Design-time performance testing
Software designers make decisions between alternate approaches early in the development of a software application and these decisions can be difficult to change later. Designers make these decisions based on estimates of how alternatives affect software qualities. One software quality that can be difficult to predict is performance, that is, the efficient use of resources in the system. It is particularly challenging to estimate the performance of large, interconnected software systems composed of components. With the proliferation of class libraries, middle-ware systems, web services, and third party components, many software projects rely on third party services to meet their requirements. Often choosing between services involves considering both the functionality and performance of the services. To help software developers compare their designs and third-party services, I propose using performance prototypes of alternatives and test suites to estimate performance trade-offs early in the development cycle, a process called Design-Time Performance Testing (DTPT). Providing software designers with performance evidence based on prototypes will allow designers to make informed decisions regarding performance trade-offs. To show how DTPT can help inform real design decisions. In particular: a process for DTPT, a framework implementation written in Java, and experiments to verify and validate the process and implementation. The implemented framework assists when designing, running, and documenting performance test suites, allowing designers to make accurate comparisons between alternate approaches. Performance metrics are captured by instrumenting and running prototypes. This thesis describes the process and framework for gathering software performance estimates at design-time using prototypes and test suites.
software design, software testing, performance testing, software performance
Master of Science (M.Sc.)