November 5, 2008

VS2010 Testing Features - Part 1 Camano

So two of our "strategy and innovation" team represented Intergen up at the Microsoft Professional Developers Conference in Los Angeles last week. They brought back a hard drive packed with goodies including the new Windows 7 OS and the latest CTP for VisualStudio 2010. I was super exited to get the Virtual Machine running today and play with the new testing features in VS2010 - there are several massive steps forward for QA pros (...and developers that care).

We're a Microsoft shop. I've been using the MS VS tools since 2005 for web / load test projects and using the unit test types for hooking into WatiN and other frameworks.What has been lacking has been support for planning tests and managing the results. Camano is the intended solution and it's a standalone app that runs against a TFS repository, with Test artifacts all managed as workitems.

The first step (and most important) is to get those document-based test plans/ test cases into a centralised tool that allows:
  • progress tracking
  • run reporting
  • bug / issue administration
  • It will also allow requirements and user story tracebility, if you go as far as managing these in TFS - which you should. (i.e. I can see you need not .. but you still should)

By recording a manual test you can generate a number of artifacts including a video (to assist with communicating the activities that uncover bugs) and an "automation strip" for playback and also to act as a basis of generating a true automated test. .

Playing with the features to "automate a manual test" reveals some of the more alpha quality areas, it just doesn't seem baked, although having said that the 1 GB restriction on my VM was not helping things (grindingly sloooow). I haven't quite grasped the Camano mechanism for running an automated test - perhaps that is just not there yet.

To be honest though, these particular features are icing, and I'll live through some pain in that area to get the managment stuff I need. I also understand that the CTP was cut in July - so they are 3 or 4 months on from this at Redmond.

Where things aren't quite there in Camano it does appear that TFS itself is further along. For example the reporting features and linking a test case with an automated test works in TFS but not in Camano. The only real downside as I see it is the need for a Team Foundation Server and the associated maintenance / cost overhead. I could see that being a battle for test teams that would otherwise win big out of going in this direction.

While there are some complexities in learning how this works, it offers a powerful features. There are also some promises of "test environment" VM management in the Team Lab SKU.
Comparing to the Rational / Mercury players isn't easy but for the price point (ESPECIALLY if your org uses VS / TFS already) its likely to come out swinging...

1 comment:

Grant Holliday said...

Hi Pierzapin,

I'm glad you're excited about the investments that we've made in the testing tools.

We suggest that you run the VPC with 2GB of RAM and from a separate harddrive if possible.

The best way to experience Camano is to follow the Visual Studio Team System Walkthroughs which are on the desktop of the VPC. The Test Runner and Coded UI Testing stuff does work, but it can take a bit to setup all the test cases, runs, plans, to get to that point.

If you need help or have feedback, our forums is the best place: