August 14, 2008, 12:00 AM

Keynote`s KITE 2.0 runs desktop tests on Web 2.0 applications

Retailers that qualify for Keynote Systems’ early adopters program can download for free the most recent version of Keynote Internet Testing Environment, which allows tests of Web 2.0 sites and applications from developers’ desktops.

Online retailers that qualify under Keynote Systems’ early adopters program will be able to download for free the most recent version of Keynote Internet Testing Environment, or KITE, which allows web developers, and quality assurance and web operations teams to test Web 2.0 sites and applications both from their desktops and from five cities around the world.

“We brought that technology we have at all our global locations down into the customers’ desktops,” says Abelardo Gonzalez, Keynote’s senior product manager for web performance. “We’re giving all of that technology and horsepower that we have in our on-demand business and giving it to them for free or included in their subscription to put on their desktops.”

KITE 2.0 enables retailers to not only monitor and look at performance from the production side but start pushing those tools and the need for performance testing further down in the developmental life cycles, Gonzalez says.

“Performance doesn’t come as an afterthought after the applications release,” he says. “They can actually start testing and seeing how their construction of the actual application or the page really affects the performance or experience of the user.”

The new features in KITE 2.0 include better reporting tools, providing deep, granular metrics on how the user’s browser was downloading all the content, Gonzalez says.

“We can look at how many threads are being opened, how many pieces of content you’re downloading in parallel,” he says. “If the user has a broadband connection, you want to use as much of that as possible to pop the page up immediately, instead of downloading one image after the other, and making that experience slower."

The KITE console allows developers to install software on their development machines and start testing. “They build a brand new page, or a new interface, for example, and they can test how it downloads to that end user’s desktop,” Gonzalez says.

KITE uses a common platform and technology for developers, quality assurance teams and operations teams. “It creates one language that connects the developer, quality assurance and operations teams so that they can start communicating using the same terms and same frame of reference,” he says. “The operations team is able to look at a performance problem and relate it back to the developers and quality assurance team and use the same script, same tools, same frame of reference and make troubleshooting and problem solving a lot easier.”

In addition to the easier-to-use user interface, KITE 2.0 can run multiple iterations of a script, so customers can run back-to-back tests to get a small baseline how the application is performing in the pre-production environment. The scripts can be instantly tested using test robots in five of Keynote’s global locations in San Francisco, New York, London, Frankfort and Hong Kong as well as a DSL location in San Francisco.

“They can immediately create these tests on their desktops and push out into these five locations and get performance metrics from the outside as well as from inside their testing environment or own location,” Gonzalez says.

The free download is available to early adopters at It can be deployed to multiple users within a company at no extra cost.

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