CA Test Data Manager Review

Masks and generates data while obeying the relationships in our relational databases


What is our primary use case?

We use it for data generation, for performance testing, and other test cases. We also use data masking and data profiling for functional testing. Data masking is one of the important aims in our procurement of this tool because we have some sensitive data in production. We have to mask it to use it in a testing environment. Our real concern is masking and we are learning about this subject.

How has it helped my organization?

CA TDM is valuable for us because we use relational databases where it's problematic to sustain the relationships, foreign keys, and indexes. TDM obeys all the relationships and does the masking and data generation according to those relationships. 

Also, the testing team is using TDM to write the rules. Using this tool, our knowledge of data discovery skills has increased. That is an advance for our company.

In terms of performance testing, before TDM, preparing the data and data generation took a week for 20,000 sets of data. Now, with TDM, it takes just one day, which is great. We haven't had much experience with masking yet, we are in the adaptation phase, but data generation has increased our performance by about 60 percent.

What is most valuable?

The tool has strong data generation functions. When we needed special function that is not in the list, the support team has generated these functions and added with patches in a limited time frame.

For performance testing, we needed large amounts of data. The effort for data generation for this purpose has also decreased specifically.

Depending on security politicies and regulations we have to obey, we needed masked production data for testing. With the help of this tool, considering data integrity we can mask the data in a variety of ways (like shuffling, using seed list, using functions etc.)

What needs improvement?

There are different modules for masking. There is a portal and there is a standalone application as well. The standalone application is more old-fashioned. When you write rules on this old-fashioned interface, because it has more complex functions available for use, you can't migrate them to the portal. 

We also have some security policies in our company that needed adaptation. For example, the people writing the rules would see all the production data, which is a large problem for us. It would be helpful if there was an increase in the ability to apply security policies.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The tool is stable. This was one of the reasons that we chose it. We haven't had an issue with any unknown problems or issues, so it has paid off.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is a matter of how you use your systems. Our requirements required using it for MS SQL Server, Db2, and LUW Db2. We scaled the tool with all the databases we have, so it's scalable.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is okay. We haven't had many issues lately, but we had a bug at the proof of concept stage and they solved it.

If you previously used a different solution, which one did you use and why did you switch?

We did not have a previous solution.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward. One of CA's consultants came to our company and did the installation in about two days. We use mainframes here, and mainframes are very complex. Still, the consultant did it in two days.

What about the implementation team?

We worked with a CA consultant to do all the adaptation over the course of about two months. We were happy with him.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Part of the licensing is dependent on whether you want to use the portal. It's based on floating users. The other part is dependent on what type of system you are using. We are using mainframe, so we paid good money for a mainframe license. It's okay because, for us, the main work of this tool is on those systems. The mainframe is a critical system, so the cost is okay.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at IBM Optim and Informatica TDM.

What other advice do I have?

It's important to know the requirements of your system, for example, the security policies you have to observe. The requirements may include a concern about relational or other database systems. You have to know your systems. Depending on your system, consider using one or more consultants, because we had a problem just using one. Also, compare all the tools by doing proofs of concept. That's important.

We have been using it for three months, but before that we also did a proof of concept in stages for about a year.

Regarding future use, we plan to use it in automation testing with content integration tools. Before running the automated tests, we will prepare our generated data with TDM. We also have a future plan for storage virtualization and use of Docker applications. It is possible that for Docker we would also use the TDM rule set. I want to believe it's scalable.

We have five testers using it to write rules. We also have 20 business analysts using and running these rules. In terms of maintenance, two developers would be enough. Our consultant coached our developers regarding our requirements. A testing engineer would also be okay for maintenance.

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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