October 7, 2008

Visual Studio Web Tests - Random Access is not quite Random

I've just been grappling with an issue in VS2008 Tester Edition that was skewing the load profile I'm after for my latest performance test assignment.

In a WebTest (either coded or UI-friendly) if you set "Random" access on Data Source and set the Number of Test Runs to a "Fixed Run count", the test runner will randomly select from all but the last row of data.
It works fine for 1 row, but with 2 or more rows, it will always ignore the last row. There is an n-1 bug in there somewhere....I've reported it to MS via the forums.

I've checked and VS2005 seems to have the same issue, and it affects at least csv and xml data source types.

The workaround is easy, as all you need is a padding row, but if you're wondering why the maths is off when using random access, this might be why.

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