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BUSINESS OBJECTSPERFORMANCETESTING

EXECUTIVE SUMMARYPerformance testing informs decisions about the allocation of resources. Performancetesting software like Apache JMeter and Micro Focus LoadRunner can handle enormousinputs, but generate limited outputs and cannot test the entire architecture of BusinessObjects. 360Suite is a complete software solution that enhances performance testingsoftware by testing every component of a Business Objects platform and providingcrystal-clear outputs. It’s an IT solution that makes business sense. By regularly validatingthe sizing and behavior of a Business Objects environment with 360Suite andperformance testing software, organizations can be confident they are providing anoptimal end-user experience at the lowest possible cost.PERFORMANCE TESTING: WHAT AND WHYPerformance testing is a broad term that encompasses many types of tests designed tocheck how a system performs under certain conditions. The goal of performance testingis to establish benchmarks related to responsiveness, stability, speed, resource usage, etc.A load test is a type of performance test that checks how a system performs under aheavy load. By steadily increasing the number of virtual concurrent users/actions, it ispossible to identify the upper limit of a system. A stress test is a type of performance testthat goes even further than a load test. It checks how a system responds and recoverswhen overloaded, or pushed beyond its upper limit.Understanding how systems perform allows organizations to make informeddecisions. IT departments are primarily concerned with performance; business units areprimarily concerned with cost. When it comes to investing in hardware/platforms/environments, standard sizing guidelines are a good place to start, but they are based onartificial assumptions. Only by testing the performance of systems under actual orsimulated conditions can organizations determine how to design and maintain

environments that satisfy both IT and business by achieving an ideal balance betweenperformance and cost.LIMITATIONS OF PERFORMANCE TESTING SOFTWAREPerformance testing software such as Apache JMeter and Micro Focus LoadRunner areexcellent tools for conducting load and stress tests. They measure the performance ofstatic and dynamic resources by simulating multiple virtual users logging onconcurrently and performing basic actions like navigating, opening, and refreshing. Usershave lots of flexibility in terms of inputs, but the software generates very little in the wayof outputs and tests only parts of the Business Objects architecture.Another limitation of performance testing software is that it tests performance only atthe level of the web application server (e.g., Apache Tomcat). To go deeper and simulatecomplex business intelligence activities, users must create complex JMeter test plans.This is easier said than done because creating test plans requires a fundamentalunderstanding of the principles behind both JMeter and the application being tested. Inthe case of Business Objects, the challenge is to create test plans that automaticallycorrelate dynamic data with simulated users. Few resources exist to aid with this process.For example, a 2012 article, Introduction to Apache JMeter, posted to the SAPcommunity Wiki, has not been updated to reflect changes to subsequent versions ofBusiness Objects and or the real-life impact of these changes on creating test plans.360SUITE: THE BEST PERFORMANCE TESTING SOFTWARECOMPANION360Suite is a set of software solutions that enhance Business Objects. Several of thesolutions, including 360Live, 360Eyes, and 360Cast, are ideal companions toperformance testing software. 360Live offers real-time analysis of Business Objectsplatform performance indicators. 360Eyes offers insight into metadata. 360Castschedules and burs reports, activities that are important to test because they stress the

full Business Objects architecture and back end databases. By simulating the front endand reaching the back end, these 360Suite solutions expand and extend the ability ofperformance testing software to generate crystal-clear insight into the performance ofBusiness Objects.Whereas JMeter examines how the web application server performs, 360Suite goesfurther to examine the behavior of the Business Objects components. Specifically,360Suite tests the performance of the SAP Business Intelligence platform (e.g., CMS, FRS,and multiple servers–Adaptive Processing, Web Intelligence, Crystal Reports, AdaptiveJob and Connection), associated dependences (e.g., system database, audit database,FileStore, and web application server), and overall architecture (e.g., web layer and SAPBusiness Objects load balancing, clustering, and reporting databases).A typical test scenarios is as follows. A customer tests performance with JMeter, steadilyincreasing the number of virtual concurrent users from 10 to 10,000 or more. Thecustomer runs 360Live during the test and 360Eyes afterwards; together they generateoutputs and determine if and at what point the number of users starts to impact anyBusiness Objects component. Next, the customer tests performance with JMeteralongside 360Cast, which simulates the batch scheduling of reports. The customersteadily increases the number of scheduled reports from 100 to 1,000 or more, and againruns 360Live during the test and 360Eyes afterwards to determine if Business Objects ismanaging the queuing effectively and at what point the number of reports starts toimpact any component. The customer also relies on 360Eyes to verify that the stress testactually occurred and analyze the impact on average session duration.360Suite outputs are displayed in prebuilt Webi reports.BOBJ Internal Load Balancing

Left: Confirmation of Stress Tests; Right: Impact on Session Duration (Unique to360Eyes, this graph empowers organizations to adjust sizing, as needed, to achievedesired response times.)CPU and Memory Load of BOBJ Component

CPU and Memory Load of All Servers Involved in Performance TestRegular performance testing is important to validate the sizing and behavior of anenvironment. 360Suite, in combination with performance testing software, is the idealsolution to regularly test the performance of Business Objects and ensure that attributeslike responsiveness, stability, speed, and resource usage continue to satisfy requirements.Overinvesting in hardware wastes money. Underinvesting compromises performanceand user satisfaction. Business Objects performance tuning with 360Suite is theprofessional way to fine-tune resource allocation and achieve the optimal end-userexperience at the lowest possible cost. 360Suite also generates a byproduct that is lessquantifiable but no less important. By empowering IT to optimize the performance ofBusiness Objects, 360Suite aligns the goals of IT and business.Author: Patrick Perrier