IBM InfoSphere Optim Test Data Management Review

I value data masking, data extraction/sub-setting, data comparison, and data load.


What is most valuable?

I value data masking, data extraction/sub-setting, data comparison, and data load.

How has it helped my organization?

  • Creates an automated process for production data extraction
  • Does scrubbing
  • Does sub-setting and movement of data
  • Tests regions across various platforms including legacy and distributed platforms

What needs improvement?

The tool needs to have more test data management features like synthetic data generation and data reservation.

Optim is capable of extracting/masking production data and move it to the test region, for test data provisioning. However, there are various scenarios when the production data, cannot fully meet the testing requirements. In such cases, the testers have to manually set up the data, as Optim does not provide any functionality, to generate data from scratch. Hence, synthetic data generation is a very important feature, that must be present in a TDM tool. Other tools such as CA TDM have this feature.

There are other important TDM features, that are missing from IBM Optim such as:

  • Data reservation that provides ability to the data user, in order to reserve certain data, so that no one else uses the same data for testing.

  • Data mining that provides a capability to search for data, that matches the test requirements.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used the product for three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I did not encounter any stability issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I did not encounter any scalability issues.

How is customer service and technical support?

I would give technical support a rating of 7/10.

Which solutions did we use previously?

In the past, in-house scripts were being used for production data extraction/masking. We moved to Optim to utilize an industry standard tool to enable the entire enterprise to use a consistent solution for synchronous data refresh across applications.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was easy, but time consuming. There is a lot of one time development effort involved to setup and implement the Optim based automated process.

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

I cannot comment on pricing as it varies for each customer and agreement with IBM.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Other options were evaluated including tools like CA Test Data Manager.

What other advice do I have?

Optim is a great tool for enterprise data movement, data masking, data sub-setting, data comparison, and data aging.

However, it lacks certain capabilities critical for central test data management operations like data generation. The requirement scope/goal should be clearly defined before selecting the tool.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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