Category: Micro Focus

What if your application was one second faster?

Why one second faster?

Improving your website performance will increase your business. But don’t take our word for it—there is plenty of evidence.

According to Kissmetrics:

  • 25% of consumers will abandon a website that takes more than four seconds to load
  • 47% of consumers expect a webpage to load in two seconds or less
  • 79% of shoppers who are dissatisfied with website performance are less likely to buy from the same site again
  • A one-second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions
  • A one-second delay (or three seconds of waiting) decreases customer satisfaction by about 16%

So, what would performing one second faster mean for your web application or website? JDS is now offering a limited time promotion that will allow you to realise the maximum performance of your website or application. Over the course of five days, our experts will work with your team to analyse your web application and accelerate its performance for your customers.

 

What’s included?

  • Your own dedicated performance expert for five days (either on-site or off-site)
  • A technical deep dive of your web application, turning over every rock to understand how it can work faster and harder for your business
  • Best practice tips and techniques straight from the guys in the know
  • Experts fluent in everything from Java and .NET through to SAP and Oracle
  • A presentation and roadmap of the findings and recommendations found

Why JDS?

We are Australia’s leading performance test consultancy with 15 years of experience partnering with organisations of every size, from startups to large enterprises and governments. We have a reputation for being a key player in making Australian web applications exceptional. Want to get started? Reach out to a JDS team member, send an email to [email protected], or call 1300 780 432 to confidentially discuss your web application and how we can help.

We partner with leading technologies

Integrating OMi (Operations Manager i) with ServiceNow

We have delivered Micro Focus solutions and migrated "Operations Manager for Windows" (OMW) to the innovative new OMi for a number of customers. In most of these cases, the requirement was also to integrate ServiceNow—a request that has been growing in popularity. In each case where JDS has provided OMi to ServiceNow integration, it has proven successful and satisfying for our customers.

OMi has been tested over time, built on a firm foundation. It is robust in design and suitable for every known event and service model situation possible. The possibilities are endless and the GUI is customisable—and as for the designs provided out-of-the-box, they are a fully featured event and service model, driven to work well from the operations and support personnel perspectives.

The integration with ServiceNow is relatively straightforward and simple. It requires a little groovy script programming knowledge. Generally speaking, someone who has an intermediate breadth in JavaScripting can sufficiently develop a connector script. The script is set under the Connected Servers option in the managed scripts.

There are some examples provided; one in particular is the "LogFile Adapter", and with the use of the OMi extensibility guide, these examples can easily translate into useful real-world cases.

You will need to create an account in ServiceNow and enable the "Web service access" role to be allowed to make Web service API protocol calls. Additionally, you will need an account in OMi in order for ServiceNow to interact with OMi WebServices.

Once the OMi connected server to ServiceNow is enabled, Event Forwarding rules can be tailored to use simple event filtering. These filters are used to select and automate events for forwarding and synchronisation with the Connected Server. As an additional option, the integration allows you to right-click on an event and manually transfer it to ServiceNow for incident creation and synchronisation.

With this sample filter shown here, the selection is made when an event matches the filter as a critical event with any lifecycle state that has the priority either set to highest, high, or unknown will be forwarded.

In ServiceNow, it's good practice to have an import table where a transformation map is executed, thereby transforming the forwarded event values to matching values in the ServiceNow incident table. A ServiceNow Business Rule can also be applied to further shape the event data before it's inserted into the incident table.

An example of an import table containing the event data fields we want to transform is below:

Here is an example of a transformation map source field for “description”. The target is set for the incident table to match on the target field “description”.

The incident table can be modified to include the OMi event ID field and be transformed similarly as the description example as shown above. This is important so that the incident can be identified easily as originating from OMi. A Business Rule can check for this field if it contains a GUID value. If an event ID GUID exists in the incident omi_id field, the Business Rule advanced actions can be triggered based on the conditions to sync any changes to the incident back to the event in OMi.

The change of the incident Status, Priority, Assigned to, Description, Cause, Work Notes (Annotation), etc. can match that from the ServiceNow incident back to the event’s fields in OMi.

Once the incident in ServiceNow is closed, a Business Rule can trigger the closure of the event and provide:

  • The Work Notes to the event annotation
  • Resolution notes to the solutions field
  • Resolution code to the description field back to the event in OMi

In ServiceNow, when we solve the incident and close it, the incident that was created by the OMi integration will then note the state is set to Closed.

The incident Work Notes are required each time an update to the incident is made and are also added.

Upon incident closure, you are required to populate the incident resolution fields.

After the operator submits and updates the incident, the Business Rule for an OMi generated incident is triggered to then sync the incident details back to the Event and closes it.

The event is closed by an outgoing WebService request from ServiceNow Business Rule that call a REST Message with an xml payload in a REST POST to OMi.

The Solution here is updated by the incident’s resolution information.

Event annotation is updated by the incident’s Work Notes.

Event history details showing the flow of updates to the event that occurred.

In summary, keeping the event in sync with ServiceNow ticketing system is relatively simple. OMi can forward events to an external event processing server via Connected Servers. This clearly makes integrating event management systems with ticketing systems an all-round solid solution to tracking events and incidents. Some JavaScripting is required, along with an in-depth OMi and ServiceNow product knowledge.

JDS has several consultants on the team with this combination of skills and knowledge, and we would be happy to discuss implementing a similar solution for your organisation at any time.

Our team on the case

Tech tips from JDS

Case Study: Australian Red Cross Blood Service enhances critical application performance

“We depend on technology to deliver essential services to our people and healthcare professionals around the country,” says Wayne Bolton, manager of Applications and Integration Services for the Blood Service. “If our applications are unavailable, slow or not performing as intended, we’re potentially impacting patient care. In this business, time is critical.”

Historically, the Blood Service tested and monitored its infrastructure and applications in a manual, siloed and time-consuming manner. Given the criticality of its services and the highly regulated industry it operates in, the Blood Service needed more insightful information about the quality, performance, and availability of its applications.

Today, the Blood Service has that insight. Over a period of time, it has adopted best practices to gain visibility into its critical business services and understand what its users are experiencing. This was achieved by taking an end-to-end lifecycle approach to optimising applications from pre-production through to post-production or day-to-day operations management. How? By using Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) with HP Quality Center software and HP Functional Testing software in conjunction with HP Application Performance Management including HP LoadRunner software, HP SiteScope software, HP Business Process Monitor software, HP Business Service Management software and HP Diagnostics software.

Objective

Drive improvements in the quality, performance and availability of business-critical services

Approach

Engaged HP Platinum Partner JDS Australia to secure application delivery and perform validation services

IT improvements

  • Obtained single point of truth to for application validation records
  • Unified functional, performance and quality management
  • Gained operational efficiencies by migrating to a paperless testing environment
  • Enhanced the Blood Services’ reputation
  • Provided evidence of a code issue to the application vendor to ensure a timely fix

 

Improved availability

About the Red Cross Blood Service

The Australian Red Cross Blood Service (Blood Services) performs a critical role in Australia’s health system. It provides quality blood products, essential services
and leading-edge research to improve the lives of patients.

A non-profit organisation with more than 4,000 employees, the Blood Service must be ready to respond around the clock to deliver blood and search its extensive records for specialised requirements for particular patients. More than 520,000 Australians are blood donors across 120 collection sites every year.

The organisation’s infrastructure is comprised of a range of servers in two main sites and approximately 40 enterprise applications, of which the mission-critical National Blood Management System (NBMS) has the largest footprint with more than 3,000 users. The performance of its systems is, therefore, a top priority.

Industry

Health

Primary applications

  • ePROGESA (Blood management system)
  • Oracle eBusiness Suite (Financials and Procurement)
  • Chris 21 (Human Resources)
  • Genesys Call Centre Enterprise Software
  • Collection Site Reference Application (CSRA)
  • HP Application Lifecycle Management Solution
  • HP Application Performance Management Solution

Primary hardware

  • IBM P570
  • IBM Blades

Primary software

  • AIX
  • Linux
  • Windows® XP
  • HP Application Lifecycle Management including:
    • HP Quality Center Software
    • HP Functionality Testing Software
  • HP Application Performance Management including:
    • HP LoadRunner Software
    • HP Diagnostics Software
    • HP Business Service Management Software
    • HP Business Process Monitor Software
    • HP SiteScope Software

Regulatory compliance drives change

The catalyst came as a result of the need to be able to demonstrate the validation state of the NBMS to both internal and external auditors.

“In the beginning, we were looking for a solution that would allow us to better manage the validation of the National Blood Management System and meet our compliance obligations,” explains Bolton. “In the past, validations were performed on paper, needed considerable manpower and would often take months to complete. In 2006, we decided to do what we could to automate the process and began looking around for a suitable solution.

“We selected HP based on the solution’s deep functionality, automation capabilities, scalability potential and industry leadership.”

Partnering for success

Understanding that it could reach faster time to value with an implementation partner, the Blood Service engaged JDS Australia (JDS) to assist with the project.

An HP Platinum Partner and winner of coveted HP Software Solutions Partner Excellence Awards for six consecutive years, JDS is regarded as an expert in the field of software testing, application/infrastructure monitoring and service management.

JDS believes that for most organisations getting a partner on-board takes the risks out of deployment and maximises return on software investment. “For the Blood Service, leveraging specialist services from JDS has really paid off. It allowed the organisation to focus on core competencies and strategic direction, while we managed testing and monitoring execution. It also brought something else – a roadmap for the future.”

“Embarking on this project without JDS would have been a difficult, if not an impossible undertaking,” explains Bolton. “With their assistance, we were up and running on HP Quality Center very quickly and had standardised on a central quality platform. We were managing and controlling software requirements and test cases with relative ease. Not long after this, we implemented HP Functional Testing and began functional and regression testing of more than 70 percent of our core business processes.

“For the first time in our history, we had a single source of truth for our testing assets and could much more easily demonstrate our validation efforts to internal and external audit. Our people could go to a central location to access, manage and reuse test cases.

“We gained operational efficiencies by migrating to a paperless testing environment and achieved real-time visibility into our validation progress. Overall, HP Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) unified functional, performance and quality management. It increased visibility and enabled us to better align business and technology requirements.“

Today, there are numerous examples where the Blood Service is realising benefits. “For instance, we can now run execution reports on the validation scripts on our blood manufacturing application in 30 minutes, rather than perhaps spending days recalling paper records from off-site storage,” adds Bolton.

“In addition, when we encountered an issue with HP Functional Testing not recognising a certain JAVA class, we asked JDS for help. They collaborated closely with the HP R&D team and within three weeks a global patch was released. This would not have been possible without the high-level relationship JDS has with HP.”

Broadening the HP horizon

Getting results on the board quickly with quality and compliance management paved the way for the next phase of evolution with HP and JDS. The Blood Service decided to upgrade its NBMS to take advantage of significant technical enhancements.

This third-party application, known as ePROGESA, is used by many blood banks around the world. Yet the Blood Service was cautious in its approach towards the upgrade as it was such a major undertaking and others had experienced issues.

“If we were going to execute this upgrade successfully, it became clear that we needed performance testing,” says Bolton. “We were transitioning from a green-screen application that was not scalable to a new n-tier J2EE environment. It was not a trivial matter and we needed to ensure it would perform as intended when launched.”

Once again, the Blood Service engaged JDS. This time, it was to validate system performance prior to going live on ePROGESA and ensure the vendor was meeting its contractual obligations. JDS leveraged Application Performance Lifecycle solutions including HP LoadRunner to emulate predicted loads and HP LoadRunner Diagnostics to deep-dive into the detail. HP SiteScope was also used to correlate infrastructure metrics while the system was under load.

Bolton says the project was unusually complex, “We were working with three different suppliers - one was responsible for the infrastructure, another handled the application and JDS was looking after performance testing. It made for an interesting working relationship, because we had to marry input from three sources prior to going live.”

Embarking on this project without JDS would have been a difficult, if not an impossible undertaking. With their assistance, we were up and running

We decided to do what we could to automate the process and began looking around for a suitable solution.

Thanks to HP and JDS, we’ve realised the full advantages of adopting a lifecycle management approach to managing our applications – from testing, through to pre-production through to go-live. We’ve mitigated risks, ensured quality and delivered more responsive, stable services to support our users and the organisations mission to improve the lives of patients.

We now proactively know exactly what our end users are experiencing and can detect any performance or availability issues across all key geographic locations.

Predicting and proving system behaviour

“During this time, we had a situation where ePROGESA was simply not performing as intended,” says Bolton. “After evaluating a range of possibilities, we threw more memory at it. When this didn’t yield any results, we began to suspect there could be a bottleneck in the application’s code.”

“When discussing this with JDS, we again turned to HP for answers. We needed to have a detailed look at the problem. Within hours, JDS had isolated the specific line of code that was causing the problem.”

JDS explains, “We used HP LoadRunner in conjunction with HP LoadRunner Diagnostics to deep-dive into the detail and independently ascertain that the performance issues experienced were indeed code-related. It was the silver bullet the Blood Service needed and a patch for ePROGESA was issued.”

Subsequent performance testing and tuning allowed the Blood Service to meet its objectives and deliver response times that were acceptable to the business.

“This gave us the confidence to go live,” says Bolton. “The beauty of HP LoadRunner is that you can draw a line in the sand to benchmark performance and correlate this to what is happening on the hardware. By using it alongside HP LoadRunner diagnostics, you can access all the detailed information you need. This was incredibly valuable and the insight obtained helped us make informed decisions about the readiness of ePROGESA and minimise the risks.”

Monitoring end-user behaviour

Next on the Blood Service’s agenda was enterprise-grade production monitoring. JDS recommended HP Business Service Management (BSM) and associated tools including HP SiteScope, HP Business Process Monitor (BPM) and HP Diagnostics.

These tools were complemented with HP BPM transactions to synthetically gauge end-user performance and availability across its distributed locations and learn of potential issues before end-users were impacted.
Within a short period of deploying these solutions, the Blood Service realised significant operational benefits. “We quickly had evidence to show the business that we were meeting the ePROGESA service levels of 99.98 percent availability,” says Tony Oosterbeek, Acting ICT manager. “Actual response times on business transactions were being met, and in fact, far exceeding expectations. We had an early warning system to resolve issues before our users were impacted. More importantly, we had complete traceability between the performance and availability our end-users experienced.”

Since then, the Blood Service has adopted this same proactive approach to address system availability for other applications including its Collection Site Reference Application – an in-house system used by its national call centre. “Recently, we needed to find out if the application could scale up from 100 to 135 users,” explains Brett Renton, IS Acting operations manager. “HP LoadRunner was put to work and we quickly determined that the user breakpoint would be 180 people. This gave us the confidence we needed to go ahead.”

“Another example of the benefits we are realising with HP Business Service Management (BSM) is with our Oracle™ Financials suite. After we decided to upgrade the software, hardware and database elements to improve performance, we leveraged HP Business Process Monitor (BPM) to better understand the timing issues around business transactions and used this data to justify the cost of the upgrade. It was a really good way to make a clear business case and the results speak for themselves. We now proactively know exactly what our end users are experiencing and can detect any performance or availability issues across all key geographic locations”.

Business Benefits

  • Improved ability to meet regulatory audits by access to validation data in hours rather than days or weeks
  • Achieved availability of 99.8 percent for National Blood Management System (NBMS)
  • Achieved proactive end-user visibility of business transaction times for Oracles™ Financials application
  • Mitigated risks of deploying applications in critical functions

Solid future

Adopting a lifecycle approach to quality, performance and availability of key business applications has enhanced the Blood Services’ capability.

There is now a focus on extending the discipline of validation to other systems, “Although we’ve improved processes in areas including requirements, testing and performance, the greatest outcome is that we have brought all these best practices together. This combination provides collaborative processes and analysis capabilities for traceability and consistent reporting across the lifecycle. It has brought the organisation to a common place that allows us to achieve governance, compliance and accountability at a lower risk.”

“Thanks to HP and JDS, we’ve realised the full advantages of adopting a lifecycle management approach to managing our applications – from testing, through to pre-production through to go-live. We’ve mitigated risks, ensured quality and delivered more responsive, stable services to support our users and the organisations mission to improve the lives of patients,” says Bolton.

Our team on the case

[amoteam max="3" categories="220" item-width="250" item-margin="20" full-width="yes" align="center" panel="right"]

Why choose JDS?

At JDS, our purpose is to ensure your IT systems work wherever, however, and whenever they are needed. Our expert consultants will help you identify current or potential business issues, and then develop customised solutions to suit you.

JDS is different from other providers in the market. We offer 24/7 monitoring capabilities and support throughout the entire application lifecycle. We give your IT Operations team visibility into the health of your IT systems, enabling them to identify and resolve issues quickly.

We are passionate about what we do, working seamlessly with you to ensure you are getting the best possible performance from your environment. All products sold by JDS are backed by our local Tier One support desk, ensuring a stress-free solution for the entire product lifecycle.

Case Study: Flash Group optimises performance of the Global Corporate Challenge Website

In 2009, Flash experienced some performance issues with the Global Corporate Challenge (GCC) website—the world’s first virtual health program that encourages corporations to help their employees get active and healthy—that resulted in speed degradation, functionality errors and site downtime

With the number of GCC participants predicted to double in 2010 to 120,000, Flash needed to drive a higher level of application performance and mitigate the risks it had previously. As a result, the company turned to HP Preferred Partner, JDS Australia, for a solution. The company adopted a Business Technology Optimization (BTO) approach to application performance with HP LoadRunner software for predicting the behaviour and performance of the GCC website under load.

Objective

Flash Group wanted to mitigate the risk of performance issues for the launch of the 2010 Global Corporate Challenge (GCC) website.

Approach

Flash engaged HP Preferred Partner, JDS Australia and adopted a Business Technology Optimization (BTO) strategy with HP LoadRunner software to obtain an accurate picture of end-to-end system performance.

IT improvements

  • Ensured the quality and performance of the GCC website for the 2010 programme.
  • Established a standardised procedure for load testing the website.
  • Identified and eliminated performance bottlenecks to tune for better performance.
  • Matured its website development methodology.
  • Raised its profile and credibility as an organisation that produces high-performing, user-friendly websites.
  • Delivered 99.99 per cent uptime on its systems with web servers only reaching 20 percent system capacity, and page response times of less than two seconds which resulted in a high-quality user experience and enhanced the programme’s brand value.

About Flash Group

Flash Group (Flash) is one of Australia’s fastest growing full-service advertising agencies, offering integrated services including above and below the line advertising with in-house digital, strategy and design.

The company’s 30 staff are dedicated to servicing a group of high profile clients that spans retail, healthcare, travel, fashion, hardware, consumer electronics and entertainment. This includes leading brands such as Pioneer, Stanley, Global Corporate Challenge, Contiki, Origin Energy, Clive Peeters, and more.

Every year, the company assists Global Corporate Challenge (GCC), a world-first virtual health programme that encourages corporations to help their employees get active and healthy. The programme sees people from around the globe form teams and don pedometers for a period of 16 weeks and record their daily step count on the GCC website, which was designed and built by Flash.

Industry

Marketing and Advertisement

Primary hardware

  • Multiple Virtual Web and Database Servers hosted externally running Windows Server 2008

Primary software

  • HP LoadRunner software

Predicting system behaviour and application performance

“The stability and performance of the GCC website is critical to the long-term success of the programme,” explains Carla Clark, digital producer, Flash Group.

“While we undertook some basic testing in 2009, we did not have adequate visibility to obtain an accurate end-to-end picture of the website’s performance, particularly at peak loads. This was apparent when we experienced issues during the 2009 program and it was the impetus for us to seek a performance validation solution.

“Despite the broad experience of our team, we wanted to leverage specialised expertise in performance validation, so we invited JDS Australia to recommend an appropriate software solution. We settled on HP LoadRunner software, due to its functionality, reliability and versatility.”

Partnership provides expertise and speeds time to benefit

An HP Platinum Partner and winner of the coveted HP Software and Solutions Partner of the Year Award for the past four years, JDS is widely regarded as a leader in the BTO space. The company provides extensive and in-depth knowledge of HP’s suite of testing and monitoring solutions, offering support to clients in a variety of industries.

The account manager at JDS Australia believes this is quite an unusual project, as Flash is one of the first creative agencies he has come across that realised the importance of performance validation for a website it had developed. “Ensuring that mission-critical systems such as the GCC website are available and performing as intended is something that all organisations grapple with. However, we don’t often see creative agencies trying to predict system behaviour and application performance at this level – that’s usually the domain of IT teams or developers.

“For organisations (such as Flash) that don’t have in-house performance testing expertise, getting a partner on-board takes the hassle out of deployment. In this instance, JDS provided a roadmap to help Flash mitigate the risk of deploying the GCC website and prevent the costly performance problems it had previously incurred. We helped the team stress test the website to handle the large increase in participants and determine the peak loads and transactional volumes, which in turn enabled us to recommend how best to setup the IT infrastructure. The testing also identified bottlenecks, which the website developers rectified this year.”

Carla Clark believes that having an HP partner involved made all the difference to this project. She says, “Having JDS on board meant that we could focus on our core competencies, while allowing them to do what they do best—provide the services needed to ensure the GCC website would be available and performing as and when required. JDS has assisted Flash in getting the most out of HP LoadRunner in a short space of time.”

Mitigating risk and gaining confidence

The company’s vision in adopting HP LoadRunner was to ensure the GCC website would be scalable in line with the rising number of users. “We wanted to adopt a long-term approach to this project and create a robust website to keep pace with the programme’s planned growth,” explains Tim Bigarelli, senior developer at Flash. “This also entailed the migration to a new IT infrastructure to further enhance our ability to support the website’s evolution.”

Flash began preparations for the launch of this year’s website by having JDS test the previous application on the old infrastructure to establish performance benchmarks. The next round of tests were applied to the new code base using both the old and new infrastructure. “The results uncovered were extremely beneficial as it enabled us to redevelop the website for maximum performance and functionality. But more importantly, it provided us with complete visibility into the performance of the application from end-to-end, which enabled us to verify that the new application would sustain loads of 1,000 concurrent users over the first peak hour on the launch day with an average login time of 7-8 minutes per user and average response times for all pages under two seconds to avoid abandonment,” adds Bigarelli.

Following a review of three solutions, we settled on HP LoadRunner Software, due to its functionality, reliability and versatility.

JDS has assisted Flash in getting the most out of HP LoadRunner in a short space of time.

HP LoadRunner software has helped Flash mature its website development methodology.

We are delighted with the business outcomes of HP LoadRunner software. Thanks to the preparative measures we put in place, our systems thrived and delivered 99.99% uptime, with our webservers only
reaching 20% system capacity, and page response times of under two seconds.

Better decisions, operational efficiencies and improved client satisfaction

As a result of deploying HP LoadRunner to validate the performance of the GCC website, Flash has realised considerable benefits. The organisation has facilitated better decision-making, particularly on the development side, experienced operational efficiencies and improved client satisfaction.

Clark says, “HP LoadRunner software takes the guesswork out of the GCC website’s development. It provides confidence that the application will work as intended and it gives us the data we need to support our decisions. In short, it helps us avoid application performance problems at the deployment stage.

“By giving us a true picture of end-to-end performance, diagnosing application and systems bottlenecks and enabling us to tune for better performance, we mitigated the risk of failure for the GCC website. And with access to facts, figures and baseline measurements, we were able to tune the application for success.”

Putting the website to the test

Following considerable testing, Flash launched the GCC website on May 13, 2010. As expected, traffic was extremely high, with an average of 130,000 visitors on the first two days, and a peak of 8,403 visitors in the first hour.

“The GCC website performed according to our expectations and we are delighted with the business outcomes of HP LoadRunner software,” says Clark.

“Thanks to the preparative measures we put in place, our systems thrived and delivered 99.99 percent uptime, with our web servers only reaching 20 percent system capacity and page response times of under two seconds. This enabled us to provide a high-quality user experience, which is enhancing the programme’s brand value.

“Overall, HP LoadRunner software helped us solve key issues this year and identify areas for performance improvements for next year. We have benefited from knowing that performance testing prevents potential failures - such as the ones we experienced last year. As a result, we have considerably reduced the opportunity cost of defects, while driving productivity and quality in our operational environment to deliver a robust GCC website this year, that performs as intended.”

Business Benefits

  • Mitigated the risks of poor performance with a consistent approach to load testing.
  • Adopted a consistent approach to load testing to make confident, informed decisions about the performance and scalability of the GCC website.
  • Gained a true picture of end-to-end performance, which enabled better decision-making and functionality changes.
  • Increased client satisfaction through a fast, high-performing website.
  • Resolved issues with the production architecture and configuration before users were impacted.
  • Gained understanding and confidence in the performance characteristics of the website prior to going live.

Looking ahead

HP will continue to play a key role as the performance validation backbone of the GCC website. By leveraging the functionality and flexibility of HP LoadRunner software, Flash will continue to derive value from predicting system behaviour and application performance. The company is also exploring options to extend its HP investment by utilising the HP LoadRunner scripts with HP Business Availability Center software to monitor the performance and availability of the GCC website from an end user perspective.

In the future, Clark is keen to have someone in the team take the lead on testing. She says: “This project has demonstrated to us just how important testing really is, so we are focused on ensuring it becomes part of our routine development. We are also keen to share the functionality of HP LoadRunner to other clients with similar-sized projects.

“On the whole, HP LoadRunner software has helped Flash mature its website development methodology. We deployed a higher quality GCC website, improved client satisfaction and raised our profile and credibility as an organisation that produces high-performing, user-friendly and scalable websites,” concludes Clark.

Our team on the case

[amoteam max="3" categories="219" item-width="250" item-margin="20" full-width="yes" align="center" panel="right"]

Why choose JDS?

At JDS, our purpose is to ensure your IT systems work wherever, however, and whenever they are needed. Our expert consultants will help you identify current or potential business issues, and then develop customised solutions to suit you.

JDS is different from other providers in the market. We offer 24/7 monitoring capabilities and support throughout the entire application lifecycle. We give your IT Operations team visibility into the health of your IT systems, enabling them to identify and resolve issues quickly.

We are passionate about what we do, working seamlessly with you to ensure you are getting the best possible performance from your environment. All products sold by JDS are backed by our local Tier One support desk, ensuring a stress-free solution for the entire product lifecycle.

Case Study: Bendigo Bank delivers a higher quality customer experience with HP

Bendigo Bank provides banking and wealth management services to individual and small to medium businesses. It is represented in all states and territories with almost 900 outlets, including more than 190 company-owned branches, 250 locally-owned Community Bank® branches, 90 agencies and 800 ATMs.

With a tradition of adding value for customers through quality personal service, the bank recently began to look to technology as the enabler of service delivery and business performance. Realising its existing systems were account-centric and not customer-focused, the bank embarked on an ambitious program to align technology more closely with its business strategy. The result? It purchased Siebel Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Universal Customer Master (UCM) applications to streamline customer-facing operations.

Known as ‘Enable Customer Phase 1’, the objective of this 18-month project was to introduce CRM and UCM capability across the organisation. As this would significantly impact 5,000 users and would result in considerable change management, the bank knew it had to deliver high-quality applications that functioned and performed at the levels demanded by the business.

“Enable Customer Phase 1 is the single largest implementation undertaken across the Bank in the past 15 years,” explains Robert Murphy, the project’s Technical Implementation Manager. “We had one chance to get it right and we knew quality assurance had to play a big part in the equation. We decided to make use of HP Quality Center software, which has been in the organisation for the past seven years. By leveraging an existing quality management solution, we could reduce our total cost of ownership and ensure a smoother transition to our new CRM platform.”

Objective

To drive the business value of its new customer facing solutions, Bendigo Bank sought to standardise system quality and performance 

Approach

Bendigo Bank adopted a quality and performance assurance approach using HP Quality Center software and HP LoadRunner software

IT improvements

  • Standard platform manages every aspect of system quality and performance
  • Centralisation enhances productivity
  • Isolated and fixed defects quickly
  • Established benchmarks for future enhancements
  • Fine-tuned testing efforts around data migration

About Bendigo Bank

The Bendigo Bank is the retail arm of the Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Group, an Australian company formed in November 2007 as a result of the merger between Bendigo Bank and Adelaide Bank. A publicly listed company, the group is owned by more than 82,000 shareholders.

Industry

Banking and Finance

Primary applications

  • Siebel CRM
  • Siebel URM

Primary software

  • HP LoadRunner software
  • HP Quality Center v9

Partnership provides valuable and timely expertise

To complete the quality approach and ensure all aspects of the new system were tested, the bank appointed JDS Australia to provide services in load testing and performance management.

An HP Platinum Partner and winner of the coveted HP Software Partner of the Year Award for the past four years, JDS is widely regarded as a leader in the Quality and Performance testing space. The company provides extensive and in-depth knowledge of the HP suite of testing and monitoring solutions offering support to clients in a variety of industries.

Steve Smith, JDS Australia’s Account Manager, believes that validating performance of newly deployed mission-critical systems is the key to achieving high user adoption and enhancing the consumer experience. Ensuring that applications are available and performing as intended is something that all organisations grapple with. JDS assisted Bendigo Bank by deploying HP LoadRunner to stress-test its Siebel CRM/URM system to ensure it could handle the peak loads and transactional volumes it would be subjected to, once live.

A quality ownership imperative

Prior to the adoption of HP Quality Center, the bank performed quality assurance on its core systems using a mixture of spreadsheets and documents. Following two mergers, the bank expanded rapidly and decided it needed to standardise its approach to quality assurance as a way of gaining some unity across the business and driving competitive advantage in a tough financial market. Today, the bank is firmly focused on retaining and growing its customer relationships, increasing loyalty and delivering personalised and consistent service experiences.

“We began the quality assurance part of the Enable Customer Phase 1 project by putting the ownership of quality in the hands of the business. We sought to make the business accountable for its operational outcomes. In short, we wanted quality management to be part of everyone’s mandate and HP Quality Center enabled us to do just that,” says Murphy.

“The quality management structure of this project was somewhat unusual. We used an iterative approach to development and put the business analysts, testers and developers into the one team. This allows us to fast-track time to success by facilitating communication and collaboration. But more importantly, it bridged the gap between business and technology expert, aligning testing more closely to business outcomes.”

The value that HP Quality Center has brought to Bendigo Bank can be summarised in terms of standardisation, visibility and insight. We gained an end-to-end quality management infrastructure that gave us visibility into every element of the system and the insight we needed to make good decisions.

We used an iterative approach to development and put the business analysts, testers and developers into the one team. This let us to fast-track time to success by facilitating communication and collaboration... It bridged the gap between business and technology expert, aligning testing more closely to business outcomes.

Throughout the course of the project, we were able to isolate and fix defects quickly, automate quality processes and establish benchmarks for future enhancements. Quite simply, we delivered a high-quality, high-performing, robust system to support our people.

Standardised processes improve decision-making

By providing a seamless, repeatable process for gathering requirements, planning and scheduling tests, analysing results and managing defects, HP has brought structure to managing quality for this project.

Murphy explains, “HP Quality Center creates an end-to-end quality management infrastructure to enforce standardised processes and best practices, such as our policy of ‘no work without a ticket’. It has given us the ability to streamline the management of defects, so that we can make effective ‘go/no-go’ decisions.

“By standardising on one quality platform we can do a lot of work in a short space of time, knowing that it is all contributing to our overall quality objectives. We can monitor the advancement of our work against these objectives to determine whether we are on track, on budget and on time. Having such insight into our progress delivers good governance and greatly improves decision-making.”

Testing what’s needed reduces risk

With quality firmly embedded in the centre of the organisation’s development mandate, ensuring that testing is prioritised according to business need was vital to achieving timely results for the bank.

HP Quality Center provides risk-based quality management to objectively assess and prioritise the highest-risk, highest-priority requirement, so testing efforts can be fine-tuned based on quantifiable business risk.

“HP Quality Center supports our approach of not wanting to test everything,” adds Murphy. “It enabled us to marry testing priorities with risk. We focused our testing efforts around data migration from our legacy systems into Siebel, as this was an integral part of future functionality.

“Prioritising our testing was also cost-effective in terms of centralisation and reusability. It meant that our people could store tests in one central location, review test planning information and reuse entire test plans or amend test cases across project components. Plus, having access to quality metrics put the business at ease because we could show that elements had been effectively tested and would work as intended.”

Validating performance

Gaining an understanding of how the Enable Customer project would meet the performance and scalability of the business was another objective the bank sought to achieve. Specifically, it wanted to obtain an accurate picture of end-to-end system performance before going live.

HP LoadRunner software was used to emulate the bank’s working environment with thousands of concurrent users. It stressed the application from end-to-end, applying consistent, measurable and repeatable workloads and identified issues that would affect its users in production.

“As we drove loads against the system, HP LoadRunner captured end-user response times for key transactions. It showed us that had we gone live, our users would have experienced slow performance when printing following a query. We rectified the issue in five days, but without HP LoadRunner it could easily have taken us a month or more to fix it.

“In the end, HP LoadRunner verified that our new Siebel CRM/URM system would meet specified performance requirements including sub-second response times,” confirms Murphy.

Quality, confidence, and success

After extensive testing and a successful pilot in two branches, the bank recently went live on Enable Customer Phase 1 without any showstoppers.

“We are delighted with the success of the project’s deployment and have achieved good outcomes through quality and performance testing,” adds Murphy. “Throughout the course of the project, we were able to isolate and fix defects quickly, automate quality processes and establish benchmarks for future enhancements. Quite simply, we delivered a high-quality, high-performing, robust system to support our people.”

“The value that HP Quality Center has brought to Bendigo Bank can be summarised in terms of standardisation, visibility and insight. We gained an end-to-end quality management infrastructure that gave us visibility into every element of the system and the insight we needed to make good decisions.”

Business Benefits

  • Gained 360-degree visibility into application quality
  • Went live on the single largest IT implementation in 15 years (Siebel CRM/URM) which functioned and performed at levels demanded by 5,000 users
  • Rectified performance issue in five days instead of a month
  • Aligned testing to business outcomes by facilitating communication and collaboration among business analysts, testers and developers
  • Reduced application deployment risk
  • Streamlined management process to assist with go/no-go decisions
  • Monitored the progress of work against objectives to track timeliness, budget and readiness

Looking ahead

HP Software will continue to play a key role as the backbone of Bendigo Bank’s quality and performance validation engine.

“We have successfully deployed one of the largest customer-facing projects in the history of the bank. Our focus now is on continuing to manage quality and performance of this system on a quarterly basis, ensuring that updates, changes, and upgrades are validated prior to release.

“Overall, HP has helped Bendigo Bank set the benchmark for ensuring our mission critical applications are high in quality and give the best performance to support our users in delivering excellent products and services,” concludes Murphy.

Our team on the case

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Why choose JDS?

At JDS, our purpose is to ensure your IT systems work wherever, however, and whenever they are needed. Our expert consultants will help you identify current or potential business issues, and then develop customised solutions to suit you.

JDS is different from other providers in the market. We offer 24/7 monitoring capabilities and support throughout the entire application lifecycle. We give your IT Operations team visibility into the health of your IT systems, enabling them to identify and resolve issues quickly.

We are passionate about what we do, working seamlessly with you to ensure you are getting the best possible performance from your environment. All products sold by JDS are backed by our local Tier One support desk, ensuring a stress-free solution for the entire product lifecycle.

Case Study: Superpartners optimises IT operations with HP and JDS

With a mission to achieve efficiency and effectiveness through operational excellence, Superpartners sought to strengthen the end-user experience by gaining greater visibility into its IT infrastructure. The company turned to HP and adopted a Business Technology Optimization (BTO) approach to optimize the availability, performance and effectiveness of its business services and applications with HP Business Availability Center software.

Objective

To try and maximise the end-user experience, Superpartners sought to proactively monitor IT availability and performance

Approach

Superpartners adopted an HP Business Technology Optimisation (BTO) strategy with HP Business Availability Center software as the centrepiece in its application management strategy

IT improvements

  • Problems isolated, and issues resolved efficiently and effectively
  • Increased the quality of services to the business, its customers and employees
  • Better understanding of the complexities and interdependencies of the IT infrastructure including networks, systems and applications
  • Improved SLA compliance and reduced exposure to risk

About Superpartners

Superpartners is one of the largest superannuation administrators in Australia, employing over 1,500 people in eight offices Australia-wide. The company services about 6 million member accounts, 667,000 employer accounts and has over $72 billion in funds under administration.

Recognising that technology is a key enabler of its success, Superpartners develops core applications in-house, and sources third party products and services that complement its offering. Operating a business on considerable scale and complexity, the company has embraced a service-oriented technology strategy with business efficiency and service delivery as its focal points.

Industry

Superannuation

Taking a Proactive Approach and Gaining End-to-End Visibility

In supporting such a large user base, Superpartners is keenly focused on ensuring its business processes and technology operations deliver value to the business. Prior to implementing HP Business Availability Center, the company had outsourced monitoring of its infrastructure, which proved limiting. And with the growth of the organisation’s application portfolio, the need to comprehensively and proactively monitor the health of its systems became increasingly apparent.

Gary Evans, Chief Information Officer, Superpartners explains, “We needed to gain a better understanding of our environment and we wanted to become proactive and respond more effectively to incidents. The early warning systems that we had in place just weren’t enough. We also wanted a more accurate way to determine if we were meeting our Service Level Agreements. Put simply, we needed a comprehensive application management solution and HP Business Availability Center met our requirements.”

Partnering to Fast-Track Time to Benefit

To facilitate deployment, Superpartners engaged HP Business Partner, JDS Australia, experts in software testing and monitoring with HP solutions. JDS provided specialist services in application monitoring to help Superpartner realise value from its HP investment. Steve Smith, General Manager (Victoria) JDS says, “Superpartners was quick to recognise the benefits of application monitoring, particularly in terms of enhancing their end-user services. In a matter of weeks they were monitoring the availability and performance of their application, and gaining true end-to-end visibility into what was happening behind the scenes. By having access to vital and detailed information about their systems, they can now be appraised of issues ten minutes before their end-users experience an outage, and begin resolution.

“Overall, Superpartners is realising the benefits of proactive visibility and access to a consolidated end-user and infrastructural view of their application performance. They have achieved much improved SLA compliance and have considerably reduced risk. We are delighted with the outcome and believe that the collaborative approach we established with Superpartners is the key to success.”

 

We have improved the quality of our services and are benefiting from increased productivity by having the ability to concentrate resources where needed and by achieving generally quicker resolution time. We have also enhanced SLA compliance and we have improved reporting on both infrastructure and application availability. Finally, the synthetic monitoring that HP Business Availability Centre provides reduces our application deployment risk and we have gained confidence that our applications will perform as intended.

Gary EvansCIO, Superpartners

Not only are we are also enabling a much more efficient environment, but we are delivering better governance, particularly around our SLAs.

Gary EvansCIO, Superpartners

Superpartners is realising the benefits of proactive visibility and access to a consolidated end-user and infrastructural view of their application performance. They have achieved much improved SLA compliance and have considerably reduced risk. We are delighted with the outcome and believe that the collaborative arrangement we established with Superpartners is the key to success.

Steve SmithGeneral Manager, JDS Victoria

Fast Resolution of Problems, Productivity Gains, and Reduced Risks

A comprehensive business application management solution, HP Business Availability Center has allowed Superpartners to monitor the health of its systems. Specifically, the organisation is keeping a close eye on the end-user experience, continuously isolating problems and assessing the status of key services and applications.

Gary explains, “HP Business Availability Center has enabled us to see the actual performance of our systems as experienced by our customers. It provides us with an early warning system and we can drill down to the transaction level to examine potential issues. We now have the ability to pinpoint exactly where a problem might be and potentially fix it before our end-users experience degradation in our systems.

“In addition, HP Business Availability Center has helped us better understand the complexities and interdependencies of our IT infrastructure including networks, systems and applications. In turn, this provides us with the information we need to diagnose, isolate and fix problems quickly to maintain business continuity. As a result, we have improved the quality of our services and are benefiting from increased productivity by having the ability to concentrate resources where needed and by achieving quicker resolution time. We have also enhanced SLA compliance and we can now report on both infrastructure and application availability. Finally, the synthetic monitoring that HP Business Availability provides reduces our application deployment risk and we have gained confidence that our applications will perform as intended.”

Business Benefits

  • Improvements to the performance and availability of Superpartners’ IT Infrastructure and Applications
  • Association with JDS Australia delivered fast time to value
  • Gained true end-to-end visibility of its systems to improve the end-user experience
  • Improved service quality, increased productivity and gained confidence in the availability and performance of its applications.
  • Operational efficiencies, alignment of business and IT, and delivery of better governance

Better Governance and Future Plans

Today, Superpartners’ Technology team is able to undertake forward planning, proactive management and maintenance of its systems, instead of functioning in a reactionary state. This is delivering added benefits as the organisation’s business operations and future direction can be fully supported by a high-performing technology infrastructure, capable of adapting to market changes.

Gary elaborates, “We are yet to capitalize on the full potential of HP Business Availability Center. We still have additional functionality and capabilities to leverage to further optimize our systems, but we’re now in a strong position to react and fix issues quickly. Not only are we also enabling a much more efficient environment, but we are delivering better governance, particularly around our SLAs.”

Looking to the future, we are aiming to ensure HP Business Availability Center is rolled out across all our application environments. This will enable us to gain true alignment between our monitoring capabilities and our user experience, to achieve end-to-end optimization of our services and applications.”

On the whole, HP Business Availability Center is enabling Superpartners to manage and optimise the quality, performance and effectiveness of its business services and applications.

Our team on the case

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Why choose JDS?

At JDS, our purpose is to ensure your IT systems work wherever, however, and whenever they are needed. Our expert consultants will help you identify current or potential business issues, and then develop customised solutions to suit you.

JDS is different from other providers in the market. We offer 24/7 monitoring capabilities and support throughout the entire application lifecycle. We give your IT Operations team visibility into the health of your IT systems, enabling them to identify and resolve issues quickly.

We are passionate about what we do, working seamlessly with you to ensure you are getting the best possible performance from your environment. All products sold by JDS are backed by our local Tier One support desk, ensuring a stress-free solution for the entire product lifecycle.

Case Study: RMIT implementation of LoadRunner

Twice a year, RMIT publishes course results for its students on the student portal of the university’s website. These two days in the calendar generate the highest volume of website traffic. With such huge spikes experienced in a 24-hour period, RMIT’s student portal was being saturated and not handling the volume effectively. This resulted in poor performance and students reported difficulties in accessing their results in a timely fashion.

Tim Ash, RMIT’s senior production assurance and test manager, explains, “The single most important aspect of our students’ lives, apart from the education they receive, is knowing how well they are doing in their studies. Having a stable student portal is critical to satisfy our students’ needs and deliver a high level of service. It also impacts on our credibility and future success.

“For this reason, we identified performance testing as an essential part of future application delivery. With limited resources available in-house and a tight deadline, we invited JDS Australia (JDS), an HP Platinum Partner, to help us to predict future system behaviour and application performance."

Objective

Predict system behaviour and application performance to improve student satisfaction

Approach

RMIT University verified that its new critical student results application (called MyResults) met specified performance requirements

IT improvements

  • Achieved 100 percent uptime on MyResults
  • Delivered student results 60 per cent faster than predicted
  • Gained a true picture of end-to-end performance of MyResults
  • Emulated peak loads of 20,000+ student logins per hour – more than six times the average loads
  • Uncovered and rectified functional issues prior to going live
  • No helpdesk complaints logged for poor system performance
  • Optimisation opportunities were identified that enabled the student portal to be scaled more appropriately

About RMIT University

As a global university of technology and design, RMIT University is one of Australia’s leading educational institutions, enjoying an international reputation for excellence in work-relevant education.

RMIT employs almost 4,000 people and has 74,000 students studying at its three Melbourne campuses and in its Vietnam campuses. The university also has strong links with partner institutions which deliver RMIT award programmes in Singapore, Hong Kong, mainland China, and Malaysia, as well as research and industry partnerships on every continent.

RMIT has a broad technology footprint, counting its website and student portal as mission-critical applications essential to the day-to-day running of the university.

Industry

Higher Education

Primary applications

  • SAP Financials
  • PeopleSoft Student Administration

Primary software

  • HP LoadRunner software
  • HP Quality Center
  • HP QuickTest Professional software

Selecting an industry standard

A long-term user of HP software including HP Quality Center, HP QuickTest Professional and HP Business Availability Center, RMIT chose HP LoadRunner software, as its performance validation platform.

“HP LoadRunner is the industry standard for performance testing,” explains Tim. “It was a natural choice for RMIT, due to its functionality and integration capabilities as well as our investment in other HP software.”

Predicting system behaviour

In seeking to prevent future student portal performance problems, RMIT had identified a number of potential solutions.

Tim explains, “Due to the complex nature of our student portal, it was unclear which solution design would provide the best performing architecture. HP LoadRunner was used to obtain an accurate picture of end-to-end system performance by emulating the types of loads we receive on result days. We tested all the options. Our objective was to handle the loads and satisfy 100 percent of our students’ results queries in under five seconds.”

Emulating loads

By leveraging the experience of JDS, HP LoadRunner was used to emulate peak loads of 20,000+ student logins per hour, which is more than six times the average loads experienced on non-results days. “The data from our tests revealed that we needed our student portal platform to have the ability to scale considerably, to handle traffic up to six times the usual volume on result days,” explains Tim. “As we drove loads against the various design options, we also captured end-user response times.

“Based on this, we selected the design solution that had the best performance. There were several options to choose from with some going through a portal which put unnecessary load on the system. The brand new application chosen is called MyResults, which, during testing, met our performance objective and delivered response times in less than two seconds.”

The JDS account manager for the case says, “As well as testing the performance of the various design solutions, optimisation opportunities were identified that enabled the student portal to be scaled more appropriately. Using HP LoadRunner, JDS consultants identified bottlenecks in the application and platform. By working with RMIT, they were able to direct efforts to remediate the problems prior to going live.”

"Using HP LoadRunner, JDS consultants identified bottlenecks in the application and platform. By working with RMIT, they were able to direct efforts to remediate the problems prior to going live."

JDS Consultant

We are delighted with the outcomes of HP LoadRunner. First and foremost, we rectified poor performance issues to provide a results system that exceeded our goals and those of our students. Thanks to the preparative measures we put in place, our system thrived and delivered 100 percent uptime. This enabled us to provide a high-quality student experience, which culminated in increased user satisfaction.

Tim Ash, RMIT

Our students certainly noticed the difference. We received a number of tweets praising the system’s performance. Many of our students couldn’t believe how quickly they obtained their results.

We rectified poor performance issues to provide a results system that exceeded our own goals and those of our students.

Successful go-live drives student satisfaction

While MyResults is a simple application that delivers results, its structure is quite complex as it receives inputs from various databases. Ensuring it would perform as intended on results day was key.
Tim says, “By using HP LoadRunner, we significantly decreased the risk of deploying an application that would not meet our performance requirements. On results day, MyResults proved an outstanding success. It handled the loads and spikes extremely well, consistently delivering results in timeframes sub-two seconds. This would not have happened if we had not validated performance beforehand.

“Our students certainly noticed the difference. We received a number of tweets praising the system’s performance. Many of our students couldn’t believe how quickly they obtained their results. Another great indication of our success was the low impact on our helpdesk. They didn’t receive complaints or issues regarding the system and that’s a big plus.”

Boosting reputation

As a result of deploying HP LoadRunner to validate the performance of MyResults, RMIT has realised considerable benefits. The institution has facilitated better decision-making as information is more readily available, and experienced operational efficiencies.

Tim says, “We are delighted with the outcomes of HP LoadRunner. First and foremost, we rectified poor performance issues to provide a results system that exceeded our own goals and those of our students. Thanks to the preparative measures we put in place, our system thrived and delivered 100 percent uptime. This enabled us to provide a high-quality student experience, which culminated in increased user satisfaction.

“Operationally, HP LoadRunner helped us to identify the most suitable option to improve our performance. It gave us confidence (prior to release) in MyResults’ ability and allowed us to make informed business decisions, which reduced our deployment risk. In addition, we saved money, because we were more efficient and did not experience any downtime. Plus, we were able to fix issues in development which is always a cheaper option, and we saved considerable time during testing by having the ability to re-use and repeat tests."

Business Benefits

  • The university's reputation was boosted by providing students with reliable and fast access to results—students tweeted their satisfaction.
  • Money was saved through having zero downtime and the ability to fix issues early.
  • RMIT could make informed decisions and reduce the risk of deploying poor quality applications.
  • University and student confidence in IT systems was improved.

Next steps

HP LoadRunner will continue to play a key role as the performance validation backbone of MyResults. Tim believes RMIT is certainly up-to-date with testing technology with the HP Solutions it utilises, as well as adoption of a stringent testing methodology.

“Students are early adopters of technology. So it’s logical that our next big push is mobility and wireless applications. More and more, our students are accessing RMIT’s website using mobile devices and we need to make sure our applications are optimised accordingly. We want students to be able to log in from home and attend a lecture from their laptop or access their results from their mobile phones. HP LoadRunner will be used to ensure we can meet the wireless requirements of the university’s future.

“Looking at the big picture, HP LoadRunner is an essential component of RMIT’s technology footprint. It allows us to perform due diligence on our applications, make go live decisions with confidence and provide statistical information that is trusted and relied upon by the institution.

“Ultimately, HP LoadRunner gives me peace of mind that RMIT’s systems will work as intended and deliver the quality of service our students and staff expect.”

Our team on the case

[amoteam max="3" categories="210" item-width="250" item-margin="20" full-width="yes" align="center" panel="right"]

Why choose JDS?

At JDS, our purpose is to ensure your IT systems work wherever, however, and whenever they are needed. Our expert consultants will help you identify current or potential business issues, and then develop customised solutions to suit you.

JDS is different from other providers in the market. We offer 24/7 monitoring capabilities and support throughout the entire application lifecycle. We give your IT Operations team visibility into the health of your IT systems, enabling them to identify and resolve issues quickly.

We are passionate about what we do, working seamlessly with you to ensure you are getting the best possible performance from your environment. All products sold by JDS are backed by our local Tier One support desk, ensuring a stress-free solution for the entire product lifecycle.

How to record Angular JS Single Page Applications (SPA)

These days VuGen offers a number of ways to record SPA web application, including TruClient and importing Session Archive Zip (SAZ) files from fiddler. However, you can still use HTTP/HTML protocol in VuGen. In doing so you may encounter a number of issues when recording the HTTP RESTful service calls.

To create robust maintainable scripts, JDS recommends using HTML-based recording rather than URL-based scripts. The ‘HTML Mode’ will not extract every resource URL into the script but will either encapsulate them into the initial calling URL or add them to the EXTRARES section of the step:

web_url("home",
"URL=https://xxxxxxx.xxx",
"TargetFrame=","Resource=0",
"RecContentType=text/html",
"Referer=",
"Snapshot=t1.inf",
"Mode=HTML",
EXTRARES,
"Url=../fonts/OpenSans/OpenSans-Regular-webfont.eot", ENDITEM,
"Url=../fonts/fontawesome-webfont.eot", ENDITEM,
"Url=../media/bootstrap.min.css", ENDITEM,
"Url=../css/jds-logo-white.png", ENDITEM,
"Url=../fonts/OpenSans/OpenSans-Light-webfont.eot", ENDITEM,
"Url=../media/jds_bg.jpeg", ENDITEM,
"Url=../fonts/OpenSans/OpenSans-Semibold-webfont.eot", ENDITEM,
"Url=../css/bg3.jpg", ENDITEM,
"Url=../css/32px.png", ENDITEM,
"Url=../fonts/OpenSans/OpenSans-Bold-webfont.eot", ENDITEM,
"Url=../css/background.jpg", ENDITEM,
LAST);

This is a problem is you want to measure the transaction times of RESTful service calls used in SPA frameworks.

To enable the VuGen recorder to extract the Angular JS calls as separate steps, we must change the “Recording Options -> HTTP Properties -> Advanced” recording scheme to not record responses with headers:

Content-Type application/javascript

As resources.

Recent success stories

Vugen and GitHub Integration

With the release of LoadRunner 12.53, VuGen now has built in GitHub integration. That means you not only have access to GitHub for saving versions of your script, but also other tools like bug tracking, access control and wikis.

Here’s an overview to VuGen’s GitHub integration to get you up and running.

Getting Started

First off, you’ll need a personal Git login. You can sign up for free at github.com/join.  Note that free repositories are publicly available.

You’ll also need LoadRunner 12.53 or higher from HPE.

GitHub Overview

VuGen’s GitHub integration (and GitHub in general) works by managing three versions of your script at a time.

Vugen and GitHub Integration 1

  1. The one you see in VuGen is your working copy. You can develop / replay your script as usual, and save it locally when you want.
  2. When you want a backup of your script – e.g. before doing correlation or rerecording, you can make a check point – or commit the script. This saves the script to a local staging area.
  3. After several commits, or perhaps at the end of the day, you might be ready to save everything to GitHub. To do this you Push the script.

Using GitHub integration straight from VuGen

The following example shows you how to push your first VuGen script to GitHub.

1. Starting out – Creating a Repository

Log into GitHub and create a new repository:

Vugen and GitHub Integration 2

Fill in the details and click “Create Repository”. With a free GitHub account the script will be publicly available, with a paying account you can make it private.

Vugen and GitHub Integration 3

2. VuGen Version Control – Create Local Git Repository
Now create a script in VuGen – in our example it’s ‘BankofSunshine’.

You’ll see a new ‘Version Control’ menu available in VuGen. Chose the option to ‘Create a local Git Repository’.

Vugen and GitHub Integration 4

VuGen manages the files to include so you don’t need to create a .gitignore file. If you prefer to manage it yourself, you can do that too.

3. Commit Changes to the Staging Area

Now you need to commit your script to the local repository. Do this each time you’ve made changes that you might want to push to Git Hub, or if you want to be able to roll back any changes.

When you commit, your local repository is ready to be pushed up to GitHub – but is still only available to you.

Vugen and GitHub Integration 5

4. Push Changes to GitHub

Once you are ready to save your script up to GitHub, you will need to Push the changes.

The first time you do this with your script you will need to tell VuGen some details about the GitHub repository.

Enter your details that you created in Step 1:

Vugen and GitHub Integration 7

Now your newly created script is saved to GitHub.

5. There’s no step 5.

That’s all you need to do. When you go to GitHub and click on your repository, you will see all the files that you just pushed:

Vugen and GitHub Integration 8

To keep track of changes made locally to the script, VuGen will show you which files have updated with a red tick:

Vugen and GitHub Integration 9

While you can access your scripts in ALM from the Controller, you can’t yet access your scripts in GitHub from the Controller. You’ll need to pull down a local copy before you run your test.

Now you are up and running, how about exploring more of what GitHub has to offer. Each script saved to GitHub comes with a Wiki and issues register. These could come in handy when you have large or tricky scripts or for handover to another team

Share your thoughts on VuGen GitHub integration below.

Recycle Bin for Quality Center

We've all done it at one stage or another—deleted a test in Quality Center, only to realise that it was deleted by mistake. To fix this you would have to manually capture the lost data, or restore the project from a backup (assuming there is one) and salvage the lost data from there.

It would be great to have a "Recycle Bin" feature in Quality Center to provide a restore capability when something was deleted by accident. With Quality Center's workflow engine, it is possible to implement just that.

The Recycle Bin can be developed as a feature integrated with the existing Delete function. It will also retain version control of deleted entities if version control is implemented. Below is an example that shows how a Recycle Bin was implemented in the Test Plan module (it is also possible to develop a similar feature for the Requirements and Test Lab modules):

Quality Center Recycle Bin - Test Plan

Quality Center Recycle Bin - Test Plan

Quality Center Recycle Bin - Test Plan

Quality Center Recycle Bin - Test Plan

Quality Center Recycle Bin - Test Plan

Quality Center Recycle Bin - Test Plan

Quality Center Recycle Bin - Test Plan

At this stage the way to restore a test or folder would be to manually move it from the Recycle Bin back to it's original location. However the recycle bin feature can be further enhanced to provide an automatic restore with a custom "Restore" button on the toolbar.

Tech tips from JDS

Agile Performance Tuning with HP Diagnostics

I recently delivered this technical presentation – “Get Dirty with Diagnostics: Agile Performance Tuning at the Lowest Level” at HP’s 2013 Discover conference in Las Vegas. The presentation seemed quite well received, and showed a developing interest in performance testing and tuning within the Agile methodology.

The presentation has been split into 3 parts:

Presentation Abstract:

Learn how to get your hands dirty with Diagnostics and find out WHY your transactions times are breaking SLAs with a single user. This presentation provides a step-by-step walkthrough of how HP Diagnostics can be harnessed with agile to minimize time pressure, cost, and risk to .Net or Java application releases.

Avoid frantic, last minute efforts to debug that are often unfocused and costly. By using HP Diagnostics in an agile development and test cycle you can identify, fix, and retest code-level performance issues before they hurt the most.

This model has been successfully implemented on one of the largest SharePoint installations in the country, with over 8000 daily users. By providing code-level latency visibility to developers, performance issues are found and fixed quickly and accurately at Australia’s largest telecommunications provider.

Learn how to remove the performance issues from your next release go/no-go decision by getting your hands dirty with Diagnostics.

Understanding LoadRunner Virtual User Days (VUDs)

Previously we wrote about the different types of LoadRunner licenses available. There were still a lot of questions about VUDs, so this Tech Tip aims to help people better understand this virtual user license type.

What is a VUD

A VUD is a Virtual User Day. While a virtual user day is considered a 24 hour user, 24 hours is the maximum amount of time that a Virtual User is valid.

VUDs provide a cost effective method of boosting the number of virtual users available in a performance test or set of performance tests run over period of time. In addition to the license for VUDs, a license for the LoadRunner Controller or Performance Center must be in place.

How to order VUDs

VUDs are available to any LoadRunner or Performance Center installation. Licenses can be ordered through HP or an HP Software partner like JDS Australia. The license key will be issued by HP in the same way as the other LoadRunner license types.

Configuring VUDs

Virtual User Days have an expiration time. This time can be set through HP support. Set the time for a time an hour or two after the performance tester first arrives at the office. Really, the start time should be set to a time when you are not running a test. If a performance test has been run involving VUDs, the LoadRunner Controller should be shutdown before the start/expiration time occurs.

VUDs can be used in conjunction with permanent/perpetual virtual users. There is no conflict between the two licenses. VUDs will only be expended after the all of the eligible permanent virtual users have been expended.
VUDs are activated by running a virtual user. The effect of running a virtual user is that the virtual user is decremented from the license.

Spending VUDs

Running a test with a number of VUs less than or equal to the amount on a permanent license will not result in an expenditure of any VUDs.

Poor Expenditures of VUDs

Running a test which starts before the expiration time and ends following the expiration time, results in a double charge of VUDs.

When the Controller is open, even if the test run has completed, the VUs that have been allocated to the current test will be decremented from the license at the roll over time. Therefore it is unwise to run tests on a Friday night, unless you are planning on getting to the office to turn off the controller before the start time occurs.

Wise Expenditures of VUDs

Run multiple tests in a day. Make use of the VUDs in more than one test in a day. If possible run your first test using VUDs. Analyze the results of the test, recommend and implement changes to the system under test and rerun the same test. This provides a multiple uses of the same VUDs, while testing configuration changes of the system under test. Make certain that the test scenario is closed before the expiration/start time for the VUDs ticks over.
Analysis is more important than rerunning tests with VU. Accurate identification of issues within the system returns more value than rerunning tests to confirm results. When writing the test plan take into account the VUDs and try to maximize the value of each, by stacking tests using similar quantities of VUDs which accomplish different goals.

Examples

The following examples are designed to test your knowledge of VUDs.

Scenario 1
  • Permanent Web VUs available: 200
  • Web VUDs available: 1000
  • VUD expiration/start time: 11:00

300 VU Endurance Run: Kick off test at 17:00, watch rampup and head home. Test completes at 05:00 the next day. Enter the office at 09:00. Review VUser errors through the Controller for an hour. Shutdown the controller or reset the scenario before 1059:59.

  • VUDs expended: 100
  • VUDs remaining: 900
Scenario 2
  • Permanent Web VUs available: 200
  • Web VUDs available: 1000
  • VUD expiration/start time: 11:00

300 VU Endurance Run: Kick off test at 17:00, watch rampup and head home. Test completes at 11:00 the next day. Enter the office at 09:00. Review VUser errors through the Controller for an hour. Shutdown the controller or reset the scenario after 11:00.

  • VUDs expended: 200 – although 100 remain for the rest of the day.
  • VUDs remaining: 800
Scenario 3
  • Permanent Web VUs available: 200
  • Web VUDs available: 1000
  • VUD expiration/start time: 11:00

700 VU Peak Run: Kick off test at 11:30, watch rampup and analysis of the run while running. Test completes at 14:30. Controller is shutdown or reset following the scenario completion.

  • VUDs expended: 500
  • VUDs remaining: 500
Scenario 4
  • Permanent Web VUs available: 200
  • Web VUDs available: 1000
  • VUD expiration/start time: 11:00

700 VU Peak Run: Kick off test at 11:30, watch rampup and analysis of the run while running. Test completes at 14:30. Controller is shutdown or reset following the scenario completion.
700 VU Peak Run: Make changes to the application. Kick off test at 15:00, watch rampup and analysis of the run while running. Test completes at 18:30. Controller is shutdown or reset prior to 11:00 the next day the scenario completion.

  • VUDs expended: 500
  • VUDs remaining: 500
Scenario 5
  • Permanent Web VUs available: 200
  • Web VUDs available: 1000
  • VUD expiration/start time: 11:00

700 VU Peak Run: Kick off test at 11:30, watch rampup and analysis of the run while running. Test completes at 14:30. Controller is shutdown or reset following the scenario completion.

700 VU Peak Run: Make changes to the application. Kick off test at 15:00, watch rampup and analysis of the run while running. Test completes at 18:30. Controller is not shutdown or reset prior to 11:00 the next day the scenario completion.

  • VUDs expended: 1000
  • VUDs remaining: 0 - although 500 remain available for the remainder of the day.

Please leave a comment if you still have questions about VUDs.

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