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Software Testing with Visual Studio 2010: Planning Your Testing

In this chapter from Software Testing with Visual Studio 2010, Jeff Levinson covers how to create a Test Plan with Microsoft Test Manager (MTM) and the various options that the Test Plan provides to you. More important, this chapter covers what to test and how to get involved as a tester early in the development process.
This chapter is from the book

To begin, you need a plan. The plan does not need to be 500 pages of documentation or a massive Gantt chart. This chapter covers how to create a Test Plan with Microsoft Test Manager (MTM) and the various options that the Test Plan provides to you. More important, this chapter covers what to test and how to get involved as a tester early in the development process. In addition, Microsoft provides a little-used Test Plan Word template that can help answer some questions about the testing process up front.

Another key item covered here is how to plan and test for multiple iterations. Can you reuse your Test Cases, and does it make sense to do that? Many items come into play when planning the testing for an entire release versus a single iteration. By the end of this chapter, you will know how to use the Plan tab of MTM, create new plans, and create a framework for testers to work in for a given period of time.

As mentioned in Chapter 1, "State of Testing," testers should be involved, ideally, during the requirements gathering process. In a waterfall cycle this is during the Analysis phase. In an agile cycle this is during the period of time in which the business analyst or product owner fills in the details for items on the Product Backlog but before introducing the item into an Iteration Backlog. This chapter covers what the testers' responsibilities should be and what they can do to help reduce the potential for bugs to be introduced into the software.

Microsoft Test Manager

Microsoft provides a separate tool for testers: Microsoft Test Manager (MTM) where you can create Test Plans and add and update Test Cases and where manual and automated tests are executed from. Before getting into the details of creating Test Plans, you need to understand how to navigate within MTM. Figure 3-1 shows the navigation controls.

Figure 3-1

Figure 3-1 MTM navigation controls

MTM is organized into Centers, Tabs, and Pages, as shown in Figure 3-2.

Figure 3-2

Figure 3-2 Microsoft Test Manager navigation layout

Table 3-1 briefly describes each section. These pages and the options they enable are described throughout the book.

Table 3-1. MTM Pages Described








Contains the settings for the given Test Plan including manual and automated test settings, test configurations, and the build in use


Contains the suites and Test Cases that need testing for the selected plan


Run Tests

Main page for executing test runs

Verify Bugs

Contains bugs that have been resolved that the tester can quickly get to and verify

Analyze Test Runs

Shows all test runs (manual and automated) but used mainly to view an automated test run and take appropriate actions based on the outcome of the test runs



Same as in Team Explorer; it enables you to execute stored work item queries or create new queries

Assign Build

Enables a tester to assign an automated build to the Test Plan

Recommended Tests

Shows the list of all tests that have been impacted by a code change

Project Portal

Provides a quick link to the project portal (opens a web browser)


Test Plan Manager

Lists all the Test Plans in the current Team Project

Test Configuration Manager

Lists all test configurations

Test Case Manager

Lists all Test Cases in the current Team Project

Shared Steps Manager

Lists all the shared steps (reusable test steps) in the current Team Project




Contains all the physical and virtual environments ready for testing purposes

Test Settings

Test Settings Manager

Contains all manual and automated test settings



Lists all the environments prepped for use in testing, including environments that have been deployed

Virtual Machines and Templates

Contains all the virtual machines available to be composed into a test environment


Test Controller Manager

Contains a list of all test controllers and all agents associated with those controllers



Test Plan Summary

Generates a document with the selected Test Plans, associated Test Suites, Test Cases, Test Steps and related work items

Test Run Summary

Generates a document with the results of the selected test runs

When you first start MTM, you will be asked to connect to a server (Figure 3-3), select a Team Project (Figure 3-4), and then select a Test Plan (Figure 3-5).

Figure 3-3

Figure 3-3 Connect to a Team Foundation Server

Figure 3-4

Figure 3-4 Connect to Your Team Project

Figure 3-5

Figure 3-5 Select or add a Test Plan

Note the Copy URL for the plan option in Figure 3-5. MTM enables you to provide URLs to specific plans, so you can send the URL to someone who can then click it and have MTM open to the right plan. Only Active plans show up in this dialog. You can view all plans (Active and Closed) from the Testing Center, Organize Tab, Test Plan Manager page.

MTM enables you to work in one Team Project and only one Plan in that Team Project at a time, although you can change plans and projects as needed. After doing this the first time, MTM remembers your last selection, so MTM can open to the last selected Plan.

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