Printed 2017/08/20 02:16AM

Red Gate's SQL Data Generator


I'm reading SQL Server MVP John Magnabosco's new e-book, Protecting SQL Server Data, and he includes a database schema to be able to use his examples. The schema doesn't include data and in the instructions he makes reference to Red Gate's SQL Data Generator. To this point I have had SQL Data Generator installed as part of the Toolbelt, but I had used it. After a quick run through, I'm pleasantly surprised. In cases where it can clearly identify the fields, it generates very realistic data, like so:

However, if it can't identify the data, it can come up with some very interesting results, such as the number of years a borrower has owned the residence:

The good news, however, is that you have the ability to determine how the data is generated. The column to the left of Own_Years is Rent_Years and if you notice, the numbers look fine. That's because I've modified the data generation to only allow values from 0 to 10 years:

For text fields, you can build Regular Expressions to generate the data, if the generators (rules to build data based on the type of information that is needed) provided aren't sufficient.

All in all, I was able to generate working data in a matter of minutes, and it was relatively painless to do. I'll have to play with the tool a bit more in the near future, but I'm impressed with how easy it was to build something that looked fairly realistic and at the initial intelligence to determine what type of generator should be used.


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