Symbolic Execution of Stored Procedures in Database Management Systems

M. S. Mahmood, M. A. Ghafoor, and J. H. Siddiqui
IEEE/ACM International Conference on Automated Software Engineering (ASE 2016)


Stored procedures in database management systems are often used to implement complex business logic. Correctness of these procedures is critical for correct working of the system. However, testing them remains difficult due to many possible states of data and database constraints. This leads to mostly manual testing. Newer tools offer automated execution for unit testing of stored procedures but the test cases are still written manually. In this paper, we propose a novel approach of using dynamic symbolic execution to automatically generate test cases and corresponding database states for stored procedures. We treat values in database tables as symbolic, model the constraints on data imposed by the schema and by the SQL statements executed by the stored procedure. We use an SMT solver to find values that will drive the stored procedure on a particular execution path. We instrument the internal execution plans generated by PostgreSQL database management system to extract constraints and use the Z3 SMT solver to generate test cases consisting of table data and procedure inputs. Our evaluation using stored procedures from a large business application shows that this technique can uncover bugs that lead to schema constraint violations and user defined exceptions.
(ASE 2014), Page 524-535


@inproceedings { ase2016,
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