The Importance of Data in Functional Testing

[article]
Summary:

A system is programmed by its data. Functional testing can suffer if data is poor, and good data can help improve functional testing. Good test data can be structured to improve understanding and testability. Its contents, correctly chosen, can reduce maintenance effort and allow flexibility. Preparation of the data can help to focus the business where requirements are vague.

A system is programmed by its data. Functional testing can suffer if data is poor, and good data can help improve functional testing. Good test data can be structured to improve understanding and testability. Its contents, correctly chosen, can reduce maintenance effort and allow flexibility. Preparation of the data can help to focus the business where requirements are vague.

About the author

James Lyndsay's picture James Lyndsay

James Lyndsay is an independent Test Strategist, based in London. He's spent well over ten years in software testing, and has been the principal consultant at Workroom Productions since its formation in 1994. As a consultant, he's worked in a variety of businesses and project styles; from retail to telecommunications, from rapidly-evolving internet start-ups to more traditional large-scale enterprise. He's worked to technical requirements for companies that make and sell software, to commercial requirements for companies that buy and use software, and to unexpected requirements everywhere. Aside from consulting work, James works with testtoolevaluation.com to independently evaluate test tools, runs a mentoring scheme for test managers, and continues to be an internal irritant to ISEB/ISTQB. James is becoming a regular speaker at international test conferences, delivering keynote talks at STAREAST and AsiaSTAR in 2003. He received "Best Paper" at STARWEST 2002 and at EuroSTAR 2002 for Adventures in Session-Based Testing. See www.workroom-productions.com for more details. James is also a director of The Manual, a not-for-profit organization whose aim is to gather and publish basic skills.

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