Test Data

    Test Data

    TEST DATA is data used in software test execution. The data can be preloaded in the system or input by the tester or test automation tool during test execution. The test data can vary from a simple set of usernames and passwords to millions of records of complex data.

    ISTQB Definition

    • test data: Data needed for test execution.
    • test data preparation: The activity to select data from existing databases or create, generate, manipulate and edit data for testing.
    • test data preparation tool: A type of test tool that enables data to be selected from existing databases or created, generated, manipulated and edited for use in testing.

    Test Data Types

    An ideal test data set should include most or all of the following different types of data:

    TYPE EXPLANATION EXPECTED OUTCOME
    BLANK Data No data or blank file Software does not break; the exception is handled well with proper error message.
    VALID Data Data or file that is supported or expected by the application. Software gives an expected output as per the input.
    BOUNDARY Data Valid data that meets boundary conditions. Software gives an expected output as per the input.
    INVALID Data Data or file that is NOT supported or expected by the application. Software does not break; the exception is handled well with proper error message.
    HUGE Data A large set of data mainly used for Performance Testing Software does not break; outcome is of  reasonable performance.

    Test Data Preparation

    Test data can be prepared via one or multiple ways mentioned below:

      1. Manually prepare the test data.
      2. Import the data from production environment. Modify it as necessary.
      3. Get data from legacy or other systems. Modify it as necessary.
      4. Generate data automatically from data generation tools or test automation tools.

    Test Data Limitation

    Privacy sensitive data or Personally Identifiable Information (PII) should not be used in test data. Various privacy rules and regulations such as General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) forbid the use of such data for testing. If you must use real / production data, you have to anonymize / de-identify the data before testing.

    Last Updated on September 9, 2020 by STF