Load Testing

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What Does Load Testing Mean?

Load testing is a software testing technique used to examine the behavior of a system when subject to both normal and extreme expected load conditions. Load testing is generally performed under controlled laboratory conditions in order to distinguish between two different systems.


Load testing is designed to test the non-functional requirements of a software application.

Load testing is sometimes referred to as longevity or endurance testing.

Techopedia Explains Load Testing

In the software development process, the term load testing is often used interchangeably with other forms of testing such as performance testing, volume testing and reliability testing. In simple words, load testing can be considered the simplest form of performance testing. In load testing, a system or a component is subject to varying load conditions, which are sometimes well beyond the normal limits, in order to determine the behavior of the system at peak load. This process is referred to as stress testing.

Load testing technique may be used in the following scenarios:

  • Testing an e-commerce website's shopping cart capacity
  • Testing hard disk drive capability to read and write as per its specifications
  • Testing an email server to handle email traffic

Load testing helps to find out the maximum amount of load an application can withstand. The success criterion of load testing is based on the completion of all the test cases without any errors and within the allotted time frame. Both load and performance testing are used to analyze software by subjecting it to varying amounts of load while tracking the performance under different load conditions.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert
Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.