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Generating test data from the mysql> prompt

There are a lot of tools that generate test data.  Many of them have complex XML scripts or GUI interfaces that let you identify characteristics about the data. For testing query performance and many other applications, however, a simple quick and dirty data generator which can be constructed at the MySQL command line is useful.

First, let’s talk about what kind of data you can easily create with MySQL function calls:

You can generate a decimal number between zero and another number using the MySQL RAND() function like the following query (here between 0 and 10000):

SELECT RAND() * 10000;

Similarly, you can generate a random integer by adding the FLOOR() function:

SELECT FLOOR(RAND() * 10000)

You can generate a random string of 32 characters using MD5():

SELECT MD5(RAND() * 10000)

You can return a random integer between 500 and 1000 with the following: …

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