Performance Testing with JMeter 2.9 Book Review

Disclaimer: I was provided with a copy of the book free of charge in exchange for a review. The views expressed below are mine.

JMeter

I’ve blogged previously about my love for the simplicity of JMeter, but also acknowledged my lack of in-depth know-how and its something I should really get more to grips with. I hoped that this book would take me to the next level with JMeter, and indeed the book arrived at a very timely stage for a project I’m currently working on.

The book begins with a very good introduction into why you’d want to use JMeter (or similar tools) in the first place, and presents a scenario where the benefits of it use can be seen. It then proceeds to guide through the installation of JMeter. All good so far. Unfortunately it then starts to go into what I refer to some more advanced topics before starting to use the application for the first time. These topics deserve a mention, but perhaps appear at the wrong place in the book. However glossing over them and making a mental note for where they exist for future reference seems to suffix.

The book however did present a few nuggets of information for myself, broadly split into the following categories:

  • How to record a test plan to simulate proper use of a website
  • The session / authorisation components
  • The distributed testing model to overcome local machine performance issues
  • The ability to directly test a database connection

And for these reasons alone has proved a very worthwhile read for myself. The book also goes into detail on a number of other topics / areas, many unfortunately not relevant to me at this moment, but were interesting none the less, and just re-confirmed my initial impressions that JMeter is very powerful tool with flexibility to accommodate many situations. I’ve made a mental note of the topics covered and will no doubt refer to this book to exploit them should the need arise on future projects.

Whilst the book is very good overall, there are a couple of weaknesses that need to be highlighted. I’ve bought a number of titles in the past from PacktPub, but they’ve lacked the final polish that other publishers appear to have. This also appears apparent in this book – indeed the first step-by-step exercise that appears could be set out so much clearer with just a little thought into the layout and numbering of the steps. At one point in another exercise I found myself referring to videos on YouTube for clarity in order to overcome the problem I was facing. However, whilst this could be classed as a weakness, some (including myself) may see this as an advantage – if everything was plain sailing would we really be engaging our minds and learning?

So all-in-all, I thought a very good book. I’ve certainly learnt a lot about a very useful tool, and its encouraged me to make more use of it on current and future projects. I now feel in a position to exploit its usefulness ever further than the simple tests I had been running previously. Indeed this week I think I’ve used JMeter more times and to better effect then I have since my original JMeter blog post back in 2010.

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