Welcome!

Java Authors: Paige Leidig, Carmen Gonzalez, Liz Dickinson, Pat Romanski, Bob Gourley

Related Topics: Java, Adobe Flex, AJAX & REA, Web 2.0, Open Web, Apache

Java: Article

RIA Load Testing for Dummies

RIAs represent the next step toward a more interactive, efficient, and easy-to-use web

We all know that since the early ‘90s, Internet usage has exploded. Buying online, booking a trip or communicating with friends and relatives are just a few examples of what all of us are doing every day. The continuous development of broadband connectivity has also made easy the growth of those services and, as more bandwidth becomes available, quality will continued to improve as well. Considering this evolution and looking at the details of its capabilities, it appears Rich Internet Applications are one of the most important elements to improve the user experience in the modern Internet era.

From HTML to RIA
First let's explore how we got to where we are today by looking at the major steps in the development of the Internet.

Back in the ‘90s, HTML came out and was quickly established as the main markup language for web pages. HTML allows images and objects to be embedded and can be used to create interactive forms. You can create structured documents through a defined semantic model, but essentially HTML was designed to deliver static content. This was the birth of the web as we know it today.

For about 10 years HTML ruled the Internet world. 2002 saw the release of the first .NET Framework version. This platform allowed the creation of professional apps for business, linking back-end information and user rendering. It also appeared to be more efficient than HTML for business processes and the industry progressively adopted this way of thinking. In the meantime, JavaScript, ActiveX and applets arrived on the web market. They allowed the addition of even more functionality on the client side. That said, it was more a revolution of the style instead of the content. In fact JavaScript keeps the same approach as HTML as it's still a sequential model, meaning the server provides information only if the client asks for it. But this approach is no longer sufficient. Applications have continued to grow in terms of complexity as users are enabled to create more and more interactions.

In 2004 "Web 2.0" was used for the first time by Tim O'Reilly. This term describes an evolution of the web toward greater simplicity and interactivity and technically speaking, it brings on the front of Rich Internet Applications (RIAs).

RIAs today are the latest evolution of the web. Following HTML and .NET, RIAs now enable more dynamic and interactive applications, more intuitive UIs, and data availability at any time through real time communication.

RIA: Technologies and Advantages
One of the most significant impacts of RIAs is that now a lot of the actions are computed on the client side. JavaScript language, in particular, has been specifically created for such a purpose. As a result, RIAs enable many new capabilities and features for users, which would have been impossible with HTML alone. Today most of the RIA UIs embed drag-and-drop, dedicated tool bars, calculations, and more.

Although there are now a number of RIA technologies available, JavaScript appears to be the first language able to execute code on the client side. AJAX (a combination of JavaScript and XML) is a popular derivation of the original JavaScript. Several frameworks also exist, among the most well-known: Dojo, jQuery, Scriptaculous... Adobe also created its own solution based on Flash: Flex. Microsoft created Silverlight and Google assembled GWT (Google Web Toolkit).

The advantages of RIAs are numerous and include:

  • RIA Frameworks enable faster releases.
  • No installation on the client side is necessary.
  • Users can use the application from anywhere and from any computer, as long as it has Internet and a web browser.
  • It's easier to maintain for administrators. Changes are done once and everybody can connect back to the application.

Real-Time Information: Push
Earlier we talked about the greater complexity of the users interactions. RIAs and push seem to be able to help here. Push is a way to communicate between client and server, the dialog being initiated by the server and not the client. It's the opposite of what we are used to seeing in earlier web applications in which the user first sends a request to obtain a response from the server. This new way of exchanging information gives Web Apps a new dimension. Without any specific action, users can follow their usual flow and simultaneously get alerts about events they defined themselves. This communication mode is widely used in banking and trading apps where responsiveness is not merely important, but critical.

Adoption by the Industry
A survey by Service-now.com in 2010 about web CRM adoption showed that 81% said that they were currently using a web CRM instead of a desktop app, and an additional 12% were considering replacing desktop CRM with a web app. This survey pinpointed the fact that RIAs were not only a part of our web environment, but tended to be viewed as the standard in the industry.

In becoming an industry standard, web application technologies must also be subject to improvements in optimization and reliability. Like standard websites, RIAs must ensure sufficient performances to satisfy users. Web load testing has been in existence for about 20 years and brings valuable information and benefits to testers. Primarily it helps by improving the quality of websites. But what about load testing RIAs? Is it the same activity and do the tools remain the same?

Load-Testing RIAs: The Tools
To answer this last question - yes tools are pretty much still the same in terms of the information they can provide. But tool vendors must keep up with the latest technologies in order to meet the needs of RIAs. We said that an RIA is much more interactive than any website. Technically speaking, this means a large flow of requests and responses are generated, much more than for a typical website. Technologies like Push and Streaming can create hundreds of requests, whereas the user might have only executed three clicks. New complex behaviors are the consequence of the RIAs and therefore load testing tools must follow this trend by being more responsive to the needs of emerging technologies.

If tool vendors really want to answer RIA needs, their tools have to integrate automatic recognition of RIA frameworks. They must enable testers to rapidly create business case transactions. The new tool must be intuitive, RIA ready but without ignoring the existence of conventional HTTP websites.

Conclusion
RIAs represent the next step toward a more interactive, efficient, and easy-to-use web. They are becoming a standard for the industry and therefore must be optimized to ensure good performance for the users. Load testing is essential to effectively optimize the performance of these new technologies. Because of the change in how RIAs handle client / server interactions, special consideration must be given to testing methodology and tooling. The RIA trend is now fully upon us. Are you ready?

More Stories By Olivier Hanoun

Olivier Hanoun is a Senior Performance Engineer at Neotys, a provider of load testing software for Web applications. Previously, he worked as a Technical Marketing Manager in a semi-conductor Taiwanese company. Prior to that he was an engineer in STMicroelectronics. Being in Neotys from the early development of the company, 5 years ago, Olivier has been involved in load and performance testing projects as well as delivering professional services and trainings. He is also involved in pre-sales and marketing activities. He graduated from the “Ecole Centrale de Marseille” with an MS in Computer and Sciences, and from the French Air Force Academy with an MS in Mechanic and Aeronautic.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that SOA Software, an API management leader, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. SOA Software is a leading provider of API Management and SOA Governance products that equip business to deliver APIs and SOA together to drive their company to meet its business strategy quickly and effectively. SOA Software’s technology helps businesses to accelerate their digital channels with APIs, drive partner adoption, monetize their assets, and achieve a...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Aria Systems, the recurring revenue expert, has been named "Bronze Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Aria Systems helps leading businesses connect their customers with the products and services they love. Industry leaders like Pitney Bowes, Experian, AAA NCNU, VMware, HootSuite and many others choose Aria to power their recurring revenue business and deliver exceptional experiences to their customers.
SYS-CON Events announced today that AgilePoint, the leading provider of Microsoft-centric Business Process Management software, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 2nd International @ThingsExpo which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. AgilePoint is the leading provider of Microsoft-based Business Process Management (BPM) software products, has 1,300+ on-premise and cloud deployments in 25+ countries and provides the same advanced BPM feature set as J2EE vendors like IBM and Appian for the Microsoft .NET native environment. AgilePoint customer...
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to evolve the way the world does business; however, understanding how to apply it to your company can be a mystery. Most people struggle with understanding the potential business uses or tend to get caught up in the technology, resulting in solutions that fail to meet even minimum business goals. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO / President / Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., will show what is needed to leverage the IoT to transform your business. He will discuss opportunities and challenges ahead for the IoT from a market and tec...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Utimaco will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Utimaco is a leading manufacturer of hardware based security solutions that provide the root of trust to keep cryptographic keys safe, secure critical digital infrastructures and protect high value data assets. Only Utimaco delivers a general-purpose hardware security module (HSM) as a customizable platform to easily integrate into existing software solutions, embed business logic and build s...
One of the biggest challenges when developing connected devices is identifying user value and delivering it through successful user experiences. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Mike Kuniavsky, Principal Scientist, Innovation Services at PARC, will describe an IoT-specific approach to user experience design that combines approaches from interaction design, industrial design and service design to create experiences that go beyond simple connected gadgets to create lasting, multi-device experiences grounded in people’s real needs and desires.
Samsung VP Jacopo Lenzi, who headed the company's recent SmartThings acquisition under the auspices of Samsung's Open Innovaction Center (OIC), answered a few questions we had about the deal. This interview was in conjunction with our interview with SmartThings CEO Alex Hawkinson. IoT Journal: SmartThings was developed in an open, standards-agnostic platform, and will now be part of Samsung's Open Innovation Center. Can you elaborate on your commitment to keep the platform open? Jacopo Lenzi: Samsung recognizes that true, accelerated innovation cannot be driven from one source, but requires a...
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, will discuss how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money! Speaker Bio: Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, has spent 16 years as a marketing, product management, and busin...
SYS-CON Events announced today that TeleStax, the main sponsor of Mobicents, will exhibit at Internet of @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TeleStax provides Open Source Communications software and services that facilitate the shift from legacy SS7 based IN networks to IP based LTE and IMS networks hosted on private (on-premise), hybrid or public clouds. TeleStax products include Restcomm, JSLEE, SMSC Gateway, USSD Gateway, SS7 Resource Adaptors, SIP Servlets, Rich Multimedia Services, Presence Services/RCS, Diame...
Things are being built upon cloud foundations to transform organizations. This CEO Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo, moderated by Roger Strukhoff, Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo conference chair, will address the big issues involving these technologies and, more important, the results they will achieve. How important are public, private, and hybrid cloud to the enterprise? How does one define Big Data? And how is the IoT tying all this together?
We certainly live in interesting technological times. And no more interesting than the current competing IoT standards for connectivity. Various standards bodies, approaches, and ecosystems are vying for mindshare and positioning for a competitive edge. It is clear that when the dust settles, we will have new protocols, evolved protocols, that will change the way we interact with devices and infrastructure. We will also have evolved web protocols, like HTTP/2, that will be changing the very core of our infrastructures. At the same time, we have old approaches made new again like micro-services...
The only place to be June 9-11 is Cloud Expo & @ThingsExpo 2015 East at the Javits Center in New York City. Join us there as delegates from all over the world come to listen to and engage with speakers & sponsors from the leading Cloud Computing, IoT & Big Data companies. Cloud Expo & @ThingsExpo are the leading events covering the booming market of Cloud Computing, IoT & Big Data for the enterprise. Speakers from all over the world will be hand-picked for their ability to explore the economic strategies that utility/cloud computing provides. Whether public, private, or in a hybrid form, clo...
SYS-CON Events announces a new pavilion on the Cloud Expo floor where WebRTC converges with the Internet of Things. Pavilion will showcase WebRTC and the Internet of Things. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices--computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors – connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gridstore™, the leader in software-defined storage (SDS) purpose-built for Windows Servers and Hyper-V, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Gridstore™ is the leader in software-defined storage purpose built for virtualization that is designed to accelerate applications in virtualized environments. Using its patented Server-Side Virtual Controller™ Technology (SVCT) to eliminate the I/O blender effect and accelerate applications Gridsto...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Red Hat, the world's leading provider of open source solutions, will exhibit at Internet of @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Red Hat is the world's leading provider of open source software solutions, using a community-powered approach to reliable and high-performing cloud, Linux, middleware, storage and virtualization technologies. Red Hat also offers award-winning support, training, and consulting services. As the connective hub in a global network of enterprises, partners, a...
As the Internet of Things unfolds, mobile and wearable devices are blurring the line between physical and digital, integrating ever more closely with our interests, our routines, our daily lives. Contextual computing and smart, sensor-equipped spaces bring the potential to walk through a world that recognizes us and responds accordingly. We become continuous transmitters and receivers of data. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Andrew Bolwell, Director of Innovation for HP’s Printing and Personal Systems Group, will discuss how key attributes of mobile technology – touch input, senso...
The Internet of Things (IoT) is making everything it touches smarter – smart devices, smart cars and smart cities. And lucky us, we’re just beginning to reap the benefits as we work toward a networked society. However, this technology-driven innovation is impacting more than just individuals. The IoT has an environmental impact as well, which brings us to the theme of this month’s #IoTuesday Twitter chat. The ability to remove inefficiencies through connected objects is driving change throughout every sector, including waste management. BigBelly Solar, located just outside of Boston, is trans...
Connected devices and the Internet of Things are getting significant momentum in 2014. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, will examine three key elements that together will drive mass adoption of the IoT before the end of 2015. The first element is the recent advent of robust open source protocols (like AllJoyn and WebRTC) that facilitate M2M communication. The second is broad availability of flexible, cost-effective storage designed to handle the massive surge in back-end data in a world where timely analytics...
Internet of @ThingsExpo Silicon Valley announced on Thursday its first 12 all-star speakers and sessions for its upcoming event, which will take place November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in California. @ThingsExpo, the first and largest IoT event in the world, debuted at the Javits Center in New York City in June 10-12, 2014 with over 6,000 delegates attending the conference. Among the first 12 announced world class speakers, IBM will present two highly popular IoT sessions, which will take place November 4-6, 2014 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, Calif...
From a software development perspective IoT is about programming "things," about connecting them with each other or integrating them with existing applications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Yakov Fain, co-founder of Farata Systems and SuranceBay, will show you how small IoT-enabled devices from multiple manufacturers can be integrated into the workflow of an enterprise application. This is a practical demo of building a framework and components in HTML/Java/Mobile technologies to serve as a platform that can integrate new devices as they become available on the market.