Menu and Navigation Overview

The ZebraTester menu structure is somewhat different from other applications. Menu options are always context-sensitive; that is, only options relevant to the current operation are displayed. Also, there is no "main menu" or "main application window" (even though one of the menus has the title "Main Menu").


There are, however, three important menus:

The Main Menu enables recording of web surfing sessions with any Web browser, as well as the editing of web surfing sessions and applying functional enhancements. The sub-menu Generate Load Test Program converts a recorded Web surfing session into a ready-to-run load test program.

The Project Navigator allows the management of stored web surfing sessions and load test programs. Furthermore, load test programs can be started from this menu, and the corresponding test results and measurements are then also available from this menu.

The Analyze Load Test Menu allows the analysis of load test results and measurements, including comparisons of the results of different load test runs.

Of the three central menus described above, only the "Project Navigator" deals with permanent data; that is, data persisted to disk. The other two menus, as well as most of all other menus, work only with transient data stored in memory.

The other ZebraTester menus, shown in the figure above, are described below:

Page Scanner Allows the automatic scanning of entire Web sites, including all Web pages contained therein - similar to a Web Spider or a Web Crawler. The result of the scan can be converted directly into a Web surfing session, out of which a ready-to-run load test program can be created. This is a fast and convenient alternative instead of recording web surfing sessions manually using the "Main Menu". However, this option is suitable only for testing relatively simple Web sites. In general, real-world Web applications can only be tested using manually recorded Web browser sessions via the "Main Menu".
Var Finder Provides a convenient overview of all CGI and HTML form parameters passed between client and server in a complete Web surfing session. Using this menu, dynamic session parameters such as the .NET VIEWSTATE parameter can be managed with a single mouse-click.
URL Details / Var Handler "URL Details" displays all recorded details about a URL. The "Var Handler" allows "Input Files" to be defined with URL parameter allocations, useful in situations such as logging-in to Web applications using different user accounts. The "Var Handler" also allows many additional load test program options to be dynamically changed; or example, changing the name of the stressed Web server.
Response Verification In addition to checking only status HTTP codes during a load test, ZebraTester also checks the received content of URL calls by an automatically applied heuristic algorithm designed to exclude "false positive" results. This menu allows to modify the response verification algorithm.
Session Cutter Allows one or more recorded web surfing sessions to be combined into a single new Web surfing session, using a process analogous to the splicing of motion picture film. Additionally, this menu allows to import web surfing sessions from external definition files, from which load test programs can be created.
Execute Load Test Displays the most important statistics during the execution of a load test. Errors can be displayed and analyzed in real-time, as they occur.
Load Curve Diagrams Displays the performance curve of a Web server or Web application under load, showing how response time, throughput and stability behave under various load conditions. The maximum performance capacity of a Web server or Web application can be determined using this menu.
Comparison Diagrams Provides a graphical comparison of the response times of the same load test program which was executed at different times; for example, before and after server tuning activities, allowing the effect of the tuning on response times to be determined.
Detail Statistics & Diagrams Displays in detail all collected measurements related to a single load test. Over 21 different statistics and diagrams are available.
Error Details Shows the details of all errors occurring during a load test (error snapshots). This menu can be invoked during the load test as well as after the completion of a load test.

Please note that the above list of menus is not exhaustive. There are many other menus available; for example, menus to export data, generate PDF reports, control search-, delete- or filter-functionality, and perform configuration of the ZebraTester product itself. In addition, there are menus to enable and control the execution of load test programs on remote computer systems, including the combination of load test execution systems configured in a cluster.

These menus are all described in this User Guide.

All menus provide context specific help text, available using the Help Icon. Example: