In my previous posts, I explained about Data Subset and Data Masking. In this post we will focus on the topic of Test Data Refresh.
So what is Test Data Refresh? It is the process of loading / refreshing the Test Database with the latest data from the Production database or any other data source.
What are the Challenges in Test Data Refresh
- Diverse data targets
- Much like the Production data sources, Test data targets can also be across databases and different file systems. The data needs to be in sync across these targets
- Test DB can already contain data
- If it is an existing system, already the Test Database will contain older data. Steps should be taken to carefully overwrite the data without losing the data integrity.
- Test DB downtime
- During the time of test data refresh, it might be necessary to bring down the test environment in order to accommodate the refresh.
- From Scratch
- In this approach, the database schema is created and then the data is loaded into it. This is useful in case of first time Test database creation or a new Test environment creation.
- Complete Refresh
- In this approach, the assumption is that the Test DB already contains data. This data is wiped out completely and the new data is loaded
- Partial Refresh
- In this approach, only a subset of the data in the Test DB is refreshed rather than the entire data. This is useful when only a specific or a few of the modules are to be tested in the application/product
- Incremental refresh
- In this approach, the existing data in the Test Database is untouched and the new data is appended to the existing data. This method is useful when the old data could not be removed due to various reasons.
Hope the post was informative. Thanks for the read. Comments are welcome.
Rajaraman Raghuraman has nearly 8 years of experience in the Information Technology industry focusing on Product Development, R&D, Test Data Management and Automation Testing. He has architected a TDM product from scratch and currently leads the TDM Product Development team in Cognizant. He is passionate about Agile Methodologies and is a huge fan of Agile Development and Agile Testing. He blogs at Test Data Management Blog & Agile Blog. Connect with him on Google+