Getting WCAT to run using IIS7

Use it for Load Testing and Checking for Errors before deploy

Microsoft had WCAT (Web Capacity Analysis Tool) available to the public when IIS was in version 5 and 6. Now that Microsoft provides a much more robust testing tool using Visual Studio Test Professional starting with 2010, they want you to buy their tools.

Since we don’t have Microsoft Visual Studio Test Professional nor the budget and desire to splurge for a license at this time, I started out looking for a freebie. I came across a few testing tools and narrowed down to free options: Apache JMeter, Selenium, & WCAT. JMeter and Selenium has a large learning curves from what I’ve seen. Digged further to see if WCAT is the answer.

While WCAT is no longer available in the Microsoft downloads repository, someone had made a community contribution and put WCAT back in via iis.net. Thank you!

It turns out Fiddler, the tool I use often during my scraping days, can work with WCAT with help from an extension.

The following is a step-by-step of how I went about using a Fiddler, Fiddler WCAT extension and WCAT. If I missed a step, please let me know.

  1. Remote into your dev server

  2. Download and install the following:

  3. Open Fiddler2

  4. Open IE and direct yourself to the test website (http://localhost)

  5. Navigate the site clicking on a few links until you get enough for a test web session, including logging onto the site.

  6. Go back to Fidder2 and you’ll see a list of requests made on the left-hand column.

  7. First, let’s back up the Fiddler Session – Copy all Session for backup by Edit > Select All (or Ctrl+A), Save As, .saz in case you want to reload it again.

  8. Right-click anywhere on the requests, then a context menu comes up, select “Run WCAT Script for selected sessions”

  9. A command line window will appear and some debugging and diagnostics will appear. Be patient while it goes through testing.

  10. When completed, a temp XML file will be generated and loaded in IE. If it looks like a mumbo-jumbo of text, you might need to beautify it. You’ll need to “downgrade” IE to IE8 standards mode from IE11:

    • Make sure the report.xsl in the same folder as the generated XML file
    • Press F12 to open developers tools
    • Change the Document Mode to IE8 standards
    • Press ‘Yes’ to allow scripts to run
  11. The final output will now make sense.

Credits: