Data Conversion Testing

When Data Conversion Goes Horribly Wrong

Failure to properly test data conversions can produce devastating results for the business. A high profile example of this was NASA’s $125 Million loss of the Mars Climate Orbiter. Mission Control was transmitting flight instructions to the orbiter in meters while the orbiter itself thought it was receiving in feet, resulting in a spectacular crash into the red planet.

Fully Understand the Data and How it is Used

As a result of data conversion failures such as the Mars Climate Orbiter, tracking simple inputs and outputs is no longer sufficient in data conversion testing. While traditional testing can confirm that the data fields and their corresponding values are correct, Prolifics' Data Conversion testing goes further by testing the actual processing of the data by the target system.

Prolifics employs a Shift Left approach that examines the use of the data at an architectural level, not just anticipated inputs and outputs. Just like the wrong oil can seize a high-performance racing engine, the wrong data can impact the systems that run on it, even if the data conversion itself is correct.

Data Conversion Testing Done Right

Prolifics’ Data Conversion testing understands the state of the data and tests the processing of the data by the target system. This ensures that the actual meaning of the data is understood, as well as how the data should be used. This information can then be factored into the test scenario development to ensure a richer, more complete testing solution that encompasses end-to-end testing, not just inputs and outputs.

For example, customer data can be in the state of an order, a fulfillment request or a return. Prolifics' Data Conversion testing can ensure that the target system processes the order, ships the product, or accepts the return correctly based on the state of the customer data converted. This results in more complete and robust testing that ensures alignment with business requirements, thereby providing much higher confidence in the data and the systems that are processing it.

Test with Confidence

Data Conversion testing has become a critical component of non-functional testing for any application or database, and is crucial to ensuring quality in any data translation or migration projects. Prolifics’ Data Conversion testing can provide the business with assurance that the data is correct and is being correctly used.  The resulting systems can run smoothly, avoiding costly data conversion or processing errors.

Ensure that your integration, data translation or migration projects are executed with confidence. Contact Prolifics at to request a Project Assessment to explore how we can improve the testing accuracy and speed of your high visibility projects involving data conversion.