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Simulate data sources that are not yet available during development

Updated on May 4, 2020

During development, you can avoid being blocked because the data source you need is not yet available. You can create a simulated data source to use while you build and test your application, and then switch easily to the real data source when it is available.

When the team is working to develop an application, it is not unusual for one developer to get ahead of others and need access to resources that will come from work other developers have not yet completed. For example, if your team is building a weather widget, the team members building the UI may want to see how their design works with data in place before the team members working on the connector to the data provider have finished their work.

This does not have to be a blocker to UI development. Data pages allow you to specify sources of sample or simulated data to use until the connectors you really want to use are ready to provide actual data.

To use sample data, follow these steps:


1. Create a source for sample data

Create some sample data for your application. You can provide the sample data from a lookup, a data transform, or a load activity. The sample data should include values to populate all the properties that the page, section, or other component referencing the data page requires.


2. Create or identify the data page the application will reference

The Data Explorer in the Designer Studio gives you always-available access to the data object types and their related data pages in your application.

Data Explorer

In the Data Explorer, locate the data page you want to work with; or create a new data page in the appropriate data object type.


3. Instruct the data page to use simulated data

In the data page's Definitions tab, locate the Data Sources section. If you have already created a data source using the connector that is not yet ready, locate it.

checkbox for simulated data






Check the Simulate Data Source checkbox. The system saves the actual data source for future use (to the right in the image below) and lets you select the type and the source for the simulated data that you have prepared.

simulate data source checkbox checked






If you uncheck the checkbox, the system restores the actual data source specification, so when you are ready to move from simulated to real data, you only have to uncheck the checkbox and save the data page.

If you have not already identified a data source for the data page, you can still create one that uses simulated data:

new data source







Continue as described above to specify simulated data. When the correct data source information is available, you can update the data source entry and either switch to using real data or continue using the simulated data while you continue development. The property or section referencing the data page does so in the same way whether or not the data page is providing simulated data.

For more information about referencing a data page from a property, see Use parameters when referencing a data page to get the right data and Tailor data pages to the context in which you use them.

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