If code is the lifeblood of software, the database is its brain. To keep the database free from errors and security risks, database testing is a must. Now, what can you do to ensure that the testing process goes smoothly? Let’s find out.
Throughout the years, software complexity has been evolving. And when the front end becomes complicated, the back end becomes more elaborate too. That is why it’s necessary to conduct software database testing.
Now, what is database testing? How relevant is it to the whole development process? And what are the ways to manage the testing process? Here are some basic steps in database management that you should not overlook.
What Is A Database?
In the arena of computing, especially cloud computing, a database refers to a pool of organized, related data. This information is then stored in a computer system. It can be easily managed electronically.
Moreover, to deal with aggregate data records and files, a software database is developed through formal design and data modeling techniques.
So how do you access the database? You can use a database management system (DBMS). It is an integrated set of computer programs that interacts with end users, other applications, or the database itself. It also enables the administrator to enter, store, and retrieve information, although restrictions can be set in place to limit data access.
What is Software Database Testing?
Can you imagine what will happen if your database is ruined? The software cannot function properly or may not respond to queries properly.
Data inaccuracy can also be troublesome. Even when you’re dealing with huge quantities of data, you need to ensure that values and information in the database are accurate.
In addition to that, when the database is not fully functional, the loss of data can be a nightmare. It can even become a security risk that can bring your business down.
Now, to avoid trouble, there are three types of database testing that you can conduct. These are the following:
- Functional Testing—From the end user’s perspective, this testing method validates whether the operations meet the expected result based on technical requirements.
- Non-functional Testing—This testing process validates how the database works according to business requirements. This test involves stress testing, load testing, security testing, compatibility testing, and usability testing, among others.
- Structural Testing—The technique involves validating all the elements within the data repository used for storage. It also works on the validation of database servers.
Simple Tips for A Smoother Database Testing
Just like web application testing, database testing can become a complex, layered process. A comprehensive database test covers vast areas, such as user interface, data accessibility, business requirements, and even the database itself. So, here are some tips to help you conduct an effective database testing process.
Prepare for the testing activities
Before getting into it, determine all your needs and requirements for the testing process. Make sure all your equipment and other resources are prepared. Coordinate with other teams that may be affected when testing a database. And make sure that testing goals are defined and communicated to everyone in the team.
Moreover, remember that your main goal in every database testing is to pinpoint the dataset affecting your software’s performance. So based on this criterion, prepare for these tests beforehand, among others:
- Schema verification
- Data verification
- Database guidelines check
- Health checks
- Security checks
Preparation is one of the most overlooked database testing tips out there. And to succeed, every entrepreneur should take note of it.
Organize the testing environment ahead
Once things are ready, the next thing to do is set up the testing environment. It helps the process become efficient and easier. How?
Map out the strategies and scheduled use of the test environment. Try to understand all the test requirements; be thorough and detailed in reviewing the nitty-gritty. Also, effectively communicate with the team about the requirements. This way, they also know what results to derive from the database testing.
Conduct last-minute final checks just to ensure that the required hardware and software are working. Make sure connectivity is stable before the start of database testing. If you’re using automation tools, make sure their configurations and versions are compatible with other resources.
Make test cases for the database testing
Create test scenarios that are relevant to your testing goals. If you’re new to database testing, these questions can help you jumpstart your process:
- Is the data complete and correct?
- Does the data go in sync with its source? Is it similar to the data that the end user entered through the software’s UI?
- Are there irrelevant data stored in the database aside from the end user’s input?
- Is the data organized in a logical manner?
- Is the database performance at par with the set standards?
- Are views, triggers, functions, jobs, triggers, and other database objects working as expected?
- Are there constraints that help filter the database to only allow correct data to be stored?
- How secure are the database and its data from unauthorized access?
Use these questions as a guide in creating your test scenarios. These will help you formulate queries to resolve any hidden flaws in the system.
Choose testers wisely
A good tester is knowledgeable in SQL, especially in data manipulation language (DML) statements. The person in charge of testing must also have a good grasp of the internal database structure of AUT.
These skills are useful in testing a database as the tester performs CRUD operations from the UI of the software. It’s also relevant as the tester verifies results using SQL queries. This is the most comprehensive way of database testing targeted for those small- and medium-level complexity software.
On the other hand, for complex software, the tester can also get queries from developers. The specialist can perform CRUD operations from GUI. After that, the tester can execute the developer-given SQL queries to verify its impact.
Utilize the power of database automation testing tools
Over time, database testing can be challenging due to increasing data size, data complexity, and heterogeneous environment. But when you use tools, you can automate testing on key areas, such as basic user interface functionalities, data schema, and data integrity.
What are some of the tools that you can use for automation? For database testing, you can take advantage of tools, such as MS SQL Server, DataFactory, MockupData, DTM Data Generator, and Oracle SQL Developer, among others.
Exert less effort but get better results in database testing
Preparation and collaboration are the keys to a successful database testing activity. Things get easier when you know what to do before the testing process.
And with a couple of final checks on your resources, like browser and version compatibility, or internet connection stability, things can go as planned. So make sure to heed these tips to help your next database testing be more efficient and less stressful.
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