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Microsoft Test Manage for Test Assets: 10 Reasons to Use It

When it comes to test cases, defects and reports, test managers have several options. Microsoft Test Manager, the extension of Team Foundation Server and Visual Studio, allows teams to collaboratively plan, execute and track test cases and defects.

1.     Testing assets are centralized
Test cases, defects and other testing assets are saved in one location – the Team Foundation Server. Once test cases are created, they are accessible to all project team members in MTM. They can be reviewed, edited and available for execution fast.

2.     Traceability and coverage
User Stories with Acceptance Criteria or Requirements can be input and stored in MTM. All test cases can be linked to your User Stories or Requirements. This makes it easy to see if you have the testing coverage you need. Coverage can be defined based on features, user stories, tasks or custom sorting.

3.     Easy collaboration
Multiple testers can access and concurrently test in the same test suite, executing test cases on various environments and platforms. No more wondering if this is the latest and greatest spreadsheet or document. No more taking multiple spreadsheets and combining the test results into one. No more using formulas to see test results. MTM does this for you.

4.     Better reproducibility
MTM assists the team when defects need to be written. The steps that were taken are automatically shown in the defect documentation. Testers mark the exact step where the test case failed. The test case and defect are automatically linked together when the defect is created. Whoever retests the defect can see where the test case failed and have access to notes regarding resolving the issue, screenshots, recordings, and features/user stories/tasks. They can then use the exact steps to confirm the defect fix.

5.     Leveraging common steps
If you have common steps that are used in many different test cases, you can make them Shared Steps. Shared Steps ensure consistency, but more importantly they make maintainability easier. This can be leveraged across application suites. For example, a set of test cases may have the same first action of “Navigate to <devURL>”. This step occurs in hundreds of test cases. What happens if you need to change that action to “Navigate to <testURL>”? You don’t have to find every relevant test case and change it. Shared Steps allow you to make the change in one place and MTM changes it is all of your test cases.

6.     Export to Excel
Do you need the test cases in Excel for review? Do you need to have test cases in a spreadsheet for execution by other testing groups? Select the test suites you want and export to Excel. The export is complete with Pass/Fail and Comments columns. In addition to exporting test cases, executions results can be exported to Excel. Defects can be exported onto spreadsheet for review and triage.

7.     Test Organization
Test cases are easily organized into test plans using a folder-like structure. A test case can be created once and copied into multiple test plans for execution. For example, a master test plan for an application can be created and organized by test suite. Test plans for specific sprints or regression tests can then be created as needed based on the scope of the test. The test suites and test cases can be quickly and easily reused in planned releases and sprints. Past work is leveraged for future test execution.

8.     Can easily do cross-platform testing
Test cases can be leveraged for multiple platforms. Write once, execute everywhere. Test cases can be set for multiple device/ platform / browser configurations. This helps testers run the exact steps on each device. If a defect is logged, the configuration is automatically listed in the defect.

9.     Can record and playback test cases
Record the exact steps that are executed using the built-in screen capture video recording function of the tool. Recording can be used to capture real-life user workflows while learning an application from business users. This capability can also be used to document by video the actions performed during exploratory testing or actions to reproduce a bug.

10. Real-time Reporting
The software development stakeholders have many questions. How’s testing going? How many test cases have been run? How many passed, failed or were blocked? You can see testing progress by Test Suite and by Tester. View Burndown charts and your backlog. The tool automatically provides useful reporting at the click of a button.

These reasons to select MTM for testing provide insight to the value of using a Test Management tool to manage your test repository and defects.