December 12, 2012 – The maturity of application performance management brought with it new aspects such as network optimization and user interactions, but successful enterprise applications are still grounded in the testing stages, according to new recommendations from Aberdeen Group.

With increased connections to offsite environments and growing appetite for mobile functionality, back-end testing has become more critical to keep end users happy and working. Aberdeen pointed to the central findings its own small survey of enterprise application developers: quick and successful adoption of applications by end users was consistently marked by methods such as test performances of real-world users, definition of performance thresholds and identification of sources in delayed response times. On the emerging enterprise mobile application development field, a separate Aberdeen survey noted that basic testing methods could address the top performance challenges of diversity of mobile platforms (51 percent), lack of testing tools (48 percent) and complexity of development (43 percent).

Rigorous testing based on the basics is the certain path to find application issues before they trickle down to end users, wrote Aberdeen Senior Research Analyst for Network and Application Performance Jim Rapoza.

“[Businesses] can throw the application to their users, treating them as test-case guinea pigs and hope that when the app fails it won’t be too big of a disaster. Or they can do proper testing up front in order to ensure the application is effective and high performing before it ends up in front of users and customers,” Rapoza wrote.

Obvious, but essential, Aberdeen cites the importance of tinkering with functionality of applications early on. At the development stage, Aberdeen writes in one example, “testing can show when specific user actions or loads trigger a break in the application, or if specific buttons and other design features display or work incorrectly on some devices, browsers or interfaces.”

After the coding and development-stage testing, the next thing successful enterprise applications do is figure out the best server, network and infrastructure for loads and activity. Operations employees should test to understand what resources will be needed to the points of highest peak usage.

Deployment does not mean “done” with business applications, especially as more applications are synced with virtualized server and shifting data center environments, Aberdeen noted. An end-to-end view of testing should include ongoing performance management results and reviews to meet changes to users and expectations.

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