02: Management, preserving and organization of manual test cases within VSTS 2010.

  • Part 00: Agile Testing with VSTS 2010 and TMap
  • Part 01: User Stories
  • [current post, removed the Agile Testing blablabla and part pre-fix]

This post belongs to the series of “Agile Testing with VSTS 2010 and TMap” although this topic has a wider scope, in used software delivery methodology you have to think about test case management.

A small introduction.

First a small introduction to give some direction on the needs of test case management.
The drawing below I made during a discussion with several TMap experts and explains how test cases are created and executed in a simple situation.

From top to bottom and left to right.
_MG_2894_edited-1

1 Teams start brainstorm over user needs, create stories and write these down on cards together with acceptance criteria.
Within VSTS 2010 this can be done in the work item type ‘user story’ [see previous post].
2 After prioritizing the stories, teams start the iterations by brainstorm on implementation tasks and test tasks.
Again, within VSTS 2010 this can be done in the work item type ‘user story’ [see previous post]. 
 3   4 Next, the sources and test case are going to be created, developed. Within VSTS 2010 source files in the IDE and than added to version control. Test cases are added as work item to TFS.
5 The source files are build, unit tested, labeled, packaged and finally deployed on a test environment where the manual test cases are executed against this deployment

All the artifacts created by tasks are under version control, except test cases. 

All the sources and corresponding automated tests like, unit tests, load tests, web tests and codedui tests are under version control. Getting the latest version of the sources also gets the latest version of these tests. But, also when using the more sophisticated capabilities of version control, like branching and merging, the tests also have this characteristics.

Manual test cases different, they are work items and aren’t under version control they have a history. Belong [often] to a user story. So, it gets interesting when making the above scenario more real live with sources and automated tests under version control with branching and merging. See drawing below…

_MG_2903_edited-1

  • User stories, sources and test case are created [top left].
  • [red line] A branch is made from the first version to start the development of an other version.
  • User story 2 [center] is added to this branch [new/ added user needs], also sources are added to this branch and test cases are created.
  • Finally version 2 is build and the test case of user story 2 are executed [bottom right].

Dotted red line; while there was a branch created from the sources, no branch was created from the test cases of user story 1 [top left], resulting in a version 2 with only partial tested functionality.

This branching scenario is very simple, there are some more complicated ones as you can read in Microsoft Team Foundation Server Branching. This 2006 MSDN story has also some nice branching and merging strategies.

b

The need for test case management within VSTS 2010.

This branching, merging and the decoupled characteristic of test cases is one of the reasons why we need test case management. We manually need to organize and manage our test cases in such a way that every iteration, version, service pack, hot fix and release is sufficient tested and to prove that its well tested.

As described in the paper Test Cube principle [pdf]:

A good test set (= collection of test cases) is of priceless value. During the realization of an application it is the basis for the reporting concerning test coverage and progress. In a maintenance situation it is a source of knowledge concerning the application and a source of ready-made test cases for regression tests.

In the next post we will have a look / deep dive in the capabilities of TFS 2010, MTLM [Test and Lab manager] how they fulfil the needs of test case management and in what way the TMap process template helps this process.

One part of the solution and even an agile one: automate the manual test cases as quick as possible and put them under version control. Next post more…



Comments (16) -

I have to say this looks real cool.....great work. Really useful post can't wait for the next post.

Aw, this was a really quality post. In theory I'd like to write like this too - taking time and real effort to make a good article... but what can I say... I procrastinate alot and never seem to get something done.

Me and my friend were arguing about an issue similar to this! Now I know that I was right. lol! Thanks for the information you post.

I admit, I have not been on this webpage in a long time... however it was another joy to see It is such an important topic and ignored by so many, even professionals. I thank you to help making people more aware of possible issues.
Great stuff as usual...

I was very pleased to find this site.I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post.

Well, this is my first visit to your blog! We are a group of volunteers and starting a new initiative in a community in the same niche. Your blog provided us valuable information to work on. You have done a marvellous job!

Do you accept guest posts? I would love to write couple articles here.
I was wondering what is up with that weird gravatar??? I know 5am is early and I'm not looking my best at that hour, but I hope I don't look like this! I might however make that face i

This is my first time i visit here. I found so many interesting stuff in your blog especially its discussion. From the tons of comments on your articles, I guess I am not the only one having all the enjoyment here! keep up the good work.

This is my first time i visit here. I found so many interesting stuff in your blog especially its discussion. From the tons of comments on your articles, I guess I am not the only one having all the enjoyment here! keep up the good work.

Hi, It seem site doesnt show fitly in ie6.

Hi There, It im sure this site does not display fittingly in ie6.

Like your writing! Still you can do some things to improve it.

Its really nice. Thanks for sharing.

Needed to take a minute to give you credit, yes please keep on with your posts, i truly enjoy them. You always can publish something absorbing that does not waste minutes of your life like what you see on countless other sites.

Wonderful article. Bookmarked it already. cheers, Jackson.

Add comment


Şarkı Sozleri