Banks such as Credem demand that IT supports key business objectives, maximizes customer satisfaction, and meets all forms of governance and compliance requirements, especially in this highly regulated industry. To achieve this, IT must offer the highest levels of application quality; and this means a rigorous, comprehensive and security-conscious testing and QA infrastructure. But how can IT deliver business value through application quality, while it has to respect data privacy rules and work within the constraints of its infrastructure?
Ernesto Centrella, Test Department Manager at Credem explains: “We wanted to save disk space, while accelerating the data alignment process from the production to the test environments. This was a manual and time-consuming process with our application managers having to certify that the data had been fully masked and was data privacy compliant before moving it into a test environment. We also needed to improve performance and achieve a faster time-to-market by reducing the testing preparation and execution time. We wanted to improve the testing data quality, while respecting privacy.”
Local services provider SI.DE. Soft, a key partner for Credem, took charge of the project and soon highlighted Micro Focus Data Express which has a special focus on data masking and data subsetting; features Credem was very interesting in. Using Data Express, a process was put in place where any data which could reveal a customer’s identity was automatically masked in the test environment. Test environments were set up in parallel with the production environment, creating a repeatable and reliable test environment to support all testing activities. Tests are carried out on test data and the results are verified by analyzing the impact on the various files. With the flexibility Data Express offers, every product process was adapted to Credem’s specific needs, using custom APIs and exit routine mechanisms.
Giulio Ferretti, Technical Test Analyst at Credem, comments on the use of Data Express: “We like that we can manage our different platforms and databases from a single central repository. The Data Life Cycle feature locates every new entity (a new or changed data structure) and catalogs it in the repository, minimizing rework."
Data Express provides extraction simulation to show elapsed time, CPU consumption, and test data storage capacity requirements. This helps prevent errors occurring during the extraction of production data. It uses the source data index to improve performance. Parallel processes can be executed so that the overall elapsed time is much shorter.
Data Express allows Credem to improve the testing process by rapidly and consistently providing test data when needed and in the required format. Ferretti comments: “In some cases we manage particularly sensitive data, such as US fiscal codes. The built-in flexibility in Data Express has made this easy for us".