Wooo hoooo! The second talk is done, I am officially free of obligations today :). However, conference still moves on and this session covers an area that I personally struggle with. My personal job does a lot of data transformation so I have a possibly endless range of test data that can be generated and transformed.
Test data shows up everywhere. Not just the data needed to make the test work but your browser choice, your necessary created artifacts, before and after dependencies, etc.
Static Data is often created before testing. it's good fr slow or complicated data. It may make tests run faster but it may make tests brittle as data changes, and it may turn stale over time. Dynamic data gets created at run time for tests, it can avoid becoming brittle, it's exclusive tho that tests, creation and run time, it can slow down individual tests due to the creation dependencies, and it will need to be cleaned up after the test is finished.
The truth is, I probably initially do about 70% manually configured data and about 30% dynamic/automated data creation. The intermediate data that I create is always created dynamically (that's the nature of data transformation tests). Ultimately, my goal is to be able to take data from our database and dynamically generate flat files.
Additionally, there is a variety of test control inputs that we need to keep track of. Our browser. our destination URL, basically all information that can be entered and routed. There are also output references that we may know or we may not know anything about.