Tests of a web server done from the client side -- i.e. from the browser -- simulate user interactions by stimulating the server to produce and deliver various files based on requests made by the client (the user).
While most simple navigation activity does not involve the browser having to remember anything from moment to moment, almost any activity other than that does require "memory" on the part of the browser. Getting and keeping that information internally is how the browser "maintains state" for your session.
Browsers Require More than HTTP/HTTPS
Websites are designed to interact with client-side browsers via the HTTP/HTTPS protocol. Recordings made using only HTTP/HTTPS can emulate session navigation activity with good fidelity, and some simulations include generating requests for secondary pages. But some website activities aren't directly recordable and/or can only be "simulated" with great effort. Among these are:
Specific Usages Requiring Browser
Here are some examples of information the eValid browser keeps for you and how your eValid browser can help manage this information:
eValid Solution Advantage: eValid keeps cookies just as any browser does -- automatically. If you wish to simulate a non-cookie situation, eValid lets you run without keeping cookies.
eValid Solution Advantage: eValid maintains session cookies as requested by the server.
eValid Solution Advantage: eValid handles secure session IDs with the "EnterSecureZone", "ExitSecureZone", and "SecureDataID" command. You can select as many as 32 Secure Data IDs for eValid to keep track of in any session.
eValid Solution Advantage: eValid can record and play back the user clicking on the desktop to provide the responses these kinds of objects need.
eValid Solution Advantage: eValid can automatically lock the screen for its own temporary use, click on a button or an image, and unlock the screen.
eValid Solution Advantage: eValid has special provision for recording and playing back inputs to a modal dialog, including recording the real time that a typical user waits (the "think time") to make a decision.
eValid Solution Advantage: eValid has a built-in timer with 1 msec. resolution, so the times you measure are accurate and 100% indicative of times actual users experience.
eValid Solution Advantage: eValid has a variety of built-in automatic synchronization modes that guarantee playback never gets "out of sync."
eValid Solution Advantage: Being a complete, free-standing browser, eValid can accept plugins that permit this kind of test to run without difficulty. This is true even in LoadTest mode, when many copies of eValid are all running independently.
eValid Solution Advantage: eValid has very easy to use content validation capabilities that simplify and extend page difference techniques. These validations are very difficult of even impossible with HTTP based methods.
eValid Solution Advantage: Automatic operation of the cache assures extremely accurate sessions.
eValid Solution Advantage: The ability to operate in Application Mode gives an eValid user the ability to handle out of browser operations with ease.
The Bottom Line
Using the eValid browser is a more powerful method of website testing than using "memoryless HTTP protocol" testing. Test scripts that do not involve actual use of a browser cannot maintain state because sessions that involve more work than simple navigation involve more than merely getting HTML files.