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Ways to Enhance Software Testing Productivity with Test Data Management

By IT Chimes Team
In Web development services

software-762486_960_720The big guns in technology are working hard to introduce self-driving cars to the market. Recently, Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and Space X announced a similar move in the Middle Eastern area.

Speaking in a World Government Summit held in Dubai, Elon Musk said that while self-driving cars are likely to dominate the market in the next few years, it may take a bit longer for this technology to completely disrupt manual driving.

Well, this is paramount, as it necessitates the significance of carrying out a comprehensive software testing techniques and integrating the correct test data for continuous testing. To spearhead the self-driving phenomenon, Elon Musk further announced the official entry of Tesla into the United Arab Emirates Market with its Model X and Model S crossover vehicles.

He also added that in ten years time, most vehicles will be built with the ability to be completely autonomous. In scenarios like this one, it is essential to build a product or service with sturdy quality testing methodologies and processes. Equally critical is the management and retrieval of test data for more optimization.

Such centralized software testing techniques and data can enable organizations to effectively apply Performance Testing.

 

Why is Test Data Management Important?

Test Data Management involves planning, storing, designing and managing software testing methodologies and processes. It allows the teams in charge of software quality and testing to control and check files, data, policies and methodologies for the entire software testing lifecycle.

The ultimate goal is to create, manage and sustain the software’s source codes for testing. Using Test Data Management, you can easily detach test data from production data and maintain the tested software’s version, bug tracking and the other processes involved in software-testing.

The other important purpose of Test Data Management is minimizing and optimizing the amount of software testing data and also collate, standardize and centralize software testing resources and documentation.

It is also imperative in the testing lifecycle in which the data produced and collated is useful for software testing. When the results are reported, it reduces the timeframe used to process the data. This, in turn, helps to make the overall software efficient.

 

Test Data Management Checklist

During Test Data Management, be sure to consider this checklist:

  • Check for the most common test data elements
  • Build dashboards and reports
  • Allocate and prioritize test data
  • Arrange and allocate your test data
  • Archive and keep the test data
  • Create a Test Automation suite to help prepare master data
  • Keep versions of test data and related processes

 

Making Test Data Management Grow 2X

With the conventional software development methods, the development teams usually have limited access to test data. And this shows the need and significance of effective Test Data Management. If implemented, it can not only empower the software development teams, but it can also make the enterprise to rise above the ‘data trouble’.

The number of apps being developed and tested keeps increasing. Consequently, the teams responsible for testing and development can’t work in isolation. They require unlimited access to test execution data, testing methods and standards. That way, it becomes easy to make the required corrections and improvements at every level. The end result is a development environment that favors Continuous Testing.

Companies are seeing the benefits associated with Test Data Management and have incorporated the use of synthetic data creation tools, sub-testing and masking in a bid to control production data. With effective Test Data Management, you can overcome the inadequacy related to key data points.

The digital world continues to pose new challenges, and addressing them requires software development and testing methods with faster and frequent release cycles. In the same vein, it becomes critical for organizations to use the necessary testing standards and data and create a test environment.

With Test Automation, this process can take place faster within the software delivery pipeline, in which each element gets automated, leaving an iterative process. Therefore, a project can’t cripple because of late detection of bugs or speed constraints.

Test Data Management saves an enterprise billions of dollars. It facilitates bug tracking and provides the correct test data in a timely manner which can be used to carry out an effective action. Many applications fail primarily due to insufficient test data from the software development teams.

 

Test Data Management Challenges and Best Practices

There is a surge in the growth of the number of Test Data Management tools available in the market in categories such as ETL tools, hardware disc storage tools, data archival tools and more. In spite of this growth, there is a gap, which necessitates the importance of understanding the main challenges bedeviling Test Data Management.

So what are some of the data management challenges?

 

  1. Maintaining data security

Recently, the number of data breaches has shot up, and this affects the process of application development. The developers have to work overtime to detect the loopholes and try to come up with working mechanisms to stop these breaches. This can cost organizations a lot of money and time.

 

  1. Explosion of test data

Cases of test data explosion and the ultimate costs that come with it are on the rise. While companies are trying all they can to improve data reusability, the app development teams have requirements that aren’t fully met.

 

  1. Data Virtualization

To address these issues, experienced teams for Test Data Management attempt to work with new technologies to ensure the required data is retrievable with speed, ease and security. They use data virtualization as a solution, and it involves making virtual data available within minutes without incurring any physical infrastructural costs.

To maintain continuous testing, data virtualization equips the end users with necessary self-service data controls that enable them to source data from any place and at anytime. This reduces the delays in the software testing process and makes it more iterative.

 

  1. Integrated data masking distribution

Experienced IT companies have advanced their Test Data Management by using integrated data masking and distribution. It enables administrators to deliver virtual data to their development teams in a matter of minutes and run recurring algorithms to match the development and operations processes.

Generally, effective Test Data Management enhances reduced costs, faster delivery of apps, and resultantly, better alignment with the objectives of the organization. Ignoring Test Data Management is risky, particularly where the production environment is prone to change.

 

Best practices you can use to simplify the testing process

  1. Understand the test data
  2. Get subsets of data from multiple data sources
  3. Automate the actual and expected results
  4. Disguise your sensitive data
  5. Refresh your test data for testing efficiency

 

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