Data warehouses, which are enterprise systems used for reporting and data analysis, are essential elements of enterprise infrastructure; these systems are the information-exchange environment used by all key players in every business operation — from marketing to engineering and from financial to business development — effectively holding the building bricks of your business processes.
Complex organizational processes result in complex data warehouse systems, and there is no room for mistakes in software like this. Downtimes, incorrect information or data deterioration can result in significant financial losses, either directly or through the impact they have over customer service. The importance of comprehensive testing for this type of software cannot be overstated.
By and large, complex data warehouse systems are composed of two subsystems which work together, but can be tested separately. These are called front-end and back-end in engineering jargon. The front-end is what users see — the mechanisms through which human users interact with the system. This includes the user interface and the software that makes it tick — making buttons light up when the mouse moves over them or popping up alerts when incorrect login credentials were provided. The back-end is the software which stores, modifies and retrieves data: the front-end relies on it to store data (text, documents, images etc.) uploaded by the users, to retrieve data when it is requested, to generate reports and so on. It implements the “logic” of the business processes.
The correct operation of the two subsystems can generally be guaranteed by testing them independently of each other, save for specific sections (sometimes referred to as a “glue layer”). To some degree, the testing can be automated for additional reliability and efficiency. Manual testing, however, besides allowing the testing of those corner cases that cannot be automated, is also useful because it reveals information about the front-end’s efficiency and ease of use.
Tigers Business Consulting can help you with testing both front-end and back-end of complex data warehouse systems. By providing this integrated service, we aim to offer our clients complete solutions with immediate results that reflect cohesion and a strong business model.