Test Scribe for Test Manager–how to change template

Shai Raiten has posted a blog on how to change the Test Scribe template. Test Scribe is a tool for turning your Test Plan in to a document. The default template can be changed to include or exclude information that meets your needs.

Check out Shai’s blog for instructions – How to change the Test Scribe template.

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Microsoft Test Manager– Test Case export to excel tool

Free tool available for exporting your test cases to excel in a nicely formatted fashion.

Click to download here

You  connect to Team Foundation Server by clicking the Connect TFS button.

Pick the Team Project you want to work with as shown below.


The test plans and test suites associated to the team project you selected display.

Pick a test plan and test suite then specify where you want to save the excel file to on your system and a name for the excel file.

Click Export.


Here is an example of test cases export to excel. The Actual Results, Pass/Fail and Comments are not populated from Test Manager. These would be fields your tester’s would enter as they are testing! Or you could remove them and add your own columns using this for test case reviews or any other type of reporting required.


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Microsoft Test Manager– test plan confirgurations

If your looking for a way to create test configurations that can be used in all your team projects check out Dave Lloyds blog. Dave explains how to edit the process template to add or change test configurations.

Testa  :-)

The 10 Minute Test Plan by Jim Whittaker

Jim Whittaker recently wrote an article called The 10 Minute Test Plan. It is a must to read. If you’ve been in testing where you had to write a Test Plan you will be grinning as you read and nodding you head.

To get your interest here is the first 2 paragraphs of Jim’s article:

Anything in software development that takes ten minutes or less to perform is either trivial or is not worth doing in the first place. If you take this rule of thumb at face value, where do you place test planning? Certainly it takes more than 10 minutes. In my capacity as Test Director at Google I presided over teams that wrote a large number of test plans and every time I asked how long one would take I was told “tomorrow” or “the end of the week” and a few times, early in the day, I was promised one “by the end of the day.” So I’ll establish the task of test planning to be of the hours-to-days duration.

As to whether it is worth doing, well, that is another story entirely. Every time I look at any of the dozens of test plans my teams have written, I see dead test plans. Plans written, reviewed, referred to a few times and then cast aside as the project moves in directions not documented in the plan. This begs the question: if a plan isn’t worth bothering to update, is it worth creating in the first place?'

The Ten Minute Test Plan

The nice thing about using Microsoft Test Manager is my test plan is built in and I can update it as things change. I can use Test Scribe to output it to a word document is anyone does want to really read it.

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Microsoft Test Manager (MTM) – Test Case steps

I am seeing people talking about having a test case with up to 50 and even 100 steps. I might be mad but isn’t that a lot of steps in one test case? When I talk to test teams my recommendation is no more then 10 steps per test case.

Make usage of Shared Steps that can be used to navigate through an application. Make usage of other test cases that will get your test case to the right spot in the application. Use the MTM ordered test feature to organize test cases to run in a specific sequence when needed.

I like to tell testers about the KISS principle of design.

Keep it simple and straightforward.

Keep it simple and short.

The KISS principle states that simplicity should be a key goal in design, and that unnecessary complexity should be avoided. This applies to code design as well.

Test Cases you’ve kissed will be easy to understand, maintain and report on.

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Microsoft Test Manager– What is my test state at the Test Plan level?

Check out the Visual Studio Team Test blog on using Excel reports with MTM to identify test state at a test plan level. This is a step by step on how to create the report in excel using information on your test state from Test Manager.


Microsoft Test Manager, Coded UI (CUIT), Web Performance & Load, Bugs, using TFS2010 – 3 day course in Toronto 10% off

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Tell them Testa send you …

Microsoft Test Manager–Test Attachment Cleaner tool

One of my favourite Test Manager feature is the data and diagnostics that collects information during my test runs to pass on in any bugs I log or get attached to my test run. The action recording proves the test case steps were followed, they allow me to fast forward the test next time I run the test or iterations. It has eliminated the bug state “Cannot Reproduce” The time all this data collected saves me in dealing with just bugs is unlimited. Developers love it too, they can diagnose bugs in no time.

I wonder if this helps in reducing the affect of the bug fix breaking other code. Now that would be interesting to investigate. Next project I’ll have to investigate all Test Impact and track how many were due to code changes involved in a bug fix.

Now I am in year five of using Test Manager and Visual Studio data diagnostics and my test runs and bugs are adding up in quantity therefore my database is getting full of all these test attachments. Do I really need to store the test attachments from a project that is done and 9 months old. Maybe not. What can I do?

The Test Attachment Cleaner a command line power tool that accepts parameters to remove test attachments form the database. Here are some examples:

  • Identify list of attachments taking up database space of more than 1 GB per attachment
  • View/Delete IntelliTrace log files over a size of 500 MB
  • View/Delete all Video log files with Test run creation date older than specific date with no active bugs
  • View/Delete all TRX & COV log files for test runs that happened between 30 and 90 days in age & do not perform the Linked Bugs lookup query
  • View/Delete all custom/user attachments over size of 5 MB with no active or resolved bugs on test runs between 2 dates

Find out more and download Test Attachment Cleaner

If you need to keep the test attachment data it can be stored remotely which is setup in the Test Plan properties, test settings.


Microsoft Test Manager–configurations


I’ve been asked about the managing of test configurations. In the sample below I have two test configurations set up as I add test cases they are automatically assigned both test configurations.

You can have multiple test configurations set to be the default. Which means all test cases are assigned these default configurations.


When I click on a Test Case then the icon Configurations I can override the default and remove one or both configurations from the selected test case.

You can select all your test cases in a test suite (using the std Microsoft selection hotkey) and then click Configurations to update a bunch at once.

I just added a new configuration named My Added Configuration. When I select the test case and click Configurations the Select Test Configurations opens. I then have to click All configurations and my view looks like display below:


If you do not click All configurations you will not see the newly added configuration(s). It’s a trick I know why not just show them all. Hey, were tester’s we should be enjoying the challenge!

Hope this help ..

Testa Smile

Microsoft Test Manager– Test Plan shortcuts

Quick access to Test Plans using the “Copy URL for plan” option in the Testing Center window.


  1. 1. Open Test Manager
  2. 2. Open the TFS Team Project that your Test Plan resides in
  3. 3. Highlight the Test Plan by selecting that you want to create a shortcut for
  4. 4. Click on the Copy URL for plan icon in the toolbar menu (see below)


(Note: when you click the “Copy URL for plan” icon the URL address to the plan is stored on your clipboard)

5. Next, go to your desktop and right click, select New then select Shortcut


6. The Create Shortcut window opens, paste the URL from the clipboard, using either Ctrl-V or right-click Paste, now click the next button.


7. Create Shortcut window opens where you enter a name for your shortcut. Make sure you are entering the actual Test Plan name or using a naming convention that allows you to easily identify the shortcut. Click Finish. (Notice a name by default is given: “New Internet Shortcut” if you miss entering your own)


8. The short cut is created and looks like below, when you click on it the Test Plan opens.