Application performance testing in DAYS NOT WEEKS.
A rapid, fixed-price performance and scalability testing service for Web-based applications.
Real time application performance MONITORING and DIAGNOSIS
Reflective Solutions History
Java and Body Shopping
The company was formed in 1998 by two recognised experts in the Java architecture arena to provide high-level consultancy to adopters of Java - at that time a still-relatively-new technology. Initial clients included companies such as Barclays, JP Morgan and many of the first true transactional web sites.
It soon became apparent that as well as providing high-level strategic consultancy, our clients were also interested in us implementing their strategy. Hence we developed an outsourcing and, looking back at it, body-shopping facility for these clients. The company quickly grew to over 20 people.
However, as many rival consultancies experienced, the dot-com crash of the early 21st century meant that client projects "dried up" and it was a case of evolve or die!
Providing More for Less
It quickly became apparent to the board of Reflective Solutions that the only companies that would continue to be successful were those that could demonstrate that their services provided more for less cost.
In the case of Reflective Solutions, having built up considerable knowledge in the area of enterprise Java performance, this led to the creation of two guaranteed services - jTune™ - and Application Performance Investigation.
How are these "guaranteed"? Quite simply, if jTune™ did not significantly improve the performance of the system, or Application Performance Investigation identify the cause of performance or scalability problems, the client was not billed. Every client - including ones based in the USA and mainland Europe and introduced through partners such as Oracle and Sun was billed - demonstrating the deep and extensive knowledge our consultants possess with respect to application performance.
It is still amazing today how many organizations buy more hardware or set-off on development refactoring projects when a week's tuning would give them the performance or scalability they require!
One continual challenge to performance tuning or problem diagnosis is that before you can commence, you need a system exhibiting the problem. This usually means a system under correctly simulated load.
Initially we left this to our clients, or worked with partner testing consultancies who delivered the performance testing and then we analysed the problems or tuned the systems.
However, the time taken to place the system under load was often twice as much as the time to perform the tuning, and the cost twice as much. A client's total cost was often three times our tuning consultancy cost!
There had to be a better way ...
Hold On - There's a Cartel!
As we hit more and more sales objections due to the fact the client could not afford the testing consultancy and the tuning work, we decided to investigate why the testing effort in each project was so high.
It quickly became apparent that the performance testing tools available were: COMPLEX, EXPENSIVE and SLOW.
There must be something simpler and more efficient we thought; but all the tools we found claiming this lacked the facility set to be enterprise class.
StressTester™ is Born
At about the same time - late 2002 - we were talking to a Bulgarian company about acquiring them to become our near shore development centre (which we did and Reflective Solutions Bulgaria was formed) and we soon realised that an ideal first project would be to investigate open source and other options with a view to creating an easier to use performance testing tool. We found no solutions but the research allowed us to form an opinion on what the ideal tool would look like.
A year later towards the end of 2003, Reflective Solutions' first generation performance testing tool - LoadTester™ - was released to our own internal consultants. This was immediately put to use testing systems for clients such as JP Morgan, Attenda and Reed Online.
In fact, due to the efficiencies of the software and the fact we could provide "man and tool at one cost" engagements, Reflective Solutions began to win pure performance testing business - and our packaged service WebLoadTest™ was created to meet this demand.
WebLoadTest™ is unique amongst performance testing offerings: in just a week Reflective Solutions guarantees to place any web application under correct and realistic load, simulate any number of concurrent users, and produce a detailed engagement report.
As we executed more and more WebLoadTest™ engagements, the software was naturally moved on. We quickly came to a point where we removed the need for scripting completely by providing a rich and powerful user interface; at this point the tool's name was changed to StressTester™.
StressTester™ Made Available to All
StressTester™ continued to be used just by our consultants and this allowed us to win performance testing engagements from clients such as Harrods, NHS, Nissan, Legal and General and Vodafone against competition from other testing consultancies and often from internal test teams who were "armed" with a rival tool!
Quite simply, by using StressTester™, our consultants were more efficient and not limited by licensing restrictions when compared with the alternatives.
As could be expected, clients of our consultancy engagements started looking over our consultants' shoulders ... and asking about StressTester™ ...
At first, the standard reply was "we are not a software vendor, we are a services company". However, the demand grew and grew and testing consultancies also started enquiring.
After considerable research into market demand, the decision was taken in 2005 that Reflective Solutions would open a software division and staff it with experts to get over the common problem of transforming from a services to a software company. In addition, Reflective Solutions Support was formed to ensure our clients would get a level of support unrivalled in the industry - something we're still being told today.
A year later, StressTester™ 3 was made available to clients and testing consultancies.
The rest, as they say, is history!