IBM i Test Data Management

Data extraction

Create logical data sub-sets while maintaining referential integrity

Data masking

Protect sensitive data and retain its usability

Data reset

An easy 'undo' avoiding painful Save/Restore

Data validation

Track every database activity with issues flagged automatically

Trusted by companies worldwide

Test Data Management - What data?

Most testing is about trying to prove things work the way they should, and that needs good test data. For that, you, in turn, need good test data management.

This guide explores the key principles and techniques as they relate to the creation, maintenance, validation, use, and re-use of test data environments on the IBM i.

Test Data Management - Data Extraction

Reduce the data burden

Take 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.

A perfect working subset

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.

Multiple copies and environments

A small, focused sub-set of production data means you can find what you are looking for, testing is accelerated, and, consequently, you now have space for more environments.

Test Data Management - Data Masking

Enhanced vertical scrambling

No reason to be caught out by data legislation but still have consistent, understandable test data you can work with.

Template options

For constructed or 'made up' data there are templates for common scenarios and consistency wherever the data appears.

A Complete tool kit

TestBench provides a unique complete tool kit to safely obfuscate test data in your IBM i test environments.

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Test Data Management - Use and re-use.

Faster than Save/Restore

A re-usable asset

TestBench’s Data Reset capabilities gives 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.

No need for database administrators or operators

Control for yourself, when you reset a database and undo recent changes so that you can repeat part of your testing with the same data

Multiple Checkpoints

Set as many checkpoints as you require with the option of partial rollbacks to interim points.

Test Data Management - Validation

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Checking the data at every level

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.

Track every insert, update and delete operation

Understand when errors are introduced and by what process.

Checking rules

Create rules so that data changes are flagged automatically.

How TestBench and TestDrive help VIP

The story

Vermont Information Processing (VIP) has been providing business solutions to beverage wholesalers since 1972. Their key requirement was to reduce the level of risk by increasing the scope and quality of test coverage. They needed a solution that would run on the IBM i, to test screens, database, and spool files.

How TestBench & TestDrive helps

VIP has turned around its quality control and reassured VIP’s customers. TestBench has allowed repeatability and also comparability of tests. Now with the database effects, you can tell exactly what happened, at what time in the test. It’s given VIP many more complete tests. Programmers are receiving a lot more detail and as a result, are solving issues faster. Full regression testing is picking up 10-12 bugs each time – which  could take support up to 80 hours each to resolve if they had got through to production 

Key benefits

  • Complete control of test environments
  • Comprehensive unit testing
  • Reduction of business risk
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...developers would have to go and get new databases which could be a week-long process at least. With TestBench’s environment protection functionality, we can just roll back and reset the data instantly.

Cheryl Arpey, Quality Control Analyst

Program Calls & Parameters

Modular approach

Development methods have evolved in line with the IBM i and a modular approach has replaced monolithic programming.

Verify

That puts the focus on the the program linkages and the parameter values  must be verified or populated.

Potential improvements

That's just the start. Why not track program calls through submitted jobs, even submitted jobs which submit other jobs? And for every call see the vital performance data so you can identify potential improvements.

IBM i Test Data Management- A Best Practice Guide

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

TestBench IBM i Modules

A comprehensive, proven test data management, verification and unit testing solution that  integrates with other solutions for total application quality.

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

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

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

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

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

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

We understand

We understand the challenges associated with test data management. So why not reach out to one of our advisers and explore the options available.

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