Database testing is perhaps the most important test that can check the overall functionality of the software. A complete software system will enhance functionality of different aspects like stored functions, stored procedures, and triggers. Database testing is almost similar to regression testing as it can run automatically to ensure the integrity and robustness of the database layer of the software.
There are enough reasons that compel us to conduct database testing on a regular basis. Data sets are an essential feature of a software product. It is very important to test and validate your data to keep it valid and up-to-date. The testing procedures conducted by different organizations are just not enough, because they may not ensure the safety and integrity of the database software. Therefore, software developers have the immediate need to create a sturdy testing method that can inspect and validate data schemes under implementation, so that they can keep their data accurate, safe, secure and precise.
In addition, database testing will also provide accurate feedback on the errors and bugs present in the system. Without an effective database testing method, you may find it very difficult to determine the quality of data with respect to its accuracy and fineness. Database testing would also support the evolutionary development of software, so you would know and understand where exactly you will be making changes and modifications.
Testing is very important, when you consider the issue of relational database. You can expect a number of threats and dangers attacking the database you are creating. You should also know threat boundaries would exist, while you are developing software. For example, there are threats both inside the database and at its interface.
This will necessitate application of a well-defined testing method to check these unforeseen developments. If you want to test database within its architecture, clear box testing will come to your help; this test is a preferred testing method, when you want test the interface.
The time to conduct database tests is also vital, when you are developing the software. This will help you prevent any unforeseen errors and bugs. Software developers will need to write the database test to see whether the codes present in the database will work or not. After conducting the database test, you will also need to run the test up to the subset level, because of the underlying concerns of speed.
If the database fails to live up to its expected standards, you may need to update the existing codes to make it pass through the written database test. Once you conduct the database testing, repeating the same test will you detect if the modifications and corrections introduced are effective or not.
Database testing should form a priority testing, when you are developing database software. An efficient database testing will ensure the production of solid, robust and sturdy software that will never fail at any time.
Howe to Write the Database Test – Simple Methods
You cannot use a sorcerer’s wand, if you want to design and create a test for database. You may use your common sense to write it just like any other tests. However, the database tests are normally a three-way process:
1. Initializing the Test – This involves placing your database into an identifiable, perceptible and visible status, before running any tests on it.
2. Executing the Test – By using a database regression-testing tool, you can conduct database tests similar to any other tests.
3. Evaluating the Results – You will need to design and create “table dumps” to realize the present values in the database. Comparing the obtained results against the values at hand will give you idea of how the software application is behaving.
To create a successful database test, testers will need to know exact and precise status of the database. The most practical way of doing this is to place the available data in an identifiable, perceptible and understandable state, before running the actual test application. In essence, you have two widely used methods of doing this:
Using fresh start method – It is a universal practice to rebuild and redesign the database, by including both the designing and synthesis of the schema, apart from uploading the starting test data for all the major test cases.
Using data re-initialization method – If you want to run the test in a developer sandbox, you may want to avoid dropping and re-building the database to help source data set re-initialization. It is possible to do this by erasing or eradicating existing data and later reinserting initial data values right back into the base of data. Alternatively, you can even run the updates to bring the data values into a reset position.
An important aspect of writing and creating database tests is to create the actual test data. There are several strategies available to perform the test.
Keep source test data at hand – It is possible to maintain and upkeep an exterior definition of the test data, may be in the form of flat, XML files, and sundry set of tables.
Creating data creation scripts – It is possible to develop, design and maintain data scripts by using DML – SQL code or Java snippets or C# codes. These little tools will perform the necessary editions, additions, deletions, insertions, editing or updating.
Creating self-contained test cases – Each of the individual test cases will place the database into an identifiable and recognizable state.
Data used as stand alone or in combination will help you run the above-mentioned methods for synthesizing test data. A well-known advantage of writing creation test cases is to place them under the CM control. However, you will need to employ a procedure that best fits your working environment.
Testing Tools to Conduct Database Tests
Software developers want to keep their database testing as simple as possible. However, it is almost impossible to have a simple and effective database test, just because every test is different with its own weaknesses and strengths.
Therefore, you should learn the basics of setting up and creating database test to implement what is written in the test. In addition, you may need to know about two common technical terms related to database testing. These two terms are database sandbox and database testing tools.
The database sandbox is an environment that simulates the database and its scope. You can use a number of sandboxes. However, the one that you choose should be appropriate for your needs and requirements. In each of the sandbox used, everyone involved in the testing should have his or her own copies of the database.
Everyone is free to conduct his or her own experiments to implement the right type of codes. It is also possible to reformat the existing functions in the database and validate those changes almost quickly during the testing. Once you follow these steps, you can then start working on another phase of project called integration sandbox.
Here, you will need to rebuild the system you have created and later run a test to confirm that all the codes are in working condition. In case, of any errors in the project integration sandbox, you may need to start working on it once again.
Developing a formidable database may take a long time, before you can introduce it to an outside environment. Testing the database codes in this sandbox will provide plenty of benefits to software developers, because it enables them to remove common mistakes or errors that can adversely affect future users.
Database Testing Tools
You will need several tools to build an effective database test. Database tools help you to run a proper database test. You can use two different types of database tools for both the internal database test and interface database test.
The tools that you use to build database tests should support the language chosen to create the software. For example, if you are developing a database test from Microsoft SQL, then your procedures should be tested by using the T-SQL framework.
On the other hand, if you are using Oracle for creating database, then you should use the PL-SQL framework. The next step is choosing a database tool that helps you check whether the test data is under the configuration management control or not.
Database test is one of the true and effective tests that will help you establish the relevancy of the data and related information. However, not many software developers are using a database procedure, because it is still a relatively new concept. Some of the challenges that database-testing face today include insufficient knowledge about its benefits, lack of testing skills, and tools to conduct database testing.
Because of these unique challenges, database testing has a long way to go before everyone will use it. Software developers will also need to get started now, so that they will be able to avoid database related challenges in the future. Database testing shows many potential benefits to major organizations; however, it still needs a lot of improvement or enhancements to be truly accepted by people from all over the world.