Introduction to JMeter – An Open Source Load Testing Tool

JMeter is the leading free performance and load testing tool in the market today. Simply because it is easy in scripting and load generation as compared to free load testing tools and even compared with some of the paid tools as well. Let’s do introduction to JMeter!

In this introduction to JMeter, we will cover the below topics:

  1. A Brief About JMeter

  2. Interesting Facts of JMeter

  3. Capabilities of JMeter

  4. Scope of JMeter

  5. Download and Install JMeter

  6. JMeter First Look

Introduction to JMeter - free website performance test
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A Brief About JMeter

Apache JMeter is free and open source Performance testing tool written in Java. Hence, JMeter is one of the tool typically used to do free website performance test to measure the web page performance. The first version of JMeter was introduced in Dec 15, 1998 by Stefano Mazzocchi. It’s a great tool for performance testing and widely used in the market as compared to other performance testing tools.
It can be used for different types of performance test, which includes:

  • Load test
  • Stress test
  • Endurance test
  • Volume test
  • Spike test

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Interesting Facts of JMeter

  • Open source under GPL license – JMeter built by Apache under GPL compatible license, which makes it free and open source. Without any licensing constraint you can use and tweak it. Due to this companies using JMeter for performance testing has increased the scope of job opportunities.
  • Script without coding it – You will find it interesting that JMeter scripts are platform independent. Scripts are not written in Java or any other language. Instead, scripts are created in XML format, which could easily be transported to any machine.
  • Easy to learn – There are a lot of people having a fear that JMeter is a hard tool to learn, trust me you don’t have to be a superman to learn JMeter. JMeter is actually one of the simplest tools to learn.

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Capabilities of JMeter

JMeter has all the capabilities of performance testing tool it could create complex scripts, generating huge load or creating reports.

  • Complex scripts made easy with powerful GUI – You can create complex scripts using conditions, looping, validations, logic etc. with a wide range of controllers in JMeter. You could also write custom code within the script if required.
  • Unlimited load generation – You can generate unlimited number of virtual users. But at the same time you have to acquire enough hardware for JMeter to generate virtual users.
  • Extensive reporting metrics – JMeter gives lot of information to evaluate on the performance of the application which includes response time, errors, standard deviation, 90 percentile, throughput, response message, response code and other useful information.
  • Automate multiple protocols – JMeter supports a wide range of protocols like http/https, FTP, REST / SOAP, JDBC, LDAP, JMS, POP3, SMTP, IMAP, TCP, Shell scripts, Java objects etc.
  • Easy to develop JMeter plugins – JMeter allows to add custom features without editing anything in the code but by just creating the custom plugins

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Scope of JMeter

Like any other tool, there are some limitations with JMeter as well. Performance testing of below mentioned applications is not possible through JMeter

  • SAP
  • Oracle EBS
  • RDP
  • Desktop applications
  • Citrix
  • Flex

There is a company, Ubikloadpack that gives support to some additional protocols by their paid plugins like FLEX / Adobe AIR, video streaming, GWT Plugin etc.

Though JMeter gives you reporting feature but that is not very rich and interactive as compared to other paid tools, but if you use SAAS service like LoadSkull or Blazemeter you could get nice graphs and interactive reporting.

As JMeter support http and other mostly used protocols. It captures the huge market and services like LoadSkull which makes it easy to use by eliminating the limitations of JMeter.

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Download and Install JMeter

You can download JMeter directly from Apache JMeter website . Download the binaries Zip file for windows, not the source.
It’s only a few Mbs in size. Once it is downloaded, you just have to unzip it and you are good to go.
NOTE: As JMeter is written in java, you must have Java installed on your machine to run JMeter. In some cases, you may also have to add Java path into environment variables. Check out post if you

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JMeter First Look

One’s it’s done you are good to start with JMeter. JMeter GUI is simple and it can easily be learnt.

JMeter First Look

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