Microsoft Test Manager is a software tool designed for the development, organisation and execution of manual testing. The individual test cases can be created and stored in separate test suites, and executed individually or in a group. There is comprehensive linkage to Team Foundation Server. This means that test suites can be created on the basis of requirements in the system under test. Also, if a problem is found while a manual test is being run, a bug report, rich in data automatically gathered by MTM, can be generated and sent to the developers. When the developer has finished with the bug, the test can easily be rerun to verify that the problem has been fixed.
Different configurations can be defined and associated with test suites so that the system is always tested under the correct conditions. Specific system builds can also be associated to a test plan. The testers will know which build they should be using at any particular time. The tool can display work items completed for any build. This gives a useful guide for regression testing.
It is the role of test management to ensure that new or modified service products meet the business requirements for which they have been developed or enhanced.
The purpose of test management is to ensure that a testing strategy is both devised and applied that is efficient, effective and economic.
The testing strategy should define the objectives of all test stages and the techniques that apply. The testing strategy also forms the basis for the creation of a standardised documentation set, and facilitates communication of the test process and its implications outside of the test discipline. Any test support tools introduced should be aligned with, and in support of, the test strategy.
What’s new with VS2012 MTM (Microsoft Test Manager)
Microsoft Test Manager 2012 has been enhanced to embrace exploratory testing (sometimes called agile testing), which allows you to explore the product in any way you want while keeping relevant steps and data that can be used to directly file bugs and feedback:
Visual Studio 2012 contains a variety of tools to create transparency between team members, reduce waste, and accelerate the flow of the project. As you set out to start the project, PowerPoint story boarding is a useful way to communicate the requirements of the software. When you get further along, the Microsoft Feedback Client can be used to gather feedback on the working bits from external stakeholders.
One area that has been improved in the 2012 release of the product is the facility to engage in exploratory testing. This is when an experienced tester uses the system in an unplanned way, running through the functions of the system as a real user would, perhaps trying to simulate error conditions as they go. If an issue is found, a bug report can be raised that contains a record of all the steps up to the point of failure. A test case can be created by the tool that contains the necessary steps from the recording to verify the fix and use in future regression testing. Results from all tests are automatically stored by the system and can be quickly analysed to report on the progress of the testing effort.
As tests are performed, recordings of the test steps can be made that can be used later to run the test in a semi-automatic way (each test step with a testable outcome must be manually passed or failed). These action recordings can be ‘Data Driven’ for multiple executions with different inputs and outputs. They can also be imported into Visual Studio to be turned in Coded UI tests that can be fully automated.
Finally, in MTM 2012 there is a convenient way to copy test cases from one test plan to another. This makes it easy to arrange the iterations of your development project into test plans on MTM, and have a consistent set of regression tests for each iteration.
Test management is also concerned with both test resource and test environment management.
Key elements of test management include:
Test organisation - the set-up and management of a suitable test organisational structure and explicit role definition. The project framework under which the testing activities will be carried out is reviewed, high-level test phase plans prepared and resource schedules considered. Test organisation also involves the determination of configuration standards and the definition of the test environment.
Test planning - the requirements definition and design specifications facilitate in the identification of major test items and these may necessitate the test strategy to be updated. A detailed test plan and schedule is prepared with key test responsibilities being indicated.
Test specifications - required for all levels of testing and covering all categories of test. The required outcome of each test must be known before the test is attempted.
Test Management tool provides the following support:
Provide visibility into requirements coverage
Provide visibility into the progress of the testing cycle
Provide visibility to make effective decision on go-live based on known risks
Measure progress and effectiveness of quality activities
Collaborate in the software quality lifecycle with a single global platform
Manage manual and automated testing assets centrally
Facilitate standardized testing and quality processes
2. Lab Management Tool
Lab Management tool provides the following support:
- A means to virtualize test environments
- Provide visibility into requirements coverage
- Manage groups of VMs as single entity
- Allows rapidly clone VMs using network fencing and other technologies
- Integrates with ALM tools to create tighter interaction between development/test & operations
- Patch virtual machines that are stored in a library by deploying the VMs on a dedicated resource pool (hardware) patching them and moving them back to the library.
The diagram below illustrates Lab Management function:
Flexible, Easy Application Development: Microsoft remains committed to enabling developers of all skill levels and organizational sizes to easily build business applications that target the desktop, cloud and Web.
Increasing Productivity, Reducing Cost: Visual Studio Lab Management provides an integrated platform for managing your virtual testing environments, which drives greater efficiencies and cost savings by automating workflow, utilizing Hyper-V and System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM).
- Enabling a “Private Cloud” Solution: Visual Studio Lab Management is a “private cloud” solution that enables teams to quickly provision virtual environments. These environments enable organizations to easily develop and test against a predictable base state, lowering the risk associated with software development due to unpredictable build processes and test environments.
Visual Studio Lab Management will be available to Visual Studio 2012 Ultimate with MSDN and Visual Studio Test Professional 2012 with MSDN subscribers.
To learn more about the product, please highlight and download the MTM Trial Version.