Citrix Protocol on LoadRunner – Tips and Tricks Part 1

Citrix Logo Loadrunner

In this article, I am going to highlight some tips that can be helpful  to performance test engineers to effectively work on Citrix applications.  By understanding and implementing these points, script debug and test execution will be a lot easier.
Points to consider while recording

  1. Citrix Vuser scripts simulate the Citrix ICA protocol communication between a Citrix client and the server. VuGen records all activities during the communication and generates a Vuser script.
  2. A Citrix VUser’s memory footprint is two to three times a Web VUser’s memory footprint.
  3. In tree-like structures, while recording, expand each child item to display sub-item in order to emulate the playback effectively.
  4. Citix transactions, citrix windows and bitmap functions in LoadRunner take time to stabilize and hence we must not ignore think time when replaying the script.
  5. Use the keyboard as often as possible, avoid using mouse clicks:

When recording use keystrokes as often as possible (in preference to mouse clicks).  This makes scripting more reliable and means you have less scripting and debugging issues. The LR functions recorded with key strokes and mouse clicks are –

Key Stroke
ctrx_key(“RIGHT_ARROW_KEY”, 0);

Mouse Click
ctrx_mouse_click(256, 46, RIGHT_BUTTON, 0, ‘Submit’);

Similarly, while selecting data entry items it is better  to use keystokes e.g.  The ‘up’ and ‘down’ arrow keys to select appropriate item. Less LR script debugging issues are observed.

Windows settings with Vugen, Controller and LoadGenerator machines –
The Window Size (resolution), Window Colors settings, System Font and the other Default Options for all the VUgen, controller and prosolution pills cream and volume pills pakage LoadGenerator machines should be same. In LoadRunner, these settings affect the hash value of bitmaps. This may result in issues with bitmap sync functions and such inconsistencies may cause script replay to fail. To view the Citrix Client settings, select an item from the Citrix program group and choose ‘Application Set Settings’ or ‘Custom connection settings’ from the right-click tab menu. Select ‘Default Options’.
Using same login id for multiple virtual-users in a load test –
During a load test a limited number of login ids may be  available. In such cases, login ids have to be reused on the system to create required load. To make sure that this happens smoothly the following changes need to be made in Access Management Console on Citrix presentation server:
  1. On the left panel of AMC, right click on the application being tested and expand the ‘Citrix resources’
  2. Expand ‘Presentation Server’ and then Server Farm Name.
  3. Expand ‘Applications options’
  4. Select properties. This opens the ‘Application Properties’ dialog box.


At times we might have to open advanced options and select the ‘limits options’. One must ensure that following options are unchecked –

  • Limit instances allowed to run in server farm
  • Allow one instance of application per user


These methods are helpful for performance test consultants who are testing Citrix application. In my next article, I will highlight some more points that can help performance test engineers working on Citrix applications.

Performance Testing Citrix – An Overview

Citrix Tricks and Tips Part2

Citrix Tricks and Tips Part3

14 thoughts on “Citrix Protocol on LoadRunner – Tips and Tricks Part 1

  1. Great article. need help in Citrix load test.I have to execute a set of load tests.I have to run 50 Citrix Vusers from a single Load gen machine.I want to know,
    1)What should be the hardware/software configuration of Load generator machine?
    2)To run 50 Vusers do i need to have 50 unique login id’s or we can use single user id for all 50 vusers?
    3)A window based application is hosted on citrix server.User has to login in Citrix then has to login into application.

    Kindly guide me for above mentioned questions as i am very new to Citrix performance testing.Thanks in advance.

    1. 1) Harware configuration as per Load Generator’s demand (refer to admin manual and installation procedures).
      Software config – Nothing spcl required.
      Window Size (resolution), Window Colors settings, System Font – try to keep them similar to the VUGen machine (machine where the script was recorded).

      2) Pls refer to following URL to get an answer –
      http://www.perftesting.co.uk/using-loadrunner-citrix-protocol-2/2011/12/20/

      3) Yes correct.

      Let me know if that answers your questions.

  2. Hi Swaraj,
    I am new to vugen, and I’m trying to record a citrix application using multi protocol Web HTTP/HTML and citrix_ICA. After recording I noticed that vugen is not compiling the citrix portion alone. Is there any patch available?.
    vugen 9.10 Multi Protocol Citrix/HTTP.
    IE 7.0.

    Thanks in advance,
    Balaji

    1. I believe you need to check the following items. This will solve your problem –
      1) Compatibility of your citrix server/agent’s version with VUgen 9.10
      2) Proxy settings

      Let me know if it works.

      1. Please find below the presentation server version:
        Citrix Presentation Server Client – web
        version 10.100.55836..Have tried all proxy settings but still issue persists…

        1. Hi Balaji,

          I am not sure about the version compatibility. Check the user manual that you must have got with citrix protocol. Moreover, using your SAID, raise an issue with the HP support to understand the compatibility.

          I do not believe you could appropriately do the proxy settings – By working on proxy settings, I meant adding the concerned proxy server URL in your run time settings.

  3. Using LR 11 citrix ica protocol. Every was going well untill yesterday when both a new recording, or a recording in an existing script would not capture any bitmap detail. existing working scripts are failing at the first bitmap check as they are unable to capture the detail of the bitmap. i have been running and recording scripts in this vm for some time, could some essential space have filled?

    Tim

  4. I’m having trouble with the log off with the arrow keys and trying to find the windows key. For instance, the recording is never in full screen so therefore the windows key will not execute and I can’t use the arrow keys to go to log off.

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