Agile, Scrum webcasts to join has some create webcasts on subjects concerning Agile, Scrum. You can either sign up to them or go to the archive listing. Couple of interest are:

Agile Practices in a Traditional Organization

Adopting Test-First Development

Release Duration and Enterprise Agility

On May 15th is Agile and Quality: It is not an Oxymoron but a Necessity

Click here to check out the public webcast series.

Testa Smile

Create Reports for TFS2010 Test Results

Check out instructions on how to create reports for your TFS2010 Test Results. There is also an example that you can follow.

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Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Test Vs. QTP

Karthik K.K has posted on LinkedIn (click to see) a chart that compares the features of Visual Studio & Test Manager to Quick Test Professional (QTP).

I like the last item:

Visual Studio 2010 Test QTP Who’s Best
VSTS is cheaper and can be used for both development & testing. QTP is costlier and can be used ONLY for testing. VSTS

VSTS can also be used by Business Analyst, Project Managers, and Stakeholders. It can assist teams being Agile or Scrum or Waterfall thru a process template. The process template can be customized to meet your company need. VSTS reports on all aspects of a project and can tell you at any time where in the project you are at, the quality of the project to date, the status of your requirements/user stories. You can have a “Requirement to Test Matrix” in seconds at anytime.

If this alone has got your attention and you want to know more contact me directly.

Testa Smile

Toronto VS ALM User Group kick off meeting April 12th

The first Toronto VS ALM User Group kick off meeting is being held on April 12th @6:30pm sign up at TALMUG to get the details and register.

The User Group is for all roles within the Application Life Management team. Topics presented will vary from generic ALM practices to ALM with Visual Studio. If your involved in product management, a stakeholder, a business analysis or product owner, a developer or a tester this User Group is for you.

The goal of the first meeting will be to:

  • Define the group’s mission
  • Select an appropriate name
  • Document the roles of the executive
  • Recruit volunteers
  • Funding
  • Discuss how to reach out for sponsors
  • Discuss meeting locations
  • Discuss ideas for the first few meeting topics

Come out on April 12th and help us to kick-off this new user group code named TALMUG.

Testa Smile

Looking for tester who can create Unit Tests – What?

In the blog Functional/System testing with Visual Studio/Test Manager we talked about unit testing. Testers in the near future are going to need unit testing skills. Now that is a very scary statement given 70% of testing is done manually. Now is the time to start learning by taking programming courses, unit testing courses, pairing with developers to learn and searching the web.

In the Visual Studio magazine Jeff Levinson article Take Unit Testing to the Next Level talks about how to add unit tests to requirements to show test coverage. Jeff supplies code you can download and instructions on creating simple unit tests then how to link them to requirements. If you have Visual Studio give it a try.

Thanks Jeff

 Testa Smile 

Requirements Traceability in Visual Studio

Team Foundation Server (TFS) and Visual Studio(VS) excels when it comes to requirements traceability. Depending on what process you are using in TFS your stakeholders needs are documented in a work item called one of the following: requirements, user stories, use cases or backlog items. For this blog I am using the term requirement.

What is requirements traceability?

Continuous knowledge of the life of a requirement from conception to creation to design to development to verification to implementation and change. The ability to trace a requirements state and/or status at any time during a project.

First step in making requirements traceable.

In Visual Studio other work items are used to identify work that needs to be done to a requirement before it can be deemed done. There are different work item types depending on the process template you are using, however all contain the following: Task, Test Case, Shared Step, Bug. Additional work items can be added if not in your process template like Review, Issue, Change Request to name just a few. All these work items can be linked to the requirement they are helping to fulfill. Visual Studio 2010 introduced the concept of hierarchy by which a work item is linked to another work item using a linked type. The work item task is a child of a requirement, two requirements can be related, a test case tests a requirement. Work items like tasks may be linked to show predecessor or successor of another task. To learn more about choosing link types to effectively track your project click here MSDN Library.

Linked type listing:


Example of a requirement with linked work items:


What can be traced?

In Visual Studio during diagram modeling requirements and other work item types can be attached to objects in the model. During modeling you can either create or link requirements. This allows you to trace work items like requirements from a model diagram.

Example of a Use Case model with requirements linked:


Within the requirement work item I can see all other linked work items and information about them like state, assigned to. Knowing the state of work items linked to a requirement tells me the state and status of the actual requirement itself.

Development when checking in code to VS source control can be forced to associate what requirement or other work item their code relates too. Code check-ins create a Change Set that contains information about the check in and gets linked to the work item(s) associated during a check-in. When fixing bugs this is a nice feature.

In Visual Studio I can create queries to show any type of traceability report. Examples: Requirements to Tests Matrix, Requirements to Tasks, Requirements to Issues, Test Cases with Bugs to name just a few. Queries can also be exported or opened in excel, sent to someone thru email or opened in Microsoft Project. Queries exported to excel allows for adding additional excel reporting features like a Pivot Charts.

Requirements to Test Matrix – is there test cases for each requirement


Visual Studio comes with many reports that trace Requirements showing linked tasks and remaining work left, test case results state and many more scenario’s. Remember depending on what process template you are working with will determine the reports you see.



Checkout MSDN library for lots more information on Requirements Traceability in TFS & VS.

Testa Smile

Functional/System testing with Visual Studio/Test Manager

If your reading this blog you likely understand what functional testing and you may use the term system testing.

Wikipedia defines these terms as:

System testing of software or hardware is testing conducted on a complete, integrated system to evaluate the system's compliance with its specified requirements. System testing falls within the scope of black box testing, and as such, should require no knowledge of the inner design of the code or logic”

Functional testing is a type of black box testing that bases its test cases on the specifications of the software component under test. Functions are tested by feeding them input and examining the output, and internal program structure is rarely considered.”

If you have read Agile Software Engineering with Visual Studio (by Sam Guckenheimer & Neno Loje) you will have heard about “reducing waste”. Identified as tasks that reduce waste are functional and system testing. These two tasks can be done during code development through unit tests reducing the cost of bug fixes, bug analysis, creating a suite of automated tests and automated regressions tests and reducing the number of people involved in testing and the bug. In some teams developers and testers have been testing the same thing one through unit tests and then again later by a testers. This is duplication of work effort that is a expensive waste.

In Visual Studio there are unit testing tools and third party add in tools that developers can use to create very robust unit tests. You maybe thinking “the developers do not test the same “stuff” that testers do”. Your right, I agree. However since the team is encouraged to make changes to reduce waste why don’t we testers help them. In Visual Studio we can create test cases that are associated to the requirement/user story work item that describes what needs tested. We can pair up with developers to help them write robust unit tests to cover all the testing including boundary, error and data testing.

There are people that believe the future of the “software testers” is about to make a big change. Testers will need to be able to write and execute unit tests themselves therefore requiring the basics of coding and the ability to add assertions (validation) to the unit tests. (Check out MSDN’s Verifying Code by Using Unit Tests topics. ) I believe this will be a reality in the future but I also believe it will evolve.  If you want to start now pair up with your developers to help them create unit tests that execute both the “happy path” and boundaries of an individual method, class or component. Help them to create system integration tests. Getting expose to how unit tests are designed and coded will help you move into the future. In addition having knowledge of what has been unit tested reduces test duplication later. TFS and Visual Studio help us with all this through work item traceability.

Example of work item traceability:


Example of a Test Case and Associated Automation:


Visual Studio has the tools that will help us move into the future with confidence and the security we’ll need. Humans in general are not adapt to change but change we must. I am one of those people that embraces change and excels in change but then I have had Visual Studio in my pocket!

- Kent Beck

The role of professional testing will inevitably change from “adult supervision” to something more closely resembling an amplifier for the communication between those who generally have a feeling for what the system must do and those who will make it do.

Kent Beck author of Test-Driven Development (Addison Wesley 2002), 86.

Visual Studio – my companion, my mentor, my stability, my aid, my reporter, my success

Testa Smile 

(stay tuned, next blog  I will show you how easy it is to create a unit test!)

Microsoft - Search Work Items for TFS 2010

Check out the add-in tool that allows you to do searches for work items and it can be downloaded free. If your still using VS2008 or VS2005 there is a version of this tool available for them too.

Search Work Items for TFS2010 

Examples of work item searches with this tool:




Blog on how to use click here.

Enjoy Testa Smile


Microsoft ALM – the next release code named vNext

At TechEd 2011 in Atlanta Microsoft showcased some of the new features coming in the next release code named  vNext. Check it out by clicking the different links below:

VNext –  click the link to the vNext demo.


New Features are:

  • Storyboarding– A plug-in for PowerPoint that connects the creation and review of story boards with the rest of the team.
  • Backlog & Sprint Planning– New web based product backlog, sprint planning and task board.
  • Client Feedback –New tooling support to invite and receive feedback from stakeholders during development.
  • Team Navigator– More time ‘in the zone’, through improved experiences for day-to-day tasks.
  • Continuous Testing – A new unit test runner continuously running unit tests in the background
  • Agile Quality Assurance – Increased code quality with code review support, enhanced unit testing frameworks and new exploratory testing support.
  • Aligning Development with Operations (Intellitrace in Production) – Increased connections and insight between the operations and development teams lowering the time it takes to fix a bug in production.
  • SCOM & TFS Integration – Software Centre Operations Management now integrated with TFS.

Channel 9 - The Future of Microsoft Visual Studio Application Lifecycle Management Cameron Skinner talk at TechEd 2011 

Whitepaper: PDF whitepaper which reinforces the value propositions for what we’re delivering in vNext.



Migration to Microsoft TFS 2010 from Quality Center with Scrat

Quality Center has been the popular kid on the block over the years. Since Microsoft Test Manager came out in April 2010 it has and is giving QC a run for it’s money. Many companies are wanting to convert over to Microsoft TFS 2010 from Quality Center but are not sure how and do not want to lose existing artefacts.

SELA a Microsoft Gold Partner have created Scrat that will let you migrate full HP Quality Center projects into TFS2010 in days. Requirements, Bugs, Test Cases, Attachments and Links between items plus their interrelationship links can all be migrated to TFS 2010. Scrat is completely configurable to migrate what you want and need.

I personally have met a number of test teams that are converting to TFS2010 here are some comments being made about TFS2010 and Test Manger:

    • the collaboration between teams is outstanding
    • there is one place that stores all the project artefacts and anyone on the team can see them, how organized and commutative is that.
    • love the alerts, people know about bugs as soon as I save them
    • bug information automatically added would take me hours to put together
    • snap shot capability during test execution, no more folders full of screen prints
    • the test steps are added to the bug for me what a time saver
    • Test Impact – (normally it is the facial expression, such emotion, then demo it for people!)
    • now that I don’t have to manually note my steps during Exploratory testing, I can do a lot more testing and concentrate 100% on what I am doing

Note: the above are not direct quotes they are however truly what I am hearing testers saying.

Check out Scrat and if you need help give us a call.

Testa Smile