Performance Testing of Distributed Component Architectures
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Performance characteristics, such as response time, throughput, and scalability, are key quality attributes of distributed applications. Current practice, however, rarely applies systematic techniques to evaluate performance characteristics. We argue that evaluation of performance is particularly crucial in early development stages, when important architectural choices are made. At first glance, this contradicts the use of testing techniques, which are usually applied toward the end of a project. In this chapter, we assume that many distributed systems are built with middleware technologies, such as the Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) or the Common Object Request Broker Architecture (CORBA). These provide services and facilities whose implementations are available when architectures are defined. We also note that it is the middleware functionality, such as transaction and persistence services, remote communication primitives, and threading policy primitives, that dominates distributed system performance. Drawing on these observations, this chapter presents a novel approach to performance testing of distributed applications. We propose to derive application-specific test cases from architecture designs so that the performance of a distributed application can be tested based on the middleware software at early stages of a development process. We report empirical results that support the viability of the approach.
KeywordsCommon Object Request Broker Architecture Architectural Choice Connector Type Persistent Data Remote Method Invocation
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