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Database Testing

Database testing is a layered process

It consists of 4 layers: A)User Interface, B)Business layer, C)Data access layer, D)Database archive.

We can target our testing on specific layer or do black box testing on all layers according to user expectancy of the data flow.

Many system and web softwares access databases from different back-ends. Testing productivity process is very difficult for client-server databases or web-based databases.

Data access layer is the only layer that deals with the database directly. The UI layer deals with the user, and the business layer verifies that the business rules and strategies are kept. And therefore, most of the database testing effort is on the data access layer.


The points why we need database testing are as follows:

1.       Data is very important from business point of view. Most of the big companies such as Google, Symantec who deal with storage of databases should have durable and consistent databases. If the database operations such as insert, delete, update are performed without testing the database for its consistency, then the entire database may crash.

2.       There are companies that have different types of database for different goals and mission. So, testing is necessary in order to verify that the system will work in order to achieve those targets and missions.

3.       Testing to verify that the process was not slowed down, with the new layer of development.

4.       Application with few databases has more risk of communication and synchronization problems, and therefore testing is needed.

5.       Database was upgraded. Data integrity must be verified.

           We can divide all testing types into 2 categories: Black box testing and White box testing.

Black box testing  involves testing interfaces, integration of the databases, which includes:

·         Mapping of data including meta data

·         Verifiying incoming data from data load.

·         Verifiying out going data from queried function.

Various techniques such as Cause effect graphing technique, Equivalence partitioning and boundary value analysis are used. With the help of these techniques,we can independently test the functionality of the database.

White box Testing mainly deals with the internal structure of the database. The specification details are hidden from the user.

It involves:

·         Testing the database triggers, logical views which are going to support database refactoring.

·         Performing module testing of our database functions,triggers,views, SQL queries etc.

·         Validating the database tables,data models,database schema etc.

·         Verify Rules of Referential integrity

·         Test database consistency

The techniques used in white box testing are Condition coverage, Decision coverage, Statement coverage, Cyclomatic complexity.

While generating the test cases for database testing, the semantic of SQL statement needs to be included in resulting test cases. For that purpose, a technique called White box database application technique (WHODATE) is used. SQL statements are independently converted into GPL statements, followed by traditional white box testing to generate test cases which include SQL semantics.




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