• March 12, 2020

To Audit or Test?: Modern Approaches to Data Development

When your business generates load and loads of data in the course of its operations, you need specialized software, tinkered particularly to the data you get and the particular way it applies to your company. With the surge of bespoke database software development, there are many options for how to do it. But how can you be sure that the software developed for you will handle the data properly, that its integrity will be preserved and the data will not be corrupted? It needs to be properly tested.

Data adds a layer of moving parts to software design that can feel almost impossible to test; but as usual with development of any kind, if things feel too complex you probably need to think smaller. So how do you test data? Easy; you don’t. You test software, and your audit data.

Data are not software, but data software is software.

The data and the software

Data are not software, but data software IS software. The software that your business uses for data management and development is not in itself The Data. Data is what the software processes. That may seem intuitive and even obvious to some, but if you look at Quora and StackOverflow and the amount of developers that struggle with the confusion of these two terms and how to handle them, turns out - it is a very important distinction.

When your database software providers write software tests for your update from Access database to something better, it is critical that they only test the software. That's where the single responsibility principle ("SRP") comes into play.

The single responsibility principle is a computer programming principle that states that every module or class should have responsibility for a single part of the functionality provided by the software, and that responsibility should be entirely encapsulated by the class, module or function.

In less technical and anxiety-inducing terms - one part of your software should be responsible for one thing. Same with testing and auditing. When Tentacle’s team test their products, data audits check if the data is the way it should be when it arrives into the program, and software tests check if the program code responds as it is intended to respond.

Muddling the waters

As simple as it may sound in theory, in practice the above approach means that testing and auditing don't get confused, exclusionary, or muddled during the process of software data software development. It would be nigh impossible to update a software database from Access to some modern cloud-based solution if both the data and the software would not be audited and properly tested.

That is why it is essential to entrust your treasure - the data, into the hands of professionals like the Tentacle Solutions team. If you need an update and worry about the integrity of your data when leaving your old Access database behind, you can always arrange a consultation with the specialists from Tentacle Solutions. With almost twenty years on the market, their team knows how to come up with a smooth and reliable solution for your business.

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