California-based internet testing company Mercury Interactive has launched what is believed to be the first solution in the UK designed to test e-business websites – but there are concerns that the service is very expensive. The company’s LoadRunner ActiveTest is a hosted web-based load-testing service that helps organisations pinpoint potential stresses which may cause sites to crash. ‘E-businesses are rushing to launch websites to gain consumer mind and market share,’ said Mercury Interactive managing director David Harrison. ‘However, most people do not take the time to make sure their site works as expected. As a result, there has been a plethora of high-profile website disasters.’ The Mercury Interactive service enables companies that do not have their own resources to test website and e-business applications. Testing costs from £10,000 upwards and is carried out remotely over the web by Mercury experts – a feature that eliminates the need for in-house resources. The results of the tests enable companies to find out how the ‘load’, or amount of traffic at their website, affects its performance, including response times. However, software-testing consultant Miriam Bromnick, at London-based independent research and consultancy company Ovum, said the service was overpriced. Bromnick said: ‘This is an extremely useful service and has come at a time when people are realising that you cannot get away with not running complete website tests. ‘There have been a number of high-profile site crashes, including the Financial Times, and this solution will help companies avoid such problems. My only concern is that the price is very expensive.’ In addition to load testing websites before deployment, ActiveTest can help e-businesses ensure their websites are always running at peak performance. The solution is being offered free throughout March. For more information contact http://activetest.merc-int.com.
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