If you have been programming for a while you’ve definitely been in a situation where you are developing something that accesses database but there are not enough entries or no entry that all in the database. You cannot verify results unless there are some entries in the database. So what can you do in this situation? Manually adding entries is okay for a few rows but that doesn’t give you the reality of a whether the application will work in a full-scale database. there are tools available for creating such a dummy entries. While most of them are paid or limited in the number of rows they can add, the wonderful tool at generatedata.com is both free and open source.
You need to download the php application and run it on your local computer. The website is only for demo purpose and allows only 100 records. As as might have guessed you need a php server for this such as Xampp.
Step 1. Download the application as a zip file from the github repository – https://github.com/benkeen/generatedata .
Step 2. Extract downloaded zip file and copy the contents into the server’s htdocs folder
Step 3. Start your server and open the downloaded app in your browser.
step 4. The application will ask you to configure itself.
You need to create a new database in your local mysql instance where the application will store all its configuration data. Now enter the name of the created database and click next. Fill the other details asked and proceed. The application will now download various plugins from the Internet and store them in the database you provided.
Step 5. With this you complete the installation. You can now create dummy data for your database using this tool. Let us see how you can do that.
Steps to generate dummy data
Step 1. Provide all the field names. Then provide the type of data for each field. You can select from the various predefined types such as numbers, a defined range, date, credit card numbers, locations, user-defined list and even name and surname of specific gender.
Step 2. Select the application type for which you want to generate the data. You can create the fields for mysql database, JSON, HTML table, Excel file, CSV and many other formats including xml.
Step 3. Provide the database name in which you want to insert this data. The database name will only be used only for creating the script and not for performing any instructions so you can be safe. Provide whether you want to insert the new entries for update the existing one. Yes it even supports updating the existing entries. Isn’t that cool?
Step 4. Enter the number of entries you want to be created and hit generate. That’s it. You’ll be presented with the script for entering be generated data.
This tool is free, easy to use, effective and open source. No advertisements or any fee applicable. And the best of all it runs on your own computer so you do not need any Internet connection for generating such data. It also provides developer documentation for creating new data types and new export formats, making it a highly extensible and customizable solution.