IBM Rational Performance Tester Review

The Rational Quality Manager adapter allows testers to manage, schedule, and execute their assets from it, though tighter integration with Jazz would be an improvement.


Valuable Features

  • The graphical Test Results and executive reports
  • The improved Load Generation Agent
  • The ability to couple test results with resource monitoring results across all application tiers
  • The ability to add custom code where needed (for enhanced data correlation for example)
  • The ever improving auto-data correlation

Improvements to My Organization

It helps the testers quickly and efficiently record tests, and setup schedules (test suites).

The Rational Quality Manager adapter for Rational Performance Tester allows testers to manage, schedule, and execute their Rational Performance Tester assets from Rational Quality Manager.

Comprehensive Rational Performance Tester results allow testers to identify bottlenecks in the systems under test.

Room for Improvement

I’d like to see a tighter integration with Rational Quality Manager and the Jazz platform. Additionally, making the results/reports more customizable would be useful.

Use of Solution

We've been using it for seven years.

Deployment Issues

When implementing complex solutions like this, you often run into deployment issues during the initial setup. However, upgrades have been very easy and transparent to the testers.

Stability Issues

In terms of scalability and stability, it is important to gather your performance test requirements ahead of time so that you can properly design the most stable and scalable solution for the enterprise. For example, how many concurrent virtual users will be run during average and peak times is an important factor when determining the number of agents.

Customer Service and Technical Support

Rational support is responsive and knowledgeable of any issues we run into with RPT.

Initial Setup

The initial setup itself was straightforward, but resolving the various issues after deployment took a couple weeks.

Implementation Team

The internal Rational Support team is responsible for the Rational tools where I work. I was involved in the Rational Performance Tester redesign, moving to a virtual server architecture, and involved IBM support when necessary. You definitely need to know what you are doing, or have someone who does available.

Pricing, Setup Cost and Licensing

It helps knowing your usage model, having a performance test plan that includes requirements or projections from the applications to be tested, as well as design details of the test environment. It is more cost-effective buying all your projected licenses up front, as opposed to buying a small number each year to meet your needs.

Other Solutions Considered

HP LoadRunner and JMeter were evaluated, and those are good solutions too. The client chose RPT due to the Eclipse IDE and the graphical reports. Additionally, RPT doesn’t really require a lot of custom coding. However, being a Java shop, if custom code is needed we are able to leverage in-house Java developers to help in custom code development if necessary.

Other Advice

With little or no experience, you can try to muddle through the implementation if you have enough time. Otherwise, I suggest involving a consultant who really knows it. Full time support is always preferred (hire an experienced in-house team). Alternatively, hire part-time quick start support; find a good IBM Partner, like A Better Solution (ABS), that has a proven track record in helping organizations spin up on the various Rational tools such as this one.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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