Tip: Don’t rely on environment variables for critical decisions

I saw a mail this week asking how you can determine what bitness your process is running in, and one of the suggestions was to check for the PROCESSOR_ARCHITEW6432 environment variable. If that variable exists, you know you’re on 64 bit Windows in a 32 bit process. It’s likely that the questioner needs to know…

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Use of SGEN.exe to avoid common XmlSerializer performance pitfalls

This week, I encountered a test scenario which makes use of an XmlSerializer on it’s startup path. Unfortunately, MSDN’s documentation for the type is not clear on the performance impact of using an XmlSerializer. The documentation on introducing XML serialization, found here, actually mentions the solution, but it also does not state what the problem…

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How often should we be measuring?

Testing performance is tough.  As a product is being developed, you need to track the performance of what you’re building.  The question is how often? It turns out it’s a very difficult and time consuming thing to identify the cause of failures in a performance suite when the amount of change to the product is large. …

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The best laid plans…

I started this, as most do, with the best of intentions.  A long list of topics to discuss, potentially interesting things to say, and so forth.  Then, as is usual, life interrupted. So, I put forth the question to the proverbial teeming masses of the readership:  What do you want to know about testing performance? …

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Timing your code

Timing your code One of the fundamental aspects of performance testing is identifying how long it will take you to execute the code you’re writing.  There are a few ways you can measure this: measuring time elapsed while your code executes, computing how many instructions it may take and extrapolating time from there (based on…

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What To Watch

[Housekeeping stuff.  I added categories.  Neat stuff.] RichB asked me yesterday in the comments to my first post: “What are the range of metric values I should expect to see for a given scenario. For example, how many gen1 collections per minute is OK for a heavily loaded web app?“ This, unfortunately, is not the…

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Managed Code Performance

I never quite know how to start something like this without sounding a bit goofy.  “Hi there” seems odd, seeings as I have no real idea who I’m talking to yet.  Ah well. My name is Bill Wert.  I’m a Software Test Engineer on the CLR Performance team.  I started this blog in hopes that…

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