JMeter – Elements

YouTube Video: Apache JMeter – Elements (A Glance)

JMeter is an easy-to-operate tool with a simple UI. Basically, it is an element-based tool which has separate elements for all the script-building operations like think time, response check, request, cache, test scenario etc. As per your need, you can add JMeter elements and perform the test. Because of its element-based feature, many external plug-ins are available which help to make the scripting and analysis part easy. So, let’s try to understand what are all the elements of Apache JMeter.

When you launch JMeter in GUI mode, you can see a default element i.e. Test Plan. The rest of the other elements need to be added as per the requirement.

There are a total of 11 elements in JMeter which are:

Description of JMeter Elements:

  1. Test Plan: Test Plan is a Parent element under which the other JMeter elements are added. It is a default element. You can rename the test plan as per your project name or test case name.
  2. Thread Group: A Thread Group defines a pool of users that execute a particular test case as per your SLA. In the Thread Group GUI, you can control the number of simulated users (threads), the ramp-up time (how long it takes to start all the threads), the number of times to perform the test and optionally, the duration and start-up delay for the test.
  3. Logic Controllers: Logic Controllers determine the execution order of the sampler or other child elements. 
  4. Samplers: Samplers allow JMeter to send specific types of requests to a server. They simulate a user request for a page from the target server. It is a kind of request generator (of a specific type) which server can understand. In Micro Focus LoadRunner term you can call it ‘Protocol’.
  5. Config Elements: Configuration elements are useful to activate the initial set-up at the start of any test. During test initialization, respective values are assigned to or by them. They are used to set up defaults and variables used by Samplers and other elements during the test.
    Note that config elements are scope specific. They are processed before any samplers in the same scope and are limited to use only for those samplers; cannot be accessed by outside Samplers. Config elements can be global or local.
  6. Pre-processors: A pre-processor element runs just before a sampler executes. They are often used to modify the settings of a Sample Request just before it runs or to update variables that are not extracted from response text.
  7. Post-processors: A post-processor executes after a sampler finishes its execution. This element is useful to process the response data. The most important Postprocessor is the Regular Expression Extractor.
  8. Assertions: Assertions help to identify the correctness of the server response. You can use them to run against a sample and its subsamples to ensure that returned values match expected results or not. JMeter highlights Sampler in RED (in ‘View Tree Result’ Listener) when an assertion fails.
  9. Timers: Timer is used to control the rate of requests hitting the server. JMeter thread sends requests without pausing between each sampler. Timers allow JMeter to delay between each request that a thread makes. A timer can solve the server overload problem. You can add a timer element which allows you to define a period to wait between each request.
  10. Listener: A listener is a component that shows the results of the samples. Listener allows you to view and analyze the Sampler request and response in the form of tables, graphs, trees etc. You can also save results in a file and read saved results later. You can access the sampler result in an ongoing load/stress test without waiting until the test is completed (only in GUI mode). The listener can be global or local.
  11. Non-Test Elements: These elements do not directly participate in the test execution, but have a significant contribution to JMeter scripting. HTTP(S) Test Script Recorder is specially used to record the test script.

Mostly, JMeter elements are scope specific, so you need to add them in the script logically. Some of the elements can be a parent as well as a child element for others, but some elements do not follow the hierarchy like ‘Timer’ does not have any child element.

To understand and remember the parent-child relationship of the JMeter element, refer to this article JMeter Element Relationship.

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