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Generating randomized incremental values

In the previous entries, I explained the basics of testdata_ninja and then I explained how to create foreign key relations between your test data and existing tables. This time I will show how you can create data that are random but always increasing, either to create time patterns or to create unique id columns for primary keys. I will extend the format that I have already used in the previous entries, so the code will be familiar. If we look at the output of the test_days generator we have created, it currently looks like this:

SQL> select * from table(tdg_test_days.test_days);

NAME                                               BIRTHDAY            MY_PK_REF
-------------------------------------------------- ------------------ ----------
Arianna Turner                                     02-MAR-93 00:24:58          1
Sofie Dam                                          17-MAY-91 17:21:09          1
Camila King                                        27-OCT-62 18:16:56         10
Malik Henriksen                                    24-NOV-65 06:23:51         10
.... [more rows] ....

There is no clear column with possible unique values, so I will create a new column where the data generator is an "incrementor". Like all the other different data fields, it is in the 3 field definition of the block that we define how to generate the data. So far the format looks like this:


So let us add a column in the beginning, that increments randomly but is unique nonetheless:


and here is the explanation of the fields, which are separated by the "~" character:

  • incrementor type (numiterate for numbers and datiterate for dates)
  • start from (number or date to start increment from)
  • increment range (for numbers min and max separated by the "¤" character and dates interval type (seconds, minutes etc), min and max separated by the "¤" character for example: seconds¤1¤5)

So if we now take a look at the full format in the code, it would look like this:

  the_format varchar2(4000) := 'people_pk#number#^numiterate~1~3¤5@name#varchar2(50)#person_random.r_name@birthday#date#person_random.r_birthday@my_pk_ref#number#£t_people¤person_num_pk¤simple¤5';
  testdata_ninja.generator_create('test_days', the_format);

And would create a result like the following:

1	Sigurd Andreasen	20-NOV-63 12:33:49	1
6	Ella Madsen	30-JAN-80 07:09:39	1
9	Alexandra White	16-JUL-53 16:32:07	1
13	Benjamin Holst	08-APR-88 13:39:38	1
17	Lea Jepsen	24-MAY-88 17:21:01	1
21	Eli Morgan	07-AUG-86 15:54:27	10
26	Oskar Bruun	20-JUL-69 22:40:56	10
31	Jens Friis	26-APR-63 16:32:21	10
35	Camila Hall	05-DEC-78 23:30:19	10