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Data on quality environment
It seems that we have two ways to provide data to our quality environment :
1) Simply take a copy of the production, every time that we need, completed maybe by some specific data.
2) Define all data that we need to test our software, generate data to simulate load tests, but never make a copy of the production on the quality environment. If we need to simulate a production problem, we will have to create a copy of the production just for that purpose, and after restore our quality environment, to authorize the test of new release.
What is your opinion on these two configurations?
Is somebody have experience on the second case?
Re: Data on quality environment
Either one works and is dependent upon your test objectives.
Example: If you intend to load/stress test then you may prefer a copy of production data unless you can cost-effectively reproduce the size of the tables using automatically generated data. You would want to ensure when used in a test, that data allows you to trigger all the desired business rules. If you are using automated tools - you would need to be aware (and desire) that a tool may provide parameterization options that can help you avoid violation of unique key constraints. A potential inhibitor to usage of production data is the issue of customer/client confidentiality. If that is an issue, you may need a data scrubbing utility. Other issues that may impede you: credit card, gift card, purchase, benefit limits and so on.
If you are simply functional testing - automated or not; you don't necessarily need a copy of production data.
Again, this is a short opinion...