Released: Silk Performer 19.5

  Micro Focus proudly announces: Silk Performer 19.5 is released! If you already use Silk Performer and you have a maintenance contract, you can upgrade to Silk Performer 19.5 for free.

Silk Performer is the one stop performance testing tool, which takes pressure from you by adding load to your application. Silk Performer allows you to create realistic load tests with up to hundreds of thousands of virtual users running across a broad range of enterprise application environments, including mobile and the latest web 2.0 technologies.

Silk Performer introduces significant enhancements with version 19.5. Here's an overview of the feature highlights:

Feature Highlights

Web Testing Innovations

Silk Performer is now capable of converting .har files into capture files, which is an alternative the conventional recording approach. When you import an .har file into the Workbench, Silk Performer automatically converts it to a .spcap file and displays the Capture File page, which you can use to tweak the script generation process by applying filters, adding recording rules, and more.

You can now configure the post data length: When generating a script from a capture file, post data fragments exceeding 2000 bytes are stored in postbody.data files. In the profile settings, you can now configure this post data threshold. When the data length is below the defined threshold, the data is written to the script during script generation. When the data length exceeds the threshold, the data is stored in a separate postbody.data file.

The time to interact (TTI) has turned out to be the best way of measuring the response time of user interactions with modern web applications. The TTI metric can not only be measured for actions that trigger browser navigation. It can now also be applied to measure actions that trigger asynchronous requests using JavaScript and even actions that do not produce any network activity.

Jenkins Plugin Enhancements

 The Silk Performer plugin for the continuous integration tool Jenkins has received a major upgrade and now provides a number of new features. It lets you automate Silk Performer projects, collect results, and evaluate success conditions. Here are the enhancements in more detail:

  • Support for Jenkins agents: You can now execute jobs on Jenkins agents, which allows you to use different configurations (in the form of differently configured machines) for your load tests.
  • Performance levels as success criteria: The new Silk performer Jenkins plugin provides two options to evaluate whether a job was completed successfully: You can either define success criteria directly within the Jenkins job configuration interface. Or you can configure to use the performance levels defined within the Silk Performer project.
  • Overview Report with Jenkins: You can now access the HTML Overview Report directly from within Jenkins with just one click. Also, you can access all artifacts Silk Performer generated during a load test execution from within Jenkins.
  • Customizable trend chart: You can have Jenkins create trend charts to get quick performance feedback of measures you are interested in. The charts can be customized to display any metric of the completed load test. The chart shows the specified metric for the latest execution and the executions before that.
  • Support for source control systems: The plugin lets you link your job to a source control system. As a result, the job can automatically check out your Silk Performer project and all related files from your source control system and then execute the load test.
  • Available through Jenkins: The new Silk Performer Jenkins plugin is available through the central Jenkins plugin repository. More information on how to set up the plugin is available through the Jenkins wiki.

Editor Enhancements

Silk Performer 19.5 provides a preview of the brand-new Workbench editor, which offers everything you would expect from a state-of-the-art editor, like line numbering, code folding, advanced syntax highlighting, zooming, or code completion.

The new editor will be fully supported in an upcoming release, but you can already preview and test it. To activate the new editor, open a file browser, navigate to the Silk Performer installation directory, open the file performer.xml in a text editor (in elevated mode) and set the parameter EnableAdvancedEditor to true. Then start the Workbench and open a script. Note that this is a beta version of the new editor - it is not yet fully localized and might evoke unexpected behavior. In such a case, return to the old editor. Also, various features are not yet supported, like the wizards for adding transactions and functions.

Java-related Enhancements

A typical Silk Performer installation includes a Java Runtime Environment. The JRE is required for several components and processes, for example for the installation itself and for Java Explorer. It is also in the search path for projects that require a JRE. With Silk Performer 19.5 the JRE from Oracle has been replaced by the Zulu JRE from Azul Systems. Zulu builds are based on OpenJDK and they are certified for Java SE TCK compliance on x64 reference architecture systems. You can also use your own Oracle JRE or JDK by configuring the Java profile settings accordingly.

A Java Runtime Environment is required for several script types, such as Oracle Forms, Silk4J, AMF, and of course Java Framework. By default, the JRE configured in the profile settings is used. However, if the configured location turns out to be wrong, Silk Performer automatically attempts to find an alternative by scanning the Windows registry or by using the JRE that is installed by the Silk Performer installer in the home/JRE directory. This smart JRE search functionality is also applied on remote agents.

JUnit tests are now executed using a JUnit runner rather than by direct method calls. This allows you to make use of annotations in the Java code to parameterize your tests.

JVM options are now passed on to Silk4J, so that you can further parameterize your Java test environment.

General Enhancements

The verification workload model has been enhanced and now features multiple user types with more than one virtual user for each user type. Additionally, you can now set how many times the virtual users have to execute their defined transactions before they stop automatically.

In Silk Performer 19.5 you can attach additional files to a project. The project tree now displays a new node named Other Items. Any supplemental documents and files you add to the project display under this node. If you export the project, these files are copied as well, similarly to the assets of the other nodes.

When using the Silk Central integration, you can now use a web-service token as an alternative to the conventional authentication mode with user name and password. The token-based authentication provides a number of advantages. For example, no user credentials have to be transferred during the authentication process and the token is decoupled from LDAP-bound credentials. You can generate the web-service token in the user settings section of Silk Central. To use token-based authentication both Silk Performer 19.5 (or newer) and Silk Central 19.5 (or newer) are required.

The remote agent installer now allows you to configure the working folder of an agent. This is useful for agents with limited permissions on the default public documents location.

In addition to AWS and Azure, Silk Performer now also supports cloud instances hosted in the Google Cloud.

More information

During the upcoming weeks, we are going to give you a more detailed insight into some of the most interesting new features, here on our blog site. So, make sure to stay tuned.

  • For more information on all new features of Silk Performer 19.5, you can also refer to the Online Help.
  • Another valuable source of information: the Silk Performer 19.5 Release Notes.
  • If you are already convinced and want to buy Silk Performer, don't hesitate to contact us: Go to microfocus.com and click Contact Us on the top right.

If this article was useful for you, leave us a comment or like it. We appreciate your feedback.