Test Data represents a significant challenge for many QA and development teams resulting in time-consuming manual testing efforts, excessive costs and slipped delivery dates. CA Service Virtualization can automate the creation and management of test data by capturing and manipulating virtualized datasets from messaging streams and data sources. These unique capabilities help eliminate test data conflicts between teams and drives lower costs and manual effort.
Common Test Data Management Challenges Include
- Manual Test Data Management. Modern, distributed applications require test data to be created and synchronized across multiple systems, consuming significant time and manual effort. Accessibility constraints can make test data synchronization an almost impossible task, prompting testers to skip or reduce test scenarios.
- Data Volatility. Systems under test often run against systems that are in production or shared by other teams. This causes the data to be volatile (changing randomly and often), making validation of results against these volatile systems difficult or impossible.
- Data Sensitivity. Use of production data is limited by the need to obscure sensitive information such as account and social security numbers, and can present a significant compliance challenge, particularly when offshore or outsourcing service providers are used.
- Impact on Production Systems. Some test scenarios create transactions that impact data in production systems. For instance, if a test places an order, the order then needs to be traced and deleted. This incurs time and costs on both testing and operational staff and can disrupt business operations if not carefully manage
Virtual Test Data as a Solution
CA Service Virtualization provides an automated approach to capturing, modeling, desensitizing and maintaining virtual test data across multiple services, integration layers and systems of record.
- Virtual Dataset Creation: CA Service Virtualization listens and captures data as it flows across all application tiers and technologies to generate a robust virtual data set with a high level of functional accuracy. Test data can also be imported from databases (JDBC, SQL), Excel spreadsheets, flat files, log files, or XML sources.
- Test Data Manipulation: CA Application Test makes it easy for testers to modify datasets and chain them together into scenarios. Data models can be created and edited within CA Application Test in a point-and-click environment with rules applied for randomization, sequencing or appending of additional data sources. Or, manipulate data in familiar tools of choice such as spreadsheets.
- Test Data Masking: Sensitive live data can be obfuscated and automatically processed by CA Service Virtualization into "safe test data" that is valid for testing activities without violating regulatory or security policies.
- Dynamic Data Stabilization: CA Service Virtualization can stabilize test data so that test scenarios are validated according to expected business rules. This includes maintaining the relevance of variables including changing dates, currency conversions, customer session information and sequential data entry steps.
- Data Model Self-Healing: CA Service Virtualization can "self-heal" virtual test data sets by validating and recapturing relevant data from live sources or transaction streams on a scheduled or exception basis, increasing the long-term viability of virtual test data and minimizing the need to correct or update data manually.
CA Service Virtualization Benefits for Managing Test Data across Modern Applications
- Reduced time and cost. Synchronization of test data across multiple dependent systems can be automated with LISA. Testers can now capture and build robust virtual data sets that automatically self-update for longer term use.
- Eliminates constraints from the software lifecycle. Robust virtual datasets can be leveraged by multiple teams, enabling parallel development and testing activities without dependencies on live systems or conflicts over the use of shared test data.
- Security and compliance. Automated masking of sensitive data allows testing to proceed without exposing data to unauthorized users or processes.
- Reduced impact on live systems. Virtual datasets allow you to avoid accessing production systems to insert, update or delete test data. Test data requests can be routed to virtual data sets or live systems in conjunction with exiting Application Lifecycle Management (ALM), Test Management (TM), and SOA Registry/Repositories as appropriate.
CA also offers a comprehensive Test Data Management solution – CA Test Data Manager. To understand when to use CA Service Virtualization vs. CA Test Data Manager read the blog: “CA Service Virtualization meets Grid-Tools – CA Data Finder how will they get along”.