When an extensive range or volume of data is needed for testing then using the test data preparation tool is of great help.
They are very useful for performance and reliability testing, where a large amount of realistic data is needed. They may be used by developers and may also be used during system or acceptance testing.
Test data preparation tools allow (enable) data to be selected from an existing database or created, generated, manipulated and edited for use in tests. The most sophisticated tools can deal with a range of files and database formats.
Features or characteristics of test data preparation tools are as follows:
- To extract selected data records from files or databases;
- To ‘massage’ data records to make them anonymous or not able to be identified with real people (for data protection);
- To enable records to be sorted or arranged in a different order;
- To generate new records populated with pseudo-random data, or data set up according to some guidelines, e.g. an operational profile;
- To construct a large number of similar records from a template, for example to give a large set of records for volume tests.