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How Database Testing Can Enhance The Quality Of Deliverables?

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A few weeks back, we introduced a blog on Regression testing, and how an Agile mindset can help us QA testers simplify the testing process. This time around, we will look at database testing, its advantages, and how it can maximize the quality of your deliverables. So, without further ado, let’s plunge into it!

Introduction

The database is one of the most important parts of any software application. As we all know, computer applications have become complex with each passing update, and the surfacing of new technologies like Android, Flutter, Kotlin, expression engine, etc.

It does not matter whether it is a web, desktop, mobile, healthcare, finance, retail, mailing application; a database always plays a vital role when it comes to performing any action behind the scene.

As the complexity of any application increases, the need for a stronger and secure database comes up. For the applications with a high frequency of transactions ( banking or finance application), the necessity of a fully-featured DB tool has emerged.

So it is really important to be able to validate databases effectively and properly to meet the requirement of secure and quality databases.

Database Testing – Is It Really That Important?

Is database testing important – you ask?

In one word – Absolutely!

Almost every application and website has a data access layer in which a developer can write codes to perform actions on the database and to modify the existing data. As we know, in this constantly changing world, there is a heavy demand for applications that are also subject to constant change. For example, re-engineering of business processes, modification of authorization rules, swapping of components with more accurate ones, or modifications to achieve better performance for an increasing number of users and data. The more complex an application becomes, the more frequently its configuration may need changes.

Database testing involves validation of values or retrieval of data by an application from the database to make sure that the recent data matches the data that is already there in the database or vice-versa. This testing is at the data access layer–the layer through which the application communicates with the database. It includes testing application database integrity testing and its data stores, such as stored procedures, transactions, schema, and triggers.

Advantages Of Database Testing

  • It facilitates the complete prevention of test coverage.
  • It allows you to discover issues or bugs easily and effectively in the initial phase of development.
  • Thorough database testing ensures that your product performs effortlessly.
  • It uses powerful management tools.
  • Concurrency read and write are available so you can use transactions.
  • Easy to use; you can use SQL language to perform actions like query and insert/update/delete.

What Components Need Testing?

Generally, a database consists of several tables with N number of relations between them. So the best way to test those various relations and verify the integrity of the database is to test the different components which are part of the database.

Transactions Transactions are a way of changing the data present in the database.  By testing different transactions, we can verify the ACID properties of the database.

  • A transaction can begin using BEGIN TRANSACTION #NO and ended using END TRANSACTION #NO.
  • We can test Data consistency with the help of ROLLBACK, while SELECT can retrieve the data.

Schema – You must test the schema of the database and check if it is in sync with the document of requirements provided to you.

  • The relationship between different tables (primary and foreign key constraints) and field constants ( Default/ unique value) should be verified.

Trigger When some data change occurs on a table, a trigger can automatically activate another transaction.

  • For example, when a user creates an account for a website, some benefits are provided to the user. On the database front, a trigger associates the newly acquired benefits for the new user’s account.
  • One way to verify the triggers is by executing the independent queries of the trigger and verify the outcome by executing the trigger as a whole.
  • Triggers can also be tested directly from the UI by, performing an action and querying the database and matching the expected outcome with the actual data which is existing in the database.

Stored Procedures Stored procedures are, in a way, another replacement of functions. To test stored procedures, list all the stored procedures ever used.

  • Execute all the stored procedures and then test all the database entries, after every execution, and make sure that you do it sequentially.
  • The sequential execution will help in breaking down a complex transaction into small crunches and also help in validating every small step.
  • We can trigger the stored procedure by performing different user actions and then verifying the outcome.

Database Testing Must Include The Following Processes

  1. Data Validity Testing: For this, testers must have intermediate knowledge of SQL queries.
  2. Data Integrity Testing: For this, testers must understand and be able to apply referential integrity and constraints.
  3. Performance Testing In Relation To The Database: For this, testers should have proper knowledge of the structure of the table and its design.
  4. Procedure Testing Functions Testing And Triggers Testing: For this, testers should have basic knowledge of the program and logic flow.

Now, we are going to list out some important elements that you must include in your database testing checklist.

  1. Data Mapping: Table mapping, column mapping, and Data type mapping, Lookup Data Mapping
  2. Four Properties Validation: The main 4 properties are known as ACID properties where it represents ‘Atomicity’, ‘Consistency’, ‘Isolation’, and ‘Durability’.
  3. Data Integrity: Data item appears only once, and the updated value is immediately available to all users.
  4. Backup & Recovery: Automatically create the backup of data and restore data-id required.
  5. Data Redundancy: Data item appears only once, and the updated value is immediately available to all users.

The general test process testing database is quite similar to the process to check any other application.

The following are the core steps:

Step #1) Prepare the environment for testing
Step #2) Run a test from the pre-written test cases
Step #3) Check the test result
Step #4) Validate that the actual result is according to the expected results
Step #5) Report the findings to the respective stakeholders

Conclusion

Through this blog, we have seen that database testing plays a crucial role in the development process because it provides extra input for a flawless product. It is essential to know the information and the process of database testing. In other words, it is useful in understanding database testing types. The benefits of the process are many, and it helps you to perform database testing on a timely basis.

FAQ

How can I test the database manually?

Each firm has its own procedure for testing the database. Testers have to check CRUD operations of data & check that in the backend. Create queries for insert, update and delete then execute that queries.

State the difference between data-driven testing & retesting?

In data-driven, the application is tested with multiple test data. The application is tested with a different set of values & retesting means checking bugs that are resolved by developers are fixed or not.

Explain test case writing for database testing.

It is the same as functional test case writing. You have to know the full functionality of the project. After that, you can decide the parameters for writing test cases. (e.g. Write down objectives, Input query & expected output) 

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