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What is the Need for Test Data Generation Techniques in Software Testing Life Cycle

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In order to ensure the quality of the software before launch, a team of professional quality-testers performs various kinds of software testing techniques. Test data generation techniques make use of a set of data which can be static or transactional that either affect or gets affected by the execution of the specific module. The data can be used for positive and negative testing to confirm whether the desired function is producing the expected results or not and how software application will handle unexpected or unusual data?

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Typically test data generation techniques are used in conjunction with test cases and test data that can be obtained manually, by automated test data generation tools, or through a copy of test data from production to testing environment,  from legacy client’s system.

The main purpose or the need for test data generation can be summarized as follows:-

1) Need of Test data generation techniques for performance testing: – The test data which require for testing that how fast software will respond or perform under workload must be real or live data which can be obtained through customers. Their feedback or an existing set of data can give you insight into how real-world data might look like. If you are working in a team of maintenance testing project, you can copy test data from the production environment, but while copying, it will be beneficial to anonymize- customers Bank Details, Social Security Number, and Credit Card Numbers etc.

2) Need of Test data generation techniques for security testing: The test data which require for testing security feature of the software which it can offer to the customer’s crucial private information must fulfill criteria like integrity, authentication, and authorization. For Integrity (check information provided by the system is correct or not) category, test data can be designed on the basis of databases, code, file structures, and design. By various permutations and combinations of user-names and passwords test data Authentication (checks the identity of the user) criteria can be tested. The various combinations of roles, users, and operations test data will check Authorization (it checks the rights or privileges to perform certain operations by specific users) factor.

3) The need of Test data generation techniques for functional testing: – The test data for functional testing must include positive and negative scenarios, boundary conditions (test data values at the extremities of all possible values), and all functional flows defined in the requirement. A single set of data can be used for testing similar test cases. To keep the test data pool optimized test data such as client ID’s, country codes can be reused across test cases. Test data creation utility or tool which is capable of generating a spectrum of data to satisfy all the data requirements so that data can be reused across the release of the product will be beneficial for functional testing.

4) Need of Test data generation techniques for Black Box testing:- In such testing, codes are invisible to the tester and he/she can use techniques like No data, Boundary Condition Data Set, Illegal Data Format, Valid/Invalid Data, Decision Table Data Set, State Transition Data Set, Use Case Test Data etc.

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Test data generation is an important area of research to carry out proper software testing approach with reduced cost as the final aim of this method is to satisfy functional, non-functional or business requirements. A well-defined test data can certainly help you identify and correct the flaws throughout the testing mechanism. Even after making the right choice of test data technique make sure that it is re-evaluated in every phase of the software life cycle.

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