Sunday, August 16, 2009

VSTS Tester Demo Follow-ups

Last week, I delivered a VSTS 2008 Tester Edition demo to a prospective client. Following up on a few questions to which I didn’t know the answer:

Q. Can I use Subversion with TFS?

A. I get this question all the time from developers. It’s a perfectly valid question. The answer is no…but yes…sort of. The version control repository (and all data) must remain SQL Server. Yes, it’s proprietary. Further, if you plan to use TFS in your software development environment, but choose not to leverage it for version control, it severely limits the usefulness of the information elicited from TFS (because you’re not feeding in the crucial VC data). If you’re not leveraging VC in TFS, you’re probably not leveraging Team Build either.

That said, while a fully-integrated TFS for ALM and SCM is the ideal, there’s a compelling argument to leverage TFS as a repository for requirements, scenarios, test cases, functional and load testing as well as defect tracking. TFS is an excellent repository to store “stuff”: risks, requirements, issues, defects, etc and relating all these items. So, while your shop won’t get 100% of the horsepower of TFS without leveraging VC, there are still benefits.

Q. In a Web Test (and Load Test), one can indicate the browser type and even break this out into a distribution (e.g. 50% of users are FF3; 50% IE7). What is this really testing? (Test menu >> Edit Test Run Configuration…Web Test…Browser Type)

A. Contrary to what we would drool over, this is not actually rendering the test in a given/different browser. This is just sending a browser-specific header to the web server and hence the testing engine. The web server will note the browser type (user agent) but it’s not like these settings will reveal (for example) HTML table tags mis-rendering in IE when they look fine under FireFox 3.x (you are using CSS, right?). Here’s a write-up describing how to install additional/new browser types.

Q. If we deploy our web site into a test environment, the base URI for the web tests will differ from that when administered on the local machine. How can we make the base URI dynamic/configurable?

A. Yes, one can make the base URI dynamic / data driven from (for example) configuration.

1. Record the test with a local instance

2. Right-mouse on the test selecting “Parameterize Web Servers”

3. Configure with meaningful names (TestEnvironment, UATEnvironment, etc.). I have to imagine this could be configured at build / deployment time but I haven’t done that.


Q. What Instant Messenger (IM) clients does the “Team Members” functionality support?

A. Right-mouse on Team Members (need SP1 for this functionality), Personal Settings, Collaboration, Change button. Live and Communicator are included. Beyond that, the interfaces are exposed and an MVP team created a Skype provider. Good write-up here.


SAM said...

Can I have the ppt or recording of that demo. I have ro showcase VSTS 2008 to one of my client in context with defect mngmnt. and tracking.

Jeff Hunsaker said...

@SAM I didn't capture this demo but would recommend Randy Pagel's Resource page on his site. He has several presentation decks there...several of which cover defect tracking. That said, you likely want to demo/highligh Visual Studio/TFS 2010. A primary tenent of 2010 is testing.