How to generate dummy data for your database

All the best. This tip is for my DBA students regardless of platform: Access, SQL Server, Oracle or MySQL.
Let’s say you are developing a database and need live data to test it. Where in the world is that live data going to come from? It’s not feasible to spend half a day typing fake records. Although it is possible to use a copy of production data from your organization, this is not always feasible due legal and/or ethical considerations.
This amazing Web site, generatedata.com/, solved the “dummy data” problem. Evidently, the site owner created a script in JavaScript, PHP and MySQL that allows people like me to create potentially large amounts of sample information.
Here’s how it works. Navigate to the Generator page and choose your output format. You can choose from HTML, native Microsoft Excel or XML.
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Next, start training. Next, identify your target country for data fields like addresses and specify the number. Next, fill out your data types and column names, making sure to match the schema in your development database tables. Click Generate to produce the data set.

Caption: Specifying the parameters for dummy data

Caption: The resulting dummy data
Isn’t this awesome? I can tell you, this Web site has saved me a lot of money over the past few months. The site owner provides the source code for generatedata.com/ for free download. It is bound only by the GNU licence. Site users who donate $20 or more are granted a user account at generatordata.com/. They are permitted to run larger record batches than the public (the online tool can only generate 200 records at once).
I hope you found this tip useful. Have fun with your studies!

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