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What is JMeter

JMeter is an open source testing product offered by the Apache Software Foundation. It is a popular Load Testing tool that analyses and measures the performance of web applications. JMeter supports response validation, variable parameterizations, configuration variables, and also has basic monitoring capabilities if needed. This popular plugin-based software is also open-source which means it can be modified according to your requirements.

JMeter can generate millions of virtual users that simultaneously access the web application. This way, you can assess the level of performance of the website, both under normal circumstances and average load and under an unexpected heavy workload. It’s important to understand that JMeter is not a browser. It may resemble one, but it is actually a testing tool that functions at the protocol level.

 In other words, JMeter does not render HTML or run JS scripts. JMeter basically:

  • Creates and sends requests to target servers.
  • Gets back the information from the server and visualizes it in a chart or graph. 
  • Generates reports with test results in a format that is suitable for the company – XML, JSON, or text. 

Benefits of JMeter

Now that we have gained a better understanding of what JMeter is, let’s dive into the benefits of adopting and using it in the modern organization.

  • Open source – JMeter is open-source and free software that can be tailored to fit the company’s requirements. Developers can also contribute their innovations and modifications to upgrade JMeter. 
  • Simplicity – Unlike most testing tools that require a handful of specific hard skills, JMeter is very easy to learn and use. You simply download and install it with the preset default setting, and you can start using the system right away. 
  • OS-independent – JMeter is written in one of the most commonly-used programming languages in the world – It’s a Java desktop app. It can be installed and utilized on any platform, including Windows, Linux, and Mac. 
  • Visualization – JMeter also comes up with robust reports which are complemented by great visuals – graphs, charts, and tree views. They can be generated and saved in many formats (XML, HTML, JSON, and just text). 
  • Extensive testing types with Automation – Using JMeter you can create and execute load tests, stress tests, and functional testing scenarios. Meter allows testers to automate test cases and run them without any human involvement. 

JMeter is a great tool for testing types like load, functional, performance, database server, and others. Adopted for testing web applications, JMeter can simulate a heavy load and high user traffic to assess performance and stability. Finally, the ultimate visual representation of the results makes it the perfect tool for running tests. JMeter supports and can be fully integrated with Selenium if needed.

Disadvantages of Apache JMeter

Just like with any other open source technology, JMeter is not perfect. The system can get so overloaded that it runs out of memory. When this happens, JMeter can no longer simulate and visualize tests. Additionally, JMeter is not suitable for mobile or desktop applications as it can only run tests for web apps. Finally, JMeter lacks support for JavaScript which negatively impacts the quality and precision of simulations. 

Another common problem is that JMeter consumes a lot of memory when used in GUI mode. Upon crossing a specific threshold, this also leads to many errors.

Also the quality and breadth of its reporting and ability to compare performance between versions.

As with many open source tools it lacks enterprise grade support and requires a lot of technical expertise to make it work.