data dissociation in test environments

How to apply data dissociation in test environments?

If you are reading this article, you are probably wondering how technology can help you dissociate data for test environments.

Data disassociation or data masking allows the generation of test data that complies with GDPR or the General Data Protection Regulation. It transforms the original data into other data that may seem real, but is not.

For this reason, data decoupling not only helps to comply with legal regulations, it also helps to protect the sensitive information of the company and its customers. Effective data disassociation preserves the referential identity of the data so that it is consistent with the originals and is just as useful for testing software.

Shortly, they can be used for test environments and without worrying about the GDPR or potential cybersecurity breaches.

advantages of using dissociated  

Advantages of using dissociated data in software testing.

Masking the data makes it easier to protect it, especially if it is sensitive data such as credit card numbers, addresses or phone numbers. This data created, dissociated and realistic at the same time, can be shared with internal and/or external users.

This allows testing a lot faster and reduces waiting times in this test that, sometimes, generate real bottlenecks in projects. Besides, due to the similarity of the data, the resulting software after the execution of the tests is of higher quality and more adaptable to the business logic.

 software testing

How to approach a data dissociation project for software testing?

A process is followed for data dissociation. These would be the previous steps before tackling dissociation:

1- Request for documentation and establishment of meetings to monitor the project.

2- Creation of the Inventory of Sensitive Information.

3- Synchronization of the metamodel of the databases.

4- Execution and iterations of the Sensitive Data Map.

5- Configuration of the dissociable fields that have been identified in the previous step (through the Map).

And, after the 5th step, if the moment of dissociation comes, it contains the following stages:

6- First controlled executions of the dissociation in debugging mode and without persistence.

  1. Execution of the first complete dissociations in debugging mode.

8- Verification of the result of the executions of the previous step.

9- New executions of the dissociation process to be able to correct possible errors and attend, this way, the new requests of the client.

10- Go live and later configuration of the service.

In the steps explained above, testing and running in debug mode is essential in this process. What does this mean? That there will be mistakes. Surely the configuration will not be correct, or that it is necessary to modify the isolators in terms of their particular configuration. This means that it´s the moment when these failures need to be revised.

After correcting the previous bugs mentioned above, and seeing that the installation is stable, the full and persistent (database) executions can be started. After these, a result will be obtained that the client's development team will use frequently to identify new disassociation needs or incompatibilities with their systems.

Other requirements can be thoroughly analyzed in the development phase. An example of what to analyze is the limitations in the run-time window of the process. In order to solve this problem, the tables that produce the longest delay (the largest) are studied, seeing if their primary keys are correct or if the communication with the database could be more efficient and faster.

With all this, the keys are adjusted, the appropriate tables are partitioned, the connection parameters are modified or some other solutions that have had to be developed in the previous months are applied, and that have allowed to carry out dissociations with thousands of records in short and tight deadlines.

icaria TDM

How can I implement this process in my company?

Icaria´s TDM software allows automating the data dissociation process for software testing. The biggest advantages of this tool are:

  • Ability to cut waiting times in half.
  • Improved software quality: it can be tested faster and better.
  • Its power to adapt to your company's data regardless of its complexity.

If you want to reduce time and improve the quality of your tests, request a demo now with this link.