding of the network protocols connecting the app and the servers.