Report Testing... how do you test reports?
So I'm in the process, for the 2nd time in 4 months, of trying or attempting to test a massive report. This report is a SQL related report that outputs to an excel document. It pulls data every month, but in 6 month intervals. There are 9 tables that are being joined together, and the SQL code for this report is massive... several pages long. Data is pulled in, an manipulated. So in other words, they'll take several lines found for 1 person, and condense it down to 1 or 2 lines. So it's not like I can pull a line for line comparison.
My boss says I have to replicate the SQL, using my own methodologies, in order to pull the data. Unfortunately I can't do that, nor do I believe that is the proper way of testing a report like this since I've already explained, it will never be a line for line comparison.
I'm really struggling to find some way of testing this effectively. So I'm asking, how would you go about testing this report? I've ran the report and there are no failures. Any suggestions or processes that you have used in a similar situation would be appreciated.
It'll be hard to test without precise control of the data. I would recommend creating a database fixture that'll create the same conditions consistently so you can test reports. You might be better off creating some sort of reporting test system which you can just wipe the database, load it from scratch, test the report, then dispose of the system.
Problem with trying to create queries to calculate the report for testing is you're basically trying to replicate the developer's logic for the sake of testing the developer's report. So you're using something less reliable to test the SUT.