Overview: Using the right data can greatly benefit your testing practices and lead to an increase in the efficiency and velocity of your software development. As discussed in a recent podcast, using meaningful, properly secured data can pay great dividends in your transition to DevOps and Agile practices.
As companies look to streamline processes and increase the velocity of their mainframe development, testing practices, especially automation, gain in prominence. A recent study showed how one UK bank increased story point production and reduced testing time by adopting Topaz for Total Test for their mainframe testing. Efforts to improve testing practices don’t end with simple automation, though. Setting up test environments and managing test data play a major role in the process.
In Chapter 11 of the Building a Better Software Development Platform podcast, host Rick Slade welcomed two guests, Compuware Topaz for Enterprise Data Product Manager Irene Ford and File-AID Product Manager Kevin Corbett, to discuss test data management and the role it plays in automated testing. Data, the two say, is the “life blood of DevOps.” They talked about the importance of testing with realistic, relationally-intact data that reflects production conditions and relationships—ideally, production data—and the need to mask that data to maintain privacy. The ability to extract useful, relevant data that meets these conditions, they agreed, is integral to successful testing in an Agile environment. According to Irene,
Your tests are only as good as the data upon which the tests are based.
The pair also stressed the importance of using the proper tools, ones that simplify data management and are able to operate across platforms, quickly extracting data sets from both mainframe and distributed systems. Other crucial features are protection of data and the ability to work in both production and test environments. The data management toolset should be a “Swiss Army Knife of data,” according to Irene—a set of tools that perform several critical functions in a variety of environments.
While proper and thorough testing are important, a key component to that testing is the provisioning of meaningful data. Properly managing this data not only improves the quality of your test scenarios, it can lead to significant improvement in the quality, velocity, and efficiency of your software delivery.
To hear the entire discussion of data, its importance to testing and DevOps, the challenges faced in provisioning this data, and more, listen to Chapter 11: Modern Testing II – Test Data Management. To catch up on other episodes in the series and watch recordings of our weekly Q&A session, Office Hour with Rick Slade, visit https://www.compuware.com/goodcoding.