With Ruby on Rails, it is possible to way that i can dump my production database right into a form the test a part of Rails can access?

I am thinking either a method to turn the development database into fittings, otherwise a method to migrate data in the production database in to the test database that won't get routinely removed out by Rails.

Let me make use of this data for a number of tests, but foremost i believe is applying real data using the performance tests, to ensure that I'm able to obtain a realistic knowledge of load occasions.

You may also take a look at http://github.com/napcs/lazy_developer which will help you to place the production data into yaml files.

We simply were built with a similar problem and wound up writing a assistant method in rspec that brings some data (within our situation, login particulars for many accounts) in the production database.

The next should give a concept:

require 'yaml'

def accounts
  @accounts ||= lambda {
    config = YAML.load_file("#{Rails.root}/config/database.yml")['production']

    dbh = Mysql.real_connect(config['host'], config['username'], config['password'], config['database'])

    accounts = []
    result = dbh.query("SELECT `accounts`.* FROM `accounts`")
    while row = result.fetch_hash do
      row.delete("id")
      accounts << Account.make(row)
    end

    dbh.close

    return accounts
  }.call
end

You should use the seed.rb within the db folder, populate your test database using the data you'll need. There's nice example on Railscasts: http://railscasts.com/episodes?search=seed

Would recommend you though and also hardwearing . production data from your testing conditions. And make backup copies!!!