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The Voice of the DBA

Steve Jones is the editor of SQLServerCentral.com and visits a wide variety of data related topics in his daily editorial. Steve has spent years working as a DBA and general purpose Windows administrator, primarily working with SQL Server since it was ported from Sybase in 1990. You can follow Steve on Twitter at twitter.com/way0utwest

The Foundry–Data Masking Research

For most of the time I’ve been working for Redgate, we’ve had some sort of R&D group that tries out new ideas. Over the years we’ve done this in a few ways, evolving things over time. I had the chance recently to meet with The Foundry, which is formally investigating ideas for feasibility, interest, and general knowledge. Not all their ideas will move forward to actual pieces (or parts) of software, but it was interesting to meet with them.

One of the areas they’re investigating is data masking, which is a much larger topic than you might think. I got the chance to review some of their research areas and thought a few of you might be interested in helping research and giving your thoughts.

Data Masking Demos

In looking at data masking, the group spent some time getting feedback from individuals, trying to understand the challenges and possible solutions, and then build some interactive demos. These aren’t really software, but they are a bit more than wireframes. you can see all the demos in the Data Masking Demo section of their site.

Each of the items deals with a different aspect of data masking. The demos aren’t completely intuitive, which is both interesting and frustrating. It’s good that there is some open-ended-ness that gets me to think. Hard that I don’t always quite get the intention. I had the luxury of getting some time where someone would sit down and explain a scenario, but I’d be curious what some of you think.

If you have a few minutes and want to play with potential areas of data masking research, try a demo and give some feedback. I particularly think the Manage Test Cases and Realistic Generation demos are things I’d like to see engineered, particularly together. I would really like the idea of some production-like data and some real test cases being moved into good, not-production, data sets that I can use for development and testing. I’ve given some feedback, but I’ll play more and leave notes here, and at foundry@red-gate.com .

If you have a few minutes, maybe you want to do the same.


Filed under: Blog Tagged: Foundry, Redgate, syndicated

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