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Response time in general refers to the time required in provisioning the requested service. In technological terms, it refers to the time taken by a system or a functional unit in responding to the typed in input, that is to say, it is the time elapsed between the end of the input and start of the service response by the system. A simple example would be the time take by a website in responding to the request-input by the user.

Response time is a common measuring factor in determining the performance of the system in various technologies, namely operating systems, disks, database inquiries, memory handling and loading webpages.Response time represents the time a user waits for a request to be processed by the application, while a slow response time results in an unhappy user experience anda loss of revenue, a swift response time results in better customer experience and increased frequency of usage. Response time, thus, constitutes of paramount importance to performance testing.

Response time measurements:

Response time for a request or a query or a search can be measure using the following tools provided by the system:

  • Operating system timing commands: it is the timing utility that any operating system provides. In the case of UNIX, where a command file performs a set ofSQL statements, the timing command can be used to extract the accurate timing for the commanded output.

  • Operating system tools for monitoring performance: almost every operating system is equipped with a performance monitor that measures the response time. Tools like Task Manager and performance Monitor are the most well- known performance monitoring tools for Windows systems, while Process Status(ps) is considered as the most widely used tool for UNIX based systems.

  • Timing functions within applications: a number of applications perform their coordinated functions within specific time constraints known as deadlines, thus constituting a measure for response time. These applications are referred as real time applications, performing functions within a real time frame.


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