The Art of Application Performance Testing

Author: Ian Molyneaux
Publisher: O'Reilly
Pages: 160
ISBN: 978-0596520663
Aimed at: Testing beginners
Rating: 3
Pros: A reasonable overview
Cons: Very short and very hands-off
Reviewed by: Mike James

This is a book that talks about Application Performance testing rather than telling you how to do it. While there is lots of advice on the desirable properties of testing tools none are discussed in detail and this is certainly not a practical primer.

Chapter One starts off with the question that we all probably know the answer to - "Why performance test?". Chapter Two goes on to consider the fundamentals of effective performance testing some of which is fairly common sense  - get a code freeze, provide sufficient test data, allocate enough time etc. Chapter Three discusses the process of performance testing by way of two case studies.

Chapter Five outlines the problem of interpreting the results of performance testing with the aim of tracking down the root cause. This is a welcome discussion of a very general problem. The problem is so general however that you can't expect simple ready made solutions. In this case it is vital that the tester understands the system architecture. The final chapter is on the way individual technologies affect performance testing - Ajax, Citrix , HTTP, Java, Oracle, SAP and OSA. Each section is very short and most don't say anything really helpful beyond the fact that the technology exists with its basic characteristic.

This is very much a "hands off" approach to the subject and it might help you think about the overall problem of organising and starting application performance testing. The one really good piece of advice in the book is "start performance testing early - ridiculously early if possible".

Only buy this book if you are a beginner at performance testing or want to explain to management the sorts of things you should be doing. This very short book doesn't cover much ground.

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Oracle Essentials

Authors: Rick Greenwald, Robert Stackowiak, Jonathan Stern
Publisher: O'Reilly, 2013
Pages: 405
ISBN: 978-1449343033
Aimed at: anyone who wants to learn Oracle
Rating: 4.5
Reviewed by: Kay Ewbank 

This is the fifth edition of this popular title, updated to cover Oracle 12c.



Programming PHP (3e)

Author: Kevin Tatroe, Peter MacIntyre & Rasmus Lerdorf
Publisher: O'Reilly
Pages: 540
ISBN: 978-1449392772
Audience: Programmers from other languages
Rating: 4
Reviewer: Mike James

PHP isn't always taken as a "serious" programming language. However, given that it powers so many websites it deserv [ ... ]


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