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Defining central starting point(s)

The designing of one or more central starting points from which the testers can obtain data for their test specifications.

A good starting point is of essential importance for the sake of being able to (re)test. This will contain everything necessary to prepare the test object and the test environment before starting with the test cases in the test script. This involves not only the test data required for the processing, but also the condition in which the system and its environment should be.

In practice…
incorrect starting points appear to be a signii cant source of problems for the testing. To avoid testing using the wrong starting points during the test execution, it should be considered at an early stage how these are to be constructed and which process is to be employed in using them. If this is not done, the following problems may arise:
  • Non-reproducible test results
  • Deteriorating starting point
  • Testing gets increasingly expensive
  • Insuficient information on defects causes delay

In the test specifications, the necessary starting point is specified per test script. To avoid redundancy and to restrict the number of physical les needed, one or more central starting points are defined that the testers can use in the creation of their test cases.

starting points Al kinds of starting points emerge in the creation of the test specifications, usually one per test script. The tester who manages the central starting point will consult on this with the tester of the starting point of the script as regards which data are suitable for adding to the central starting point. In this, the following criteria, for example, could be used:
  • Can other testers reuse (part of) the starting point of the test script?
  • Does the starting point of the script conflict with the (consistency of) the central starting point?
  • Can including the starting point of the script in the central starting point disrupt other tests?
  • Will including the starting point of the script in the central starting point lead to efficiency benefits in the execution of the script?

Starting points / test data in Visual Studio 2010

It is possible to add test data in Testing Center. Will adding a test step a parameter can be added by prefix it with a “@”, the different values can be added in the parameters value box.

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For more information about parameters see: How to: Add Parameters to a Manual Test Case To Run Multiple Times with Different Data. It isn’t possible to share test case parameters (starting points) with other test cases. What you could do to make parameters re-usable for other test cases is by so called “creating shared steps”. Shared steps can be created from the test case window but, also from the ‘share steps manager’ menu. Steps added as shared step can be re-used within different test plans.

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Test data repository.

It isn’t very logic to add data sources to manual tests in Test Center for input and output checks. The manual tester would probably go crazy by the amount of test data, so called test iterations he needs to execute for a specific test case. So, Test Center doens’t have the capability to add data sources to test cases. To get tests executed with repositories of test data you need to create an Automated UI Test. Coded UI tests are code projects which can be edited as normal code projects in Visual Studio 2010.

for more information see on MSDN: Creating Automated Tests

Test environment

Also the test environment needs to have a good defined starting point. Test environments for tests are managed at test plan level in Microsoft Test and Lab Manager and with that a responsibility of the test coordinator roll. The test coordinator will configure and manage the test environments as described in the master test plan.

testplan manage environment.png
Test environment management for test plans in the test plan window.

lab center.png
Test environments are created and managed within Lab Center.

For more information on Lab Center see on MSDN: Virtualizing the Application Lifecycle and Setting up the infrastructure

Last edited Nov 7, 2009 at 7:20 AM by ClemensReijnen, version 2


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