Scott Moore interviews the LoadRunner Product Manager

Scott Moore from LoadTester Incorporated has started producing podcasts about load testing. His first podcast is an interview with Mark Tomlinson, who is HP’s Product Manager for LoadRunner.

Mark is a person that performance testers will like because he comes from a technical background, rather than a sales or marketing background, and he was a user of the product before he got the job as Product Manager.

Mark’s experience with LoadRunner dates back to 1993 doing load testing using the X-Windows version of LoadRunner. He did consulting and contracting work until joining Mercury in 1999, and then jumped to Microsoft for 6 years to run the load testing labs for Microsoft Services. Now at HP, Mark guides the growth of LoadRunner, and writes a nifty LoadRunner blog on the HP Communities site.

In the interview, Mark notes that the next release of LoadRunner (version 9.50, which is due out very shortly) will be focussed on stability and refining current functionality.

Concrete features will be:

  • Trending of results – doing a better job of analysis across multiple runs
  • Enhanced WAN emulation via integrations with Shunra VE Desktop (which was removed in LoadRunner 9.0, but is now back)
  • Security enhancements
  • Enhancements for Adobe AMF and Flex 3
  • Improvements for Citrix and RDP (LoadRunner will now have an RDP Agent)

Future improvements are a little hazy (probably due to VSOE restrictions), but Mark says “To take the next hurdle, we’ve got to really think big. That’s what the charter is around here.”

Mark made the observation that “there’s a lot of folks who can make scripts all day long, but load testing planning expertise is not as readily available as it used to be”. Performance test planning is something he thinks could be captured in the front-end of the product, and better supported by tool outputs such as SLAs. One of the ways HP might support performance test planning might be through better integration with Quality Center; “somewhere down the road, we will look at having Performance Center and Quality Center be enhanced to work together…running on the same machine as a server for the center of excellence.”

The next “major major” release of LoadRunner (version 10.0) is due out in 2010, so I will be looking forward to seeing what HP delivers.

For more musings on…

  • working at Mercury vs Microsoft vs HP
  • Web 3.0, and what technologies a Rich Internet Application might use in 2010
  • HP Software customer support
  • WAN emulation with Shunra
  • Visual Studio Team Test edition, which now has a load testing component

…you will have to listen to Scott’s podcast.

Update: Part two of Scott’s interview with Mark Tomlinson is now available.

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