New: Test Data Management Solutions – User Reviews: Q1 2017

What are real users in the enterprise tech community saying about test data management solutions in 2017?

This week’s blog post looks at test data management reviews on IT Central Station from Q1 2017.

Users discuss which features they’ve found most valuable, and where they hope to see room for improvement in the following tools:

CA Test Data Manager

Wesley-Miller, an AVP Quality Assurance at GM Financial, writes:

Valuable Features

Test Data Manager allows you to do synthetic data generation. It gives you a high level of confidence in your data that you’re creating.

It also keeps you out of the SOX arena, because there’s no production data within that environment. The more that you can put in controls and keep your data clean, the better off you are.

There are some laws coming into effect in the next year or so that are going to really scrutinize production data being in the lower environments.”

Room for Improvement

“I think one thing we would like to see is how quickly it can be used like a SaaS product”, writes Braja Pradhan, Client Partner at a financial services firm with 1,000-5,000 employees.

Pradhan elaborates that “You can just plug in incoming data that we have from different sources; how quickly that can be integrated and how the test data can be generated. That quickness I think is something that can be improved.

If plugins can be developed very quickly, that will help companies like us, because we have hundreds of data sources.”

Informatica Test Data Management

Valuable Features

Anirudh Nitta, Senior ETL Developer at a financial services firm with 1,000 – 5,000 lists “Data Masking and creating subsets of data” as Informatica Test Data Management’s valuable features.

Nitta describes that “One of our banking clients didn’t want to give live business data to developers, as it had sensitive information. We had to mask the data using Informatica TDM and leverage its built-in algorithm of seed values.

We also had to create a subset of data that had to be given to different teams. For example, the sales team only needed sales information and didn’t require customer information such as Social Security Number. The team working on credit information needed the Social Security Number. So we created subsets of data for each team from the master data.”

Room for Improvement

Gaurav Veerman, Technology Lead at a tech services company with 1,000-5,000 employees, points out two areas with room for improvement:

  • Help file: more detailed steps must be added with illustrative screen images.
  • Administrator support documentation.

Veerman shares that “We did encounter stability issues. The service component on the Informatica PowerCenter server had unexpected outages, multiple times, at irregular intervals.

Although the PowerCenter host server was up and running, the product was not accessible/usable since the TDM service was down.”

IBM InfoSphere Optim

Valuable Features

SeniorTe925c, a Senior Test Analyst at a retailer with 1,000-5,000 employees, lists two of IBM InfoSphere Optim’s valuable features:

  • Data masking
  • Test data environment setup and management

He continues to explain that the solution “Makes it really easy to obfuscate big tables involving lots of columns and to manage 100’s of tables without putting in much effort.”

Room for Improvement

This Senior Test Analyst explains further that “The InfoSphere Optim products work their best when incorporated into a larger Test Data Management initiative rather than performing data masking alone. The process takes a longer time to run.”

Read more 2017 test data management reviews on IT Central Station.

New Test Data Management Reviews: Roundup from Our Users

In this week’s Review Roundup, IT Central Station users compare and contrast the top test data management solutions on the market. Which features are most valuable? Which areas could be improved?

Continue reading to learn their answers.

CA Test Data Manager

Valuable Features

Senior Test Manager Virginia Messina describes how CA Test Data Manager “allowed us to really revolutionize the way that we are doing our testing. We use Test Data Manager to create synthetic data for our testing purposes.”

Messina also describes having to do “data archeology” with a legacy application whose original developers were no longer in her company, and that “Test Data Manager has allowed us to do that, capture the model, and then create the data on demand, saving us a huge amount of time and money in the process.”  

“I think what really sets Test Data Manager apart from the other competitors” writes Rich Jordan, “is the kind of the added extras that you get with doing true test data management, so you’ve got things like the cubing concepts that are grid tools, or data maker, kind of really brings to bear within test data management team.”

“The most valuable feature of the product is its ability to generate and scrub test data” writes Partner6894, sharing that “You can use it to pull data down from production and remove the customer’s private data…reliable automation so that your automated tests can run over and over again without failing due to bad data.”

Room for Improvement

Wesley Miller would like to see “improvement in the ease of the rule use.” Miller explains that “sometimes it gets a little cumbersome setting up some of the rules. I’d like to be able to see a rule inside of a rule inside of a rule; kind of an iterative process.”

“If I was going to look at one thing that I am hoping they are going to improve on”, says SnrSpeci572907, “is its programmatic abilities. It’s great in terms of referential integrity across multiple systems, multiple tables” he explains, “but I do find a couple of limitations every now and then, because of trying to maintain that referential integrity; that I have to go in and try to manually make sure I want to break things.”

Informatica Test Data Management

Valuable Features

Dalia El Hajj lists four main features provided by Informatica Test Data Management:

  • Data discovery
  • Data subsetting
  • Data masking
  • Data generation

“All of the features are strong”, she writes, “however my favorite is data masking...it provides many built-in rules and rules that we can customize to mask all types of data. The masking engine is very strong.”

Jijesh Janardhanan agrees with El Hajj, naming data masking as “the most valuable features of this product.”

Janardhanan also explains that thanks to the data masking features, he was able to “mask PHI and PII information” in his data before sharing it with the testing teams and the teams outside his organization.

Room for Improvement

Dalia El Hajj adds that “data discovery and the built-in policy packs are very simple; they need stronger ones.”

Jijesh Janardhanan also comments that “if there were some methods to mask data in the cloud, then that would be good.”

IBM InfoSphere Optim

Valuable Features

For SeniorTe925c, IBM InfoSphere Optim’s data masking and “test data environment setup and management” features are most valuable. SeniorTe925c explains that these features made it “really easy to obfuscate big tables involving lots of columns and to manage 100’s of tables without putting in much effort.”

Room for Improvement

However, SeniorTe925c also points out that rather than performing data masking alone, IBM InfoSphere Optim products “work their best when incorporated into a larger Test Data Management initiative” causing the process to take a longer time to run.

Read our full collection of test data management reviews.