CA Test Data Manager Review

Includes basic services which allow you to mask data and create synthetic data. It also includes test matching which accelerates test cycles and allows automation to happen.

Video Review:

Valuable Features

You've got the basic services of the TDM tool which allows you to mask data, it allows you to create synthetic data, but I think what really sets TDM apart from the other competitors, is the kind of the added extras that you get with doing true test data management, so you've got things like the cubing concepts that are grid tools, or data maker, kind of really brings to bear within test data management teams. You've also got test matching as well which massively accelerates test cycles and really gives stability and allows automation to happen.

Improvements to My Organization

We've got a centralized COE in terms of test data management within our organization, benefits that are really three fold in terms of cost, quality and time to market. In terms of the quality we through test data management where, data is kind of the glue that holds systems together and therefore, if I understand my test data, I understand what I'm testing. Through the tooling and kind of the maturity in the tooling we're really bringing an added quality aspect in terms of what we test and how we test, and the risk based testing that we might approach.

In terms of the speed to market, because we don't manually produce data anymore, we use intelligent profiling techniques, test data matching, we massively reduce the time we spend finding data, and we also can produce data on the fly, which turns around test data cycles. In terms of cost, because we're doing it a lot quicker, it's a lot cheaper.

We have a centralized test data management team that caters for all development within my organization. We've created an organization that is so much more effective and optimized in terms of the kind of the time to get to test execution, to identify data and get into execution in the right way.

Room for Improvement

I think the kind of the big area for exploitation for us is already a feature that already exists within the tool. The TCO element is something massive, I talked earlier on about the kind of the maturity and the structure that it gives you to testing. I think this is kind of a game changer in terms of articulating impact of change and no project goes swimmingly first time and therefore the ability to impact a test through kind of a making simple process changes is a massive benefit.

Stability Issues

The stability of the solution is really fine. I think the really big question is the stability of underlying system that it's trying to manipulate and the tool is the tool, it does what it needs to do.

Scalability Issues

Within our organization we have many, many platforms, many, many different technologies. One of the interesting challenges we always have is in terms of, especially when we're doing performance testing, can we get the kind of the volumes of data in sufficient times, and we use things like data explosion quite often and it does what it needs to do and it does it very quickly.

Customer Service and Technical Support

We work in an organization where we use many tools from many different suppliers. I think that the kind of a relationship that my organization has with CA is kind of a much richer one in terms of, you know, it's not just a tool support.

Previous Solutions

Originally we used to spend probably, hours and hours and hours of spreadsheet time manually creating, keying data, massively inefficient, massively error prone, and clearly as part of a financial institution we need to conform to regulations. Therefore we needed an enterprise solution to make sure that we could actually deliver a regulatory data, test data, to suit our projects.

The initial driver with kind of really buying any tooling initially is kind of what's the problem statement, what's the driver to get these things in? I think once you realize that there is so much more than just the regulatory bit, as I say, the time, cost, quality aspect that it can actually give to test, that's really the kind of the bigger benefit than just regulatory.

Initial Setup

We've had the tool for about four or five years now within the organization. As you might expect we first got the guys in not knowing anything about the tool and not really knowing how to deploy it, therefore what we needed to do was we called on the CA guys to come in and really to show us how the tool works, but also how to manipulate that within our organization. We had a problem case that we wanted to address, we used that as the proving item, and that's really where we started our journey in terms of a dedicated test data management function.

Other Solutions Considered

Important evaluation criteria: to be honest it's got to be around what does the tool do? A lot of the tools on the market do the same thing, whether there are things that differentiate those tools, and what's really the organization's problem statement they're trying to fulfill. Once you've got the tool, that's great, but you need the people and process, and without that, it comes back to the relationship that you have with the CA guys, you've just got to shelfwear and a tool. We went through a proper RFP selection process where we kind of set our criteria and we kind of we invited a few of the kind of the vendors into come and demonstrate what they could do for us and picked the one that was best suited to us.

Other Advice

Rating: no one's perfect. You got to go in the top quartile of it, so you're probably eight upwards. I think in terms of test data management solutions, it's the best out there. I think that the way that tool is going it's kind of moving into other areas in TCO and kind of the integration with SV, it's a massive thing for us.

I think the recommendation is that absolutely this is kind of the best in breed. As well as buying the tool, it would be a mistake to not also invest in kind of understanding how the tool integrates into the organization and kind of how to bring that into the kind of the tools team, the testing teams and the environment teams that you need to work with.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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