While availing Testing-as-a-service[TaaS], benefits like Cost Reduction and Revenue Optimization seemed obvious but did you double check if the package is inclusive of Test Data Management? With Big Data the buzzword these days, we often sideline the test data management, in fact, experts believe that an effective Test Data Management could increase the quality of the product.
CloudQA being the pioneers in offering Testing-as-a-service[TaaS] stress on why Test Data Management is an integral part of your Testing-as-a-service[TaaS].
Boost TaaS with Test Data Management[TDM]
The Challenges faced by a QA/tester in test data management
What Test data is needed?
What is test data? For a numeric field fill in the value as 12345 and for a string ABCDE. Most of the test results do show such kind of screenshot where data was put in randomly. While testers argue that they were not performing data testing hence data could be random, experts believe each test case to mimic the real-life scenario. Simply, many testers are unclear on the experimental data to be used for a scenario in many cases.
Test Data Need Better Simulation, Masking, and Periodic Refresh
Put yourself in a financial trader/broker shoes, would he be able to make decisions based on simulated data? Or when the feed is delayed by 30 secs? That’s what happens for a tester/QA who tries to test a real-life scenario but fails may be because data is just the sample data or few weeks old or is given to you with a delay. Most of the testing teams would agree, that test data is close to real but NOT REAL!
Database Structuring, Relations, Keys, and linking is ambiguous to testers
A tester is well-aware of the full functionality, environment needs but very few know how and which tables get updated when hitting the submit button. What are the primary or unique keys in a table that could not be overridden? What’s linking of the data? Does submission of a record update multiple tables or just one? Ignorant on these issues, testers often override the data from backend to test a scenario or delete data leading in data getting corrupted.
Best Practices for Test Data Management[TDM]
With “Known Problem Area” let’s look at the Best Practices to structure the test data in a systematic way that enhances productivity and boost the quality of the product.
Know Your Data
Know your data, whether it is a numeric field or alphanumeric in nature, which tables it gets stored. When it moves to the upstream system, does it change its name or nature? What are its limitations, what are the rules? Know all about your data.
Masking the Sensitive Data
While real data could be fun to test, it also comes with responsibility. Hence many corporates and enterprises to maintain compliance and regulations need to mask sensitive information. Just for example if your system gets the data with a delay of 30 secs, and a trader has placed a buy order of large quantity it would be wise to mask the orderid, stock and quantity to ensure confidentiality of the order.
No Data Manipulation
Avoid altering data from the backend to test a specific scenario. That may result in a specific test as pass but may corrupt the database with interlinking or relational tables.
Quick automation to compare the expected and actual results could be a faster way to point out inconsistencies and data anomalies.
Schedule a Periodic Refresh of Test Data
Make sure to establish a process and get a regular refresh of test data, which leads to enhanced testing efficiencies and streamlined testing process.
Test Data management is integral to TaaS as with Test Data Management, increase testing speed by up to 25% and cut the cost to 5-10%. The perfect balance of Quality vs. Cost. Isn’t it?
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As companies rush to meet the ever-evolving, customer focused, multi-interface, and technologically complex solutions, software quality and time to market becomes a critical need. One quickly realizes that software testing plays an important role in the growth of any company offering such solutions. However surging costs, high-security environments, and software sourcing variability has made the software testing function challenging.
In such an environment, it is important to assess and implement the right methodologies to achieve scale, minimize costs and offer improved services. Testing-as-a-Service (TaaS) is considered a viable testing model by many organizations to achieve reduced costs and improved service for their IT test requirements.
TaaS does this by outsourcing testing activities associated with some of a company’s business activities to a service provider rather than using their own employees/resources. By using a consumption-based pay model, there is less risk and investment on the part of the organization.
TaaS can be used for various QA activities, such as:
1. Functional testing
2. Load / Stress testing
3. Performance and Benchmark testing
4. Regression testing
Advantages of TaaS over traditional testing
1. Scalable model via public cloud – utilize computing power, disk space, memory as per current requirements but have the ability to ramp up on demand very quickly
2. Costs – Pay for what you use. No need to own your own infrastructure. No capital costs incurred.
3. Licensing benefits – Operating system (OS), test tools, hardware, application licenses are managed by the cloud.
4. Standardization – Centralized test environment with a standard set of tools and processes will ensure repeatability, efficiency and quality results
Besides self-service SaaS-based subscription model for automated testing, CloudQA also offers Testing as a Service for companies that do not have the bandwidth to carry on this essential step in their agile development process. Customers do not have to worry about any software licensing, infrastructure, expensive testing resource or steep learning curve for the testing tool & processes. Instead they can focus on developing their own software which is their area of competency.
CloudQA has an established framework for delivering enterprise-ready testing and providing clients with the ability to take advantage of paying for what they need, when they need it, rather than investing in expensive tool sets and experts.
1. Center of Excellence – You will interact with a group of people that promote collaboration, employ software testing best practices with both tools and techniques
2. Process – We employ industry best practices and methodologies that will result in higher productivity and you will get more bang for your buck
3. Governance – We offer relationship management, QA Project management, and a centralized test environment, with standardized software library and test suites. We also provide a self-service portal which cuts downtime required to provision test environments.
4. Infrastructure – We own the automation software and even have an offshore facility for providing a cost-effective, highly scalable, and fast automated test solution