Extract Test Data from Multiple Libraries
by Joe Hertvik
A new iSeries software management tool from SoftLanding Systems aims to make it easier for companies
to implement unit, system, or regression testing. SmartTest400 1.4 extracts test data from
multiple libraries, provides comprehensive metrics, and offers a convenient "test under mask" feature.
Additional enhancements to SmartTest400 include the capability to conduct a more thorough search of
related files across multiple libraries when building a test database. For testing flexibility and performance,
SmartTest400 code is AS/400-based and driven by APIs.
With the capability to extract test data from multiple OS/400 libraries, users can extract data from multiple
libraries for thorough testing of any application. A SmartTest400 1.4 build case--the set of data extraction
rules and file schema linked to a specific set of libraries--can contain all the information needed to extract
data from up to 250 libraries. Previously, if a build case required data from files stored in different libraries,
users needed to define one build case per library.
The capability to calculate new metrics for scheduling data extractions is an added benefit with Version 1.4.
The latest metric features allow users to estimate the number of records that will populate the extracted
database, as well as the size of each extracted file. These metrics can be used to calculate how long an
extraction job will run. Because of business demands, extractions frequently take place during off-hours,
when time is limited. Having a runtime estimate for a job is advantageous for scheduling.
The "test under mask" feature allows testers to highlight only the specific fields or files they want to
compare. It then provides test results on those selected fields or files. This is valuable for testers who only
examine specific features of a build case.
Additional convenience is added with the capability to nominate specific members from multi-member files
for testing. Many data files contain multiple members that may cover specific dates, years, territories, or
other categories. SmartTest400 1.4 is designed to extract test data from any specific file member.
Data warping is a useful feature for software testers working with confidential data, such as names, social
security numbers, or salary fields. The data warping feature scrambles or randomly replaces characters and
numbers within specific fields. Date fields can also be warped by automatically adding or subtracting a set
number of days for each date. By using warped data, testers can verify program logic, while administrators
can protect the confidentiality of the information.
The capability to protect confidential data is a particularly valuable feature for healthcare providers,
insurance companies, and other companies affected by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability
Act of 1996.
SoftLanding offers the SmartTest Data Builder, SmartTest Record & Play, and SmartTest Data Compare
modules, which can be purchased either separately or together. There is a flat fee of $4,000 per module. For
customers who purchase the entire suite of modules, the price is $10,500. Customers who have SoftLanding
SmartTest400 maintenance plans receive free upgrades.
For more information, visit www.softlanding.com
or call 800-545-9485.
Please note that this article has been edited since its original publication to correct the name of SoftLanding
Systems' new iSeries software management tool. The tool is named SmartTest400, not SoftTest400.
Guild Companies regrets the error. [Correction made February 27, 2002]
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