John Craft

 ·  3 min read

Development Databases for Regulated Industries

The importance of production-like data for software development teams.

Too often, shipping a new feature or bug fix makes it through several levels of testing and QA just to fail once it’s deployed to Production. These mistakes could, and would, be avoided by testing against production-like data, but that data is often unavailable to developers working with protected data. Instead, engineers use replica data intended to represent the production environment, and it rarely does.

Internally at Privacy Dynamics, we knew that testing on production-like data was the only way to build a tool that would work on the messy and inconsistent data in the real world. As we continued to experience the benefits of testing against real (de-identified) data from our early partners, we noticed just how valuable it was for our SDLC. It was this experience that drove us to building more products for engineering teams, and today we’re happy to share our first release in that domain.

We’ve also spoken at length about the pitfalls of internally managed masking scripts, the limitations of incomplete seed data, and the inaccuracies of synthetic data. The best way to get production-like data to engineering teams is by de-identifying production data and Privacy Dynamics makes that possible with a few button clicks.

Make that data available to the people that need it

Assuming you’ve got a de-identified copy of production data, then what? Having the anonymized data is a good start but it is often stashed away and requires many manual steps before it can be used. Anyone that’s ever run a marathon knows the 26th mile is the hardest mile. And the same is true with data infrastructure: getting the anonymized data to the developers, engineers, and product owners that need it is difficult. Today, Privacy Dynamics is announcing a new feature to solve that problem.

Development Databases for everyone!

Privacy Dynamics has been a leader in data anonymization for some time now, pioneering ways to ensure anonymized data meets the rigor of HIPAA Expert Determination and complies with GDPR, CCPA, and CPRA. Yet, we meet customers that struggle to get the data their engineers need to their engineers even after it has been anonymized.

Development Databases is a new feature we are launching that makes it easy for every developer to have their own anonymized copy of production data. It’s so easy that developers can have as many copies as they want! The last mile of making production quality data available to engineering teams is no longer an issue.

Easily create PII free databases for all engineers

How does it work?

Privacy Dynamics customers regularly set up schedules for the anonymization jobs on a daily or weekly basis. There’s a new option at the end of the configuration wizard that, when checked, will create a data snapshot of the anonymized data. Once the snapshot is ready it is used to spin up as many copies of the database as needed, all running in the cloud. You can also create database copies from existing anonymization projects. And each developer that needs their own data copy can use the self-service portal to spin up their data instance. Databases go to sleep when they are inactive and each time the snapshot is updated, the developer databases are refreshed. We currently support PostgreSQL and MySQL.

Check the box to create development databases during the anonymization wizard

Does this sound interesting to you?

If your team is struggling to get the data they need, reach out to join the Development Databases Early Access program and make your struggles a thing of the past.