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I would like to understand Data Validation for Automation in case of (Weekly/ Frequent Builds)

  • In case of frequent code changes (Weekly builds) since the code base would change frequently Automation need to be updated with the recent DB Developer query ?, Do we do automate data validation for such short cycles or is it verified manually ?
  • Do we write custom DB Queries for validation ?, Since it is frequent build releases does queries get updated with every build. How was the experience in maintaining the automation suite with frequent changes.
  • I would like to understand to formulate a better strategy for my automation plan
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Are you changing the database tables every week as well? Otherwise, I don't see the need for a new query. –  Lyndon Vrooman Jan 12 '12 at 4:05
    
The filters, conditions might get changed weekly basis. Major schema changes once in a quarter you can expect. –  Siva Jan 12 '12 at 6:42
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2 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Siva,

If your database structure is changing this often, I'd be cautious about automating validation until the structure stabilizes.

Typically, early in a development process, the database structures will change frequently (sometimes daily with a large application undergoing rapid development with multiple development projects). During this period, it doesn't make sense to automate the areas changing frequently because you'll drive yourself insane trying to get all the rework completed.

Where data structures are stable, automation serves to verify that the changes haven't had a negative impact on existing structures. Similarly, as long as you've got a known set of stable data, automation acts as your regression validation regardless of the queries you're using. If the data that you're validating is changing frequently, you don't want to validate via automation until it stabilizes.

I'd say as a thumbnail measurement that if maintaining automation to handle changes takes more than an hour out of your day, it's probably something that's not stable enough for automation, and taking your focus away from the core of verifying that the application is doing the correct things (Caveat: if there's a lot of development happening around something that was previously stable, you could easily get spikes of large amounts of maintenance to update for that particular upgraded feature. This shouldn't affect more than that one feature).

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Great comment Kate. When I first read "dB structure changing every quarter" I thought either this team needs some better up-front planning, or it would likely be some wasted cycles trying to hit a moving target and he would likely spend more time maintaining the automation than any perceived value he got from it. –  Bj Rollison Jan 12 '12 at 21:33
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it's a little of topic, but theres a tool i'd like to recommend to version database-changes: http://www.liquibase.org/

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Could you elaborate on this? I'm all for learning new tools but perhaps you could add about how it assists in solving OPs problem. –  corsiKa Jan 17 '12 at 22:20
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