I just received an evaluation copy of the new version of Rational Performance Tester. IBM Rational have re-written the tool from scratch and based it on the open-source Eclipse framework. The tool has only just come out of beta testing and currently supports web protocols only. Everyone in the industry seems to be keen to know how it stacks up against the competition.

First off, my impressions of the old version…

Coming from a LoadRunner background, my opinions on the tool were a little mixed. Performance Tester was easy to learn and easy to use but it is definitely missing some features when compared to LoadRunner and, possibly because of my background, the way the tool did some things just felt wrong. It must also be noted that I have only used the web protocol. Other protocols may behave differently.

In my opinion, the downsides were

  • It uses its own custom scripting language. Once you know how to program in one language, it’s easy enough to pick up another (as long as it doesn’t use a totally different paradigm, like functional programming), but it all feels a little unnecessary.
  • Manual correlation is done using regular expressions. So sites like the Regular Expression Library are useful.
  • The tool automatically correlates everything. This makes the scripts ugly. This is great if your script happens to work for all the data you are going to use with it. It is painful to debug if it doesn’t work sometimes. This is why a Rational tool expert will tell you it is easier to re-record a script than edit it. This is also why Rational users don’t generally put text checks in their pages.
  • When you are running a test, you have nowhere near the visibility into what is going on that LoadRunner gives you.
  • I found the way it handled chunked encoding really weird.
  • Connection handling is not transparent to the user.

But on the plus-side…

  • The automatic correlation works most of the time. This can be a big time saver.
  • Their support is excellent.
  • It is significantly cheaper than LoadRunner.
  • The tool gives you the option of using a persistent cursor for your data tables. So if you had a test case that, for instance, deleted a user from a database, you would not have to restore the database or re-add users between test runs, you could just continue from the same point in your list of users. This is a feature that LoadRunner is missing.

I will post a review of the new version of IBM Rational Performance Tester once I have had a chance to play with it for a while.


Published On: May 3, 2005Tags: ,


  1. Stuart Moncrieff May 5, 2005 at 3:20 pm

    Another thing that I thought was missing from Rational was the ability to remove think time from transaction timings.

  2. Ashish November 28, 2005 at 10:55 pm

    What all protocol Rational Performance Tester support?

  3. Chris Meisenzahl March 14, 2006 at 4:08 am

    Great review, thanks.

  4. Pete July 5, 2007 at 12:17 am

    Does anyone have a comparison chart of Rational Performance tester VS. Load Runner? Please send it to drcoolpras@yahoo.com

  5. dipali July 24, 2008 at 3:07 pm

    Can we upload load runner scripts in Rational Performance Tester?????
    Please reply if anyone know how to do it

  6. revati November 13, 2008 at 4:13 pm


    I want a comparison chart of Rational Performance tester VS. Load Runner?…or any exact difference between rational Performance testing and Load runner…please mail me that

  7. Sheetal April 8, 2009 at 2:39 pm

    I dont know how correct this is, but u can find the differences at:

  8. Venkat July 5, 2009 at 1:17 am


    In RPT, I executed a script using thinktime, after I got the results the Transaction times are incuded the thinktime, “can any one tell me that how to remove this tinktime” in results.


  9. Arnab July 22, 2009 at 5:28 pm

    another main downside of RPT is datapooling with system date/time.
    it doesnt have this support.
    in Loadrunner u can easily use system date/time to substitute variables

  10. indira October 20, 2009 at 7:04 pm

    where can we find generation log and replay log in RPT?

  11. Lacman May 21, 2010 at 11:47 pm

    The tool doesn’t handle https from a server and doesn’t work with Certificate certifcation

  12. Sharon December 7, 2010 at 2:09 am

    Could someone please send me recent differences between Rational Performance Tester and Load Runner?

  13. sharath November 24, 2011 at 7:39 pm

    RPT has almost all the functionality with supported with limited options…….I workin on it for quiet some time ……..
    The comparison is given in another page is also not 100% correct ….
    If you want to really rate or compare this tool then work on it for some time and u ll fall love with it……

    • Asif Desai January 11, 2015 at 5:09 pm

      Hi Sharatha

      I have started learning RPT tool, I was working on LoadRunner tool but due to cghange in tool from client side need to work on RPT now. I am facing some issues in Data pooling combination and co-relations could you please help me in clearifiying the concepts regarding RPT. please contact me at:- asifzam@gmail.com


  14. Sharath November 24, 2011 at 7:59 pm

    The only area RPT is laggin is the backend trasparency while execution ….
    else everythin is fine with this tool.
    Comparing LR with RPT does not make sense……both the tools have their own pros n cons…..

  15. tarak March 13, 2013 at 7:52 pm

    Can u please share the component which are using in RPT. Like in LR there are VuGen, Controller and Load Analysis…

  16. shankar April 1, 2013 at 3:52 pm

    Hi all , what about the support of RPT for thick client java apps and apps that use IBM JVM ,LR has a very limited/no support for them

  17. Sharath February 25, 2014 at 6:38 pm

    Need help in migrating Vugen scripts in RPT…. Is it possible?
    if “yes” then how ?

  18. AnitaM May 13, 2014 at 8:23 am

    Client is looking for a Performance Tester who will work on IBM Rational. If interested send resume.

  19. Swaraj Gujja March 31, 2015 at 7:46 pm

    Hi, can anyone share comparison between LR & RPT (if possible NeoLoad also) at below mail
    swaraj.gujja@gmail.com. Thanks in advance.

  20. Gopal May 26, 2015 at 8:04 pm


    Unable to record cloud application using RPT.
    RPT tool in intranet and application on cloud(inetrnet)..Please help me

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