The Synthetic Test Data (STD) is created by a professional testing laboratory in the United Kingdom. The testing is carried out before software and hardware released for public consumption. This is because the manufacturers of the products will want to ensure that there are no flaws with their products and more importantly the end user who may not be aware of the fact that there might be a problem with the software or hardware. This makes the STDs very important for the product developers as they are able to find and resolve any glitches within the software or hardware in a matter of minutes.
The testing is carried out on all the software that is associated with the Windows operating system, such as; email applications, software components, runtime library, DLL files, shared projects and more. The STDs will also be used for testing network services, time and server management. The purpose of Synthetic Test Data is to simulate real world conditions and use the results to check the robustness of the software or hardware. It will help the testers to check the performance under real conditions and not simply under laboratory conditions.
Testing can be done in various ways; however most professionals will use simulation tools. These include the WinDriver Kernel, Wininet Device Drivers, Wininet Packet sniffers and more. Software Engineers will also be looking at the Synthetic STDs to see if they can find any vulnerability and use it for attack vectorization. This is known as vulnerabilities; however one should never think of this as a weakness. Instead it’s a way of testing for what could happen in the future.
Sometimes a vulnerability is discovered during a normal testing and these can then be exploited for further gains. This type of vulnerability may cause the application or the server to crash. Many STDs have been created and licensed for use on any platform that has a Microsoft certification and so you can easily acquire the certification and still use them in your STD’s. Therefore as long as the server is using Microsoft, it is okay to test on it.
There is also a type of vulnerability that can be used during STDs, which is what is called an Insecure Load Balancer. The purpose is to load scripts without realigning them against other scripts or settings in order to test the overall performance. The problem is that if scripts are not properly loaded, there can be many delays in the response from the database. It can also cause performance issues.
Another example is when an application is trying to make an authorization request. If there is a performance issue, an STI can also be setup to test the application against a variety of input data. Many STDs that are used for performance testing will do more than just check the response time; they will also verify against the user input. For example, a user name and password can be entered into the forms and then the application can return either True or False.
Synthetic test data can be used in a number of ways in the software development lifecycle. There is a huge list of possible applications for this purpose. One example is to compare the performance of various Java applications. Another example is to run unit tests against a control system. Sometimes the data is needed in real-time so that developers can work on the application immediately rather than having to wait until later.