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FR: Test Data Generator dialog enhancements

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FR: Test Data Generator dialog enhancements
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Joined: 11 Mar 2010
Posts: 1664

Post FR: Test Data Generator dialog enhancements Reply with quote
I started using Test Data generation recently and there are a few things that are quite a bit odd or rather inconvenient to use in the Test Data Generator dialog.
    1. The lack of top menu (File, Edit, etc.) and icons (Open, Save, etc.), which are the "standard" in most windows. There's only a dropdown list called Menu which contains some of those functions, but even that suffers from some problems:
    1a. It is on the Objects tab, so when I switch to the Project Options tab, it vanishes.
    1b. Its location is not fixed. Upon opening the Test Data Generator dialog, it is in the top right corner of the Objects tab. Showing Preview opens right next to it, hence it moves to the middle of the window.
    2. No response to "standard" hotkeys (Ctrl+O for Open, Ctrl+S for Save, etc.)
    3. There's no Save, just Save As (the same issue as with Unit Tests)
    4. The Column Options grid is not properly navigable by the cursor keys. I can edit a cell but cannot apply its changes without leaving that cell using the mouse, as Enter will most probably trigger Generate. Dropdown cells change their value for both left-right and up-down buttons. Tab doesn't move the cursor in the cells, it moves the focus to the bottom right corner buttons instead.
    5. The whole dialog has a very strange tab order. Watch me hitting the tab key repeatedly in this video here. When in Table list grid, it traverses the table names and Extended Properties. When in Column Options grid, it jumps to Save Script, then Generate, then Close (skipping the expected Schedule), then Schedule (it was only delayed), then back to Generate, then Filter. After jumping to the Filter, it starts over. I was slightly surprised that it allowed changing the Extended Properties (with F2).
    6. When opening a project file, it refreshes the Column Options grid for each and every selected table, which in turn will result in an annoying flickering of the grid. It also makes loading the project take longer than necessary (see the previous video).
    7. Preview is a button instead of a checkbox, and it is hidden every time I switch table, meaning that I have to click the Preview button over and over again.
    8. Opening a project file or selecting every table from a database schema containing >= 186 tables with will freeze both the Test Data Generator and SQL Editor. Actually, it recovered from opening the file after a while, but I had to kill the dialog from the task manager after selecting all the tables from the schema.
    9. The Filter doesn't retain its Name Matching Method.
    10. The dialog warns about tables having been modified since the data generation project has been saved, but I couldn't find any way to update them in the data generation project to the current state of the tables.
    11. Generating some values for a table and then copying a generated datetime back to the same datetime columns min or max value throws an error saying that value is not a valid datetime.
    12. The order should be reversed for truncating the tables but it seems it tries to truncate in the same order as it should insert the test data. That, of course, fails because of foreign key constraint violations (unless the deletes are cascaded, but there's no reason to assume that).
    13. The order list of the tables should be either on a separate panel or on the Objects tab. Currently, it's on Project Options tab and that results in constant switching back and forth between the two tabs to resolve dependencies.

Enhancing/fixing these could considerably improve user experience.

Last edited by gemisigo on Thu Aug 22, 2019 4:33 pm; edited 1 time in total
Wed Aug 21, 2019 4:21 am View user's profile Send private message
Site Admin

Joined: 26 Nov 2006
Posts: 7048

Post Reply with quote
Thank you so much for your detailed feedback. This is very useful. I have copied all listed points to our internal system for further analysis.
Wed Aug 21, 2019 10:32 pm View user's profile Send private message
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