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There are several reasons why you need to develop a comprehensive testing strate gy for your RDBMS: 1. Data is an important corporate asset. Doesn't it make sense to invest t he effort required to validate the quality of data via effective testing? My Ju ly 2006 survey into the current state of data management indicates that 95.7% of respondents believe that data is a corporate asset. Yet of them only 40.3% had a database test suite in place to validate the data and of those without a test suite only 31.6% had even discussed the concept. 2. Mission-critical business functionality is implemented in RDBMSs. In th e survey, 63.7% of respondents indicated that their organizations did this, but of those only 46% had regression tests in place to validate the logic. Shouldn' t we be doing better? 3. Current approaches aren't sufficient. The current state of the art in m any organizations is for data professionals to control changes to the database s chemas, for developers to visually inspect the database during construction, and to perform some form of formal testing during the test phase at the end of the lifecycle. Unfortunately, none of these approaches prove effective. Applicatio n developers will often go around their organization's data management group bec ause they find them too difficult to work with, too slow in the way they work, o r sometimes they don't even know they should be working together. The end resul t is that the teams don't follow the desired data quality procedures and as a re sult quality suffers. Although visual inspection of query results is a good sta rt it is little more than a debugging technique in practice that will help you t o find problems but not prevent them. Testing late in the lifecycle is better t han nothing, but as Barry Boehm noted in the early 80s it's incredibly expensive to fix any defects you find at that point. 4. Testing provides the concrete feedback required to identify defects. Ho w do you know how good the quality of your source data actually is without an ef fective test suite which you can run whenever you need to? 5. Support for evolutionary development. Many evolutionary development tec hniques, in particular database refactoring, are predicated upon the idea that i t must be possible to determine if something in the database has been broken whe n a change has been made. The easiest way to do that is to simply run your regr ession test suite. Uncomfortable Question: Isn't it time that we stopped talking about data quality and actually started do ing something about it? Here's a few interesting questions to ask someone who isn't convinced that you n eed to test the DB: 1. If you're implementing code in the DB in the form of stored procedures, triggers, ... shouldn't you test that code to the same level that you test your app code? 2. Think of all the data quality problems you've run into over the years. W ouldn't it have been nice if someone had originally tested and discovered those problems before you did? 3. Wouldn't it be nice to have a test suite to run so that you could determ ine how (and if) the DB actually works? I think that one of the reasons that we don't hear much about database testing i s because it is a relatively new idea within the data community. Many traditiona l data professionals seem to think that testing is something that other people d o, particularly test/quality assurance professionals, do. This reflects a pencha nt for over-specialization and a serial approach towards development by traditio nalists, two ideas which have also been shown to be questionable organizational approaches at best. 2. What Should We Test? Figure 1 indicates what you should consider testing when it comes to relational
agile developers hav e created OSS tools such as ANT.. two things that you would work on in parallel. and Cruise Control (to name a few) which enable them to automate these tasks. Black-Box Testing at the Interface White/Clear-Box Testing Internally Withi n the Database O/R mappings (including the meta data) Incoming data values Outgoing data values (from queries. When you first start following a TDD approach to development you quickly discove r that to make it successful you need to automate as much of the process as poss ible? Do you really want to manually run the same build script(s) and the same testing script(s) over and over again? Of course not. Table 1. the first question they ask themselves is "Is this the best design possible which enables me to add this feature?" If the an swer is yes. basically just enoug h code to fail. The diagram is drawn from the point of view of a single database. The steps of test first development (TFD) are overviewed in the UML activity dia gram of Figure 2.databases. For details. Figure 2. procedures.. not just at the end of the lifecycle.. and triggers Existence tests for database schema elements (tables. stored functions. This strategy is applicable to developing both your application code and your database schema. often the complete test suite although for sake of speed you may decide to run only a subset. following a gile testing strategies. The Process of Test First Development (TFD). read the article What To Test in an RDBMS. What to test. Table 1 lists the issues which you should consid er testing for both internally within the database and at the interface to it. So. views . Next you run your tests. then they do the work to add the feature. to ensure that the new t est does in fact fail. The fourth step is to run your tests again. Maven. and better y et they test first.g. The first step is to quickly add a test. indicating that you need to consider threats both within the database (clear box testing) and at the interface to the database (black box testing). th e dashed lines indicate threat boundaries. Test-driven development (TDD) is an evolutionary approach to development which c ombines test-first development and refactoring. When Should We Test? Agile software developers take a test-first approach to development where they w rite a test before you write just enough production code to fulfill that test. it enables them to auto mate theirdatabase testing script into the build procedure itself. . What to test in an RDBMS.) View definitions Referential integrity (RI) rules Default values for a column Data invariants for a single column Data invariants involving several columns 3. functions. Once the tests pass the next step is to start over. As you can see with the agile system development lifecycle Sca .) ing code (e. More importantly. If the answer is no then they refactor the design to make it the best possible then they continue with a TFD approach. triggers or updateable views) which support refactorings Typical unit tests for your stored procedures. If they fail you need to update your functional code and retest. When an agile software develope r goes to implement a new feature. Figure 1. You then update your functional code to make it pass the new tests.. Agile developers realize that testing is so important to their success that it i s something they do every day. They test as often and early as possible.
This philosophy is exemplified by the Full Lifecycle Object-Oriented T esting (FLOOT) Methodology. In this sandbox you will rebuild your syst em and then run all the tests to ensure you haven't broken anything (if so. Figure 4.3 Setting up Database Tests To successfully your database you must first know the exact state of the databas e. Occasionally. validate your changes through testing. you write them just l ike you would any other type of test.1 Database Sandboxes A common best practice on agile teams is to ensure that developers have their ow n "sandboxes" to work in. In the development sandbox you'll experiment. not just during release. Finally. Run the test. 4.(SDLC) of Figure 3 testing is in fact something that occurs during the developme nt and release cycles. Database tests are typically a three-step process: 1. There are several strategies for doing so. Ever y so often (perhaps once every six to twelve months) into production. Figure 4 depicts the various types of sand boxes which your team may choose to work in. and then eventually you'll promote your work once you're happy with it to the project integration sandbox. The Agile Lifecycle. The primar y advantage of sandboxes are that they help to reduce the risk of technical erro rs adversely affecting a larger group of people than is absolutely necessary at the time. and refactor existing functionality. and rerun your test suite (including database tests) each time that you do so to ens ure that your changes integrate with the changes made by other developers. In this section I discuss the need for various database sandboxes in whic h people will test: in short. In each sandbox you'll have a copy of the database. implement new f unctionality. a t first you will discover that you have a fair bit of both learning and set up t o do. many agile softwar e developers realize that you can test more than just your code. Setup the test. You'll need to be able to do "table dumps" to obtain the current values in the database so that you can compare them against the res ults which you expected. 3. you'll deploy your work to the level (demo and pre-production testing). I overview severaldatabase testing tools which you may want to cons ider. for every maj . You need to put your database into a known state before running tests against it. including bo th creation of the schema as well as loading of initial test data. A sandbox is basically a technical environment whose scope is well defined and respected. 4. Using a database regression testing tool. you can in fact validate every work product created on a software development project if you ch oose to.2 Writing Database Tests There's no magic when it comes to writing a database test. The article What To Test in an RDBMS goes into greater detail. Furthermore. 4. and the best way to do that is to simply put the database in a known state be fore running your test suite. How to Test Although you want to keep your database testing efforts as simple as possible. There are two common strategies for doing this: 1. then back to the development sandbox). 2. Check the results. Figure 3. 4. I then overview how to write a database test and more importantly describe setup strategies for database test s. Fresh start. if you want to do database testing then you're goi ng to need test databases (sandboxes) to work in. A common practice is to rebuild the database. Sandboxes. run your databa se tests just like you would run your application tests. at least once an iteration/cyc le.
although we're star ting to see a glimmer of hope when it comes to database testing tools.particularly load/stress. For testing in developer sandboxes. 3. is coupling between tests. as you ca n see in Table 2. perhaps in flat files. then those test s are potentially coupled to one another. Where does test data come from? For unit testing. Beware Coupling: One danger with database regression testing. If you put the database into a known state. Self-contained test cases. Test data creation scripts. Choose an approach that reflects the culture of your organization. insertions. but we still have a long way to go. You can maintain an external definition of the t est data. testing that you do in your project integration or pre-product ion test sandboxes). as Figure 1 implies you need two categories of database t esting tools.g. or you can simple run updates to reset t he data values. for internal database testing if you're a Microsoft SQL Server deve loper. these testing tools should support the language that you're developing in. A s ignificant advantage of writing creation scripts and self-contained test cases i s that it is much more likely that the developers of that code will place it und er configuration management (CM) control. Similarly. and fu nction testing. which does the necessary deletions. 4. test data should be under c onfiguration management control). Self-contained test cases do not suffer from this problem .4 What Testing Tools Are Available? I believe that there are several critical features which you need to successfull y test RDBMSs. Although it is possible to put test d ata itself under CM control. worst case you generate an export file that you che ck in. I will use live data so as to better simulate real-world conditi ons. 2. Java or C#). and with regression testing in gene ral. These approaches to creating test data can be used alone or in combination. Third. This data would be loaded in from the external source as needed. Data reinitialization.or test run (e. Oracle DBAs should have a PL-SQL-based unit testing framewo rk.To make a long story short. You h ave several strategies for doing so: 1. An important part of writing database tests is the creation of test data. You can do this either by erasing all existing data and then inserting the ini tial data vales back into the database. Coupling between tests occurs when on e test counts on another one to successfully run so as to put the database into a known state for it. your T-SQL procedures should likely be tested using some form of T-SQL fr amework. you need tools which help you to put your database into a known stat e. For example. you may want to forgo droppi ng and rebuilding the database in favor of simply reinitializing the source data . Seco nd. XML files. although may be potentially slower as a result due to the need for additional initialization steps. The first approach is less risky and may even be faster for lar ge amounts of data. Have source test data. Luckily there are some goo d tools being developed by the open source software (OSS) community and there ar . You develop and maintain scripts. Each individual test case puts the database into a known state required for the test. perhaps u sing data manipulation language (DML) SQL code or simply application source code (e. this isn t a common practice and therefore may not occur as frequently as r equired. system integration. then run several tests against that known state before resetting it. and/or updat es required to create the test data. something th at you should do every time you rebuild the system. or a secondary set of tables. This way I can predict the actual results for the tests th at I do write and I know I have the appropriate data values for those tests. Fo r other forms of testing -.g. 2. I prefer to create sample dat a with known values. one for interface tests and one for internal database tests. which implies the need not only for test data generation but also for managin g that data (like other critical development assets. First.
and because they are hopefully taking a TDD-approach to development the impl ication is that they'll be doing database unit testing on a continuous basis. Many organizations must safeguard data by law due to regulatory complianceconcerns. Introducing Database Regression Testing into Your Organization Database testing is new to many people. is a critical issue for many organizations. This problem can be overcome through traini ng. AnyDbTest DBFit DBUnit NDbUnit OUnit for Oracle (being replaced soon by Qute) SQLUnit TSQLUnit (for testing T-SQL in MS SQL Server) Visual Studio Team Edition for Database Professionals includes testing capabilit ies XTUnit 5. They sh ould promote the concept that database testing is important. Empirix Mercury Interactive RadView Rational Suite Test Studio Web PerformanceTest Data Generator Developers need test data against which to validate their systems. It should b e defined. should be to support your database testing efforts. the DM group needs to support database testing efforts and then get out of the way of the people who are actually doing the work. and should help obtain database te sting tools for your organization. 6. Category Description Examples Data Privacy Tools Data privacy. Having said that. Test data generators can be particularly useful when you need large amounts of data. As you have seen. IMHO there is stil l significant opportunity for tool vendors to improve their database testing off erings. through pairing with someone with good testing skills (pairing a DBA without testing skills and a tester without DBA skills still works). Data Fac tory Datatect DTM Data Generator Turbo DataTest Data Management Your test data needs to be managed. it isn't somet hing that is done by another group (except of course for system testing efforts) . Some database testing tools. Who Should Test? During development cycles. enabling you to determine whether your system' s architecture will stand up to your true production needs. You need to define expected results of tests and then automat ically compare that with the actual results. database testing is someth ing that is done continuously by the people on development teams. and then maintained under version control. IBM Optim Test Data Management toolsUnit testing tools Tools which enable you t o regression test your database. should help people get the requisite training that they require. will be responsible for t he final system testing efforts and therefore they will also be doing database t esting. You may even want to retain the re sults of previous test runs (perhaps due to regulatory compliance concerns). perhaps for stress and load testing. The role of your data management (DM) group. or more generally information privacy. They will typically pair togeth er. and as a result you are likely to face s everal challenges: 1. Insufficient testing skills. the primary people responsible for doing database tes ting are application developers and agile DBAs. In short. D uring the release cycle your testers. or simply through . or IT management if your organizati on has no DM group. IBM Optim Data Privacy toolsTesting tools for load testing Tools simulate h igh usage loads on your database. if you have any. either manually or automatically (or both). Table 2.e some commercial tools available as well.
My experience is that some data management (DM) gro ups may see the introduction of database regression testing. 4. I highly suggest that you read my article Adopting Evolutionary/Agil e Database Techniques and consider buying the book Fearless Change which describ es a pattern language for successfully implementing change within organizations.trial and error. 5. or at least portions of them. If the two counts are the same then you don't have an RI problem across the join. Reticent DM groups. As I said earlier. The challenge with this approach is t hat because database methods are implemented differently across database vendors that any method tests will still need to run against the actual database server . we still have a way to go with respect to tools. In general. Although this is unf ortunate. and agile technique s such as test-first development (TFD) and refactoring. 4. You can dramatically speed up your database tests by running them. Database Testing and Data Inspection A common quality technique s to use data inspection tools to examine existing da ta within a database. Take a continuous approach to regression testing. then re build it from scratch taking into account all database refactorings and transfor mations to that point. As Richard Dallaway points out. a TDD approach to development is an incredibly effective way to work. but it's not something that will greatly contribute to your efforts to ensure data quality within your organization. Or. Best Practices I'd like to conclude this article by sharing a few database testing "best practi ces" with you: 1. so it is likely that you will not have a sufficient test suite for your existing database(s). there is no better time than the present to start writing your test su ite. 7. Use an in-memory database for regression testing. Few organizations have y et to adopt the practice of database testing. you wouldn't do this to your production database. time consuming. 2. agai nst an in-memory database such as HSQLDB. the problem with data inspection is that it is o ften done manually and on an irregular basis. 2. or compare the row count o f a table with the count of the resulting rows from joining the table with anoth er one. Pair with novices with people that have database testing experience. The important thing is that you recognize that you need to pick up these skills. as my July 2006 "state of data management" survey shows. some times months or years later. Insufficient unit tests for existing databases. Insufficient database testing tools. you need to redo your inspection efforts. Many developers and DBAs have not been trained in testing skills. then reload the test data. and error prone. On . and they almost certainly haven't been trained in database t esting skills. Start fresh each major test run. 8. and then run your tests. Train people in testing. a common s trategy is that at the beginning of each test run you drop the database. For many in the data management community the idea of doing database testing is rather new and it's simply going to take a while for them to think it through. Data inspection is more of a debugging technique than it is a testing technique. For example. To ensure a clean database. I can't say this enou gh. you may choose to view the unique values i n a column to determine what values are stored in it. It is clearly an important technique. This is costly. Of c ourse. . 3. a large percentage of organiz ations are not only not doing any database testing at all they haven't even disc ussed it. You might use something as simple as a SQL-based query to ol such as DB Inspect to select a subset of the data within a database to visual ly inspect the results. I'm not so sure that you should wait to do such obvious process impro vement. and give them the training and education they need to do their jobs. When you make changes later.-) 3. Invest in your people. as a threat.
define Database testing ? 2. update. How to Test database in Manually? Explain with an example.Testing of Procedure.Triggers and Functions Severity: Severity actually bug impacted on functionality of an application. So same for delete .<br>The approach is as follows :<br>While adding a record thr' front-e nd check back-end that addition of record is effected or not.Data Validity Testing. 3. Priority: Priority means how it soon will be fixed example for low severity and high priority: In an application instead of 'Accenture' Axenture will be there this is a functional side bug.. define severity and priority and types with example? Database Testing: Database Testing basically include in the following areas 1. 2.Performance Related Testing 4. Observing that opertaions. which are operated on front-end is effected on back-e nd or not..e of the easiest ways to gain database testing skills is to pair program with so meone who already has them..Data Integrity Testing.. there is spelling mistake will be there. functionally it is a come under low severity and customer side it is come under high priority . Ex:Enter employee record in databasethr' front-end and check if the record is added or not to the back-end(manually).. <br> 1..
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