Getting Started

This guide will cover step-by-step instructions on how to load test with LoadStorm. Alternatively, we have a video tutorial: Overview of LoadStorm PRO

Step One: Sign Up

Sign up for a free trial of LoadStorm. We’ll send you an activation link in an email. Activate your account to gain your 50 free virtual users.

Step Two: Create a Recording

Choose one of the options below, and follow the instructions to create a recording (HAR file):

How to load test with Google Chrome
How to load test with Firefox
How to load test with Internet Explorer
How to load test with API calls
How to load test with Android packet capturing
How to load test with iOS packet capturing

Make a Recording using Chrome

UPDATE: Latest versions of Chrome do not save form data when recording. Please us Firefox as an alternate when interacting with forms.

play video button Watch Example1. With a regular Chrome window already open, click the Three-Bar menu at the top right and choose New Incognito Window.

2. Right-click the empty space and choose Inspect Element to open the developer tools.

3. Switch to the Network tab in the developer tools.

4. Make sure the record circle is red, and check the Preserve Log option.

5. Navigate to your website and begin taking the actions that represent a real user interacting with your application. As you perform actions and load pages, every request made is recorded.

6. Once you’ve reached the end of your activity, right-click anywhere in the timeline and choose Save as HAR with content.

7. Name your HAR and save it. Now you are ready to upload it to LoadStorm to use as a script.

Google Chrome's incognito window with developer tools open on the network tabGoogle Chrome's incognito window saving a network recording as a HAR file with content using the developer tools

Make a Recording using Firefox

UPDATE: Firefox no longer requires any plugin to record and save HAR files.

video example icon Watch Example

1. With a regular Firefox window already open, click the Three-Bar menu at the top right and choose New Private Window.

2. Right-click the empty space in the window and choose Inspect Element to open the Firefox developer tools.

3. Switch to the Network tab in the developer tools.

4. Navigate to your website and begin taking the actions that represent a real user interacting with your application. As you perform actions and load pages, every request made is recorded.

5. Once you’ve reached the end of your activity, right-click anywhere in the request log and choose Save All As HAR.

6. Name your HAR and save it. Now you are ready to upload it to LoadStorm to use as a script.

recording - firefox private window developer toolsrecording - firefox saving network requests as a har file

Make a Recording using Internet Explorer 11

IE cannot export a HAR file, but it can save as a HAR-style XML file. LoadStorm is capable of reading these files.

play video button Watch Example1. With a regular IE window already open, press Ctrl+Shift+P to open a new InPrivate window.

2. Open the developer tools by pressing the F12 key.

3. Switch to the Network tab by clicking the icon on the left that looks like a wireless router.

4. Click the green play button “Enable network traffic capturing” to change it to a red square, and the “Always refresh from server” option is on by default.

5. Navigate to your website and begin taking the actions that represent a real user interacting with your application. As you perform actions and load pages, every request made is recorded.

6. Once you’ve reached the end of your activity, click the floppy disk icon to “Export captured traffic”.

7. Name your XML file and save it. Now you are ready to upload it to LoadStorm to use as a script.

Internet Explorer's InPrivate window with developer tools open on the network tab

Make an API Recording using the Postman app in Chrome

There is a handy app called Postman that allows you to manually create requests. With this you can mimic mobile app requests by interacting with REST or SOAP APIs. Postman is designed with REST requests in mind, but for more info on how to use it for SOAP requests please visit the Postman blog.

Here are the instructions for adding the packaged app:


To launch the Postman app:

  • Open a new tab
  • Click the Apps icon in your bookmarks bar, or navigate to chrome://apps
  • Click the Postman icon

Once Postman has been launched you’ll need to open the developer tools to record your requests that you manually create.

  • Open the developer tools by right-clicking anywhere within the Postman window, and selecting Inspect Element
  • Switch to the Network tab in the developer console and check the Preserve log box
  • Begin customizing your GET or POST request with any URL params (a.k.a. query strings), Headers, and content (such as form-data, files, or raw text like JSON)
  • Click the Send button and observe the POST request in your developer console
  • Right-click anywhere in the request log and choose Save as HAR with Content

Video Tutorial

This video is a short guide on recording a HAR using Postman in combination with the Chrome developer tools.

Also check out Ruairi Browne’s Postman tutorial covering RESTful API GETs and POSTs to Twitter.

Note: In his video he shows how to use OAuth, but LoadStorm does not support the generation of dynamic OAuth signatures.

Make a Recording from packet capturing on Android devices

Note: This method is rarely used because API calls are often the best approach, and in many cases the app is sending encrypted packets which prevent the PCAP to HAR converter from generating a HAR file with the proper requests.

For Android devices, this method works as follows:

  1. Install tPacketCapture or other mobile app for capturing packets.
  2. Close any other apps that you have running to avoid unnecessary packets.
  3. Open the packet capturing app and click the Capture button.
  4. Open the mobile app you wish to record, and begin emulating user behavior.
  5. When you’re done emulating user behavior, swipe your notifications area open to click the “VPN is activated by tPack..” message.
  6. Click the Disconnect button to stop capturing packets.
  7. Switch back to the tPacketCapture app to open the File list tab.
  8. Select the PCAP file you just created, and share it using email (or method of your choice).
  9. Convert the PCAP into a HAR using the PCAP Web Performance Analyzer, or your own pcap2har converter.
    Note: If you use the PCAP Web Performance Analyzer you should uncheck the Remove cookies option.
  10. Upload the HAR to LoadStorm.

Click to Zoom

Make a Recording from packet capturing for iOS devices

Note: This method is rarely used because API calls are often the best approach, and in many cases the app is sending encrypted packets which prevent the PCAP to HAR converter from generating a HAR file with the proper requests.

For iOS devices:

At this time, packet capturing mobile apps (like tPacketCapture) are only offered on Android devices. Apple products do not support direct packet capture services. However, if you connect your iOS device to a Mac via USB then you can use OS X supported software (such as Cocoa Packet Analyzer) to capture the packets, as described on the Apple developer site.

One example of how to accomplish this:

  1. Download and install Cocoa Packet Analyzer from the developer site. (The apple store removes the packet capturing option for some odd reason even though apple recommended it as an option so avoid the app store version, or use different software.)
  2. Open your System Preferences, click Sharing, and enable Internet Sharing on your Mac to share your ethernet conntection to devices connected to your Mac’s Wi-Fi.
  3. Have your mobile iOS device join the shared Wi-Fi network hosted by your Mac.
  4. Close all unnecessary apps in your mobile device and have it on the correct screen ready to launch the app you wish to test.
  5. Run Cocoa Packet Analyzer on the Mac.
  6. Click the Capturing option in Cocoa Packet Analyzer.
  7. The capturing menu will require you to select a capture interface which will list all of your connections (if the drop-down is empty click the refresh icon to the right of the drop-down). Generally your newly shared wifi will be connected on “en1” with an IP address that you can double check from your Mac’s Network screen in System Preference as the Shared Wi-Fi’s self-assigned IP.
  8. Click the Start button to begin capturing.
  9. Launch your app on the mobile device and begin taking actions for the user behavior you wish to record. You should see packets being captured that are going back and forth between the mobile app and the app server.
  10. When you’re finished recording your app’s user behavior click stop to end the packet capture.
  11. Save the captured packets as a PCAP file.
  12. Convert the PCAP into a HAR using the PCAP Web Performance Analyzer, or your own pcap2har converter.
    Note: If you use the PCAP Web Performance Analyzer you should uncheck the Remove cookies option.
  13. When the conversion is complete you should see a waterfall view of your new HAR file, and you’ll need to click the Download HAR link above it. Please note that all of the requests will be treated as being a part of page 0 since mobile apps are not the same as websites.
  14. Upload the HAR to LoadStorm.

Click to Zoom


 

Step Three: Upload the Recording

Upload your recording into LoadStorm.

  1. Click BUILD in the left navigation.
  2. Make sure you’re on the Scripts tab at the top.
  3. Click the Upload Recording button.
  4. Select the HAR file from your computer.
  5. Once LoadStorm has finished converting the recording into a script it will execute the script one time. Essentially one virtual user will proceed through the script a single time.
  6. Once the script has finished executing you’ll see an Overview tab which shows any request errors, and estimates the script completion time in a load test based on a customizable pause called page think time. We add this pause to simulate the time a person takes to read the content before navigating to the next page.
  7. Navigate to the Parameterize tab to compare the status code columns for Recorded vs. Last Execution of each request. You may want to address these and other request errors before the first test run.
  8. To add unique virtual user data for things such as logging in with many different usernames, learn how to parameterize from our learning center, or watch this video tutorial.
  9. Lastly, you may need to white list some IP ranges to allow our load generating instances to send traffic past your firewall.
Upload a recorded HAR file to LoadStorm in the Scripts tab of the BUILD section

Step Four: Manage Target Servers

Ignore third-party servers that you don’t wish to involve with your test script. If a server is ignored then any requests to that server will be skipped. This prevents your load tests from sending unnecessary traffic to advertisements, analytics, and other services.

  1. Switch to the Manage Servers tab.
  2. Select each 3rd-party server using CTRL + left-click or Command + left-click.
  3. Right-click one of the selected servers and choose Ignore Server.
Verify target servers and ignore third-party servers from the Manage Servers tab

Step Five: Run a Test

Now you’re ready to schedule a load test.

  1. Click RUN in the left navigation.
  2. Make sure you’re on the New Run tab and Scripts tab.
  3. Select the script you’re created from the All Scripts table on the right.
  4. Click the << ADD button to move the script to the Selected Scripts table of the left.
  5. Make sure there are no errors to the right of the two Scheduling buttons.
  6. Switch to the Parameters tab.
  7. Modify the test options as you see fit, but keep in mind you’ll only have 50 VUsers to start, and each test will consume VUsers from your available amount based on the peak user setting. So we recommend something smaller than 50 peak users for your first test.
  8. The Start Time sub-tab will allow you to schedule the test 25 minutes from now or further in the future.
  9. The options within the Traffic Source sub-tab are disabled until your account has a minimum of 100 available VUsers.
  10. You’re now ready to click the Run ASAP button, or if you’ve set a Start Time click the Run Scheduled button.
  11. A confirmation will appear for you to review your test details before scheduling, but when you’re ready click the Schedule Run button.
  12. Once your test has been scheduled you will be on the Scheduled Runs tab.
  13. This table will refresh over time to show the state of your test run (i.e. Scheduled or Running).
  14. You can open your test results from here while it is Running.
Schedule a new test run from the New Run tab in the RUN section

Step Six: Analyze Results

As soon as your test starts you should see a blue message appear in the lower right corner that allows you to click straight to your test results view. If you miss the prompt, you can double-click on the desired test run to open it. Once in the test analysis view, you can see results as they automatically come in every 10 to 15 seconds.

Open a test while it is running or after it is completed from the ANALYZE section