Selecting data based on availability

Data selection is the first step down the road of data-driven testing. You'll need to select the data that either drives the navigation of your application, represents the data that gets entered into your application, or both. One way to select data for testing is to select based on availability.

This could include:

  • Production data that's in an easy-to-access format

  • Data from past iterations

  • Spreadsheets used by manual testers for your project

  • Data from other projects or teams in your company

  • Data from some data generation source

The idea here is that if the data is easily accessible, as well as usable and meaningful, including this data in your testing can save time and money. I emphasize usability and meaningfulness because it's important that you don't select data just because it's there and ready to be used -- it may be bad data.