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Test Data Management (TDM) for IBM i, IBM iSeries & IBM AS/400

"Data is at the heart of any enterprise application and test data is the heart of a good test environment."

Test Data Management - What data?

“Rubbish in = rubbish out” applies to many things in life from diet, to building and cooking, but especially to testing. It is all very well if you are doing negative testing, but most testing is about trying to prove things work the way they should, and that needs good test data.

 

Test Data Management. Data Extraction

One of the best raw sources of test data is the mass of data in production, but there is too much of it in many areas and not enough of it in others. What you need is a smaller cross-section that has a sample of all the different transaction types and combinations, enough to test everything but not blow your DASD budget.
Furthermore, if it is small enough you can have multiple copies and so, multiple test environments for teams to work independently. With TestBench you can easily define the data you need and how it is related, so when you extract and sample it (directly from your production system or LPAR), you will get a perfect working subset complete with re-constructed triggers and constraints.

Test Data Management. Data Confidentiality

Apart from being too large, the other problem with raw production data is that is it ‘real’ and most likely contains confidential information. Even if you are not affected by GDPR, HIPAA, or PCI compliance and open to legal redress for misuse, you should protect confidential information by masking it. This is easily done in TestBench with simple masking or more sophisticated scrambling that keeps the data looking real as well as ensuring related fields stay aligned such as ‘gender’, ‘style’, and ‘first name’ – even if in other files. Data that makes sense is especially important for the system and UAT testing.

Test Data Management - Use and re-use.

The simplest and most effective test is when you have known data, a given process, and a known or expected outcome. If nothing changes the result will be the same. If the data was the same and there was a change you know why. If everything changes you do not immediately know why. This is one of the great benefits of good data, it becomes a reusable asset – provided you can look after it. This is exactly what TestBench’s Data Reset capabilities do, giving you the power of an almost instant undo button to rewind data to a previous state (or states), ready to retest the whole thing or part of a process. The time savings can be enormous.

Test Data Management - Is it right?

If the data is incorrect in the database, then it will never be right anywhere. So, while it is easy to check things on the screen, and to automate that testing with TestDrive, the most important area is the database.

IBM i Test Data Management- A Best Practice Guide

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Understand the key principals and techniques relating to test data environments on the IBM i, IBM iSeries & IBM AS/400.

That is why TestBench has the most powerful features for data validation that exist. It will: –

1. Show you what changed, field by field, record by record, including deletes. It will do this wherever there are Db changes, not just where you say to look.

2. Use rules across the data to ensure that what happened was correct, even accumulating values from other files.

3. Cross-check against other versions of files or previous test runs.

If you have an IBM i – or maybe you still call it AS/400 or iSeries – you have data, important data. TestBench gives you the tools to ensure that important data stays right and avoids errors leaking into production. 

TestBench has your back.

Our Products

A modular proven test data management and verification solution.

Data Extraction

Stop copying the entire live database and hone in on the data you really need. Select or sample data with full referential integrity preserved.

Data Masking

Simply decide which fields need to be protected and use a variety of obfuscation methods to protect your data.

Data Validation

Track every insert, update and delete including intervening data states. Create rules so that data failures are flagged to you automatically.

Data Reset

Avoid the painful save/restores and stop attempting to explain bad test results based on poor initial data.

File and Report Compare

Comparing outputs is a well proven method to verify your test results but it can be laborious and prone to error.This unique solution can save hours. ​

Unit Testing

Get under the covers and analyse at a program/module level what happens in the database, APIs, parameters, messages and beyond.

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Test Data Management

Best Practice Guide