Delta team update: ApexSQL Generate – Update 5

What have you been working on?

Our focus has mostly been on ApexSQL Generate. We have been working on adding new features and improving performance and overall usability of the tool.

We have also been adding more ways to improve the compactness of generated data and support for cross-column data generation which offers even more options when it comes to creating synthetic test data. ApexSQL Generate can now create test data as a result of combining multiple columns’ values using 20+ functions e.g. Sin(), Cos(), AddHours(), ToLower(), Return(“Pass”, “Fail”), etc.

What is the ETA to production?

ApexSQL Generate 2015 R5 will be out in October.

What is included in the new release?

For the new release of ApexSQL Generate we have prepared a lot of new features. Here are some of the new cool features which will be included in this release:

  • Cross-column data generation enables creating test data based on generated values from another column with included predefined functions for data customization. This means that any column can have values generated as the result of the equation which uses columns as variables

    Figure 1. In the expression presented above, [PostTime] represents referenced column, AddHours is a function, while the value 1 in brackets is a function parameter

  • Importing data from SQL view is an enhancement of the “import data from SQL table” functionality which allows mapping and transferring existing data from an SQL view, thus preserving the state and values as they are in the database.
  • Text generator is used for creating complete sentences from custom or premade text source.
    This generator includes three subgenerators which can be used as “fillers” in string and text columns with long precision value (Descriptions, Comments, etc.):

    • Sentence generator – creates short meaningful sentences from a premade text source, combining words in a correct order

      Figure 2. Sentence generator settings

      Figure 3. Test data generated by sentence generator

    • Text shuffler – reorders words from a chosen text file or custom text to create “filler” test data

      Figure 4. Text shuffler settings

      Figure 5. Test data created by text shuffler generator

    • Lorem Ipsum generator – uses one of the variations of Lorem Ipsum text as a text source for extracting sentences. This type of subgenerator provides 10 various predefined Lorem ipsum examples (chapters and translation to English). Text can be edited and saved for later reuse:

      Figure 6. Lorem ipsum generator settings

  • 120+ meaningful predefined data generators like country codes, capitals, book titles etc. Predefined generators provide more complex and “read world” alike data for better matching the needs for accurate creation of synthetic data
  • Full Command Line Interface support providing more flexibility and automation of the data generation process
  • Post generation summary showing the progress, possible errors, the number of rows successfully inserted into the database and the time span of the generation process

    Figure 7. Post generation summary

    What is planned in future releases and what are ETAs?

    ApexSQL Generate 2016 is planned to be released in Q4 2015. Besides performance improvements and some of the new features which will be introduced, this new major version will also include integration into SQL Server Management Studio.

    By the end of 2015 we are also planning to release two more major versions – ApexSQL Script 2016 and ApexSQL Build 2016. Both of these tools will have full support for SQL Azure V12 and will support SQL Server 2016 CTP2.

    September 22, 2015