GLOSSARY POST

Validation

22 days ago
2 min read

Validation in general means the process that ensures that data or inputs are correct, complete, and consistent before being processed, stored, or used in any software system. The main objective of validation is to prevent errors, inconsistencies, or rogue data that may possibly find its way into the system and ultimately lead to undesired or dangerous results.

Validation can work with various types of data, such as:

  1. User inputs: Verification of user-provided information, such as form fields, search queries, or configuration settings, against certain expectations or requirements, such as datatype, format, length, and uniqueness.
  2. System Inputs: Check if data is coming from external systems, APIs, or files and upholds specified schemas, protocols, or agreements-manage inconsistencies and errors the right way.
  3. Business rules: Making sure predefined business rules such as mandatory fields, approval workflows, or calculation formulas bind the data and the processes.

Some of the common validation techniques include:

  • Data type validation: The check to ascertain that the data matches the data type expected, such as string, integer, boolean, or date, to reject or convert any values if needed.
  • Format validation: It is the validation of data in accordance with a specified format, or a pattern of data, for example, an email address, a phone number, a postal code, etc. It is done by matching to regular expressions or a pattern.
  • Range validation: Ensuring that numeric or date values are valid by checking they fall within a certain range, for example, positive numbers, dates in the future, or intervals.
  • Consistency validation: It checks the relationship of data fields or records with each other in the consistency of the meaning of the end date after the start date, or that the total amount is the sum of the individual items.
  • Uniqueness validation: This aspect ensures that, during the process of verifying certain data, things like usernames, email addresses, or ID numbers are unique within the system so as to prevent any kind of redundancy and conflict.

Use the following best practices when implementing validation:

  1. Client-side and server-side validation: Validation has to be performed both on the client side, for example, in a web browser using JavaScript, to guarantee immediate feedback to the user, and at the same time on the server side, for guaranteed security and dependability. Because the client performs the validation, client-side validation may be bypassed or manipulated.
  2. Clear, concise, and helpful error messages: Write helpful, specific, and actionable error messages that guide the user on exactly how to fix invalid data. Avoid general or cryptic messages, which often make little sense and are frustrating for users.
  3. Graceful degradation: Handling validation errors or exceptions to the best possible extent by allowing the system to proceed with operations, recover from errors, and not crash or expose sensitive information.
  4. Internationalization and localization: Ensure the validation rules designed, as well as the messages, meet the different needs and expectations of users from different countries, languages, or cultures. Things such as multiple date formats, character sets, or number separators should be supported.
  5. Performance and Scalability: Create scalable and effective validation processes, taking care not to provide computational overhead or network latency that will cause the system to fall off, create system performance degradation, or disrupt user experiences.

Effective and user-friendly validation techniques built into software systems shall improve the quality of the data and keep any possible mistake and inconsistency from being included in the application, hence boosting its overall reliability and security. Validation is one of the most important components of the software, and the process has to be included in every stage of the process: from collecting requirements to testing and maintenance.

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