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What is Data Composer™?

Data Composer™ is an application test data generation tool especially designed and developed for the CA Gen developer. It is a companion development tool for CA Gen. Developers using Data Composer™ can extend the benefits of model driven development to testing. Data Composer™ is the component for TurboData that interfaces directly with CA Gen models.

Data Composer™ can generate high quality, high volume test data directly from the CA Gen model with 100% correct referential integrity. It automatically resolves foreign keys, uses CA Gen permitted values or custom column value overrides.

Data Composer™ generates test data based on the CA Gen model ERD. It can generate syntactically correct standard ANSI SQL for various databases and delimited text files. The following database are supported:

  • DB2
  • Microsoft Jet
  • MS/SQL Server
  • NonStop SQL
  • Oracle
  • Sybase

Data Composer™ also interfaces with Report Composer, and Test Composer, the leading third party CA Gen products also provided by Canam Software.

TurboData consists of various components, including a test data generator, data viewer, data editor, and an SQL Builder. Turbo Data can also be used to create test data for non-CA Gen databases.


How Does it Work?

TurboData either obtains the database schema definition directly from the source database, or the database schema may be entered manually into TurboData. CA Gen users can use the optional Data Composer™ component to read the database definition from the CA Gen model. The information in the database schema such as data type, length, and foreign key details are used to create suites of test data.

How does this differ from other Test Data creation methods?

There are various other different ways to create test data:

  • Manually creating SQL test scripts or files to be loaded into the database
  • Entering data via online transactions
  • Writing batch programs to create high volumes of data

These methods are all time consuming, difficult to maintain and very error prone. Mistakes are commonly made with the referential integrity. Errors in the test data often manifest themselves as program bugs, resulting in lost time by developers looking for bugs in action diagrams, when the errors are actually in the test data.

Step 1: Access the CA Gen ERD and database objects

Data Composer™ accesses the CA Gen model directly to "learn" the rules of the ERD. There are various advantages of using Data Composer™ component of Turbo Data to read in the database definition directly from the CA Gen model.

  • Referential integrity defined in CA Gen that is not on the physical database is applied to generated test data.
  • CA Gen entity names are displayed in TurboData with the physical table names.
  • CA Gen attribute names are displayed in TurboData with the physical column names.
  • Permitted Values are read in from CA Gen, and stored in TurboData as generic values. These values are automatically associated
    to the appropriate column. The values may be used randomly or in ascending or descending sequence when generating test data.

Step 2: Define optional data generation rules (override values, range, frequency, user defined foreign keys etc.):

Once the Data Composer™ component has retrieved vital information about the data model then developers can use Turbo Data to provide new or override old data values for columns, to create user defined foreign keys or to specify the range of unique keys for data generation. You can easily generate parent-child or more complex dependent data!

Step 3: Generate your test data

Now test data generation can commence by the click of a button! You can generate tens of thousands, even millions of rows of test data easily!

The generated test data can be loaded into the database by executing the generated SQL via the appropriate native database SQL execution tool, or loaded by a database load facility. Delimited files can be used directly as desired.


What Are the Benefits of Using Data Composer™?

  • Extend the model driven application development paradigm benefits to testing with automated test data generation.
  • Generate test data either "quick-n-dirty" for unit testing or with complete value, range and pattern control for more complex tests.
  • Reduce development time by eliminating data related error and the related debuging process..
  • Outperform other test data creation solutions with high-performance, repeatable test data generation moving your organization closer to SCI CMM.
  • Deliver projects faster, lower costs and higher quality.
  • Use your CA Gen data model, database schema as your source or define your own schema.
  • Automatic foreign key resolution for both schema based and user defined foreign key values.
  • Vendor with CA Gen and relational database expertise for outstanding support.
  • Portability
  • Single tool and skillset across all platforms.
  • Also use Data Composer™ Turbo Data for non-CA Gen platforms.