Listen to this blog
SQL for QA Engineers is a very important skill set to have to become a complete tester. Though you may not need to know SQL to perform front-end testing, it becomes a must-have to perform back-end testing. The reason is that you’ll have to verify the values in the database that were inserted, updated, or deleted to be sure there are no errors after processing. Being a leading Data Testing Services company, we have a team of testers who are experts in SQL. So in this blog, we will be explaining why SQL for QA Engineers is important by mentioning the different types of tests that will require SQL knowledge. We will also be using examples to help you understand the concepts with ease.
The Importance of SQL for QA Engineers
- Data Validation
- Data Setup and Cleaning
- ETL Testing
- Data Migration Testing
- Data Integration Testing
- Usability Testing
- Performance Testing
- Security Testing
Data validation refers to checking the accuracy and quality of source data before using, importing, or processing the data. As it is one of the building blocks of backend testing, SQL for QA engineers plays a pivotal role. You can use SQL queries for retrieving specific data from the database and comparing it with the expected output to see if it meets the expected requirements.
Example: Let’s consider a scenario where you have to test an eCommerce application that stores customer data in the database. Though the customer data might have been collected properly, you’ll have to verify if the specific person’s data such as their name and address are accurate by retrieving them using SQL.
Data Setup and Cleaning
You might even need to set up test data in the database before beginning a test. So you can insert, edit, or delete data using SQL and clean up the test data once the tests have been completed.
Example: A medical application that stores patient data in a database will be a good example for this scenario. Even before the test begins, you can use SQL to insert test data for a patient, such as their contact information and medical background to see if everything is working as expected.
ETL testing is one of the main reasons why SQL for QA engineers is so important. It validates the procedure used for extracting data from diverse sources, transforming it into the desired format, and loading it into a target database. The ETL (Extract, Transform & Load) method is used to combine data from several systems and guarantee its accuracy and coherence.
In order to verify that the data is accurate, you can use SQL to retrieve it from the source and destination databases and compare it.
Example: Let’s assume you have to perform ETL testing to see if the data from the sales database is properly modified and inserted into the reporting database. You can use SQL queries to extract data from both the sales & reporting databases and compare them to see if they are accurate.
Data Migration Testing
There will come a scenario where data from one database has to be migrated to another. This is different from ETL testing as the data will not be modified during the process; it will only be migrated.
Once the migration process has been completed, it is critical to ensure that the data is accurate and complete. So you can create SQL queries to retrieve data from both the source and destination databases and compare the results.
You can also utilize your SQL expertise as a tester to confirm the precision and comprehensiveness of the data being moved.
Example: Let’s assume that a company is moving employee data from an outdated HR Database to a new one. To check if all the employee data has been migrated properly, you can use SQL to extract the data for a specific employee from both the old and new databases and compare it.
Data Integration Testing
Whenever data from various systems or applications are merged or integrated, it has to be tested to ensure that the integrated data are accurate and consistent. SQL for QA Engineers will come in handy here as you can use SQL queries to retrieve and compare the data from several databases.
Example: Consider that client information from two databases; one for sales and one for customer support are being merged or integrated. To make sure that the client’s data is consistent across both systems, you can use SQL to retrieve the data for a single customer from both databases and compare it.
Identifying the root cause of a bug or an issue is also a part of a good tester’s job. This is yet another reason why SQL for QA engineers is important. You’ll have to use SQL queries to identify the root cause of the issue.
Example: Let’s take the example of a banking application that is not logging all the transactions properly. You can use SQL to query the database to check for faults or data inconsistencies.
Testing a software application’s usability involves determining how simple it is for users to complete tasks and reach their objectives. Likewise, you can test a database’s usability by running a variety of queries and making sure the desired results are provided.
Example: Let’s imagine that you are testing a database application that enables users to perform keyword searches on data. In such a scenario, SQL can be used to run a search query and make sure the expected results are returned. This might assist you in determining whether the database is simple enough for users to use and navigate.
SQL for QA engineers has more use cases than just functional testing. You can use SQL to even test the performance of the database. Few databases might hold enormous volumes of data and face performance problems or bottlenecks.
Example: For this scenario, let’s take a social media platform as it will have a large user base using the platform from different parts of the world. You can use SQL to assess how well the database handles the load with different traffic conditions.
Whenever unvetted data gets used in SQL statements, there is a chance for a security vulnerability known as a SQL injection attack to happen. This vulnerability enables an attacker to run any SQL command they choose and obtain unauthorized access to a database.
As a tester, you can test a database’s security by attempting SQL injection attacks. SQL queries with suspicious input can be written in an attempt to exploit the vulnerability and obtain unauthorized access to the database.
Example: Let’s take a secure login that requires a username and a password. You can try to launch a SQL Injection attack to bypass the login form and access the database without authorization by submitting a username and password that contain malicious SQL commands.
Data Quality Checks for Data Warehouse/ETL
With the help of SQL, you can significantly improve your capacity to test and debug database-dependent programs. Being an experienced data analytics testing company, our testers are experts in using SQL in their tests. So we hope our examples and the blog on the whole have helped you understand the importance of SQL for QA Engineers. We will be publishing informative blogs on a weekly basis and recommend you subscribe to our Newsletter to never miss out on any of our content.