How to Test Cloud Database Software

Database testing is done to check the integrity of a database by finding and fixing its vulnerabilities. Without this process, the system might become unstable. Some or all of the stored information in the Cloud database may be rendered useless or worse, might become accessible by unauthorized personnel.

Author: David Lees

The testing of Cloud databases mainly involves testable components that are hidden from users, which is why it’s also called ‘backend testing’. These items include database management systems (DBMS), SQL servers, and other internal processes. When conducting database testing, you need to verify elements such as database tables, server validation, and stored procedures.

Cloud database testing is much like traditional database testing. The main difference is that for the first one, you’ll be running the test on a cloud platform. Note that before you begin, be sure to conduct a review of the requirements and establish what role you have in the project. Our previous article ‘Best Practices Reviewing Requirements for Testability’ provided a sample scenario when testing a program on a new cloud platform. Another person or team may be tasked to handle the software setup, and you might be assigned to do the validation of the application. It’s vital to clarify these designations right from the start to avoid confusion and confirm accountability.

How to Test Cloud Database Software

Once that’s ironed out, it’s time to get on with the process, which involves the segments below:

Create or Migrate Database and Automate Procedures

Creating database instances can be done safely in a containerized Cloud  environment with software like Kubernetes, which is open-source. For instance, the software development portal DEV Community provides a step-by-step process in creating and deploying a MySQL database in Kubernetes. This can be achieved by making a series of YAML files. To handle complex automations, it’s necessary to use a Kubernetes Operator. MongoDB notes that it extends the Kubernetes API for configuring and managing database instances. It’s especially helpful for initial tasks like installation, backup, and recovery setup.

You can also migrate an existing database to your chosen cloud platform. Keep in mind, however, that it may take longer, especially if you’re dealing with multiple terabytes of data.

Perform Structural, Non-Functional, and Functional Testing

When your database is all set up, you may proceed with the three types of database testing.

1. Structural Testing

· Server Validation and Database Table testing

Verify database server configuration using the project’s defined business requirements as the basis. Also check permissions for user action as well as the number of user transactions allowed.

Verify the mapping of your database tables as well. Do the fields in the backend match those in the frontend? Does the naming logic meet business requirements? Are there unused database tables? Do the tables allow or restrict users to input data? These are some of the questions you need to answer during this step.

· Keys testing

Check if Primary and Foreign keys have been entered in the proper tables, along with the correct information and relationship. In a research paper from Blekinge Institute of Technology, the table below was generated in a database that was tested under a traditional setting as well as Windows Azure as the cloud platform. You can create something similar for your own test or use an online generator.

· Stored Procedures and Trigger testing

A tool such as LINQ may be used to validate Stored Procedures.

Inspect all Stored Procedures to see if the coding conforms to the correct convention and error handling is implemented. Check if the database follows the trim command when a user fetches data from the required table.

Also test the results when Stored Procedures are manually executed. Use these questions as a guide: Does the test application update the table fields accordingly? Is the required result delivered by the Stored Procedure to the user? Does it enable the required triggers?

For Triggers, inspect proper coding as well and if data is updated accordingly when one deploys.

2.Non-Functional Testing

· Load testing

Software Testing Magazine recommended some free load testing tools in another post, most of which are great options for this task. To successfully conduct load testing, you need to check: the overall impact of user transactions with the highest frequency; which transactions align the most with the system’s purposes; how editing and non-editing user transactions differ; and the response time of your database when there are a high number of users.

· Stress testing

Use a tool like Apache JMeter to simulate database overload. This will let you determine at which point your system breaks down.

3. Functional Testing

· Data consistency or white box testing

Check if your data is organized, properly allocated, and aligned with project specifications. Scan for non-essential data as well. When a user transaction is successfully executed, see if it’s carried out in line with project and design requirements. When it’s unsuccessfully executed, see if it gets rolled back and whether other database instances were affected.

· User verification or black box testing

Verify database response when a user inputs the correct username but incorrect password or; incorrect username but correct password or; incorrect username and password. Also check user permission roles and encryption data for all sensitive info. And most of all, evaluate the database protection measures against threats such as SQL injection attacks.

Conduct Final Test

A final QA test must be conducted to see if any errors appeared after doing the tasks above. Ensure that the database is intact when testing is finished.

About the Author

David Lees has worked in software design for the last 12 years. He is a NYC native who loves nothing more than waiting for the summer months to appear and making the most out of the beautiful city he lives in. Aside from writing about software development, David also has a keen eye for stock trading and identifying the latest great tech companies.