About a month back we had need to do some load testing, and due to a misunderstanding about what exactly Visual Studio Team System for Software Testers included and how that was different to the Load Test Agent, I overlooked it and started looking for a free web load tester.
I eventually realised we had the tool we needed already, but I am actually glad I didn’t for two reasons, first because it gave me a better appreciation for where VSTS for Software Testers comes from and second as I was new to how load testing works and what tools were availiable I think I came away with a better understanding of why and how it can lead to a better end product.
Whether or not there is a shared code base between the three load testing tools that Microsoft have produced I don’t know, but the similarities and evolution are unmistakeable. There is a logical progression from the ‘Web Application Stress Tool’ through ATC and then Team Test. The end result being a finely tuned piece of software with incredible power. We managed to identify problem areas, bottlenecks, bad data, plus a whole host of other things using it that we wouldn’t have otherwise.
Team Test is an excellent product, but it’s big, so take the time to learn how to use it properly.
Check out Bill Barnett’s blog as a starting point, and this post inparticular, the ‘Monitoring and Analyzing a Load Test Result’ article on MSDN, plus the MSDN training resources from the Visual Studio Team System Developer Center.