Glossary

Collector

A Collector is a set of user-defined queries, which determine the performance data that is monitored and recorded from target Hosts when a Job is run. They are used to monitor and collect performance data from the components of Web Application Environments (WAEs) and production systems during job-runs to help evaluate their performance.

Collectors are stored in the Repository and are included in Jobs by reference, so any changes made to a Collector will have immediate affect on all the Jobs that use them.

AgileLoad supplies some Modules (Windows, Tomcat, Unix, SNMP, Apache, Oracle, ...) for Collector creation.

e.g.
 Windows Collectors are used for collecting performance data from Hosts running Windows.
 SNMP Collectors are used for collecting SNMP data from Hosts and other devices running an SNMP agent or proxy SNMP agent.

Cookie

A packet of information sent by a Web server to a Web browser that is returned each time the browser accesses the Web server. Cookies can contain any information the server chooses and are used to maintain state between otherwise stateless HTTP transactions.

Typically cookies are used to store user details and to authenticate or identify a registered user of a Web site without requiring them to sign in again every time they access that Web site.

Gateway

The Gateway interfaces directly with the AgileLoad Script Editor Module and enables you to create Scripts. The Gateway functions as a proxy server, which intercepts and records the HTTP/S traffic that passes between browser and Web site during a Web session, using scripting language.

Host

A Host is a networked computer or device used to execute a Task Group during a Job-run. 

A host also refers to a computer or device that houses one or more components of a Web Application Environment under test, such as a database. Collectors are used to define a Host and the type of performance data you want to monitor and collect during a job-run

HTML

Hypertext Markup Language, a hypertext document format used on the World-Wide Web. HTML is built on top of SGML. Tags are embedded in the text. A tag consists of a <, a case insensitive directive, zero or more parameters and a >. Matched pairs of directives, like <TITLE> and </TITLE> are used to delimit text which is to appear in a special place or style.

.HTP file

See Scripts.

HTTP

HyperText Transfer Protocol, the client-server TCP/IP protocol used on the World-Wide Web for the exchange of HTML documents. HTTP is the protocol which enables the distribution of information over the Web.

HTTPS

HyperText Transmission Protocol, Secure; a variant of HTTP used by Netscape for handling secure transactions. A unique protocol that is simply SSL underneath HTTP, see SSL.

HTTP/S

Reference to HTTP and HTTPS.

Job

A job is a set of user-controlled definitions that specify which Scripts and Collectors are included, and the settings that apply when the job is run. Scripts define the test conditions that will be simulated when the job is run. Scripts and Collectors are the building blocks of a job, which can be incorporated by reference into many different jobs.

Scripts supply the content of a job and Collectors control the type of data results that are collected during a job-run. Jobs parameters specify the properties that apply when the job is run, including the number of Virtual Users, the iterations between each Script, the delay between Scripts and on which Host computers a job is run.

AgileLoad Test Center provides a flexible job development framework to build job content and structure by selecting the necessary Scripts and Collectors. A job is represented in table format where each row within it represents the HTTP/S replay and data collection Tasks that will be carried out when the job is run. Job Tasks are known as Task Groups, of which there are two types, either Script-based or Collector-based.

Job Window

The Job Window is the workspace used to create and edit Jobs, then run a Job.

Load Test

A load test uses a Web Application Environment in a way that would be considered operationally normal with a normal to heavy number of concurrent Virtual Users.

Modules

See AgileLoad Modules.

Performance Test

One or more Tests designed to investigate the efficiency of Web Application Environments (WAEs). Used to identify any weaknesses or limitations of target WAEs using a series of stress Tests or load Tests.

Proxy

A proxy server acts as a security barrier between your internal network (intranet) and the Internet, keeping unauthorized external users from gaining access to confidential information on your internal network. This function is often combined with a firewall.

A proxy server is used to access Web pages by the other computers. When another computer requests a Web page, it is retrieved by the proxy server and then sent to the requesting computer. The net effect of this action is that the remote computer hosting the Web page never comes into direct contact with anything on your home network, other than the proxy server.

Proxy servers can also make your Internet access work more efficiently. If you access a page on a Web site, it is cached on the proxy server. This means that the next time you go back to that page, it normally does not have to load again from the Web site. Instead, it loads instantaneously from the proxy server.

Quartile

Any of three points that divide an ordered distribution into four parts, each containing one quarter of the scores.

AgileLoad Technologies

http://www.agileload.com/

AgileLoad Technologies is a provider of end-to-end quality assurance software, helping customers maximize their IT investments and ensure smooth commerce for the Internet. AgileLoad Technologies offers integrated solutions, service and support to companies that want to minimize risk, benchmark Service Level Agreements, and enable Capacity Planning for their IT infrastructures.

AgileLoad Test Center

AgileLoad Test Center lets you manage jobs, monitor running jobs, analyze job results and generate job reports.

AgileLoad Daemon

The AgileLoad Daemon allows the interaction of multiple computers across a variety of platforms in order to run Jobs. 

AgileLoad Modules

AgileLoad is a modular software system that lets users add additional functionality to the system by installing new AgileLoad Modules. When a new Module is installed, existing functionality is enhanced, enabling users to develop their configuration of AgileLoad in line with their performance Testing requirements. Each Module comes complete with its own user interface and run-time components.

AgileLoad Modules are separate installable modules which hook into the core architecture to add specific functionality, including performance monitoring and data collection for all three layers of Web Application Environment activity:

AgileLoad Script Editor

AgileLoad Script Editor is an AgileLoad Module used to create and model Scripts produced from Web browser session recordings, which are in turn incorporated into performance Jobs by reference.

AgileLoad Script Editor is launched from AgileLoad Test Center when you open a Script from the Repository Window.

Repository

The Repository is where Scripts, Collectors, Jobs and results are stored. The default location is within the AgileLoad program file directory structure. 

New Repositories can be created and the Repository path can be changed if required.
In AgileLoad Test Center, select the Options>Repository Path menu option.

Manage the Repository using the Repository Window in AgileLoad Test Center.

Repository Host

The Host, represented by the name or IP address of the computer, holding the Repository used by the local Host. A job must be started from the Repository Host and the computer must be running the AgileLoad Daemon.

Repository tab

The Repository tab displays the contents of the Repository, which stores all the files that define a job. Use the Repository window to manage the contents of the Repository by creating, displaying, editing and deleting Collectors, Scripts and Jobs.

The Repository tab is located on the left-hand side of the Main Window by default and displays the contents of the Repository in three predefined folders (Collectors, Scripts, and Jobs). These folders organize the contents of the Repository into a directory structure, which you can browse through to locate the files you need.

Double-click on the predefined folders to open them and display the files they contain.

Right-click on the folders to access the function menus, which contain options for creating new Collectors, Scripts and Jobs

Script

Scripts form the basis of HTTP/S load Tests using AgileLoad. Scripts supply the HTTP/S load element used to simulate load against target Web Application Environments (WAE) during their development.

A Script represents the recorded HTTP/S requests issued by a browser to WAE during a Web session. 

Scripts encapsulate the Web activity you need to test and let you create the required Test conditions. Use AgileLoad Test Center to select Scripts and include them in a job, then run the job against target WAEs in order to accurately simulate the way real end users work and help evaluate their performance.

Scripts are saved as an .HTP file and stored in the Repository.

SNMP

Simple Network Management Protocol, the Internet standard protocol developed to manage nodes on an IP network. SNMP is not limited to TCP/IP. SNMP can be used to manage and monitor all sorts of equipment including computers, routers, wiring hubs, toasters and jukeboxes.

For more information, visit the NET_SNMP Web site:
http://net-snmp.sourceforge.net/

SSL

Secure Sockets Layer, a protocol designed by Netscape Communications Corporation to provide encrypted communications on the Internet. SSL is layered beneath application protocols such as HTTP, SMTP, Telnet, FTP, Gopher, and NNTP and is layered above the connection protocol TCP/IP. It is used by the HTTPS access method.

Stress Test

Stress testing is the process of using a Web Application Environment in a way that would be considered operationally abnormal. Examples of this could be running a load test with a significantly larger number of Virtual Users than would normally be expected, or running with some infrastructure or systems software facilities restricted.

Task

A job is comprised of one or more Task Groups that in turn are composed of Tasks. The Scripts and Collectors included in Task Groups are known as Tasks. Script-based Task Groups can contain one or multiple Tasks. Tasks within a Script-based Task Group can be managed by adjusting the Task Settings that control the number of Script iterations and the delay between iterations when a job is run.

Collector-based Task Groups contain a single Collector Task.

Task Group

A Job is comprised of one or more Task Groups. Task Groups can be of two types: Script-based or Collector-based. Script-based Task Groups represent one or a sequence of HTTP/S Scripts. Collector-based Task Groups represent a single data collection Collector. Task Groups can contain either Scripts or a Collector, but not both. The Scripts and Collectors included in Task Groups are known as Tasks.

A Job can include as many Task Groups as necessary.

Task Group Definition

A Task Group definition constitutes the Tasks included in the Task Group and the Task Group settings that you apply.

Task Group Settings

Task Group settings include Schedule settings, Host settings, Virtual User settings, Task settings and options settings. Use Task Group settings to control how a job's Tasks and Task Group behave when a job is run.

Schedule settings determine when Task Groups start and stop.

Host settings specify which Host computer is used to run a Task Group.

Virtual User settings control the load generated against target Web Application Environments during specification of the number of Virtual Users running a Task Group. Set Logging levels to determine the amount of performance statistics collected from Virtual Users running the Tasks. You can also select Generate Timers for each Web page returned during a Test-run.

Task settings control the number of times Script-based Tasks are run, this includes the delay you want to apply between each version of a Script during a Test-run.

Transaction

A unit of interaction with an RDBMS or similar system.

URI

Uniform Resource Identifier, the generic set of all names and addresses that are short strings, which refer to objects (typically on the Internet). The most common kinds of URI are URLs and relative URLs.

URL

Uniform Resource Locator, a standard way of specifying the location of an object, typically a Web page, on the Internet. Other types of objects are described below. URLs are the form of address used on the World-Wide Web. They are used in HTML documents to specify the target of a hyperlink, which is often another HTML document (possibly stored on another computer).

Variable

Variables let you change the fixed values recorded in Scripts. A variable is defined within a Script. Refer to the Modeling Scripts section for more information.

Virtual User

A Virtual User is the simulation of a real life browser user that performs the Web activity you want during a job-run. You can control the activity of Virtual Users by recording and modeling the Scripts that represent the Web activity you want to test. They are generated when a Script-based Task Group is executed during a job-run and are used to produce the load levels you need against target WAEs.

Web Application Environment, WAE

The applications and/or services that comprise a Web application, this includes database servers, Web servers, load balancers, routers, applications servers, authentication/encryption servers and firewalls.

Web Applications Management, WAM

The entirety of components needed to manage a Web-based IT environment or application. This includes monitoring, performance testing, results display, results analysis and reporting.

Web Site

Any computer on the Internet running a World-Wide Web server process, a particular Web site is identified by the host name part of a URL or URI. See also Web Application Environment.





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