Fog Creek Software
Discussion Board

Data generation

I'm looking at a relatively short contract for doing some minor ERP integration work, and it's a bit out of my usual experience.

Is there an application for generating a whole pile of data that I can use for testing the database? There is about 15 tables, with standard customer/contact tracking, manufacturing, sales tracking, etc.

I'd like to just throw a few hundred customers in, with realistic phone numbers, etc., and have a little bit of customizability in regards to manufacturing and sales data.

Is there anything like that out there? I was sure there would be, but google isn't giving me much.


Thursday, March 11, 2004

I did something like that (in Access mind you)

I created a First Name, Last Name Middle names tables.

I then filled them in with fictious names.

Then I used a cartesian join to produce every combination and appended to another table  - for example it might have produced 10,000 combinations.

Then I created a simple function that randomly picked from the full sample data to produce a nice subset of test data that was inserted into the test system.

You could do the same with company names, addresses and phone numbers.


Thursday, March 11, 2004

Sounds like a good start.

I was hoping there would be a tool that would also allow specific distributions for the data, such as sales.

For example, I could throw in sales data where quantities and dates were distributed on a slight exponential curve. Probably not necessary for testing, but it would look good on sample reports that I'd be throwing together for the Client.

Thursday, March 11, 2004

Sounds like a market niche to me.

Thursday, March 11, 2004

I've done something similar in the past, but it was much more specific. You could specify a poisson distribution, or whatever your heart desired. As well, each text field had a length specifier and length distribution, so that you could specify 80 characters max for a last name, with a mean of 20 chars, for example.

In this case I was (or am) just so sure there was (is) something out there like this already.

Friday, March 12, 2004

You could take a look at at their Advanced Data Generator.

Friday, March 12, 2004

Thanks Greg.

Friday, March 12, 2004

Ron Porter
Friday, March 12, 2004

Andrew Hurst
Friday, March 12, 2004

*  Recent Topics

*  Fog Creek Home