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The Art of Application Performance Testing, 2nd Edition by Ian Molyneaux

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Chapter 7. End-User Experience Monitoring and Performance

Now you see it—now you don’t.

Anonymous

Having discussed a best-practice approach to what could be considered static performance testing in the preceding chapters, I want to now discuss the importance of measuring and understanding the end-user experience. To aid in this process I have called on my friend and colleague, Larry Haig, to provide much of this chapter’s content. Larry’s many years of experience with customer engagements, both while working for one of the major performance vendors and as an independent consultant, have made him one of the industry’s leading lights in end-user experience monitoring.

Traditional performance testing is designed to compare a system with itself, using a variety of infrastructure and application KPIs (as discussed earlier in this book). If effectively designed and executed, this will provide a degree of performance assurance. However, crucially, this approach gives no absolute extrapolation to the experience of end users of the tested application. This chapter and the next address the subject of external monitoring, both in its wider aspects and as an extension to performance testing. They can be read as a standalone guide to effective end-user experience management, looking at the wider situation of ongoing application performance assurance, as well as an exploration of end-user satisfaction as a component of performance testing (the core subject of this book).

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