Load Testing: A Quick Definition

What is the difference between Load and Stress testing?

Load testing is a blanket term that is used in many different ways across the professional software testing community.

Load testing generally refers to the practice of modeling the expected usage of a software program by simulating multiple users accessing the program’s services concurrently.

As such, load testing is most relevant for a multi-user system, often one built using a client/server model, such as a web server. Although you could perform a load test on a word processor by or graphics editor forcing it read in an extremely large document; on a financial package by forcing to generate a report based on several years’ worth of data, etc.
When the load placed on the system is accelerated beyond normal usage patterns, in order to test the system’s response at unusually high or peak loads, it is known as Stress Testing. The load is usually so great that error conditions are the expected result, although there is a gray area between the two domains and no clear boundary exists where you could say that an activity ceases to be a load test and becomes a stress test.

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