Load Testing Crystal Reports Caching Features
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by Eric Landes
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Test Strategy

The test strategy is to simulate the environment of and access several reports from a web environment. Using Visual Studio 2008 Tester edition, a test is called "LoadTest1."  Pictured below, the illustration shows that this test includes 2 Web Tests and uses a mix of IE and FireFox to connect and a network mix of LAN, Cable/DSL speeds. 

Figure 1: Load Test Screen

Here are the Visual Studio automated web tests included in this load test.  The first test is called "Customer Report". This test displays one report, Customer.rpt. This report joins four tables together. The test displays the first page of the report, and pages through the report. The report is displayed on a web page, using a web crystal viewer control. There is a validation test in Customer Report also. This first test is simple and is not intended to put a lot of stress on the application or server. 

Figure 2: Customer Report Test

The second test is called AllReports. This test uses a web page to display three different reports.  First is the Customer report. Next is the SalesOrders.rpt and then SalesPersons.rpt. Each report is displayed and paged through. SalesOrders.rpt includes 3 tables and SalesPerson.rpt joins over six tables. It is all recorded in a web test in Visual Studio Testing edition tests.

In the load test, we set our browser mix to be 84% IE 7.0 and 16% Firefox. Other browser types could be added through the load test to this mix if necessary. The tests network mix includes LAN and two cable/DSL speed mixes. This test should be simulating something close to the real world of what type of connections and browsers are hitting the site, for a global enterprise intranet application. 

This first load test is fairly simple. It runs for 10 minutes and distributes the user load with a maximum of 25. This test will be our benchmark for testing. The next set of tests will include new records having been added to the tables that the reports are based on. That process will be explained in the next section. Below are the results of the first load test run for a total of 15 minutes. 

The times are based on a Virtual PC version of Windows Server 2003. This VPC has 1 GB of RAM available to it.

Figure 3

For this run, the AllTests test suite took an average time of 152 seconds. The CustomerReport test took 88.8 seconds.  Because AllTests displays three reports, it would seem that AllTests would be longer. Surprisingly, AllTests does not take even twice as long as CustomerReport.

The first page takes 7.44 to load. That page displays the Customer report. The other page times are below 1 second except the first one. Now that there is a baseline established, the next step is to see how we perform by dynamically adding data. 

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