Test Management Blog

Versioning with Quality Center

November 2, 2012
Continuing with our look at the complexities of test management with Quality Center we’re looking at version control this time. At a basic level version control means tracking which changes have been made to a testcase, who made them and when. Furthermore version control can mean tracking which version of a testcase was run against which release of a product and within which cycle. This is where version control starts to get complicated. Within Quality Center we have 3 different areas of version control that we can apply to our test management process: basic change tracking (audit log) baselines versioning In this video we look at each of these test management versioning concepts in turn. Audit Logs – When we...
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Tracking Execution Time with QAComplete

October 24, 2012
One important aspect to monitor on any test management project is the time it takes to execute a number of test cases. Capturing and reporting this information usually drives the average QA engineer slightly mad (after all you only need to find one bug during the execution and all figures will be distorted). So yes there is a certain amount of ambiguity associated with tracking this. Having said that there is some merit to this. Not least it helps provide some idea on the resources needed for a particular project. If you can estimate the testing duration (and provide past evidence) it's far easier to argue the case for the right level of resources for future project. So it’s not...
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Assignment of Test Cases with Quality Center

As part of our test management complexities series we're looking here at assignment of testcases within Quality Center. Assignment within QC typically works at the "testcase" level within the Plan and Lab areas. We can extend assignment to sets and steps but this requires custom field set up (which we look at in the video). In this video we first put this in context by looking at some of the key Quality Center concepts for planning and execution; the Plan where we define cases, with steps and group them into folders. and the Lab where we create sets which link to a number of cases from the plan area. With this concept we can then link the folders, that contain...
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Maintenance of Test Management Tools

September 27, 2012
A healthy test management system requires maintenance. When I say healthy I mean a system that gives you accurate reports, doesn't add a significant overhead to the testers work load and accurately mirrors your real world process. Rarely does a company implement a test management tool then leave it untouched for years. You're aiming to improve over time and get more out of your tool as your experience grows. You should be looking to make continuous improvements to the process and tool over time. First it’s best to take a step back and look at what it is you want to achieve. Consider your goals. Why are you using a test management system? “To track the tests we're running” is...
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Tracking Configurations and Releases with Test Management Tools

July 20, 2012
It's well known that keeping track of results from testcases against builds, configurations, environments, etc can become quite difficult to manage. It's one of the reasons we usually implement test management tools. These tools enable us to log our results against these different aspects of our testing and then quickly produce traceability reports to show our coverage. It's just that the permutations and combinations can become quite difficult to track, even with the right tools. If we have just 1 testcase, which we need to run against 2 platforms, 2 operating systems along with three configurations relevant to our application we already have 12 permutations. That's 12 permutations for just 1 testcase. And with this example we're not even considering...
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Identifying Retests with Test Management Tools

July 13, 2012
Re-running tests to check that bugs are fixed is an essential part of the test management process. Teams grow, the amount of data generated by completed testcases increases and the number of raised defects expands too. As a result it becomes more difficult to keep track of the retesting. There are several different ways to approach this. Firstly we can identify all failed cases from a previous cycle and just re run those testcases. This approach has one serious flaw in that defects raised outside of the QA effort don't then get retested. Having said that this is the simplest approach to execute. We talk more about this approach in practice in this managing retests blog post. The second approach...
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Aggregating Results with Test Management Tools

July 4, 2012
In many cases we'll need our test management tool to aggregate and report on results from various perspectives. For example we may need to aggregate across different projects, application modules, runs or cycles. Whilst this sounds simple in theory, it's not always so simple in practice. Much depends on how you structure things within your test management tool and how well that tool can cope with aggregating results. Another area of complexity can develop when you want to see what the last run status values are for a group of tests across different releases or builds of a product. We argue against The Aggregated Test Management Results Report in this post. However there are times when this can be useful....
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Test Management Libraries

June 11, 2012
Your ability to manage a library of testcases in your test management tool depends a lot on the relationship between the different instances of the testcases. The instances that resides in the library and the instances that are created to be executed and run. At a basic level you you will have two instances of a testcase.. 1. The instance that resides in the library. This is the master copy of the testcase and will not usually have a result record associated with it. 2. The instances that have been used at run/execution time. These instances will all have a result (pass, fail, not yet run, etc) value against them. They may differ from the instance that resides in the...
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Using Test Case Parameters in Test Management Tools

May 31, 2012
The ability to add parameters to testcases enables you to write testcases once and then run different instances multiple times with different parameters. It's a key capability in test management that saves time, enables you scale up your testing more efficiently and helps avoid mistakes when writing repetitive testcases. It does add a degree of complexity to your test management process though. Managing large volumes of parameter data can become difficult. Sharing parameters across different test cases is not straightforward. And the point at which you define the parameters (e.g. at run time) can be critical to the success of this approach. With QAComplete we're going to see how to create parameters in testcases, how we define the parameters and...
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Version Control of Test Cases in Test Management Tools

May 24, 2012
It's important to understand if and how version control of your QA artifacts is relevant to your test management process. If you work in a highly regulated environment then it likely that version control is very important. If you work in an environment where documentation and traceability aren't so important then this may not be so relevant. Either way it's useful to trace the history and modifications to your test artifacts. As most tools will do this for you in the background it’s usually worth starting off with tracking the history of changes at first. To understand the different approaches to version control read this previous blog post on the Three Approaches to Test Case Management Version Control. So at...
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