With automation becoming more and more prevalent within IT today, the importance placed on data becomes paramount. The days of hand crafting data are slowly fading, data creation is now carried out through the use of automated scripts. The creation process can be setup in different ways, one being to create a new dataset from scratch each day. With the other taking a pre-existing dataset and simply updating key values to ensure no duplicate data exists and dates have been changed. Each have their own benefits, but the second option of updating a pre-existing dataset is usually the faster and less resource intensive. The phrase golden source is often used to describe this pre-existing dataset. Golden source data is built up over time and contains the data needed to run regression scenarios.
Golden source and automation go together hand in hand due to the way automation functions. A script is created to directly mimic the actions taken by a manual tester, usually a regression scenario. Having a golden source in place allows the dataset to be fully mapped to a large number of regression scenarios within an automated test pack. The benefit to the manual tester is felt immediately, manually updating datasets and running regression packs are gone. This allows testers to focus on new changes in more detail, potentially finding more defects, driving further confidence from key stakeholders in testing as a whole.
Having this standardised dataset in place means a wide range of templates are available when faced with new change. A clever design in regards to automation would allow for these templates to be updated as the new data spec arises, further increasing productivity and ease of data creation. When planning for any test delivery, focus on ways an automation framework backed by a golden source data model can be utilised. This can drive out inconsistencies in the data itself while in turn negating the possible man-made errors that can be frustrating during a testing window. The beauty of having the test team involved in the end-to-end process allows for first-hand experience, debugging and using an automation framework. This usually sparks a multitude of questions on what can and can’t be automated. Many of our clients use large amounts of XML & JSON files, these need to be manufactured daily. What was a full day is now complete in under an hour, with the only manual process being the click of a button.
At Stellar Omada we are big promoters of automation and have seen its benefits to testing first hand. The creation of a golden source and subsequent use through an automation framework has allowed us to reduce testing staff by almost half in any test team we run, without the risk of harming the testing output. This benefits not only ourselves but our clients. Stellar Omada is committed to optimising and streamlining its golden source and automation creation processes to keep up with the growing demand for automated testing within the technology sector.