LoadRunner 11.50 was released on June 5th, during HP Discover 2012 in Las Vegas. This release was originally going to be called LoadRunner 12.00, but this would have put it out of step with the version numbers for ALM/Quality Center and QTP, which might have created some marketing confusion.
Significant R&D effort has been spent on VuGen, with only bug fixes (or very minor functionality) for LoadRunner Analysis and the Controller. Those of us who participated in the Beta program have already been playing with the new VuGen for the last 9 months, and should be fairly familiar with these changes, so this article is for those of you who missed out.
As with all major LoadRunner releases, I will be recommending that my clients download the new version to play with, but that they delay using it for real projects until the first Feature Pack is released (let someone else find the bugs). Obviously you should never upgrade in the middle of a project.
VuGen was really showing its age as a development environment, so HP R&D in Israel has spent a huge amount of effort in developing an (almost) completely new VuGen. VuGen 11.50 is based on an open source IDE called SharpDevelop (similar to Visual Studio .NET). The SharpDevelop IDE will be the basis for several of HP’s software testing products, including QuickTest Pro, Service Test, and Service Virtualization Designer.
Being an IDE for .NET languages meant that HP had to do a lot of work to make it support C, and to integrate the existing recording and script generation functionality. Some old user interface components from VuGen like the Parameter and Runtime Settings windows have been re-used, but the majority of the user interface has been refreshed. It should be noted that the scripts that are created with VuGen 11.50 are still much the same as those created with VuGen 11.00. The scripts still have the same files and directory structure, and they are still run by the mmdrv.exe interpreter. It is just the development environment that has changed.
Some things that you will notice:
- New user interface. SharpDevelop has given HP a lot of nice functionality here like dockable windows, code completion, etc.
- New program icons, new syntax highlighting colours
- Tree View has been removed, replaced with Step Navigator
- A debugger for C has been added, which should give better visibility of the code than just the parameter values and log messages that were visible at runtime previously
Enhancements to Web vusers
- Better support for Ajax polling types, including Poll, Long Poll and Push
- Improved correlation studio, which will no longer require you to replay before finding correlations.
- A Data Format Extension (DFE) has been added for Google Web Toolkit (GWT). This makes the serialized RPC data easier to read and correlate.
- TruClient IE is less mature than TruClient Firefox, it is approximately feature-equalvalent to the version of TruClient that shipped with LoadRunner 11.02 (Feature Pack 2).
- TruClient IE was developed as an add-in for IE 9, so will not work on earlier versions of IE. This version of IE was the first version to expose enough of the DOM to be usable by a TruClient-style vuser. Note that your web application must support IE9 in “standard mode”.
- Some features have also been added to TruClient Firefox. These include:
- The ability to specify think time
- The ability to set HTTP headers
- URL filters
- Event handlers, which can automatically handle intermittent pop-up windows, etc.
- Web page breakdown graphs have been added to TruClient (visible in LoadRunner Analysis). Previously they were only available for standard web vusers.
- Better support for Adobe Flex
- A new “RTMP” protocol has been added. Real Time Messaging Protocol (RTMP) is a protocol developed by Macromedia for streaming audio, video and data over the Internet, between a Flash player and a server.
- LoadRunner now integrates with Service Virtualization, but I haven’t seen this in action yet.
- The .NET Record-Replay vuser type now supports .NET 4.
- LoadRunner can now generate load using IPv6. This includes IP Spoofing.
- VuGen can now record 64-bit applications
When you upgrade from LoadRunner 11.00 to 11.50, you will need to request a new license key from HP, as this version breaks license compatibility (the last time this happened was for LoadRunner 8.1.3).
HP has also moved the mobile vuser types into the existing web-based bundles. The Mobile Applications Protocol has been moved into the Web and Multimedia bundle, and the Mobile TruClient vuser type has been moved to the same bundles as the regular TruClient vuser type; it can now be found in the Rich Internet Applications bundle and the Web 2.0 bundle.
HP has integrated some community features into VuGen. You will be able to search the Community site from within VuGen, and you can also add your own sites to include in your searches (like this one, hint! hint!).
A consequence of basing VuGen on SharpDevelop is that it is now possible to add your own features to VuGen with add-ins. So far I am the only non-HP person to have developed an add-in for VuGen, but hopefully lots of other people will also write add-ins that will make script development easier.
To learn more about add-ins, you should read my presentation on Extending VuGen 11.5 with custom add-ins.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some questions that I have been asked about LoadRunner 11.50…
- Has Performance Center 11.50 been released?
Yes, it was released at the same time as LoadRunner 11.50.
- SharpDevelop is Open Source. VuGen is based on SharpDevelop. Does this mean that VuGen is now Open Source?
No. SharpDevelop is licenced under the LGPL, which means that anyone who extends SharpDevelop is only obliged to release their own code if they make changes directly to the LGPL code i.e. they can freely use the SharpDevelop DLLs in their own products and can extend SharpDevelop with add-ins. Also, it is likely that HP has negotiated an even more liberal license directly with the SharpDevelop copyright holder (AlphaSierraPapa), so it is possible that they have made changes to the SharpDevelop core. HP has used many open source components before without having to release their source code.
- Will my VuGen 11.50 scripts work with older versions of the load generator (e.g. LoadRunner 11.00, or Performance Center 11.00, or BSM 9.12)?
Your script might work, as long as you don’t use any of the new functions (or vuser types) that were introduced in version 11.50. I am thinking of writing a VuGen add-in that will check script compatibility with older versions.
- VuGen is now written in C#, does this mean that the scripting language for VuGen has changed?
No. You still develop your VuGen scripts in C.
Please leave a comment if you have any more questions about LoadRunner 11.50.