A few basic pointers before we begin:
#1) LoadRunner interview questions can be categorized into 3 main types – Scripting, Execution and Analysis. It is important for beginners to focus more on the scripting part.
#2) Http/html is mostly used protocol, for a start try to perfect this protocol.
#3) Be sure to know the exact version of LoadRunner that you worked on. In case of work experience with a previous version, try to keep yourself updated with the features that are part of the newer/current versions.
#4) Performance Testing interviews are more practical than they used to be. Scenario oriented questions are common rather than straight forward ones. Some companies, even make scripting tests a part of the interview process. So, be prepared for the same.
#5) Even in scripting, it is preferred that you be able to customize code, instead of just record and replay.
#6) Expect questions on – think time, transactions, comments, recording options, run time settings, etc. – these are to test your knowledge of scripting best practices.
The following are some of the performance testing interview questions that will need some experience to answer. Try to keep these questions in mind while working on your performance test projects, so the interview preparation activity becomes a continuous process.
- What are the different scripting issues you faced so far?
- What are the performance bottlenecks that you found in projects you were working? What are the recommendations made to overcome those issues?
- Have you applied Little’s law in your project? If so, how?
- What is your approach for analysis?
- What do you monitor while execution?
- How to extract server data for test execution and how to analyze that?
- How to identify performance bottlenecks?
Key question areas are:
- Challenges that you face during scripting
- Correlation function
- Error handling
- Different recording modes for Web HTTP/HTML protocol.
- Scenario creation
- Challenges during execution
Below we provided few common LoadRunner interview questions and answers to them. However, please note that the best results can be achieved by providing answers based on your exposure, expertise and interpretation of the concepts. Learning just the answers to questions is not always optimum. Practice, Learn and Expert – this should be your approach for performance testing interview preparation.
Q 1. What is the difference between Performance testing and Performance engineering?
Ans: In Performance testing, testing cycle includes requirement gathering, scripting, execution, result sharing and report generation. Performance Engineering is a step ahead of Performance testing where after execution; results are analyzed with the aim to find the performance bottlenecks and the solution is provided to resolve the identified issues.
Q2. Which components have you used in LoadRunner ?
Ans: Vuser generator – For generating Scripts
Controller – For creating and executing scenarios
Analyzer – To analyze results
Q3. What is load runner Agent.
Ans: Agent is interface between host machine and controller
Q4. What is the process for developing a Vuser Script ?
Ans: There are 4 steps for developing a vuser script.
1) Record the Vuser Script .
2) Playback / Enhance the recorded vuser script.
3) Define the various run-time settings & check
4) Incorporate the script in a LoadRunner scenario
Q5. Explain Performance Testing Life Cycle.
Ans: Step 1: System Analysis (Identification of critical transaction)
Virtual User Generator
Step 2: Creating Virtual User Scripts (Recording)
Step 3: Defining Users Behavior (Runtime setting)
Step 4: Creating Load Test Scenarios
Step 5: Running the Load Test Scenarios and Monitoring the Performance
Step 6: Analyzing the Results
Q6. What is Performance testing?
Ans: Performance testing is done to evaluate application`s performance under load and stress conditions. It is generally measured in terms of response time of user’s action on application.
Q7. What is Load testing?
Ans: Load testing is to determine if an application can work well with the heavy usage resulting from a large number of users using it simultaneously. Load is increased to to simulates the peak load that the servers are going to take during maximum usage periods.
Q8. What are the different components of LoadRunner?
Ans: The major components of LoadRunner are:
VUGen- Records Vuser scripts that emulate the actions of real users.
Controller – Administrative center for creating, maintaining and executing load test scenarios. Assigns scenarios to Vusers and load generators, starts and stops loading tests.
Load Generator – An agent through which we can generate load
Analysis – Provides graphs and reports that summarize the system performance
Q9. What is the Rendezvous point?
Ans: Rendezvous point helps in emulating heavy user load (request) on the server. This instructs Vusers to act simultaneously. When the vuser reaches the Rendezvous point, it waits for all Vusers with Rendezvous point. Once designated numbers of Vusers reaches it, the Vusers are released. Function lr_rendezvous is used to create the Rendezvous point. This can be inserted by:
- Rendezvous button on the floating Recording toolbar while recording.
- After recording Rendezvous point is inserted through Insert> Rendezvous.
Q 10. What are the different sections of the script? In what sequence does these section runs?
Ans: LoadRunner script has three sections vuser_init, Action and vuser_end.
vuser_init has requests/actions to login to the application/server.
Action has actual code to test the functionality of the application. This can be played many times in iterations.
Vuser_end has requests/actions to login out the application/server.
The sequence in which these sections get executed is vuser_init is at the very beginning and vuser_end at the very end. Action is executed in between the two.
Q11. How do you identify which protocol to use for any application?
Ans: Previously Performance tester had to depend much on the development team to know about the protocol that application is using to interact with the server. Sometimes, it also used to be speculative.
However, LoadRunner provides a great help in form of Protocol Advisor from version 9.5 onwards. Protocol advisor detects the protocols that application uses and suggest us the possible protocols in which script can be created to simulate the real user.
Q12. What is correlation? Explain the difference between automatic correlation and manual correlation?
Ans: Correlation is used to handle the dynamic values in a script. The dynamic value could change for each user action (value changes when action is replayed by the same user) or for different users (value changes when action is replayed with different user). In both the cases correlation takes care of these values and prevents them from failing during execution.
Manual Correlation involves identifying the dynamic value, finding the first occurrence of dynamic value, identifying the unique boundaries of capturing the dynamic value, writing correlation function web_reg_save_param before the request having the first occurrence of dynamic value in its response.
Automated correlation works on predefined correlation rules. The script is played back and scanned for auto correlation on failing. Vugen identifies the place wherever the correlation rules work and correlate the value on approval.
Q13. How to identify what to correlate and what to parameterize?
Ans: Any value in the script that changes on each iteration or with different user while replaying needs correlation. Any user input while recording should be parametrized.
Q14. How many VUsers are required for load testing ?
This is essentially a trick question.
Ans: The number of VUsers required depends on your system under test , network configurations , hardware settings, memory, operating system, software applications objective of performance test. There can not be any generic value for Vuser.
Q15. What is the difference in running the Vuser as a process and as a thread? Which is more advantageous way of running Vuser?
Ans: When Vuser is run as a process the same driver program is loaded into memory for each Vuser. This will take a large amount of memory and will limit the number of Vusers you can run on a single generator
When Vuser is run as a thread, only one instance of driver program is shared by given number of Vusers. You can run more number of Vusers on a single generator using the multi-threading mode.
Q16. What is the significance of “Vuser-init “?
Ans: Vuser-init records the pre-operations also called the initialization operations before the actual application is run.
Q17. What is extended log?
Ans: An extended log will store information such as data returned by server and advanced trace, parameter substitution and much other information depending on the options you select in run-time settings.
Q18. Why do you create parameter?
Ans: To create a parameter you will replace the hard coded value within the script and replace it with a parameter. This allows a single Vuser to be run many times, and to use different data on each run. It helps in stimulating more real life server demand as it prevents server from caching results.
Q19. What is parameterization & why is parameterization necessary in the script?
Ans: Replacing hard coded values within the script with a parameter is called Parameterization. This helps a single virtual user (vuser) to use different data on each run. This simulates real life usage of application as it avoids server from caching results.
Q20. How you identify Performance test use cases of any application?
Ans: Test cases/Uses cases for Performance test are almost same as any manual/functional testing test cases where each and every step performed by the user is written. The only difference is that all manual test cases can’t be Performance testing use cases as there are few criteria for the selection as:
A) The user activity should be related to critical and most important functionality of the application.
B)The user activity should be having good amount of database activity such as search, delete or insert.
C)The user activity should be having good user volume. The functionality having less user activity is generally omitted from Performance testing point of view. e.g admin account activity.
Any of the manual test cases that fulfill the above criteria can be used as performance testing use case/test case. If manual test cases are not written step by step , Performance team should create dedicated documents for them.
Q21. While scripting you created correlation rules for automatic correlation. If you want to share the correlation rules with your team member working on the same application so that he/she can use the same on his workstation, how will you do that?
Ans: Correlation rules can be exported through .cor file and the same file can be imported through VuGen.
Q22. How will you divide your script into multiple Actions? Why?
Ans: I will divide the script into Actions based on the functionality. For example, Once Action for Logining into Application, another Action for booking and so on.
Actions increase code reusability, reduce maintenance time and hence, decrease costs.
Q23. How can you set the number of Vusers in LoadRunner ?
Ans: You can set the number of Vusers in the controller section while creating your scenarios. Many other advanced options like ramp-up, ramp-down of Vusers are also available in the Controller section.
Q24. What are monitors?
Ans: Monitors are used to “monitor” performance bottlenecks. They are used in Controller section of Load Runner
Q25. What are the types of check points is available in LoadRunner?
Ans: LoadRunner provides two types of check points
a) Image Checkpoints : This checkpoint will verify the presence of an image on a page during run-time
b) Text Checkpoint : This checkpoint will verify the presence of a text-string on a page during run-time
Both of the above checkpoints can be added in Vugen.
Q25.1 What kind of problem we can face regarding hardware, software, network and memory bottleneck during the performance test?
Ans: The possible issues amongst others could be –
1. Lack of Hardware
2. Memory Leakage
3. Network related issues.
4. Application/Software error
Q26. What would be your recommendation to improve performance measure?
Ans: Fine Tuning of network, database, and app and web server is recommended.
At the network level try to optimize the latency and bandwidth.
At database level, verify all indexes and sequences by running profilers. You may also optimize your database queries.
At the App server level, run profilers for finding the memory leaks in the application
At the web server level you can use monitors and optimize the throughput and other related metrics of the server.
Q27. What is Rendezvous point?
Ans: Rendezvous point is Synchronization/Wait point . Rendezvous points instruct Vusers to wait during test execution for multiple Vusers to arrive at a certain point, in order that they may simultaneously perform a task.
The significance of this is to emulate some heavy load only to particular portion of the scenario and test the behavior of the application.
Q28. What is Correlation?
Ans: Correlation is used to obtain data which is unique for each run of your test script (ex: session ids). While recording, these dynamic values are hard-coded in your script causing the script to fail during playback. Correlation is a technique where dynamic values are not hard-coded in your script but are extracted at run-time to avoid failure.
Q29. What is Manual Correlation?
Ans: Its correlation technique which uses function Web_reg_save_param() to identify dynamic values in your script. It is important that your playback your script to verify that correlation is done successfully.
Q30. How do you identify the performance bottlenecks? –
Ans: Performance Bottlenecks can be detected by using monitors.
These monitors might be application server monitors, web server monitors, database server monitors and network monitors.
They help in finding out the troubled area in our scenario which causes increased response time.
The measurements made are usually performance response time, throughput, hits/sec, network delay graphs, etc
Q31. What are different types of vuser logs which can be used while scripting and execution? What is the difference between these logs? When you disable logging?
Ans: There are two types of Vuser logs available –Standard log and Extended log. Logs are key for debugging the script. Once a script is up and running, logging is enabled for errors only. Standard log creates a log of functions and messages sent to the server during script execution whereas Extended log contains additional of warnings and other messages. Logging is used during debugging and disabled while execution. Logging can be enabled for errors in that case.
Q32. What is Modular approach of scripting?
Ans: In Modular approach, a function is created for each request (e.g. login, logout, save, delete, etc.) and these functions are called wherever required. This approach gives more freedom to reuse the request and saves time. With this approach it is recommended to work with web custom request.
Q33. What are the different types goals in Goal-Oriented Scenario?
Ans: LoadRunner has five different types of goals in Goal-Oriented Scenario. These are:
- The number of concurrent Vusers
- The number of hits per second
- The number of transactions per second
- The number of pages per minute
- The transaction response time
Q34. How is each step validated in the script?
Ans: Each step in the script is validated with the content on the returned page. A content check verifies whether specific content is present on the web page or not. There are two types of content check which can be used in LoadRunner:
Text Check- This checks for a text/string on the web page
Image Check- This checks for an image on a web page.
Q35. How is VuGen script modified after recording?
Ans: Once the script is recorded, it can be modified with the following process:
Q36. What is Ramp up and Ramp Down?
Ans: Ramp up- Rate at which virtual users add to the load test
Ramp Down- Rate at which virtual users exit from the load test.
Q37. What is the advantage of running the Vuser as thread?
Ans: Running vusers as thread helps generate more virtual users from any machine due to small memory print of the vuser running as thread.
Q38. Which function is used to end a nested transaction ?
Ans: The function is – lr_end_sub_transaction
Q39. What is the difference between transaction and transaction instance in loadRunner ?
Ans: A transaction is used to measure time between executions of certain statements. A transaction instance is used for performance analysis
Q40. While the script is running we find some values that may be need to be correlated? Is it possible to do manual correlation for those values?
Ans: NO. Its not possible to do correlation when script is running but you can make changes once script has stopped.
Q41. What is Elapsed Time in Load Runner?
Ans: Elapsed time designates how much time has passed since the launch of the current event and is measured differently for different screens as given below –
In Scenario Status Window – Elapsed time is measured from the moment you hit “Start Scenario” or ” Initialize/Run Vuser?” button.
In “Vuser” window elapsed time is measured form the moment Vuser enters “running” state.
Q42. Does caching have a negative effect on your load testing results ?
Ans: Yes. Caching has a negative effect. Cache is temporary memory which stores your browsing history. When you visit a page for the SECOND time , the time required to load the page will be less than that required to load the page for your first visit since much of the information required to load the page is grabbed from the cache instead of the server. This will effect the response times in your test. Hence, it is recommended to turn-off caching.
Q43. What is the difference between Overlay graph and Correlate graph?
Ans: Overlay Graph: It will overlay the content of two graphs that shares a common x-axis
Correlate Graph: It will Plot the Y-axis of two graphs against each other.
Q44. What is the difference between lr_error_message and lr_debug _message?
Ans: lr_error_message – Sends a error message to the LoadRunner Controller’s Output window
lr_debug _message – Sends a debug message to the LoadRunner Controller’s Output window
Q45. What is the difference between load , performance testing ?
Ans: The objective of performance testing is to check whether an application loads/updates within stipulate time limit (say 2 seconds). It uses metrics like response time , Requests per second. It is carried out under production – like load conditions.
The objective of load testing is to check scalability of the system. For example, finding out the maximum number of users supported by the system within certain specifications.
Q46. You have created several Auto Correlation rules. A new tester on your team is preparing to record a group of scripts on the same application on his workstation. What can you do to provide the tester with the correlation rules?
Ans: I would export the Auto Correlation rules to a .cor file, and then have the new team member import the .cor file into his Auto Correlation rules
Q47. You want to emulate a call center for an airline. All representatives login in the morning, perform their business processes, and log out at night. In one day, a representative will Create 40 flight reservations, Modify 10 flight reservations, and Search for 20 flight reservations. A representative cannot perform a Modify without performing a Search first. How would you design the run logic ?
Ans: Create – 67% Search – 16% Block0 – 17% Search Modify
Q48. Where should you add a web_reg_save_param function to a script?
Ans: Before the step that retrieves the dynamic value
Q49. What is wasted time in VuGen Replay log?
Ans: Waste time is never performed by any browser user and just the time spent on the activities which support the test analysis. These activities are related to logging, keeping record and custom analysis.
Q50. How do you enable text and image checks in VuGen?
Ans. This can be done by using functions web_find (for text check) and web_image_check (for image check) and enabling image and text check from run time setting.
Run Time Setting–>Preference–>Enable the Image and text check box.
Q51. What is the difference between web_reg_find and web_find?
Ans: web_reg_find function is processed before the request sent and is placed before the request in the VuGen script whereas web_find function is processed after the response of the request come and is placed after the request in VuGen script.
Q52. What are the challenges that you will face to script the step “Select All” and then “Delete” for any mail account?
Ans: In this case the post for “Select All” and “Delete” will change every time depending on the number mails available. For this the recorded request for the two should be replaced with custom request and string building is required to build the post. (Note- This question needs practical knowledge. So please this practically and formulate your answer).
Q53. What is difference between pacing and think time?
Ans: Pacing is wait time between the action iterations whereas think time is wait time between the transactions.
Q54. What are the number of graphs you can monitor using Controller at a time? What is the max of them?
Ans: One, two, four and eight graphs can be seen at a time. The maximum number of graphs can be monitored in at a time is 8.
Q55. You have an application which shows the exam results of the student. Corresponding to name of each student its mentioned whether he passed or failed the exam with the label of “Pass” and “Fail”. How will you identify the number of passed and failed student in VuGen script?
Ans: For this text check is used for the web page for the text “Pass and “Fail”. Through the function web_reg_find, we can capture the number of texts found on the web page with the help of “SaveCount”. SaveCount stored the number of matches found. For example-
Q56. Which protocols are supported by Loadrunner ?
Ans: As of Loadrunner 12 following protocols are supported. The interviewer is not looking for you to name all but a few (say 5-7 protocols).
Application Deployment Solution: For the Citrix protocol.
Client/Server: For DB2 CLI, DNS, MS SQL, ODBC, Oracle (2-tier), Sybase
Ctlib, Sybase Dblib, and Windows Sockets protocols.
Custom: For C templates, Visual Basic templates, Java templates,
Distributed Components: For COM/DCOM, Corba-Java, and Rmi -Java protocols.
E-business: For FTP, LDAP, Palm, Web (HTTP/HTML), Web Services, and the dual Web/Winsocket protocols.
Enterprise Java Beans: For EJB Testing and Rmi-Java protocols.
ERP/CRM: For Baan, Oracle NCA, Peoplesoft-Tuxedo, Peoplesoft 8,
SAPGUI, SAP-Web, and Siebel (Siebel-DB2CLI, Siebel-MSSQL, Siebel-Web, and Siebel-Oracle) protocols.
Legacy: For Terminal Emulation (RTE).
Mailing Services: Internet Messaging (IMAP), MS Exchange (MAPI), POP3, and SMTP.
Middleware: Jacada and Tuxedo (6, 7) protocols.
Streaming: For MediaPlayer and RealPlayer protocols.
Q57. During the load test what is the optimum setting for Logs?
Ans: For the load test log level is set to minimal. This can be achieved with setting the log level to the standard log and selecting the radio button “Send message only when an error occurs”.
Q58. How will you handle the situation in scripting where for your mailbox you have to select any one mail randomly to read?
Ans: For this we will record the script for reading the first mail. Try to find what is being posted in the request to read the first mail such as mail ids or row no. From the post where a list of mails is reflecting, we will try to capture all the email ids row no with correlation function and keeping Ordinal as All i.e. ORD=All . Replace the requested email id in the read post with any of the randomly selected email id from the list of captured email ids.
Q59. What is the Think Time? What is the Threshold level for think time and how can be this changed?
Ans: Think time is the wait time inserted intentionally between the actions in the script to emulate real user`s wait time while performing activity on the application. The Threshold level for Think time in the level below which recorded think time will be ignored. This can be changed from Recorded options->Script->Generate think time greater than threshold.
Q60. How is Automated Correlation configured?
Ans: Any setting related to Automated Correlation can be done by General Options->Correlation. Correlation rules are set from Recording options->Correlations.
Q61. How you decide the number of load generator machine required to run a test?
Ans: Number of load generator required totally depends on the protocol used to create the script and configuration of the load generator machine. Each protocol has different memory print and this decides how many virtual users can be generated from the give configuration of the machine (load generator).
Q62. What are the capabilities exactly you look for while selecting the performance testing tool?
Ans: Performance testing tool should capable of:-
- Testing an application built using multiple technologies and hardware platforms.
- Determine the suitability of a server for testing the application
- Testing an application with load of tens, thousand and even thousands virtual users.
Q63. How concurrent users are differing from simultaneous users?
Ans: All simultaneous users are concurrent users but vice versa is not true.
All the vusers in the running scenario are Concurrent users as they are using the same application at the same time but may be or may not be doing the same tasks. Simultaneous users perform the same task at the same time. Concurrent users are made Simultaneous users through rendezvous points. Rendezvous points instruct the system to wait till a certain number of vusers arrive so that they all can do a particular task simultaneously.
Q64. How do you identify which values need to be correlated in the script? Give an example.
Ans: This can be done in ways:
a) Record the two scripts with similar steps and compare them using WDiff utility.
b) Replay the recorded script and scan for correlation. This gives a list of values that can be correlated.
Session Id is a good example of this. When two scripts are recorded and compared using WDiff utility. Session ids in the two scripts should be different and WDiff highlight these values.
Q65. How does caching affect performance testing results?
Ans: When data is cached in server`s memory, the server need not fetch the result and no server activity triggered. Test result does not reflect the same performance of real user using the application with different data.
Q66. How will you stop the execution of script on error?
Ans: This can be achieved through lr_abort function. The function instructs the vuser to stop executing Action section and end the execution by executing the vuser_end section. This function is helpful in handling a specific error. This can also be used to handle a situation rather than error where execution is not possible. The function assigned “Stopped” status to the vuser which stopped due to lr_abort function. In Run-Time setting, “Continue on error” should be unchecked.
Q67. You want to have each step in your script measured as a transaction in the Controller and not shown in the Replay Log in VuGen. How can you accomplish this?
Ans: This can be done by enabling the automatic transaction in the Run-time settings
Q68. Which web protocol recording level generates the web_submit_form function?
Ans: The URL protocol generates this function.