Friday, July 27, 2012

Mockups for Test Plan Builder

Working with customers and real life projects with Microsoft Test Manager sometimes exposes you to situations where everything is not so clear and simple as you’re used to. The ALM Rangers Test Tooling and Test Release Management guidance tries to address some of those situations.

Tooling for Test Release Management
But even if there is guidance, it only tells you what you need to do , it doesn’t do it for you, and today it’s can be a lot of repetitive manual work doing Test Release Management.  Building the PoC for a UI for Deep Copy test suites I started to think about what kind of tooling would be needed to ease or remove some of the pain points and manual work related to MTM and Test Release Management

Mockups for Test Plan Builder
With some Ideas for what’s missing then building a new test plan in one hand, and a bunch of code and “tools” used in different situations in the other hand I started to think about putting them all together.  To figure out how, and what’s missing I made a mockup using the new PowerPoint mockup features of VS 2012. After trying out some ideas I ended up with something like this. If you have any feedback thoughts or comments, I would love to hear them …

TFS Test Plan Builder project 
As a first step towards realizing the Test Plan Builder I’ve started a codeplex project, TFS Test Plan Builder and started to put together the basic parts. It's still a long way to go before it will be ready for release.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Proof of Concept for a UI for Deep Copy test suites

Microsoft introduced a new feature in Microsoft Test Manager (MTM) 2012 – Deep Copy of test suites. Unfortunately it’s not accessible through the MTM user interface, instead it’s only available through a command line utility. It’s not the best of user experiences..

The new Deep Copy feature
There is a Copy Test Suite feature in MTM 2010 , but it only copies a test suite so the new test suite links to the same test cases. The new Deep Copy feature in MTM 2012 copy test suites also, but it also creates copies of every test case and re-link all links in the suite. This is a great feature if you need to preserve the state of your test cases or create a baseline.

Deep copy exposed through the TFS API
Luckily the TFS API exposes methods for the new deep copy feature. The API version is, as well as the command line implementation, asynchronous. Using the API to do a deep copy is quite simple if you have the Id’s for everything. It’s actually more work building an user Interface to present a test plan and making it possible to view and select the test suites in the test plan.

An embryo for future tooling
Building the UI for the Deep Copy PoC got me thinking. There is a lot of manual work involved then building a new test plan then moving from one sprint to another, or then moving to a new release. Building the UI for the Deep Copy PoC soon got me thinking about adding other features to improve the experience of building a Test Plan.

The source
This PoC is build against the Release Candidate of VS and TFS. As usually I’ve zipped and uploaded the PoC source to my sky drive. You will find it here: