Most organizations spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on implementing complex test automation projects. But when it comes time to reaping the benefits of that investment often times there is a significant obstacle that is often overlooked – that of developing a Test Data Management Strategy
Why is Test Data Management Strategy so critical to automation projects succeeding? The simple answer is when the automation cases are developed they are developed assuming certain data characteristics in the Application Under Test as well what the end state of the data should be after a transaction is performed.
This is not a big deal on an application which doesn’t change much (especially the data model) or if it doesn’t use a whole lot of data. But most of us don’t have the luxury of working on those applications.
In addition to this there are additional requirements to make the data look like production data while protecting any PII or confidential information and you can see how quickly the complexity grows.
If a good TDM strategy is not available and integrated into automation – then any time something changes in the data model the testing team, build resources and DBAs all have to spend a significant amount of time making changes to the test data leading to significant costs.
Hence it is critical for automation projects to have an integral Test Data Management strategy – there is an excellent white paper here that goes into more detail of how you can do this.