The immense digital growth witnessed over the last decade has moved digitization beyond being a mere business option anymore. It has become the driving force that allows organizations to sustain and succeed in this highly competitive world. Companies are constantly upgrading their legacy systems to cope with the ever-changing and evolving customer expectations. The upgrade often involves migrating the workflow process from an outdated system to a new one. Though migration might sound easy to achieve, migrating without losing any data is quite challenging. With advancement in technology, data has proven to become one of the most valuable assets of any organization. Data provides the right insights that help organizations make better decisions with a fact-based, data-driven approach. Hence, losing data while migrating to new systems can adversely affect the company; this is the key reason why data migration testing becomes vital.
Data migration testing is a verification process to ensure successful data migration to new systems with minimal disruption and data loss while maintaining data integrity. It also helps in ensuring that all the functional and non-functional objectives of the transition are achieved post-migration. However, not all data migration testing is effective enough to ensure all the goals are achieved. Following the best practices and strategies are essential as well as using appropriate data migration testing tools is important to make the migration successful. These best practices will help companies get the desired results from the tests.
Best Practices and Strategies for successful Data Migration Testing
Data migration errors can lead to adverse business and compliance risks that can make any company easily vulnerable to cybersecurity attacks. A thorough data migration testing can minimize the chances of errors and make the new systems more resilient. Here are the best practices to follow while performing data migration testing:
Multidisciplinary team approach
Having a comprehensive testing team is the foundation to ensure successful data migration testing. The team should consist of IT, management, and user community experts. The team members should have the right skillset and expertise to conduct the testing. To get the best outcome, it is important to verify their experience and train them on the source and destination systems.
Data backup is critical during migration. In an extreme scenario, when the migration doesn’t go as expected, the process may lead to data loss. To avoid any potential data loss, it becomes mandatory to have a backup that will help in restoring the data under unexpected circumstances.
Analyze the Risks
Conducting an in-depth risk assessment and analyzing the results form the basis of a data migration testing strategy. The assessment should cover all the systems that would be involved or impacted by the migration. This will help analyze if the business would be hampered after the transition to the new system. Additionally, it will also help discover risks and implement mitigations for the same.
It is also recommended to have meetings with the right stakeholders, including business owners, product owners, test managers, analysts, etc., as a part of the assessment.
Create and Review the Scope of Migration
Plan and build a roadmap for the complete scope of migration specifications. Mostly organizations build a roadmap for implementing the migration but do not cover the entire scope. This should be done with the user community, IT team, and testers to include everything/everyone associated with the project. Also, understand that the scope can be reframed as per the needs pre-and post-migration.
Don’t Wait Until the End for Testing
Waiting till the end for testing can cost you a fortune. In case you find errors in the initial stages, the cost is relatively less. Even minute errors found in the end may require a complete roll back and re-migration. Also, during this process, the chances of data leakage and downtime increase significantly. Hence, it is recommended to conduct data migration testing at frequent intervals during each phase.
Detect Likely Sources of Errors
The testers need to detect as well as, to some extent, predict the likely sources of migration errors based on their experience. Hence, it is crucial to have someone with immense experience in the team. The sources and errors will also help define appropriate strategies to mitigate the known and likely errors to help the team stay ahead and be ready for any challenges faced during data migration testing.
Use Appropriate Data Migration Testing Tools
Having the right set of tools is vital for effective migration testing. You can use any of the following types of tools:
On-premise tools: On-premise tools transfer data from one server or database to another within the organization.
Open-source tools: These tools are free to use but require the knowledge of the underlying programming language to use them. Open-source tools are best used when the migration project is small, and the testing data is not enormous.
Cloud-based tools: Cloud-based data migration testing tools are the latest developments in the migration testing fields that enable a secure data migration to the Cloud.
Complete Pre-Migration Testing
Pre-migration testing occurs during the early stages of the migration, even when the migration is not yet initiated. As a part of pre-migration testing, you should cover the following tests:
- Verify the scope of source and destination systems
- Define high-level source and destination data requirements mapping
- Test the source data against the requirements of destination systems
- Test unique links between source and target records to ensure a definitive mapping
Complete Post-Migration Testing
After completing the migration, it is essential to conduct post-migration testing, which should include:
- Testing target systems throughout
- Compare migrated, and destination systems generated records
- Compare all the source and migrated data records (Automation tools are recommended to detect even unlikely errors)
Conduct User Acceptance Testing
It is vital to check if the users for whom the migration is conducted can leverage it optimally. If the migration is making their daily work more challenging, it’s of no use. During the user acceptance testing phase, you should allow the users to interact with the legacy data through the new systems, even before initiating the production migration. This would allow for a quick rollback if the migration were not successful. If the user acceptance testing does not highlight any issues, post migration testing can be considered and data migration testing for it can be performed.
Have Clear Testing Documents
From the first test, it is important to create clear and concise documents for everything. The documents should specify the test approach, scope of migration, tools used, testing methods, methodology, etc.
Why Choose Yethi for Data Migration Testing?
Yethi is a leading QA provider for global banks and financial institutions. We understand the need and importance of data migration testing that helps us cater to the needs of every business, regardless of the size and complexity of the source and data systems. Additionally, we also have the right expertise and data migration testing tools required to ensure effective testing. With our technical and functional audits, you can rest assured of having fully functional new systems without data loss post-migration.