Automated Performance Testing with Load Impact and Jenkins

Jenkins logo Load Impact Load Impact integrates nicely with Jenkins, a leading continuous delivery and integration automation platform. Using our robust and extensible APIs you can integrate Load Impact’s world-leading performance testing platform into your automated Jenkins pipeline build and test process.

Load Impact covers your back with everything you need for Web, API and application performance testing. And test scripting is simple.

To get started, try this sample of how to include performance testing in your Jenkins Pipeline setup.

This sample assumes you are familiar with Jenkins v2 and above. We set up a new pipeline and use the Blue Ocean UI to run because it looks nice.

It also assumes you have a Load Impact account. If not, go get one – it’s free.

Get started with a free account!

We’ve broken down the integration process into four digestible steps, so let's get on with some automated performance testing!

1. Set up Jenkins Pipelines

First, you’ll want to set up your Jenkins pipelines. Here’s how we did it: We started by creating this Jenkins pipeline: LI_Pipeline_Demo_1

Jenkins pipeline Load Impact 2

And here it is when we have executed a couple of times.

Jenkins logo Load Impact 3

Slightly more interesting – let’s take a look at the Configuration of the pipeline.

Jenkins logo Load Impact 4

We set up a pipeline that only executes a performance test so you can include it as you wish in your pipeline. There is nothing else in this example.

All the good stuff is in the Pipeline, so let’s go there and take a look.

Jenkins logo Load Impact 5

It’s all in the Groovy script for the pipeline, so we will take a look at what it does in some detail.

You can get the code at GitHub in the loadimpact/jenkinsloadimpact repo where it is shared.

2. Integrate the Load Impact API

Before we dive into the details — let’s get some essentials from your Load Impact account. We need the API key so you can access the API and a test to run.

The API key you get in your Load Impact account when you are logged in.

Jenkins logo Load Impact 6

Go to “Monitoring” on the left and click “Use REST API.”

Then copy it from the yellow text box.

Jenkins logo Load Impact 7

Just note that the API token is longer than the size of the box so make sure you get all of it!

Now you need to know which test to run. You can list your test configurations using the API or the CLI if you want, but the simplest way is to open it directly in your account and copy the id from the URL. That’s underlined in red.

Jenkins pipeline Load Impact 8

Now you have a test id for the test you want to run in your build pipeline and your API key.

All the code is shared at Github for your download in the loadimpact/jenkinsloadimpact repo!

3a. Edit the pipeline code to set the test id and API key

The code has four parts, the initial and then three stages: “Kickoff performance test,” “Performance test running” and “Show results.” If you’re familiar with Jenkins pipelines you know the stages will be visible in Jenkins when you execute your pipeline, including your Load Impact performance test.

The initial part of the pipeline code is where you set the test id and the API key.

import groovy.json.JsonSlurperClassic 
def jsonParse(def json) {
    new groovy.json.JsonSlurperClassic().parseText(json)

/* Load Impact test Id */
/* API KEY in format user:pass and pass is blank, remember the : */

def encoded = API_KEY.bytes.encodeBase64().toString()
So replace “YOUR_TEST_ID_GOES_HERE” with your test id, just the number – not a string.

And replace “YOUR_API_KEY_GOES_HERE” with your API key. Keep inside the quotes (it is a string) and remember to keep the ‘:’ at the end. It is basic AUTH, the username is the API key with a blank password. You could of course user the Jenkins Credentials store for this and get the value from the Credentials Store but that is outside the scope of this sample.

3b. JSON responses

We import some stuff to help in handling the json responses from the API when we use it. And at the end of the initial section the API key is encoded so it can be used in calling the API.

stage "Kickoff performance test"
def response = httpRequest httpMode: 'POST', requestBody: "", customHeaders: [[name: 'Authorization', value: 'Basic ' + encoded]], url: '' + testId + '/start'
/* status = 201 is expected */
if (response.status != 201) {
  exit ("Could not start test " + testId + ": " + response.status + "\n" + response.content)

def jid = jsonParse(response.content)
def tid = jid["id"]

timeout (time:5, unit: "MINUTES")
  waitUntil {
    /* waitUntil needs to slow down */
    sleep (time: 10, unit: "SECONDS")

    def r = httpRequest httpMode: 'GET', customHeaders: [[name: 'Authorization', value: 'Basic ' + encoded]], url: ''+ tid + '/'
    def j = jsonParse(r.content)
    echo "status: " + j["status_text"]
    return (j["status_text"] == "Running");

3c. Kickoff a performance test

At the “Kickoff performance test” stage we start by calling the API to start a test.

We check the response and if it fails for some reason we just exit which will fail the build step in the pipeline.

Parse the response and extract the running test id.

Then we let it take a maximum of five minutes for the test to actually kickoff. Since it can take Load Impact a couple of minutes to acquire and allocate all the resources (mainly load agents) needed we take some time to let the test reach the status of “Running”. The bigger the test, the more resources needed and the longer it can take. But remember, it’s a couple of minutes.

Slowing down the wait is accomplished by simple sleeping 10 seconds between iterations.

We get that status of the test by calling the API and parsing the json response to check for the status in the response.

stage "Performance test running"
get and tell percentage completed
maxVULoadTime = 0.0
sVUL = 0
valu = 0.0
waitUntil {
  /* No need to get state of test run as often */
  sleep (time: 30, unit: "SECONDS")

  /* Get percent completed */    
  def r = httpRequest httpMode: 'GET', customHeaders: [[name: 'Authorization', value: 'Basic ' + encoded]], url: '' + tid + '/results?ids=__li_progress_percent_total'
  def j = jsonParse(r.content)
  def size = j["__li_progress_percent_total"].size()
  def last = j["__li_progress_percent_total"]
  echo "percentage completed: " + last[size - 1]["value"]

  /* Get vu load time */
  r = httpRequest httpMode: 'GET', customHeaders: [[name: 'Authorization', value: 'Basic ' + encoded]], url: '' + tid + '/results?ids=__li_user_load_time'
  j = jsonParse(r.content)

  sVUL = j["__li_user_load_time"].size()

  if (sVUL > 0) {
    echo "last: " + j["__li_user_load_time"][sVUL - 1]["value"]
      /* set max vu load time */
    valu = j["__li_user_load_time"][sVUL - 1]["value"]
    if (valu > maxVULoadTime) {
      maxVULoadTime = valu

    /* check if VU Load Time > 1000 msec */
    /* It will fail the build */
    if (maxVULoadTime > 1000) {
     exit ("VU Load Time extended limit of 1 sec: " + maxVULoadTime)

  return (last[size - 1]["value"] == 100);

3d. Run a performance test

So now the test is running and we have reached the stage of “Performance test running.”

This time we wait until the test has completed, reached the percentage completed value of 100% with a slightly longer sleep between refreshing the status.

We do this by calling the API for results and only requesting the percentage completed. The API returns all of the relevant data so we do some json parsing and just get the last percentage value from the result set.

All the results are available from the API so you can either use them or calculate new aggregate results to use as test thresholds for your pipeline test results.

We included an example of making a threshold from the VU Load Time (please read the explanation of this value before using it).

We get the value by calling the same API as before but for the VU Load Time result, parse the json and for simplicity just get the last value (probably not the actual maximum since we would have needed to check all samples for that) and save the max of the last value and current max.

If the value exceeds 1 second we exit the build step and fail the build in this example. The test however will continue to run so a useful addendum to the code could be to abort the test run at this time.

stage "Show results"
echo "Max VU Load Time: " + maxVULoadTime
Final stage “Show results” we just output the max VU Load Time. It can of course be any result but as a sample. You can of course use this result to decide on further actions in your pipeline.

Before you can run this piece of Groovy code in your pipeline you have to do In-process script approval in Jenkins for

method groovy.json.JsonSlurperClassic parseText java.lang.String
method java.lang.String getBytes
new groovy.json.JsonSlurperClassic
staticMethod org.codehaus.groovy.runtime.EncodingGroovyMethods encodeBase64 byte[]

4. Execute a Jenkins Pipeline

Finally, we can look at executing the pipeline in Jenkins using Blue Ocean because we think it's pretty handsome software.

In the dashboard we only have a single pipeline for the purposes of this demo.

Jenkins pipeline Load Impact 9

Open it.

Jenkins pipeline Load Impact 10

And run. Open the running pipeline.

Jenkins logo Load Impact 11

Once it moves into running state it looks like this.

Jenkins pipeline Load Impact 12

Final stage – Show results.

Jenkins pipeline Load Impact 13

And there’s also a direct link to the full results and analysis in Load Impact where you can always find all the results of all your tests.

You can add/update/delete tests, user scenarios and data stores using the API and CLI, even stick all of it in your SCM of choice and let all of it be part of your build pipeline.

To dive deeper into using Load Impact from your CI/CD process (or for that matter any external usage) see our comprehensive API reference and the accompanying CLI.

Contact us today and we’ll throw in a free, one-hour consultation to help you get up and running quickly.

You can get all kinds of useful performance data about your websites, apps and APIs while testing with a free Load Impact account, but if you're serious about making every possible optimization to reach peak performance, then you'll need one of our paid subscriptions. Click the button below to get started.

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Note: We’re happy to help you get started when integrating Load Impact into your development environment, but this article is not meant to imply full support of the integration.