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How to test a RDBMS? What are the steps involved in testing RDBMS? – Part 1

The mission critical data is what that is persisted by the relational data base management system which in turn is updated by the other software systems or applications and many of the end users. Further important functionality are implemented by the relational data base management systems in the form of data base methods and data objects.

Data base methods are nothing but stored functions, procedures, and triggers and so on.
– In order to maintain the quality of all these assets, it is required that they are tested again and again by a regression testing suite.
– It is obvious for everyone to think of keeping the data base testing efforts as simple as possible.
– The process of testing a data base involves both learning and setting things.

Steps Involved in testing RDBMS

1. Using Database Sandbox
– For a developer having his/ her own data base sandbox to work in is considered to be a best practice for an agile team and it is quite common too.
– Here, a technical environment that has got a well defined scope and is respected has been given the name data base sandbox.
– There are various types of sand boxes which might be chosen by different team members:
1. Development sand box: involves high iterative development.
2. Project integration sand box: involves project level testing.
3. Demo sand box and pre–production test/ quality assurance sand box: involves system and acceptance testing.

– A copy of data base is put in to each of the sand boxes.
– If you have chosen to work in the development sand box then your work will be to experiment with the functionality, implement the new ones, re-factor the existing ones to improve them, validate the changes you made via regression testing and then finally promote your work to the project integration sand box once you are happy with your work.
– The project integration sand box involves rebuilding the system that you passed to it and then once again all the tests are performed to make sure that nothing is broken.
– If something is found wrong that you have to go back to the development sand box.
– The basic advantage here is that the risk of technical errors is reduced by a great margin.
– In any of the following three conditions you will have to revert back to the development box:
a) Broken build
b) Bug reports
c) Software problem reports or SPRs
– Data base sand boxes ensure frequent and highly controlled deployment.
– During the deployment process you will face some situations in an iteration cycle when you will have to deploy your work to the level i.e., we mean the demo and pre – production testing and then run all the tests once again against the system to ensure that the changes made by you integrate well with the changes made by the other developers.
– This happens in like every six to twelve months of the production.

2. Now coming to the data base tests, there is nothing special about them.
– They are written just the way the other types of tests are written.
– Process of writing the data base tests involves 3 basic steps as stated below:
1. Setting up the test: Firstly, the data base is put in to a known state before the tests are run against it. Various strategies are available for doing so.
2. Running the test: The data base tests are run like any other application tests with the help of a data base regression testing tool.
3. Checking the results: For obtaining the current values in the data base it is required that you do the ‘table dumps’. The current values thus obtained can be compared against the expected values.

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