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We have UI automation test framework based on selenium web driver. We are in the early stages of building out load tests and are wondering if it is possible or recommended to use a browser based UI Automation framework for load testing vs the more traditional approach of simulating client requests at the HTTP layer.

We are hoping to avoid having two different "frameworks" for UI testing and Load testing if possible.

I have found little information on the web regarding using automation UI tests for load testing. What I have found states that although it is possible using some tool sets, it's impractical to reliably scale out.

Should we attempt to build out a load test suite using UI automation tests or should we use a more traditional tool set built specifically for load testing?

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    You should use a more traditional tool set built specifically for load testing. Commented Feb 12, 2016 at 18:44
  • Creating a tool set for load tests around your UI testing framework will probably end up with a "second framework" either.
    – Doc Brown
    Commented Feb 13, 2016 at 9:58

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In my own experience, UI testing is relatively slow and not easy to scale, which will make load testing not really reliable or representative.

When creating good webrequests for a load test, it will be easier to generate a heavy load and scale that up or down as you desire.

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