User Documentation

This section contains a little meta info about the script. What it's all about, how to install it, where it came from and a little history. If you're a dev and want to extend it, (a) sweet and (b) visit the developer doc section. It will Blow. Your. Mind. (This is probably untrue).

What is this script again?

Sometimes you need fake data for things like testing software, populating databases, creating realistic-looking mockups and so on. For text, we have lorem ipsum; but for everything else you have to do a bit of legwork. Human-data especially - like names, addresses, town names etc. - are particularly hard to fake because you need a semi-realistically looking data set.

This tool was written to solve this problem: to provide a quick and simple way to let you generate large volumes of custom data in whatever format you require.

Try the script online at generatedata.com


Installation Types

It's ready to be installed in any intranet or local environment to be used by teams of any size: a single person or a large team. The installation script lets you choose between the following installation types:

  • A single, anonymous user account - all saved configurations will be on this single user. No-one needs to authenticate in order to access the script.
  • A single user account, requires login - the same as the previous option, except people need to log in to use the script and save data sets.
  • Multiple accounts - this lets you set up any number of user accounts, each with their own login information. This option is perfect if you have a team, all of whom need to use the script to maintain their own data sets.

Server Requirements

  • PHP 5.3 or later
  • MySQL 4 or later

Github code vs. generatedata.com

The version of the script found at generatedata.com is a private fork of the open source script. I added in a few frills here and there - such as the option to donate to the project - but the codebase is pretty much the same. The public site was written as a convenience for people who don't want to download and install the script themselves - and for those who are willing to donate to keep the project going. Good, solid, hardworking people. Salt o' the earth.


A Brief History

Version 1.x

The first version of the script was completed back in 2005/2006. It was very basic, but in overall UI and design it actually hasn't changed all that much to this day.

Version 2.x

Version 2 was never fully completed. A proof of concept was gotten up and running back in 2010, which added basic modularity and improved a few things, but I abandoned it in favour of some other projects I was working on at the time. The tag is available on github if you want a copy, but I wouldn't bother.

Version 3.x

http://www.generatedata.com

This is the main build found on the public site.