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Shipyard + Tonic: Real Fake Data for Your Ephemeral Environments

It’s official: we’ve partnered with Tonic.ai to enable teams with real fake data for ephemeral environments. Testing has never been this accurate and easy.

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Shipyard and Tonic.ai provide realistic pre-prod testing with real fake data

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We’re thrilled to announce Tonic.ai and Shipyard’s official partnership! By working together, we’re helping organizations take their testing to the next level by offering pre-production environments seeded with sanitized, production-like data.

Data suitable for ephemeral environments

When we were conducting research for EphemeralEnvironments.io in 2021, we determined that having production-like data seeded into your environments was a necessity. In order to get the most value out of your environments, they need full-fledged, authentic databases that account for edge and corner cases. However, there are a couple of constraints here:

  • Data used in your ephemeral environments must be fully sanitized of PII
  • Pre-production databases should be 1-2 GB at maximum

That’s where Tonic comes in. Instead of tasking an engineer to manually create a sanitized, dataset that closely reflects the edge cases of production, Tonic automates the process of masking and subsetting your data to give you realistic, safe datasets for use in your ephemeral environments.

Test Before Merge With (Fake) Production Data

Tonic’s real fake data for pre-production testing is a major asset for ensuring your new features work seamlessly with your production database — something that is often a total mystery until you deploy.

At Shipyard, we’re major proponents of the “Test Before Merge” movement. We strongly believe you should shift testing left by running your E2E suite against every feature branch. By doing so, you’re catching bugs before they break staging. Your staging environment has a much lighter workload, as it now merely verifies that your merged feature branches don’t clash.

E2E testing is critical for reliable, bug-free software. However, in order to guarantee your E2E tests accurately replicate real-world scenarios, your testing data must reflect customer data. You need data that mimics your production database while still complying with privacy and security frameworks.

Tonic’s fake data learns from your existing database to deliver de-identified data that captures for the variance and range of scenarios you see in your customer datasets. If your fake data isn’t doing that, you aren’t going to catch some potentially platform-breaking bugs until your real data is in play (in production).

Running effective E2E tests on every PR/commit requires having good fake data for each environment you’re testing against. By leveraging your Tonic datasets, you’re now able to have production-like data to test against on every PR. This is as simple as taking a snapshot of your DB and loading into your ephemeral environment on Shipyard using our API.

Test Smarter With Data Snapshotting

When using ephemeral environments, your branches should be seeded with the same data as your base environment. Shipyard’s data snapshotting functionality allows you to load a snapshot from your base environment into every branch’s ephemeral environment.

It is best practice to reset your database after automated testing. You don’t want your databases to change between E2E test runs — this causes extraneous clutter that can lead to unexpected test performance.

From Shipyard’s Data Dashboard, you can seed, manage, and reset your environments’ databases from snapshots. This can also be done via Shipyard’s API, enabling you to load a snapshot directly with your CI pipeline, after running your E2E tests.

Start Deploying With Tonic + Shipyard

If you’re interested in testing earlier and more often, sign up for a Shipyard free 30 day trial and get production-like ephemeral environments on every branch and PR. And to pair these environments with real fake data, sign up for a free trial of Tonic to start masking and subsetting your data today.

We’ll be rolling out more information on using Tonic + Shipyard for better testing shortly, but if you’d like to learn how to set this up right away, reach out to us at hello@shipyard.build and we’ll help get you started.

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