Yesterday, I took a training class on Web Application Performance and Scalability Testing. One of the most exciting things about the class is that it exposed a feature in Visual Studio 2010 that I didn’t know existed – load testing. This feature is only available in the Ultimate edition of Visual Studio 2010.
In order to perform the load test, I recorded some Web Performance tests. I ran into a bit of an issue with Visual Studio’s built-in test recorder. I clicked the “Record” button and a new instance of Internet Explorer was launched. In Visual Studio, I saw a “Stop Recording” link which made me think that the recorder was working. However, when actions are recorded, they are listed under the webtest title, as seen in the image below.
Despite the appearance that the web recorder was working, I didn’t see any steps being logged, so I knew something was wrong. A little googling led me to a few frustrated posts on the Microsoft help forums. There were suggestions to delete registry keys, create new users on the computer, and even run the recorder in safe mode – all of which are last resort options in my opinion. Most of the posts were from a couple years ago – people using older versions of Windows,Visual Studio, and IE8. A single post, all the way at the bottom of a thread, led me to what would solve my problem.
I clicked Tools->Manage Add-ons in IE. I then scrolled through the list and found the “Microsoft Web Test Recorded 10.0 Helper”. It was disabled by default. By enabling the add-on, the test recorder finally worked as it should.
Why Microsoft would disable by default its own add-on in its own browser is another question for another day.