Time to migrate from your legacy test data (TDM) tools? Here’s how

Time to migrate from your legacy test data (TDM) tools? Here’s how.

If you’re reading this, you’re probably already painfully familiar with the complaints that Curiosity hear from organisations seeking alternatives to legacy test data management (TDM) tooling. They include:

  1. Feeling locked in by unsustainable licensing and concerns about upcoming renewal costs.

The good news is you can move quickly from legacy TDM tools to a modern solution, capable of delivering complete and compliant data at the speed of parallel development, automated testing and CI/CD.

This article sets out how you can migrate to Test Data Automation, leveraging existing configurations and files as much as possible to avoid downtime and rework.

If you want to learn more about migrating to Test Data Automation, download Curiosity’s migration playbook for a comparison to legacy TDM tools, the migration plan, and example ROI metrics.

If you know that it’s time to migrate to Test Data Automation, book a meeting with a Curiosity expert to start planning your migration.

Looking for an alternative to legacy TEST DATA tooling?

Test Data Automation offers you a complete and cutting-edge test data toolset, built on our team’s 25+ year history of test data innovation.

Re-entering the market in 2017, Curiosity have been able to leverage modern technologies and decades-long expertise to build a scalable and extendable solution, designed for parallelized development, test automation, and CI/CD.

Test Data Automation automatically finds, makes and anonymizes the data needed in testing and development, serving it on-the-fly to testers, developers, and automation frameworks. Wide-reaching utilities include synthetic data generation, masking, and subsetting, alongside data virtualisation, orchestration, cloning, and allocation. These integrated tools are all easily reusable from a central catalogue, and can be triggered on-the-fly by automation frameworks, CI/CD pipelines, and parallel teams working in on demand environments:

Jobs configured in Test Data Automation are all reusable on demand from a central catalogue.

Jobs configured in Test Data Automation are all reusable on demand from a central catalogue.

If you would like to understand why Curiosity believe that Test Data Automation offers you such a valuable and viable alternative, check out our comparison of Test Data Automation to legacy TDM tooling.

Migrating to Test Data Automation

Test Data Automation comes with a tailor-made migration plan for moving you from legacy tools. This has been designed to move you quickly to Test Data Automation, importing existing files and definitions wherever possible to avoid downtime and rework:

The migration plan is designed to shorten time-to-value, avoid disruption, and leverage your teams’ previous data engineering efforts. Wherever possible, we will import existing configurations, rules and workflows to move you quickly to Test Data Automation, working through a two-phase migration:

1. Phase One: Recreating your test data jobs in Test Data Automation

The migration will start by recreating your existing test data jobs in Test Data Automation. Wherever possible, our support team will use existing technical artifacts and automation to repurpose your existing TDM jobs, enabling a rapid and (almost) like-for-like replacement:

Export automated workflows to VIP

Where test data jobs have been defined in workflow automation tools, Curiosity will aim to import the flows directly to our own workflow engine.

VIP flows define the utilities and automated processes that make up Test Data Automation.

Importing workflows to VIP in turn offers a rapid migration from existing TDM tools to Test Data Automation.

Import configuration files and seed tables to Test Data Automation

For masking, subsetting and test data lookups, Curiosity’s experts will aim to import existing configuration files and seed tables. This populates new configuration files in Test Data Automation, containing the data structures and rules associated with each job.

Depending on the complexity of the job and the TDM tool used, we estimate that this can require as little as 2 hours per job.

Map test data generation functions

For synthetic data generation, Curiosity’s services team will first investigate the data generation functions you use today, mapping them to data generation functions in Test Data Automation.

Configuration files in Test Data Automation are created using an extensive set of combinable generation functions and intuitive, web-based forms.

Configuration files in Test Data Automation are created using an extensive set of combinable generation functions and intuitive, web-based forms.

A new configuration file will leverage Test Data Automation’s extensive and extendable functions. Where needed, our consultants will adjust the name and syntax of previously used functions. Again, we estimate that as little as 2 hours might be required to recreate each job, depending on the complexity and tool used.

2. Phase Two: Integrating Test Data Automation into your ecosystem

Phase 2 of the migration will integrate your newly-created test data jobs into your DevOps toolchains.

This will leverage Test Data Automation’s range of interfaces and connectors to enable flexible and comprehensive connectivity. These interfaces include using Curiosity’s extendable and automated workflow engine, VIP, alongside APIs, command scripts, and CI/CD tooling. To integrate with different technologies in the most effective way possible, Test Data Automation can further input data via application front-ends and files.

By the end of Phase 2, parallel testers and developers will be able to trigger reusable test data jobs from self-service forms, while automated tests and environment provisioning will likewise be capable of triggering the parameterizable jobs on-the-fly. This ensures that parallel team and tests enjoy the data they need, exactly when and where they need it.

3. Phase Three: Expand your test data capabilities

Having migrated and integrated your test data jobs, you can begin expanding your test data capabilities. This includes using the range of utilities and supported data types offered by Test Data Automation, with a view to maximising the ROI of your test data tools and techniques. For example ROI metrics, check out Curiosity’s playbook on migrating from legacy TDM tooling to Test Data Automation.

A tailor-made migration plan will move you quickly to a modern and automated test data toolset.

A tailor-made migration plan will move you quickly to a modern and automated test data toolset.

Your trusted partners in test data

By migrating to Test Data Automation, you will not only be adopting a modern test data toolset with cutting-edge capabilities; you will also be partnering with veteran test data inventors who will support you during your planning, implementation, and beyond.

Curiosity’s team have been test data pioneers since at least 1995, when our Managing Director and CFO co-founded their first of four start-ups specializing in testing and data. This rich history includes founding test data specialists Grid-Tools in 2004. In 2015, Grid-Tools was acquired by CA Technologies (now part of Broadcom), and its technologies became CA/Broadcom TDM and Broadcom Agile Requirements Designer. Most of the Curiosity team were part of the Grid-Tools team, and/or worked together at CA Technologies [1].

To organisations seeking new approaches in test data, Curiosity offer a rare combination of test data project experience, technological expertise, and a record of innovation. We further partner closely with customers, collaborating to solve your hardest problems in testing and development. Neither you nor our software will be left “on the shelf”.

What are you waiting for?

Having understood the migration plan to Test Data Automation, the quickest way to continue your migration is by talking to us. From a short, introductory meeting, we typically set-up a test data workshop, during which our experts will analyse your current test data capabilities and needs. They will then work with you to propose an alternative solution that is best tailored to you.

If you would first like to learn more about Test Data Automation, download our migration playbook for a comparison to legacy TDM tools, the migration plan, and example ROI metrics.

About the author: Thomas Pryce is the Communications Manager at Curiosity. He has been with Curiosity since 2018, where he enjoys researching and advising on test data, test automation, and SDLC transformations.

References:

[1] As of 01/11/2022, around half (47%) of the Curiosity team worked together at Grid-Tools, while 57% worked together at Grid-Tools and/or CA Technologies.

Originally published at https://www.curiositysoftware.ie.

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