Keynote, well known for its application performance testing and monitoring services, just announced a new version of its KITE (Keynote Internet Testing Environment) that is now capable of testing Web 2.0 sites that make use of AJAX, Flash, and other "hidden" methods of obtaining content.

Announcement of KITE 2

Performance testing dynamic and HTML websites is now a fairly straightforward process, however the rise of Web 2.0 sites that don’t rely on clicking to reveal another new page have been almost impossible to test. However Keynote has now developed a scripted system that allows you to test Web 2.0 sites as easily as Web 1.0 sites.

KITE 2.0 (Keynote Internet Testing Environment), is the latest version of Keynote’s product for testing and analysing the performance of Web applications. KITE 2.0 gives users the flexibility of testing instantly from their desktop or from geographic locations across Keynote’s on-demand global test and measurement network.

According to Keynote KITE 2.0 enables Web developers, QA professionals, performance analysts and others, to execute rapid performance analysis and validation by measuring the end user experience of next Web 2.0 applications that include AJAX and asynchronously downloaded content.

Ensuring that the additional burden placed on servers by "hidden" requests is imperative when attempting to understand both capacity and end-user performance.

But when you're laying out that testing plan, don't forget about any APIs you might be providing. Like Twitter, Google, Facebook, and Amazon, if you're using an API to allow integration with other Web 2.0 sites or applications make certain you performance test that, as well. And then test them at the same time you're load-testing your application. As we've learned from Twitter's most public stability issues, the APIs are going to put additional stress on your network, servers, and databases that must be considered when determining capacity and performance levels.

Important, too, is to take into consideration RSS feeds coming from your site. Include those in your performance test, as the retrieval of those files adds an additional burden on servers and can impact the performance of the entire site. Most feed-readers and aggregators poll for RSS feeds on a specified interval so set up a script to grab that RSS from multiple clients every 10 minutes or so during the testing to ensure that you're simulating maximum load as closely as possible. 

Performance testing sites today is getting more complex because we're adding so many entry points into our sites and applications. Don't forget about those extra entry points when you perform your load-testing or you might find out in a most public way that your application just can't handle the load.

Follow me on Twitter View Lori's profile on SlideShare