Guest post: the following article was written by Release CTO and co-founder Erik Landerholm.
Data is the heart of every application
At Release we want to be able to “virtualize” any environment and that includes data! Data is crucial in any environment, as code and containers lose value without it. Distributing production or similar data can be complex, and often overlooked by providers of environment or development platforms. Without production or data your ephemeral environments lose a lot of their usefulness. Think about all the bugs that made it to production that could have been prevented had you just had an environment with production data to test with. Only testing in production is just not viable for a lot of people, but having production data whenever and wherever you need gives you a lot of the benefits of testing in production without any of the downsides. But, how do you do it quickly and safely? Release Instant Datasets + Tonic is the best way to have sanitized production data ready for any part of the CI/CD pipeline.
Release Instant Datasets + Tonic: A powerful match
Release's Instant Datasets workflow automates the management of database creation from snapshots, so you don't have to worry about it. As new snapshots are taken, they are automatically integrated into your dataset. Our Tonic integration enables you to effortlessly create multiple pools of data utilizing your existing Tonic workflows and distribute them to your teams. Plus, it's designed to clean up after itself. Instant Datasets + Tonic gives you the speed, convenience, and security you need when creating development, test, or staging environments!
Why anonymize and cleanse your production data?
While I admit the question is a bit rhetorical as we can all guess why you would want to anonymize your production data. In some sectors (financial and healthcare) it’s required, but regardless of your industry, we all take a lot of care to make sure our customer data is not exposed purposely or accidentally. That data, on the other hand, can be very useful during development and testing. So how do we distribute production data safely to our development and test teams? Cleansing and anonymizing your data in a way that retains the relationships in your database, handling schema changes, etc are all hard problems and Tonic solves those in a very user-friendly way. When you combine that ability with Instant Dataset’s ability to create pools of data you really have the best of both worlds!
So how does this all work?
Instant Datasets works with your existing Tonic workflows. Upon creating the dataset, you only need to have your API key and workspace id ready. With those two keys, you can now produce pools of any size based on a production snapshot, cleansed and anonymized by Tonic.
That’s it! Regardless, if you use Instant Datasets with Release’s ephemeral environment platform or as a standalone product Release will create a pool of databases for your CI/CD needs based on sanitized snapshots; it’s really that easy!
I want to invite you to try out Release Instant Datasets and learn how it can help you on its own, or in a powerful partnership with Tonic. You can go to Release and sign up for a free trial of Instant Datasets. Also, I’ll be co-presenting a webinar with Tonic in September and providing a deeper dive into how to use high-fidelity, anonymized data in your app dev and test processes. You can register here—it's free!