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  1. #1

    Question on mananging data

    Hello all,

    This is my first post to this section of QAForums (I am usually on the automated side). We are currently working on testing a client\server windows application and we are struggling with some concepts of how to manage the Test Case Data.

    The first approach is to simply put a 'Test Data' column in the test case template and fill it with the desired data for the test case.

    PROBLEM 1:
    If we manage our data this way, there is the question of "how do we use a test case from another test case, but change the data we want to use?" If we simply re-create or paste the test case that we want to call, then the problem arises with maintenance (if we change it one place, how does it get changed in all the others).

    Another option we have explored is keeping all the test case data in separate spreadsheets. Then, a column or record is added for each test case that calls the referenced test case, with the desired data.

    PROBLEM 2:
    This sounded like a good solution at first, however, with the structure of our application, we have about 60 modules or projects to test. We developed one workbook for each module. Then, in order to make it easy to find test data, in each workbook, we created a worksheet for each project as well. We now have 60 workbooks & 60 sheets in each workbook (3600 sheets to maintain). This model also falls apart because of the complexity of each project sometimes needs to be broken up.

    I am not looking for a solution here, maybe just some feedback on how other people maintain their data for Test Cases. Is it just simpler to put the data in the test case and call it when needed, not giving the option to change the data when calling it?

    Any suggestions or feedback would be greatly appreciated.


  2. #2

    Re: Question on mananging data

    I have always believed that a test case should be data agnostic; this lends itself to automation. Approach 2 for me; but you might consider a database. Micrsoft, MySQL, and PostgreSQL all have free solutions.
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  3. #3

    Re: Question on mananging data

    A database was the next logical step (since Excel is not quite handling it). Maybe an Access front end to holding the data for the test cases.

    Thanks for the post.



  4. #4

    Re: Question on mananging data

    From context of your post I assume that what you mean by test case and test data is input for automated test scripts, isn't it? Otherwise in approach 1 you simply describe test data in the test case that refers another one. Have you considered to create system that will generate what you call test cases and test data for them? I mean having relation DB that describes relations between tests cases. Perhaps also google Data Driven Test [automation].
    Hope this helps
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  5. #5

    Re: Question on mananging data

    Well, yes - but also for manual tests. Currently manual tests are being developed and they have this need. But we are also keeping in mind the Automation test data part.

    So, needless to say, we are having trouble making it work for everyone.


  6. #6

    Re: Question on mananging data

    Rather than Access I'd suggest something more like MySQL, you can use multiple front ends to it like Perl or Python and use them to pull out your data. While I agree with keeping Cases Data Agnostic, sometimes you do need to do it for extremely specific or edge cases; they should be the rarity though. If you can put these items in a database you can work out the scenarios, and the duplication during the manual phase, and you set the groundwork for Automation. We're moving our test cases into a database in order to keep track of them properly, and reuse them as needed across projects, but setup and the data model would be different for most companies IMO.

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