How to monitor AIX CPU with HP Sitescope \ Loadrunner

How you can monitor AIX LPAR CPU with HP Sitescope for use with HP Loadrunner?

IBM AIX (Advanced Interactive eXecutive) is a series of proprietary Unix operating systems.  AIX supports a wide variety of hardware platforms.  AIX is used is several industries and in my experience with performance testing can be difficult to monitor CPU utilisation due to how AIX shares hardware resources across LPARS and how monitoring application are setup to gather this data.  LPARS are the roughly equivalent to Virtual Machine just on much larger hardware in some cases.Read More »

HPE TruClient

HPE Truclient and how to correlate dynamic data from the HTML Code via web_reg_save_param Function.

 

 

What is TruClient

The first few blog entries I will produce is around HPE Load Runner not quite so new, Ajax Web 2.0 HTML protocol,  HPE Truclient.

This protocol promises to remove all correlation requirements for load testing. The protocol scripting interface is within a web browser.Users/Testers can see the results within the same web browser window used to develop the script, in real time as the script executes.

 

What issues do most have with TruClient

All over the internet the same question is posted several times by users of HPE Load Runner (or soon to be, MicroFocus Load Runner).  How do you correlate dynamic information in HPE Truclient?

This question is repeated several times in the SQA forums, the HPE Community pages, HPE Load Runner blogs and also in several Knowledge Base articles in HPE support pages if you lucky enough to have access via a payed maintenance agreement with HPE. This question is repeated again and again, now matter how often its answered. As load testers around the planet try to get this new protocol working for them that appears to be so simple to use on it’s surface but frustrating confusing when used in an actual engagement. Most give up and state that it is unstable or a under developed protocol that’s still at it’s beta stage of development when nothing more could be further from the truth, since its been available since September 2010 and over 6 years old now.

One of the reasons for the confusion is that this new approach to load testing comes with new terminology. Instead of searching for dynamic data within the HTML code, this new approach requires users to Inspect the DOM objects for dynamic attributes. This type of scripting is closer to UFT/QTP scripting than traditional load runner HTML scripting.

Most load testers first question when presented with TruClient is, “How do i correlate dynamic information” and when they receive the official answer of HP R&D, you don’t need to, it confuses most experienced load testers and creates a false perception that it not a “real” load testing solution. The perception is, well it can’t met my needs as i correlate dynamic data all the time and i need a tool that does that, i got x to do and my time is valuable and limited, i best place my time in something that can met my needs instead of some kiddies tool. First impression of this tool/protocol is its not worth the time to learn it. After closer inspection, most realize its capability and its capacity to address a lot of heart ache associated with load testing.

The second reason for this is confusion, as you can see from the first video on this page is that the HPE TruClient key scope of delivery  was, a protocol designed specifically not to need correlation.

There are in fact several methods and approaches to correlate dynamic data within this new protocol. Truclient has significantly reduced the pain and effort in doing this for the vast majority of occasions, that you are traditionally faced with when attempting to glean dynamic data into a parameter. Most of the correlation is handled automatically and when the tools inbuilt features to automate this does not met your requirements, there are several methods you can utilize to obtain the dynamic information.

 

 

What are Truclient limitations and why people should use it.

Its one draw back is its foot print, i would not recommend anything below a 4 core system with 16 GB of ram.

How to Calculate load generators requirements for TruClient

As a result of its foot print i would not recommend doing large scale load testing with this protocol exclusively however at the same time, i would not recommend doing any load test engagement without at least one TruClient script. The reason being is that the protocol is a lot more robust at dealing with environment changes and can assist any web based project even if the intended protocol for load testing is HTML/SAP Web/Siebel etc .

At the beginning of any solutions SDLC, when the solution under test and its hosting environment is still at its initial stages of being developed and has a high degree of flux, a TruClient script can still be produced. You can still get a scripted business flow working end to end via a script even if the environment build is unstable that causes a script an issue half way through. When the script does fall over it can be assisted through manual intervention before being told to continue its execution to the end of the scripted business flow. This script can be used later to generate a HTML script but can be used at the initial stage of the project to engage IT support to resolve issues that prevent scripting in HTML and work out data requirements of a HTML scripted solution.

Most organizations are now starting to use MS Lync or Skype for business internally for their phone systems that enable users to share the desktop and record their actions into a MP4 video. Combining the new MS exchange feature with HPE TruClient greatly improves turn over in a project engagement for load testing. Organizations that do not have this deployed, you can install the free (Virus and  Trojan Free) software from MicroSoft. Expression Plus will enable you to record your desktop to a MP4 and change its settings to ensure that the video is of reasonable size to email or share through the cloud/network, but be careful not to make it so low resolution that the text is blurry in the video. SP2 of MS Expression Plus does not have the 10 minutes limitation of previous versions and you can record as long as you like.

Microsoft Expression Encoder 4 with Service Pack 2 (SP2)

 

At the beginning of any engagement the time consuming, stressful and frustratingly bureaucratic , back and forth with the projects IT environment support or developers getting issues/defects in the environment build acknowledged and hopefully addressed can be greatly improved through using this protocol. Due to the protocol ease of use, you can email the script with its stand alone tool to most people. Then simply state the file that the recipient of the email needs to double click on to invoke the script in the stand alone tool with the subsequent instruction, click on play.

If you can zip up the scripted business flow that does not work and email it to IT Support along with its standalone tool that visually shows the result of the scripted business flow failing at one point, IT support that have the ability to install the tool and execute the script, suddenly understands what the issues is.

If you include a video of its execution from Lync/Skype for Business/ MS Expression Plus,it caters for the IT Support personal that does not have a machine to install the tool unto but more importantly, allow them and other person CC’ed (Such as the Project Delivery Manager), to view the script execution failing and road blocker to testing.

This eliminates the possibility that IT Support is not replicating the same process as yourself and gets rid of the annoying situation of  IT Support stating “it works for me, it must be something you are doing”.  This approach eliminates IT Support focus on creating a work around to an issue rather than resolving a particular business flow that needs to be tested.

If you end the email / support ticket with, I need to write the test summary report and if i cannot get the specific business flow script working i need to start writing a concluding report. This test summary report will state the environment prevented any scripted business flow from working and as a result the solution was un-testable. If you send this email while CC’ing the project delivery manager, it makes clear your road blockers and suddenly IT Support needs to demonstrate that the script can work end to end before any response is sent back to you and the IT delivery manager suddenly starts to follow up the issue as a road blocker to the end delivery. When IT support does reply, it takes a few moments to confirm if the defect preventing scripting in HTML has been resolved by re-executing the TruClient script.

One of the greatest thing about this protocol is that it can go from Dev, to SIT then Pre-Production and eventually be used in AppPulse as a real life performance monitoring solution of production. The only thing that needs to modified is the URL.The tool also enables quick scripting of data creation needed for a load test.

TruClient gives a true end to end response time unlike all other protocols in load runner. TruClient load and executes all JavaScripts and renders DOM objects which takes time to process and could initiate other web calls that HTML code does not take into account. The protocol is ideal to compliment a load test that is emulating end users across WAN links or mobile end users. While HTML scripts generates the load on back end systems, a handful of additional users can be used via TruClient being impacted by network latency and bandwidth throttling returning a true end user response time while the system was under load.

How to start with Truclient

There is very little out on the internet for anyone attempting to get up to speed on this new offering from HPE that requires a different mindset and approach than what most load testers are used to working with. This new protocol was intended to be intuitive and self-explanatory.  Unfortunately documentation and training on this new protocol appear to be an afterthought by the TruClient development team since the new offering was intended to be self-explanatory. The only documentation offered for this protocol is via the help for TruClient located in the tool installation itself or on HPE SaaS help sites.

TruClient Online Help

One page in the help library covers dynamic data and how to correlate dynamic information. This one page within the online help has example scripts and also several online web page’s specifically setup within the SaaS online help for users to script against. These pages are to support people obtaining skills necessary for the methods required to capture dynamic values in TruClient. This page on SaaS is difficult to understand and follow unless you watch the videos from the HPE R&D Israeli team that i go into below.

TruClient, How to work with dynamic values with example scripts and training exercises

The online web pages that are to support people practicing the methods covered are located below. Once on the page you can view all the web pages within the online help used for the training exercise via the pull down menu in the top right hand corner.

Online web pages to practice the methods to capture dynamic data

The best training resource for TruClient outside the online SaaS online help system that I have come across so far, is a video recording of four webinar’s created and produced by the HPE PLV_Cost and R&D team in Israel. These videos are located on YouTube (Click Here For Complete List of R&D Videos) . In fact the HPE SaaS online help and exercises for TruClient that covers dynamic data and how to correlate dynamic information, is difficult to follow and understand unless you watch these videos. The online SaaS help pages for TruClient have no links to these videos and the videos that are linked, cover very basic operation of the tool.

The best thing about these videos is that it shows the HPE developers of TruClient, actually using the product they created and going through the process of creating a script that show’s how they envisage people would actually use their product. To the extent of googling required JavaScript code and copying and pasting from the web page the code they located on the web, straight into TruClient JavaScript compiler editor.

 

Web Browser inbuilt Development Tools

You will notice in the videos how the developers use the web browser inbuilt Dev Tools to obtain the information necessary to correlate dynamic information. Most people in the market are not familiar with these in built development tools and since its been marketed towards developers most testers do not attempt to educate themselves with these tools.Testers need to feel familiar with HTML code structure to be able to use descriptors and manually adjust if required.

These in built browser development tools can be invoked at any stage in creating a TruClient script and in fact, are a must do task and approach when creating a script in TruClient that needs to handle dynamic information. Something that the SaaS online tutorial does not make very clear.

These Browser development tools are summarized below in web links to their individual help sites.In particular HPE expects everyone to be comfortable using the DOM inspector to be able to correlate dynamic information.

Chrome Development Tools – Called through the key combination of Ctrl+Shift+I (Windows) – Or by right Click on any object in the browser window and selecting inspect element.

Internet Explorer Development Tools – Invoked by the F12 Key – Or right click on any object in the TruClient web browser and select inspect element.

Mozilla FireFox – Invoked through Ctrl+Shift+I – Or right click on any object in the TruClient browser and select Inspect element.

How to do a web_reg_save_param in TruClient.

This first post will cover one of 2 different methods not covered in the video’s  supplied by HPE R&D Israel’s, that details HPE official method and approach to dynamic information handling in TruClient. After using the product in the real world you will notice that the method suggested does not fit every scenario that you will be faced with in a performance test engagement. This can be frustrating as a load tester with x years of experience as you are left wondering, why HP R&D did not include a web_reg_save function within the toolbox of commands for TruClient.

Below is a link to a word document that has step by step process how to correlate dynamic information that is not supported or suggested by HPE since it is custom code.

I will post a link to a video showing step by step how to use this approach to correlate dynamic information in the underlying HTML code of a web page into a parameter that could be used later in the script. This method in makes up the short comings of HPE official approach and method of handling dynamic information in TruClient. You will find that using both the official and custom methods in conjunction will met any dynamic data requirement that you have while using the TruClient protocol.

 

 

How not to get lost in the sea of advertising in HPE Help System.

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As HPE converts its locally installed testing suite into a software as a service in recent years, there’s been all these new online SaaS help pages popping up on the internet for the testing tools. This has been a relief for most independent consultants as HPE has traditionally limited access to support pages to those that have a payed maintenance agreement for support. Unless the customer you are engaged with have payed support agreement (SAD number), all you will find on the HPE website is a sea of advertising for their products no matter how many times you click on a link for support.

The root landing page for these new SaaS help resources of  HPE testing tools, is hidden and difficult to find, it is located at;

http://admhelp.saas.hpe.com/main/Content/AdmHelpCenter.htm

The information contained in these help resources are located on your system after installing any HPE product, however if your not on one of these machines and researching an issue, these online resources are invaluable.

tc_help_center

The locally installed resources also do not contain all the latest modifications to the functional reference. HPE copies the above site into the patch releases for their products. If you want the latest help, go to the URL on the internet.

Going to the SaaS version of the help for any tool, also lets you look methods/approaches/work around or C/JavaScript commands located in the functional reference of previous versions of the tool that are no longer supported or suggested by HPE support but are still present in the latest rendition of the tool. These historical methods/approaches/work around or C/JavaScript commands, are still useful for issues or problems that HPE have not had a support case raised on yet.

The search functionality leaves a lot to be desired and also does not allow searching over multiple versions of the Help files. To overcome this, use Google and redirect the search engine to query the domain of saas.hpe.com. Using Google redirected search feature enables you to obtain the complete listing of all HPE products help sites

Click the below link to google all of SaaS support sites or copy and paste the text into Google search;

site:saas.hpe.com help

this returns 30,000 + pages of help files

google_search

If you’re looking for a specific HPE tool SaaS online help for that particular tool. Type the domain of SaaS along with the tools name to locate its support page.

site:saas.hpe.com TruClient

If you’re looking for a specific subject matter on a specific tool and the support page web site search function is not returning the results you want, you can redirect google search engine again to the the specific tool support site, to get the results you want.

site:tchelp.saas.hpe.com/en/  reference

Make sure your spelling correct as when you use google redirect it does not perform and spelling correction so maybe just search for the word on google first to get the spelling correction before using the site search function of google.