Test Data Management and Automated Quality Assurance
Test data management (TDM) is used to quickly and safely test both new and existing software using artificial data sets. TDM is typically used when the actual data set is sensitive, and it is crucial that it is not leaked during the software quality assurance (QA) process. In these cases, it is especially critical to thoroughly test the software before deployment, because an error or leak could have significant ramifications.
Strategies for acquiring test data for automated QA
The strategies listed below can be used to acquire test data for automated QA:
Test data that is copied from real production data and then altered in some way to make it unrecognizable is referred to as “cloned” data. The benefit of cloned data is that it already fits the software parameters, and you know that it will closely match real-world examples. The downside is that you have to be extra cautious about sharing the data and must have robust security systems in place to avoid any leaks.
If you only want to test one aspect of your software, you might choose this approach. “Slicing” refers to the process of extracting one piece of data from a set and using it in isolation to test a small amount of software. While this is quicker and cheaper than other approaches, it can lead to errors down the line if the software behaves in unexpected ways when all the pieces are tested together.
Automate with scripts
Scripts to automate your test data production can be easily purchased online or produced in-house. Automated scripts can produce data to help you test thousands of scenarios in a very short period of time, and can quickly find errors in your software. However, automation scripts can be time-consuming to produce, and likely aren’t appropriate for testing minor software tweaks. You also have to be careful to update your automation script whenever your software is updated so that the script continues to function as intended.
Automating your QA processes using TDM techniques may seem daunting, but it is more efficient and effective in the long run than performing manual testing every time you make a software change.
Choosing the right QA vendor
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Whether you are leveraging manual QA engineers or using the latest TDM practices, it is important to ensure that you choose the right contractor to deal with your quality assurance needs. More importantly, your partner should be well informed regarding built-in quality and ways to eliminate at any stage of product development.
Normally when you cooperate with a software product development firm these services are already included in your contract.
Sometimes agencies claim to deliver flawless codebases without any bugs or imperfections but in reality, even when working with a team of star-engineers delivering state-of-the-art code – there will be bugs, defects, and other software issues.
To make sure that your product is solid and ready-for-use you need to ensure that you choose the right professional software partner.
Here’s a few points that you need to pay attention to:
1. Built-In Quality Practices
The quality of a product has a major impact on a company’s ability to succeed on all levels. Well-built products are more adaptable and less prone to issues, increasing their value to the business and customer and reducing overall maintenance costs. To ensure that products are built with high quality in mind, agile teams should operate with built-in quality practices in mind. These practices include flow, architecture and design quality, code quality, system quality, and release quality. To deliver high quality products quickly, agile teams should adopt a flow-based system that includes early and frequent testing, continuous delivery, and reduced test suites to accelerate the feedback cycle. System architecture and design quality should be developed in a way that allows it to adapt overtime and be easily testable. To achieve quality code, agile teams must implement unit testing and test driven development guides, pair developers to increase QA, and take collective ownership of code and support code standards throughout the process. System quality can be achieved through creating alignment and a shared understanding between developers to enable a fast workflow and implementing continuous integration and delivery practices to improve feedback. Companies can ensure quality in their release process by supporting compliance measures, having a scalable definition of done, and implementing changes quickly and frequently.
2. Test-driven development
Test-driven development (TDD) can ensure that quality, speed, and efficiency are built into the product development process. By creating a test for functionality before writing a piece of code, developers can take more time to analyze the design of software before writing their main code. This can help streamline the development process. The benefits of TDD include enhanced code quality, code that is easier to maintain, code that is easier to optimize and introduce, decrease cost of product development and increase in ROI, better code documentation, and fewer bugs and errors for developers to deal with. If an agile team wishes to benefit the most from TTD, they must be willing to learn the skills and discipline to implement it properly in order to support it and reap the most benefits from the process.
3. Agile approach
Bugs are not only frustrating, they are expensive and take time to fix. Outdated strategies for managing bugs and feature requests can increase the likelihood of buggy software, costing a company money. Instead of fitting outdated strategies into an Agile model of development, it’s better to implement Agile strategy from the start of the development process. Agile processes can include utilizing bug tracking tools to ensure bugs are caught and corrected quickly. Prioritizing bugs can also ensure that the most critical issues are solved first and that a large backlog of reported bugs is less likely to form.
Modern TDM automation tools make the process faster and easier than ever before. With a little bit of effort and research, you can learn to automate your QA procedures and save yourself from many headaches down the line. MEV is a software development company that specializes in a variety of different services, including TDM automation tools and automated quality assurance services. Our team offers expert-level consulting services and partnership opportunities for companies of all sizes. If you are looking to consult with an expert regarding your test data management and automated quality assurance, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. MEV is your trusted software ally.