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A tool and a language that help generating random complex database instance based on predefined rules

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README
NAME
    Cheater - Generate random database based on rules

VERSION
    This document describes Cheater 0.10 released on June 24, 2011.

DESCRIPTION
    Cheater is a tool that can generate random database based on rules. It
    was widely used within the LineZing team of Taobao.com.

    Compared to other similar tools, "cheater" has the following advantages:

    *   it can automatically handle the association and foreign key
        restrictions among data tables, so it's the real "database instance
        generator".

    *   It defines a SQL-like little language to specify the data model that
        we want to generate from.

    *   It supports powerful "{a, b, c}" discrete enumation sets,
        numerical/time/date interval syntax "a..b", Perl regular expressions
        "/regex/", constant values 'string', 1.32, and etc, to describe the
        value range of data table field.

    *   It can generate JSON or SQL insert statements to ease importing to
        RDMBSes like MySQL/PostgreSQL.

    Below is a very simple example to demonstrate its basic usage.

    First of all, we create a .cht input file in our working directory (say,
    under ~/work/), in order to describe the data model that we want to
    geneate data from. Assuming we have a company.cht file like this:

      # Empolyee table
      table employees (
          id serial;
          name text /[A-Z]a-z{2,5} [A-Z]a-z{2,7}/ not null unique;
          age integer 18..60 not null;
          tel text /1[35]8\d{8}/;
          birthday date;
          height real 1.50 .. 1.90 not null;
          grades text {'A','B','C','D','E'} not null;
          department references departments.id;
      )

      # Department table
      table departments (
          id serial;
          name text /\w{2,10}/ not null;
      )

      10 employees;
      2 departments;

    Here we're using the little language (or DSL) defined by "cheater"
    itself. It's semantics is self-explanatory. In particular, the last two
    lines state that we want to generate 10 rows of data for the "employees"
    table and 2 rows for the "departments" table.

    And then, we use the cht-compile command to compile our company.cht file
    to generate a random database instance:

      $ cht-compile company.cht
      Wrote ./data/departments.schema.json
      Wrote ./data/departments.rows.json
      Wrote ./data/employees.schema.json
      Wrote ./data/employees.rows.json

    We see that it generates two .json data files for the "departments" and
    "employees" tables, respectively. For example, the
    data/emplyees.rows.json file on my machine resulting from a particular
    run looks like this:

      $ cat data/employees.rows.json
      [["id","name","age","tel","birthday","height","grades","department"],
      ["7606","Kxhwcn Cflub",54,"15872171866","2011-04-01","1.67276","D","408862"],
      ["63649","Whf Iajgw",55,"13850771916",null,"1.65297","E","844615"],
      ["348161","Nnwe Obfkln",27,"15801601215","2011-03-06","1.69275","D","408862"],
      ["353404","Shgpak Xvqxw",28,"15816453097",null,"1.67796","A","408862"],
      ["445500","Bdt Mhepht",47,"13855517847",null,"1.89943","C","844615"],
      ["513515","Ipsa Mcbtk",25,"13874017694","2011-01-06","1.79534","A","844615"],
      ["658009","Lboe Etqo",27,null,"2011-04-14","1.85162","E","408862"],
      ["716899","Gey Elacflr",18,"15804516095","2011-02-27","1.75681","A","844615"],
      ["945911","Hsuz Qcmky",39,"13862516775","2011-05-31","1.75947","B","408862"],
      ["960643","Qbmbe Ijnbqsb",24,"15872418765","2011-04-11","1.78864","B","844615"]]

    These are the "row data". On the other hand,
    ./data/employees.schema.json is the table structure definition for the
    "employees" table. It looks like this on my side:

      [{"attrs":[],"name":"id","type":"serial"},
      {"attrs":["not null","unique"],"name":"name","type":"text"},
      {"attrs":["not null"],"name":"age","type":"integer"},
      {"attrs":[],"name":"tel","type":"text"},
      {"attrs":[],"name":"birthday","type":"date"},
      {"attrs":["not null"],"name":"height","type":"real"},
      {"attrs":["not null"],"name":"grades","type":"text"},
      {"attrs":[],"name":"department","type":"serial"}]

    We can generate SQL DDL statement files accepted by RDBMSes like MySQL
    or PostgreSQL from the .schema.json files like this:

      $ cht-schema2sql data/employees.schema.json
      Wrote ./sql/employees.schema.sql

    The output .sql file looks like this:

      $ cat ./sql/employees.schema.sql
      drop table if exists employees;
      create table employees (
          id serial primary key,
          name text not null unique,
          age integer not null,
          tel text,
          birthday date,
          height real not null,
          grades text not null,
          department serial
      );

    If we want to eliminate the drop table statement in the resulting SQL
    file, we can specify the "-n" option while running the cht-schema2sql
    utility. For instance,

      $ cht-schema2sql -n data/employees.schema.json
      Wrote ./sql/employees.schema.sql

    At last, we can use the cht-rows2sql command to convert those .rows.json
    data files to .sql files that are ready for relation database systems to
    import the "row data".

      $ cht-rows2sql data/*.rows.json
      Wrote ./sql/departments.rows.sql
      Wrote ./sql/employees.rows.sql

    The sql/departments.rows.sql looks like this on my side:

      $ cat sql/departments.rows.sql
      insert into departments (id,name) values
      (408862,'dJRq7LCXL'),
      (844615,'G_m9Nkh3q');

    To prevent the resulting data from conflicting with extra unique key
    restrictions in the targeting RDMBS table, we can use the "-r" option to
    make cht-rows2sql generate SQL replace statements to work-around this:

      $ cht-rows2sql -r data/*.rows.json
      Wrote ./sql/departments.rows.sql
      Wrote ./sql/employees.rows.sql

    Now we're ready to import the random data into database systems like
    MySQL!

      $ mysql -u some_user -p dbname < sql/departments.rows.sql

    For now, "cheater" is still in active development and lacking
    comprehensive documentation, the most complete documentation is its
    (declarative) test suite:

    <http://github.com/agentzh/cheater/tree/master/t/>

    Open one of those .t files, you can see lots of declarative test cases,
    like these:

      === TEST 5: datetime range domain
      --- src
      table cats (
          birthday datetime 2010-05-24 03:45:00..2010-06-05 18:46:05 not null;
      )

      5 cats;
      --- out
      cats
            birthday
            2010-06-02 14:59:02
            2010-06-04 03:31:00
            2010-06-03 01:51:41
            2010-05-28 19:29:34
            2010-06-02 13:31:38

INSTALLATION
      perl Makefile.PL
      make
      make test
      make install

    SOURCE REPOSITORY The source repository of this project is on GitHub:

    <http://github.com/agentzh/cheater/>

    If you have found any bugs or feature request, feel free to create
    tickets on the GitHub issues page:

    <http://github.com/agentzh/cheater/issues>

AUTHOR
    Yichun "agentzh" Zhang (章亦春) "<agentzh@gmail.com>", CloudFlare Inc.

COPYRIGHT & LICENSE
    Copyright (c) 2010-2013, Yichun Zhang (agentzh), CloudFlare Inc.

    This module is licensed under the terms of the BSD license.

    Redistribution and use in source and binary forms, with or without
    modification, are permitted provided that the following conditions are
    met:

    *   Redistributions of source code must retain the above copyright
        notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer.

    *   Redistributions in binary form must reproduce the above copyright
        notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer in the
        documentation and/or other materials provided with the distribution.

    *   Neither the name of the Taobao Inc. nor the names of its
        contributors may be used to endorse or promote products derived from
        this software without specific prior written permission.

    THIS SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED BY THE COPYRIGHT HOLDERS AND CONTRIBUTORS "AS
    IS" AND ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED
    TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A
    PARTICULAR PURPOSE ARE DISCLAIMED. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE COPYRIGHT
    HOLDER OR CONTRIBUTORS BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL,
    SPECIAL, EXEMPLARY, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES (INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED
    TO, PROCUREMENT OF SUBSTITUTE GOODS OR SERVICES; LOSS OF USE, DATA, OR
    PROFITS; OR BUSINESS INTERRUPTION) HOWEVER CAUSED AND ON ANY THEORY OF
    LIABILITY, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, STRICT LIABILITY, OR TORT (INCLUDING
    NEGLIGENCE OR OTHERWISE) ARISING IN ANY WAY OUT OF THE USE OF THIS
    SOFTWARE, EVEN IF ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGE.

SEE ALSO
    Parse::RandGen::Regexp, Data::Random.

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