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Database testing: why and how to perform unit testing

Database testing is a crucial part of the software development process. Unit and schema testing is a must when we talk about database testing, and stress-testing is also vital. But how to understand what kind of tests you have to perform on your database and which ones you can omit? Let’s see more closely why we cannot miss unit testing while performing database testing and how you can do the unit testing on databases.

Types of database testing

Data integrity and consistency is the key to any database testing. The QA engineers must test each component of a given application to ensure data integrity is upheld in all aspects: from server-side tasks like storing sensitive information on disk or networked storage devices to client-side interactions with databases.

An essential concept in any software development and quality assurance revolves around making sure what’s being developed works as expected for the end-user. There are various ways you can reveal bugs when testing databases, and these types of database testing can help you with that:

  1. Structural testing;
  2. White and black box testing (functional testing);
  3. Non-functional testing;

We can’t omit the importance of unit testing of the SQL databases, and here is how.

How to perform database testing?

The database testing process is similar to other types of software testing that need a thorough examination. Database testers use different tools and techniques depending on the nature of each application, query, or network connection they are examining to find any vulnerabilities. Regardless, some basic steps remain constant during every test.

How to perform unit testing for databases?

QA engineers control views, triggers in the database testing, and they can create a blank instance of the database to get started with minimal building blocks. Let’s see how testers can perform unit testing on databases:

  1. The first step in the process is to create a blank database instance. You can start modifying items and adding new ones until it has everything necessary for your test;
  2. It would be best if we could automate testing procedures to ensure that the database is in a known state before every test run and verify its current condition after each one;
  3. You can also look for problems like missing references that can happen due to accidentally removing or renaming objects, which is often the result of a failed database update;
  4. A test should be conducted to ensure that the database is restored when finished with testing.
  5. Now databases differ significantly from application code — they require heightened precision. They must be tested periodically to avoid breaches of data integrity etc.

Properties of unit database testing

  1. Unit tests can be automated, and you can script a set of database operations with the same ease as executing code;
  2. Unit tests are great for testing individual triggers, views, and sprocs. You can test the behavior of each one to make sure that it works just as you want it to;
  3. Unit tests are a fantastic way to create an executable representation of your database testing operations so that you can quickly test and validate new code before rolling it out;
  4. Unit tests can produce consistent results. You will have a clear understanding of what outputs can be expected if everything goes according to plan if every input is mapped as part of the test;
  5. Unit tests should be independent of one another. You will have to manage some setup and teardown, but the test should not have any relationship with other unit tests;
  6. Database testing is a valuable practice that many businesses overlook while implementing this strategy can prevent your database from becoming another black hole of data integrity vulnerabilities and crippling errors.

Database testing tools

There are many test management and test automation tools that can be helpful while performing unit testing for SQL databases. Let’s take a look at the most efficient ones.

Aqua is among the top database testing tools that are essential for professional software quality assurance, including unit test performance for databases. The solution has integrations with Jira and many other tools such as Selenium, Oracle, and the ones we will mention further in the article. Stored procedures features are also included, so you can not worry about the security of the data you store with aqua.

Aqua is an easy way for teams with multiple projects to keep tabs on buggy products and ensure that problems are taken care of swiftly. Aqua offers everything from simple bug tracking SaaS to complex on-premise ALM.
Aqua’s user interface is a friendly one, which makes a tool even more convenient to work with, and the on-premises license is suitable both for banking and insurance niches.

Data Factory
​​Data Factory is an innovative software that offers a user-friendly interface in QA. The tool can easily handle working with big data, so it’s not the best option for small projects, and it requires more time to upload files than other service providers.

Mockup Data
Mockup Data is among the proper database testing tools because it provides automated functionalities to users, which allow them to get better results. The user-friendly UI of the instrument made it one of the most popular in the market.
The tool’s benefits are: easy to access, multiple output formats available for different needs, and automation techniques used in the process give a better result than manual work.

DTM Data Test Generator
DTM Data Test Generator is a commercial tool that businesses and other users can use in their database testing. That’s because it is easy to input schema testing objects and data rows to generate tests.
It is a testing tool that supports high-level load testing and unit tests. It can be used effectively by commercial entities and individuals. Still, it’s not the best option for individual testers needing on-demand service to help with specific needs due to its multiline entry form factor.

MS SQL Server
MS SQL Server is one of the best options for performing unit testing. It not only provides expected results for VB and C# projects but also has a number of crucial integrations to help testers manage their work. Testers should check out all of MS SQL’s schemas before using them to ensure they’re getting everything their project needs.

MS SQL Server has some great features and options, making it an obvious choice for unit testing. However, before using Server, testers must learn about its schemas to ensure what they are looking at when using this tool. It also has a stored procedures feature!

SQL Test
SQL Test is a tool designed to help testers save money. This open-source application can be used for both big and small projects because of its versatility.
One of the most potent benefits to MySQL is quickly generating results for an extensive SQL server database. Many QA engineers work with this tool because they know that their data will be safe and sound.

Oracle SQL Developer
Oracle SQL Developer is a popular tool that has been in use for years. Testers prefer working with it because they can use the same commands as an in-house database testing administrator. The best part about this program? You can enjoy the feature of stored procedures to finish testing quickly.

It is an efficient tool for managing your database testing. It can be used on any platform and offers a powerful IDE to make coding easier. The interface includes many components that you may find helpful in generating reports or analyzing data from within the program itself. Oracle SQL Developer supports cross-platform operations, so it’s perfect if you need access outside your office network.

Tips on database testing

  1. Start your testing process with an organized and well-thought-out plan to avoid last-minute chaos. Be sure you map all of the requirements before moving on from this step so that there are no surprises in store later down the line when it’s time for deployment, release, or troubleshooting;

  2. The first step in creating test scenarios is to develop proper data sets based on the requirements;

  3. You may need to test various aspects of your application. However, you should make sure that the data is accurate and manageable on a database testing before proceeding with any testing;

  4. Systems like databases are complex and have a wide range of functions that can affect performance. You’ll need to focus on response time as it can help estimate the performance of your database;

  5. Security testing for database testing can be done by designing tests that mimic unauthorized access. It will show if you can view, modify or delete restricted data in the future;

  6. Try creating invalid test case sets to check database constraints and update them in your database. It’s a great way of understanding how the system will behave when it encounters such conditions;

  7. Try keeping things as basic and concise as possible when writing queries for database testing tools like Aqua or Oracle;

  8. It’s vital to get feedback from other people when it comes to writing queries. We all have blind spots, and sometimes someone else reviewing your code will find something you missed that can help make the query better or more efficient.

Wrap up

Suppose you’re one of the many who have been wary about database unit testing. It’s time to rethink that stance. The process can be complicated at first, but as long as your framework and tools are in place for this type of work, there is no reason not to begin now.

By taking these steps and incorporating a more rigorous approach to quality assurance, like implementing database testing tools into your QA workflow, you will see an increase in QA efficiency while reducing any potential risk from bugs or data integrity breaches. Are you ready to start?

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