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Customizing Test Plan and Test Suite Work Items using Visual Studio 2013 and Microsoft Test Manager 2013

Posted by: Gouri Sohoni , on 1/5/2015, in Category Visual Studio, VSTS & TFS
Views: 10614
Abstract: In this article, we will discuss benefits of Test Plan and Test Suites in Visual Studio 2013 Update 3 as work items, which can now be customized to suit the specific needs of an organization.

In the previous versions of Team Foundation Server and Visual Studio, Test Plan and Test Suites were entities independent of work item tracking service. Since they were not work items, it was not possible to add a state or any field to it. This lead to stringent workflows. Test Case could be customized but the Test Suite or Test Plan were not customizable. It was a long awaited requirement that Test Plan and Test Suite be provided as a work item. This was needed in order to customize Test Plan and Test Suite artifacts. Visual Studio 2013 Update 3 now provides Test Plan and Test Suite as work items. Now we can do any customization to them like adding fields, adding state transitions and providing workflow. This can be used to create custom reports by marking the newly added fields as Reportable. We can even have versioning and history for them.

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In this article, we will discuss benefits of Test Plan and Test Suites as work items, which can now be customized to suit the specific needs of an organization. We will find out how to change the workflow of Test Plan to make it more effective. We will add more fields to the existing definition of test suite work items and use them for creating reports. The process of customizing Test Plan and Test Suite is similar to existing work items provided with TFS. Finally we will touch upon the Shared Parameters concepts for Web Testing.

We can achieve following with this new feature

· The default states for Test Plan can be changed

· The additional fields can be added to the work item

· Custom fields can be added

In this article, we will customize Test Plan to add more transitions, add fields to it, provide rules to the field and use the field to create report. We will need Power Tools to achieve these. I have used a readymade machine from Azure which had Visual Studio 2013 Update 3 and Team Foundation Server 2013 Update 3 installed on it. If you have an Azure subscription, you can do the same or alternatively create a similar setup on your desktop environment.

Open VS > Select Tools > Process Editor > Work Item Types > Open WIT from Server and select Test Plan as work item.

power-tool-selection

Figure: Power Tool Selection for Work Item

We will start with the original workflow of Test Plan which looks as follows:

test-plan-org

Figure: Original Test Plan

I am going to add a few more status to it named Testing, Ready for Sign Off and Completed. Adding a state is in accordance with the work item customization feature we have used previously. Select workflow tab and drag & drop state and transition link wherever required.

test-plan-changed

Figure: Customized Test Plan

We are going to create a group of Reviewer or Approver. Users in this group will be able to approve or review the Test Plan. We will add a few users in this group.

tfs-group-reviewer

Figure: TFS Group

tfs-group-members

Figure: TFS Group Members

We will add a field in the Test Plan named Reviewer and provide a rule so that the value for the field can be any user who is member of the newly created Group. A new field created needs a reference name. We want to use this field in the report as a dimension so we will need to define it accordingly.

reviewer-field

Figure: New Field Creation

The Allowed values will take input from the TFS group.

reviewer-field-allowed-values

Now that we have finished with the customization of the Test Plan, let us find out how it looks by using Microsoft Test Manager 2013. I have created a Test Plan and added a couple of Test Suites to it.

test-plan-mtm-view

Figure: Microsoft Test Manager View

As you can see, first Test Suite has 2 test cases while the second has 3 test cases in it. Let us open the Test Plan and view it.

test-plan-opened

Figure: View of Customized Test Plan

Observe that the new field is shown below the field State. It also shows the allowed values. In this case, there are 2 users in the Reviewer group who can approve or review the Test Plan.

The current State of the Test Plan is Active. We can change the state to the newly added states and depending upon the transitions we have specified.

test-plan-status

Figure: Customized State in Test Plan

The state can change from ‘Active’ to ‘Testing’ to ‘Ready for Sign Off’. Finally we can change the state to Completed. At any point of time, we can change the state to Inactive saying that this Test Plan is no longer in Active state.

With these kinds of states, we can view the Test Plans in different states. This can be achieved by using a query:

test-plan-query

Figure: Test Plan Query

The query fetches all the Test Plans which are in ‘Ready for Sign Off’ State. This query can be stored for further use. We can even create an ad-hoc report using Report Builder for this new functionality.

I have created a report which shows Reviewer wise Test Plan Status. It shows consolidated matrix of various states and their respective reviewers or approvers.

test-plan-status-report

Figure: Test Plan Status Report

I have also modified Test Suite to add other Test Types to it.

test-suire-test-types

Figure: Customized Test Suite View

As you can see, I have added types like ‘Functional’, ‘Regression, ‘System Integration Testing’ and ‘User Interface Testing’. We can add more types if required like ‘UAT’.

I have also created a graphical report which shows the total number of Test Suites in each type.

test-suites-graphical-report

We have seen so far how the Test Plan and Test Suites are treated as work items and are fully customizable.

I will discuss another feature called Shared Parameter which was added in Visual Studio 2013 and Team Foundation Server 2013 Update 2. With Web Testing, you can run Test Cases with multiple sets of data and multiple times. We can add parameter names to the Test Steps and provide the values of the parameters. These shared parameters will be automatically shown in all test cases which reference them. You can either convert existing parameters to shared or create new ones.

shared-parameters

Figure: Shared Parameters in Web Testing

We discussed how customization of Test Plan and Test Suites help in creating reports and getting more information via queries. With Test Plan and Test Suite as work items, we can add fields and status of the fields also. We also discussed how Shared Parameters help in Web Testing.

Conclusion:

Visual Studio 2013 and Team Foundation Server 2013 Update 3 has made a lot of features available along with providing Test Plan and Test Suites as work items. Customizing work items is a strength of Team Foundation Server which can be leveraged now for Test Plan and Test Suites. Creation of Queries and Custom Reports based upon Test Plan and Test Suite is possible as they are defined as work items.

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Author
Gouri Sohoni is a Trainer and Consultant for over two decades. She specializes in Visual Studio - Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) and Team Foundation Server (TFS). She is a Microsoft MVP in VS ALM, MCSD (VS ALM) and has conducted several corporate trainings and consulting assignments. She has also created various products that extend the capability of Team Foundation Server.


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