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A regression of the art of database development


A regression of the art of database development

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Phil Factor
Phil Factor
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Comments posted to this topic are about the item A regression of the art of database development


Best wishes,

Phil Factor
Simple Talk
SLong
SLong
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It's great to see that I'm not completely crazy. I mentioned building a test harness to my area a few years ago and I was laughed at! Every person on my team asked me "why would we want to do that?" "That's a waste of time!" Now, we struggle to get anything tested properly, test scripts are too high-level and as a developer, I've had to resort to validate test results from testers to ensure that quirks weren't dismissed as "features." Yes, to a test harness! Also, it doesn't take expensive software to test code. Experience, knowledge and creativity should be able to get most to the point of coming up with a solid way to test code/apps. And yes, nothing new about all this. I definitely feel that having a test plan in mind/on paper when stuff is being coded is a great idea. This can actually help to keep stuff getting too far off of spec since you will know up front how to test your destination and with that in mind, you most likely will know as you are coding if what you are doing anything that will cause you to miss your mark ( go off spec).
Andy Warren
Andy Warren
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I can understand some mild frustation over the newness of unit testing! But...practically and pragmatically, maybe now is the time to join in the shouting to see if we can tip it over to mainstream status.

Andy
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bwillsie-842793
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Having recently received my fourth version of non-working customized code from a vendor I was beginning to believe that all testing was considered too "old school" to even waste time thinking about it.

Glad to hear a voice of sanity still exists in the wilderness!
george sibbald
george sibbald
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definitely agree that in the good old mainframe days unit testing was a de rigueur phase of the development cycle.

In these days of rapid development, time to market and dare I say it outsourcing code development, it no longer seems to be drilled into developers (not trying to tar all with the same brush here). This may be due to unrealistic time pressures applied.

I have seen cases of 'the contract says deliver the code, well here it is, box ticked, wheres my money?'

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David Fulton-420388
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The article mentions "client-based test harnesses that can simulate real usage". Does anyone have any recommendations for information on developing client-based testing methods? Maybe something automated?

This is something that I am being tasked with, and I would like to see if I can improve on my methodology.

Thanks!

Dave Fulton
PocketJoshua
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It is phooey that testing is new to database developers.

There is a bit of envy to be had from some of the testing frameworks for the OOP world. However, it is really important to realize that database developers face different challenges. Testing a deterministic scalar UDF is a piece of cake not even really needing a test harness. Although there are a test harnes does allow for automation and should net be ignored. However, testing a stored procedure with set based inputs and artifacts is a bit more complicated. I'm open to suggestions on real sample data and ddl management techniques for database developers. This is a conversation worth spending some time on. Taking testing techniques up to new levels of quality and simplicity is a worthy goal.

Some colleagues from the Philadelphia SQL Server Users Group, PSSUG, put together a solution that is worth looking at.

http://www.sqlity.net/sqlity/articles/tSQLtTutorial

{boy are they going to be surprised at the traffic}

It was interesting to discuss the various solutions and techniques for implementing a TDD solution in SQL server. For Example, to use transactions and roll backs vs automated stubbing of data structures.



Phillip - Texas
Phillip - Texas
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Being a self-started programmer that eventually took 3rd party training and college courses, I don't recall ever being shown how to write a test, or that one should be written first.

I don't see any integration of TDD within the training materials/books for programming. Maybe there is a chapter in a book, or a whole book on the subject, but that's my point, it's compartmentalized.

Somewhere in the fundamentals of learning to program in any language, that's where you should put the teaching that you start with the test, and every example in the book should set the example.

Even "Hello World."
Nadrek
Nadrek
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Always test with a complete, full [size] dataset.

As far as highly complex test setups, the best way is something like a VMWare snapshot that includes the contents of RAM; that way, the starting point is exactly the same. Less good is a full set of database backups restored each time just before a reboot, less good is the backups restored and SQL Server restarted, less good is the backups restored and the cache cleared, and so on and so forth as the starting point of each test has more and more differences system-wide from the point before.

Good testing has been around a long time, and has been continuously adhered to in some areas... but for general programming, in a database or not, it's something that is rarely properly taught until you reach an organization that's been burned, or has people that have been burned.
OCTom
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Where do agile development practices put the testing? Agile development is supposed to produce results on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Where does testing fit in? With each iteration? At some milestone? I've been at some agile seminars and no one ever mentions testing.
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