Data Subsetting and Database Subsetting with Grid-Tools Data Subset™ Solution

By: Grid-tools  11-11-2011
Keywords: Data Management, Data Manipulation, Test Data Management

What is database subsetting and what sort of techniques does Grid-Tools use to create subset databases? Database subsetting is the process of creating smaller, broken-down versions of production databases to use for testing and development. This technique helps to control data footprints and offers better manageability of production data for non-production environments.

Datamaker™ contains a powerful database subsetting tool called Data Subset™. The tool allows the user to define sets of tables to be extracted, add in their own relationships and define selection criteria. In short, the Grid-Tools subsetting solution offers the user the ability to choose what data they might require for their subset. Gone are the days of making direct copies of production databases.

Data Subset™ also uses native database utilities to migrate the data, allowing the user to incorporate the generated scripts into their existing test data management framework. This is an attractive proposition when considering the importance of keeping structural and referential integrity

Data Subset™ can also mask or de-identify your data as it is being extracted from production. The process allows the user to identify what columns need to be secured and what functions need to be applied to enable this security. In the case of key columns the function will be automatically applied to related columns across your data model. In addition, the user's existing data manipulation functions can be incorporated as part of secure data obfuscation process.

"Due to the sensitive nature of our solutions, testing procedures are necessarily rigorous, and this adds significantly to the overall application cost. Data Subset™ contributes directly to the quality and speed of delivery of the final product, achieving the valuable ‘double’ of reducing costs and improving our quality of service. The automatic documentation of database structures and relationships also reduced the effort involved in our documentation project."

Christine Green, Watson Wyatt

As part of the subset process you can apply data anonymization (data masking) functions to the extract, which include:

  • Randomisation
  • Seed table lookup
  • Key hashing
  • Fixed value replacement

The process allows the user to identify what columns need to be secured and what functions need to be applied to enable this security. In the case of key columns, the function will be automatically applied to related columns across the data model. In addition, the existing data manipulation functions can be incorporated as part of the secure data obfuscation process.

Use database subsetting techniques to create smaller versions of databases

As shown in the diagram above, Data Subset™ reduces data footprints and offers more manageable and secure copies of production databases.

Keywords: Data Management, Data Manipulation, Test Data Management

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