As a leading software testing company, we have been striving to come up with new ways for optimizing the amount of time, effort, and money in the overall software development and testing process. Test data management plays a vital role in the quality assurance process and in the achievement of end-user and customer’s expectations. Streamlining and optimizing data testing and management is essential in the project development cycle and to ensure the quality of the product’s deliverables. In this article, we will discuss how test data management assures the quality of the product’s deliverables.
Introduction to Test Data Management
For our test software applications, we can’t provide realistic data. If we use real-time data it may give rise to conflicts in the production environment.
So, whenever we carry out QA tasks on any application, we need to feed valid details for that application. This methodology helps us complete testing for most of the app features. For better usage, quality assurance must store the data somewhere so that it can be used later. That data set can be reused whenever required and this set of reusable, identified data is known as Test Data.
Test Data is the details that we provide in our software application for testing. Any software testing company surely stores the test data or saves it in excel sheets so that their QA specialists can use it for manual execution or for performing automation testing which will be helpful for further references.
Top Advantages of Test Data Management
- Always takes note of test data that is used for testing a specific scenario.
- This test coverage is possible in positive as well as negative test cases.
- Monitor the test data and separate them for both positive and negative test cases.
- Any complex application will need a wide array of test data which should be stored by the QA team and use whenever required appropriately.
- Make sure to note down what type of test data you need before testing the application. For instance, if you’re carrying out QA activities in the Banking sector of a specific country, you need to officially request valid data from the bureau team to ensure an appropriate CIBIL score.
- Do not exploit the test data in any kind of illegal activity.
- Never create any kind of disturbance by using your friend’s phone number or email ID. Some apps will send alerts or email to the given details which might annoy your people.
Who Performs Test Data Management?
Test data is generally managed using the test data management tool. This tool segregates a diverse range of data that can be utilized for testing realistic data or production data.
A test data management tool usually follows the below-given steps to generate test data:
- Various formats of test data are stored in a specific location.
- The tool extracts the set of data from the given location.
- Once the data set is extracted, the tool then isolates the client-related data.
- After that, the tool compares the real data with test data to check the accuracy of the app.
- To store and maintain this set of data for future reference, the tool refreshes the test data according to the need.
Popular Tools for Test Data Management
Some of the top tools for test data management include:
- CA Test Data Manager (Datamaker)
- InfoSphere Optim
- DATPROF – Test Data Simplified
- LISA Solutions
- SAP Test Data Migration Server
What are the Strategies for Test Data Management?
You need to use four factors for valid test data. They include:
- Test data discovery
- Test data validation
- Test data creation for reusability
- Automation of test data management activities to speed up the process
Test Data Types Useful for Various Applications
Test data have various formats. Most of the data will be tracked in excel sheets and be saved in the common folders of a specific project. The stored test data will be useful in different ways. Various applications such as Healthcare, Pharma, BFSI, and Aviation have their set of requirements in using test data as per the project’s need.
Test data can be identified or managed and later arranged systematically with several factors including:
- Test-Specific Data – This data type is suitable only for specific reusable scenarios.
- Test-Reference Data – This type of data is stored for checking the test performance. If the user data is valuable, it should be noted that it has an impact to compete for test scenarios. Let’s say, for example, if a system depends on any third-party intervention for the outcome, this kind of data can be used. It is mostly used for FICO or CIBIL score calculations.
- Application Reference Data – It is not valuable or dependent on strategic methods under application tests. This data type is used for starting application automation testing.
Types of Test Data
Wrong Data – The QA team should make sure to test the system while entering data for a positive approach. If you are conducting negative testing, QA can do the wrong data submission.
Invalid Test Data – QA must identify the method they are using and based on that the data should be picked. With this invalid test data, QA will know if the system is showing relevant error messages or not.
Valid Test Data – This type of data is beneficial for the positive approach for application testing to get the desired results.
Boundary Test Data – Taking into account the boundary values, QA needs to conduct testing using a set of test data.
Absent Data – Feeding blanks in the fields and validating the result means checking Absent data. This is tested mostly in form filling applications DB testing using Null Insertion and validating the outcome.
How to Build the Test Data?
The test data can be created through the following ways:
- By import from the production environment
- By replicating from previous customer systems
- By using software automation testing tools
Test Data Management Approach
As a professional software testing company, we follow a systematic approach to test data management:
- Regular Maintenance
- Schedule Maintenance
Data was hardly used in the legacy model as the QA part does not have high scope. After the Quality Assurance standards are recognized, the use of test data became popular. The implementation methods for test data management became extremely popular for delivering quality outputs.
As a reputed software testing company, we follow the best practices for test data management to achieve the desired results. If you want to know more about test data management, you may talk to our software testing experts right away!
Q.1. What do you mean by test data management in software testing?
Ans. Test data management is the building of non-production data sets that reliably copy an organization’s real data to help system and application developers perform extensive and valid system tests.
Q.2. What are the main types of test data?
Ans. Test data is categorized into 3 main types:
- Standard – Data is correct
- Erroneous/Incorrect – Data is incorrect and can lead to an error if not validated
- Extreme/Boundary – Data is correct but within a range check
Q.3. Who creates the test data?
Ans. Test data may be created by the software tester, or by a program/function that helps the tester. Test data can be created manually, by using data generation tools, or it can be imported from the existing production environment.