Software development comprises of phases like gathering requirements, building, and testing the software followed by installation. In the development phase, the software may be exposed to all possible bugs and defects owing to human errors or technical glitches. Testing helps in detecting those errors and execute testing without any technical issues to ensure an outstanding customer experience.
A thorough software testing means checking all the components and elements of applications. The testing phase also includes all possible test case scenarios to extract accurate information and design the test cases considering the requirements. There can be a severe impact on the overall test process based on the type of data we select for test cases.
What is Test Data, and why is it necessary for testing?
To prepare test cases for software testing it is essential to select the right set of data. Test data is the data which are used to test the quality of the software systems. There are many ways to get the most appropriate test data for application testing. A skilled tester will be capable to source or produce test data to execute software testing to validate software performance and compare the desired results with the outcome.
Likewise, when we need the right set of data to evaluate quality of the software, we may also need data to test negative scenarios. Carefully choosing data will help in avoiding unexpected, unusual, and extreme results. If users enter the wrong information, the test case scenarios, which have been prepared out of most relevant data will continue to provide the most apt search result.
The production test data works best with a proper simulation of the real system during the testing phase. Ideally, both production data and synthetic data are used for testing, but in certain cases, production data is masked before using it for testing.
Why data is the key to test automation?
- Test Data serves as the input, which is mandatory to test the application
- Feeding the test data helps in validating the output if it is correct
- Test Data selection helps in verifying different scenarios in testing
- The test results are based on the inputs we feed in the system
- Test Data is useful for the users to define the outcome
- Test Data enable developers to track issues during the fix
- Test Data confirms that applications provide expected result based on the input
- Test Data allows you to be focused on systematic ways of feeding the data to the system
- Test Data aids the tester to record the test case for future reference and data re-use
Types of test data and their importance
- Valid Test Data:
Valid Test Data are supported by the application and helps in verifying the system functions and receiving an expected output whenever input is provided.
- Invalid Test Data:
Invalid Test Data ensures that the application is working correctly. Including unsupported data format when these invalid values are provided for testing the application shows an error message to notify that the data is improper to function.
- Boundary Test Data:
Combining the boundary value of an application, this type of data helps in removing defects that are connected while processing boundary values. However, these data are enough to handle applications. If the testers violate the process, then it may break the application.
- Blank or Absent Data:
The files that do not contain any data and help in verifying the application response when no data is entered into the software is called blank or absent data.
Different ways that the test data are prepared:
- Manually creating test data:
This method of test data generation is the simplest. It includes valid, invalid, null, standard production data, and data set for performance. It takes a longer time to generate test data manually with less productivity. A skilled testing team can create this test data without any additional resources. Lack of strong and in-depth technical knowledge, the testers would generate data with errors.
- Using back-end data:
Back-end data generation helps in using back-end servers with a database and procure the data quickly. In this method, the need for having front-end data entry is removed. There is no need for technical expertise to create backdated entries. However, if the technology is not implemented, it might have an impact on the database and application.
- Automated Test Data Generation:
Automated test data generation is most suitable to achieve excellent results with a high volume of data. The benefits of this kind of report generation are that a high volume of data is obtained at high-level speed and accuracy. The speed of delivering output is fast without any human intervention.
- Using third-party tools:
Using third-party tools makes it easy to create and extract data in the system. These tools have complete knowledge of the back-end applications and are built with a purpose to procure the data real-time with high accuracy. The test cases are built for future references that enable to execute test cases based on previous test case scenarios with accuracy and speed.
Challenges of test data sourcing
- Accessing tools for achieving data sources can be an issue if the testing team does not provide permission to access the link.
- The lack of adequate and right tools can pose a challenge to source the test data.
- The defects or bugs need to be identified at the earliest to run the testing for the software.
- The testing phase may run for a longer time as most of the data are created during the execution phase.
- Not all testers are skilled enough and have in-depth knowledge to create alternate test data solution for test data management.
Ways to control test data
Test data determines whether it is working as per expectations. Following are the ways to control test data: –
- Discover and understand nature of test data
- From multiple data sources extract a subset of production data
- Mask sensitive test data
- Compare the expected with actual result and automate the results
- Finally, refresh the test data
Yethi’s team consists of experienced quality assurance professionals exclusively focused on the BFSI industry. We have in-depth knowledge of the domain and technology systems supporting it. We help many marquee organizations to achieve their business objectives within the stipulated timeframe, without compromising on quality.
Yethi’s flagship 5th generation codeless test automation tool – Tenjin is an intuitive automated test suite. We have a test repository of 450k+ test cases, which help us in providing cross-platform testing across multiple devices and networks with high test coverage throughout all aspects of digital transformation and application testing like functional, UI/UX, performance, compatibility, security, geo-based and network testing. This smart and intuitive tool can switch between API’s and the GUI, making it a perfect testing tool for regression testing in open banking applications.