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Don Burleson Blog 







Oracle test data generation tips

Oracle Database Tips by Donald BurlesonFebruary 22, 2015


Question:  How do I generate automated test data for oracle?  I don't want to buy a benchmarking tool, but I also want to do it right, a representative test case with real SQL statements.  How do the professional DBA's capture SQL workloads for testing?

Answer:  First, try to use REAL data, not contrived test case data.  You want a representative bench, but some folks use dbms_random for generating data. 

As we see below, a single view of Oracle has lead to vastly different results, like the difference between a circle and a square.

Always remember that there is no substitute for a real-world test that simulates the actual behavior of your production systems, using your own production SQL.

Diagram showing the limited value of test cases

I would write my own, or use SQL Tuning Sets (STS) in 10g, or use the SQL Performance Analyzer in 11g.

Also, see these notes on generating test data for Oracle, Oracle test data & date generation with SQL, and Generating random test data with dbms_random and my notes here on Oracle benchmark testing.

There is a book on Oracle benchmarking, but it promotes a third-party tool.

Oracle test data generation testing tools

 There are several tools and methods for generating test data for Oracle:

  • STATSPACK - You can easily write your own SQL capture, directly from the STATSPACK stats$sqlstat table.

  • AWR - AWR captures historical SQL in the dba_hist_sqlstat table.

  • SQL Tuning Sets - This 10g tool grabs SQL from the library cache or Oracle.

  • SQL Performance Analyzer (SPA)  ? This new 11g tool captures representative SQL workloads.

  • Mercury LoadRunner  - A popular tools for simulating the real-world effect of an Oracle system change.

  • Quest Benchmark Factory - A complete environment for showing the effects of an Oracle change.

  • DBGEN - The TPC-H tools, dbgen and qgen allow for the development of anywhere from a gig to a terabyte databases.

  • Hammerora - The Hammerora product provides a means to create a pseudo-TPC-C database and generate loads against it.


If you like Oracle tuning, you might enjoy my book "Oracle Tuning: The Definitive Reference", with 950 pages of tuning tips and scripts. 

You can buy it direct from the publisher for 30%-off and get instant access to the code depot of Oracle tuning scripts.



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