Sometimes, you need to reproduce a typical HTTP user behavior under load. A typical example is the need to test a proxy with specific rules for specific pages – you need to ensure that applying a given rule won’t kill your performance, and the best way to check that is to test. Another reason would be to send a realistic traffic, representative of the typical traffic you see – so if you’re a web services host company, for instance, you test your infrastructures with the correct objects size and amount of requests.
Avalanche, as you might know if you read this blog, is totally able to do that and is even, arguably, the best tool for that. But you need to build the test by hand or by using the Fiddler plugin that I provide for free (source code is available on GitHub). There’s however a limitation with the Fiddler plugin: it will only generate a client Actions List. This means you can only test against real servers (which is fine) but you need to do some extra work if you want Avalanche to emulate the server side.
This is why I developed a tool called Harhar. This free (as in beer) tool parses .har (HTTP Archive) files generated by Chrome (Firebug-generated files support is under work) to create Actions Lists but also server objects, with the correct hierarchy. You simply need to upload the content on the Avalanche server-side and run. The tool comes with a detailed tutorial document so make sure to read it.
As a little background, HTTP Archives are files that store every requests from a HTTP client (URIs, cookies, etc) as well as the responses (including the content). The files are defined in a W3C Draft and are actually JSON content.
So feel free to experiment with this tool and let me know if you have any question, feedback or found any bug!