About Data Generators
The Visual Studio Team System Database Edition has a wonderful feature that allows you to generate test data for your applications. Instead of just dumping some data based on the column data type this allows you to generate more specific data based on special rules like using a Regular express or a foreign key lookup.
To use the Data Generation feature you need to have the Database edition installed (If you have access to the Developer Edition or the Architect Edition, you should have access to the Database Edition as Microsoft has removed the Database Edition as a Seperate SKU). I would recommend that you install the Database Edition GDR R2, which is like a service pack for the Database Editions. All components listed here are tested to work with GDR R2 only.
With Visual Studio 2010, you do not need any Service pack to use Enhanced Data Generators anymore. As long as the Database portion is installed the new version of Enhanced Data Generators will work (>1.3).
The other cool thing is that what you create here is a plan that you can save seperate from the actual data that will get generated. So this plan can be used as a part of your automated testing suite to generate the required data on the fly.
The other nice thing about using this Data Generation system, is you can plug in your own data generators. So if you need to generate a special code, write a small .NET component and there you go, you have your special code being generated.
This mini site is about a set of custom data generators I have been writing when I get time. Most of these are based on real life situations I have faced.
These are free to use for both personal and commercial use, though link backs to this page and my blog (www.dotnetindia.com) are appreciated.
This mini site will contain the latest information and downloads of the components. I will also be writing some posts about the components at my blog (http://www.dotnetindia.com/enhanced-data-generator/).
What are Enhanced Data Generators
These are a set of custom Data Genertators that I have created using the extension APIs documented in MSDN.
I actually started writing these as though the inbuilt generators are good for generating very common test data, they are not so very good for domain specific or more buisiness specific data generation.
These Generators are free for personal and commercial use and are provided as-is without any implied warrenties.
Vote to Change the Inbuilt Data Generators to Public
Microsoft made some changes to the way their inbuilt data generators can be used for development of custom data generators in the GDRs. This basically changed all inbuilt data generator classes into non-public internal classes. There is connect suggest item to make these public again at http://connect.microsoft.com/VisualStudio/feedback/ViewFeedback.aspx?FeedbackID=523506. Please vote to get this done as this will directly help in the development of custom data generators.