Happy New Year ! I am back from holiday hibernation to spread testing joy :)
Picture this: You've run your web app performance tests and bench-marked response times for your application and you are trying to make sense out of the numbers and the only thing that occurs to you is "Why? why me?" :)
Now let's drop these nifty little tools in your lab (pun intended) and watch the magic:
YSlow (from Yahoo) or Page Speed (from Google)
These are lightweight tools/ plug-ins that don't actually simulate load on your application. Instead they predict performance issues based on whether your application conforms to basic rules/ best practices. A simple rating system that lists all the ways in which your application is built to perform or break.
Why should I ramble on when google can say it better: http://code.google.com/speed/page-speed/docs/rules_intro.html
I am planning to evaluate this tool, so don't consider this a review yet, more an fyi. Most performance test tools send http requests and receive response without simulating an actual browser. This tool lets you figure out performance implications via real browser simulation. Check out http://browsermob.com/load-testing
Stay tuned for the my performance test series to be continued, with some serious coaching on JMeter and such.
(The more you teach, the more you learn)