The custom Value Libraries in test data generators by DTM soft

The value library is a set of well know values: countries, cities, currencies, etc. At the moment, the standard value library contains 26 datasets. The value library is included in all test data generation tools by DTM soft: end user tools (DTM Data Generator, DTM Test XML Generator, DTM Flat File Generator, etc), software developers kit (Test data Generation SDK) and test data script compiler.

There are two types of sets: scalar and complex. The scalar set has one column only. For example, "Departments" and "Industries" sets are scalar and contains department name and industry name only. The column of the scalar value named "Name" for any data set with this type.

The complex set has more than one column. The first one named "Name" and others depend on the set content. There are two reasons of other columns existence: providing additional information and main value filtering.

In the first case, additional column or columns contain supplemental information for the main column: abbreviation, extension, etc. For example, "Countries" table has a name of the country as the main column and "Capital" and "Currency" as additional information. In the second case, the supplemental column can be used for data selection. As an example, "FirstName_National" table that contains non-Latin first names has "Country" column that allows users to access country-specific names only ('IT' for Italian names, 'GR' for Greek or 'RU' for Russian).

Physically, the value library is an SQLite data file. The file can be modified by any suitable editor and we recommend to use our DTM Data Editor for this purpose. The related ODBC driver for SQLite has to be installed.

The editor allows users to modify individual values or execute SQL statements against any table of the library. However, you should understand the logical structure to make complex modifications like adding or removing data sets.

The library consists of index table and tables with data sets. The index table name is predefined: "_Index". However, data generation engine calls do no use this index, it is required for user interface only.

Let's discuss the structure of this table. Each row of the table has unique ID. "Name" column contains data table name or a name of the group when "Column" contains a name of the data field. The group is a set of tables with the same theme: geography, business, etc. The group's row has 0 as a parent ID and 'false' as an "IsTable" value.

The parent is a very important item that provides integrity of the value library. The group is a parent of any table and the table is a parent of any column. The "hidden" column contains the logical value: the data generator will not show the item in the index for "true" value.

The simplest way to modify the value library is Value Library Manager but it is available for users who have Enterprise edition of DTM Data Generator. Users how have no Value Library Manager license have to modify the library manually as mentioned above (see DTM Data Editor). This tool helps the user to:

  • add new value list to the library
  • remove existing list from the index
  • append data rows to existing or user-defined list in a bulk manner

Also, it is a comfortable way to review current library content. In all import operations, the text file with one value per row is required as a source.

In most cases, the library should be replaced with a user-defined copy at the original location: it is installation folder. However, DTM Data Generator accepts alternate library location. It can be assigned at the settings panel.