Click here to close now.

Welcome!

Java Authors: Pat Romanski, Plutora Blog, Liz McMillan, Tim Hinds, Mike Kavis

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 GENBAND, a leading developer of real time communications software solutions, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's WebRTC Summit, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. The GENBAND team will be on hand to demonstrate their newest product, Kandy. Kandy is a communications Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) that enables companies to seamlessly integrate more human communications into their Web and mobile applications - creating more engaging experiences for their customers and boosting collaboration and productiv...
Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at SOA Software, had reached 30,000 page views on his home page - http://RobertoMedrano.SYS-CON.com/ - on the SYS-CON family of online magazines, which includes Cloud Computing Journal, Internet of Things Journal, Big Data Journal, and SOA World Magazine. He is a recognized executive in the information technology fields of SOA, internet security, governance, and compliance. He has extensive experience with both start-ups and large companies, having been involved at the beginning of four IT industries: EDA, Open Systems, Computer Security and now SOA.
From telemedicine to smart cars, digital homes and industrial monitoring, the explosive growth of IoT has created exciting new business opportunities for real time calls and messaging. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ivelin Ivanov, CEO and Co-Founder of Telestax, shared some of the new revenue sources that IoT created for Restcomm – the open source telephony platform from Telestax. Ivelin Ivanov is a technology entrepreneur who founded Mobicents, an Open Source VoIP Platform, to help create, deploy, and manage applications integrating voice, video and data. He is the co-founder of TeleStax, a...
The industrial software market has treated data with the mentality of “collect everything now, worry about how to use it later.” We now find ourselves buried in data, with the pervasive connectivity of the (Industrial) Internet of Things only piling on more numbers. There’s too much data and not enough information. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Bob Gates, Global Marketing Director, GE’s Intelligent Platforms business, to discuss how realizing the power of IoT, software developers are now focused on understanding how industrial data can create intelligence for industrial operations. Imagine ...
Operational Hadoop and the Lambda Architecture for Streaming Data Apache Hadoop is emerging as a distributed platform for handling large and fast incoming streams of data. Predictive maintenance, supply chain optimization, and Internet-of-Things analysis are examples where Hadoop provides the scalable storage, processing, and analytics platform to gain meaningful insights from granular data that is typically only valuable from a large-scale, aggregate view. One architecture useful for capturing and analyzing streaming data is the Lambda Architecture, representing a model of how to analyze rea...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Vitria Technology, Inc. will exhibit at SYS-CON’s @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Vitria will showcase the company’s new IoT Analytics Platform through live demonstrations at booth #330. Vitria’s IoT Analytics Platform, fully integrated and powered by an operational intelligence engine, enables customers to rapidly build and operationalize advanced analytics to deliver timely business outcomes for use cases across the industrial, enterprise, and consumer segments.
When it comes to the Internet of Things, hooking up will get you only so far. If you want customers to commit, you need to go beyond simply connecting products. You need to use the devices themselves to transform how you engage with every customer and how you manage the entire product lifecycle. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sean Lorenz, Technical Product Manager for Xively at LogMeIn, will show how “product relationship management” can help you leverage your connected devices and the data they generate about customer usage and product performance to deliver extremely compelling and reliabl...
The explosion of connected devices / sensors is creating an ever-expanding set of new and valuable data. In parallel the emerging capability of Big Data technologies to store, access, analyze, and react to this data is producing changes in business models under the umbrella of the Internet of Things (IoT). In particular within the Insurance industry, IoT appears positioned to enable deep changes by altering relationships between insurers, distributors, and the insured. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Sick, a Senior Manager and Big Data Architect within Ernst and Young's Financial Servi...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Open Data Centers (ODC), a carrier-neutral colocation provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Open Data Centers is a carrier-neutral data center operator in New Jersey and New York City offering alternative connectivity options for carriers, service providers and enterprise customers.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CodeFutures, a leading supplier of database performance tools, has been named a “Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. CodeFutures is an independent software vendor focused on providing tools that deliver database performance tools that increase productivity during database development and increase database performance and scalability during production.
The IoT market is projected to be $1.9 trillion tidal wave that’s bigger than the combined market for smartphones, tablets and PCs. While IoT is widely discussed, what not being talked about are the monetization opportunities that are created from ubiquitous connectivity and the ensuing avalanche of data. While we cannot foresee every service that the IoT will enable, we should future-proof operations by preparing to monetize them with extremely agile systems.
There’s Big Data, then there’s really Big Data from the Internet of Things. IoT is evolving to include many data possibilities like new types of event, log and network data. The volumes are enormous, generating tens of billions of logs per day, which raise data challenges. Early IoT deployments are relying heavily on both the cloud and managed service providers to navigate these challenges. Learn about IoT, Big Data and deployments processing massive data volumes from wearables, utilities and other machines.
The explosion of connected devices / sensors is creating an ever-expanding set of new and valuable data. In parallel the emerging capability of Big Data technologies to store, access, analyze, and react to this data is producing changes in business models under the umbrella of the Internet of Things (IoT). In particular within the Insurance industry, IoT appears positioned to enable deep changes by altering relationships between insurers, distributors, and the insured. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Sick, a Senior Manager and Big Data Architect within Ernst and Young's Financial Servi...
The major cloud platforms defy a simple, side-by-side analysis. Each of the major IaaS public-cloud platforms offers their own unique strengths and functionality. Options for on-site private cloud are diverse as well, and must be designed and deployed while taking existing legacy architecture and infrastructure into account. Then the reality is that most enterprises are embarking on a hybrid cloud strategy and programs. In this Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo (http://www.CloudComputingExpo.com), moderated by Ashar Baig, Research Director, Cloud, at Gigaom Research, Nate Gordon, Director of T...
“In the past year we've seen a lot of stabilization of WebRTC. You can now use it in production with a far greater degree of certainty. A lot of the real developments in the past year have been in things like the data channel, which will enable a whole new type of application," explained Peter Dunkley, Technical Director at Acision, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Intelligent Systems Services will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Established in 1994, Intelligent Systems Services Inc. is located near Washington, DC, with representatives and partners nationwide. ISS’s well-established track record is based on the continuous pursuit of excellence in designing, implementing and supporting nationwide clients’ mission-critical systems. ISS has completed many successful projects in Healthcare, Commercial, Manufacturing, ...
PubNub on Monday has announced that it is partnering with IBM to bring its sophisticated real-time data streaming and messaging capabilities to Bluemix, IBM’s cloud development platform. “Today’s app and connected devices require an always-on connection, but building a secure, scalable solution from the ground up is time consuming, resource intensive, and error-prone,” said Todd Greene, CEO of PubNub. “PubNub enables web, mobile and IoT developers building apps on IBM Bluemix to quickly add scalable realtime functionality with minimal effort and cost.”
Sensor-enabled things are becoming more commonplace, precursors to a larger and more complex framework that most consider the ultimate promise of the IoT: things connecting, interacting, sharing, storing, and over time perhaps learning and predicting based on habits, behaviors, location, preferences, purchases and more. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Tom Wesselman, Director of Communications Ecosystem Architecture at Plantronics, will examine the still nascent IoT as it is coalescing, including what it is today, what it might ultimately be, the role of wearable tech, and technology gaps stil...
DevOps tends to focus on the relationship between Dev and Ops, putting an emphasis on the ops and application infrastructure. But that’s changing with microservices architectures. In her session at DevOps Summit, Lori MacVittie, Evangelist for F5 Networks, will focus on how microservices are changing the underlying architectures needed to scale, secure and deliver applications based on highly distributed (micro) services and why that means an expansion into “the network” for DevOps.
We’re no longer looking to the future for the IoT wave. It’s no longer a distant dream but a reality that has arrived. It’s now time to make sure the industry is in alignment to meet the IoT growing pains – cooperate and collaborate as well as innovate. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, will examine the key ingredients to IoT success and identify solutions to challenges the industry is facing. The deep industry expertise behind this presentation will provide attendees with a leading edge view of rapidly emerging IoT oppor...