Everything you want to know about Visual Studio ALM and Farming
Brian Harry is a Microsoft Technical Fellow working as the Product Unit Manager for Team Foundation Server. Learn more about Brian.
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Back in June, I introduced the notion of a “Feature Pack”. Soon afterwards I announced the availability of the first Feature Pack – the Modeling Feature Pack. Now, it is my pleasure to give you a preview of the soon-to-be-released Testing Feature Pack (internally known as Feature Pack 2). It’s another VS 2010 family deliverable that has some totally terrific capabilities!
As a reminder, Feature Packs are only available to customers with the proper level of MSDN subscription. The first Feature Pack (the modeling one) required a VS Ultimate + MSDN subscription for customers to qualify. This Test Feature Pack requires either a VS Ultimate + MSDN, a VS Premium + MSDN subscription or a Test Professional + MSDN subscription.
As you might guess from the name of the Feature Pack, it is primarily focused on enhancing the testing capabilities in our VS Application Lifecycle Management products.
There are 3 major new features coming in this Feature Pack:
Now you can test your Silverlight apps as well as your other desktop applications. We’ve added support both for coded UI tests and for record and playback in Microsoft Test Runner (part of Microsoft Test Professional). You are able to record the execution of your Silverlight app and gather rich bug data (including action logs, video, environment info and more). Unfortunately, you can’t get Intellitrace logs at this time. We’ve tested it on a range of Silverlight apps, including ones with customer controls and apps generated by LightSwitch. We are waiting on a few fixes for LightSwitch issues we discovered – they should be available in the next LightSwitch pre-release.
Perhaps the biggest limitation is that, for now, our Silverlight testing support only works for Silverlight 4.0 applications hosted in IE. In the future, we will add support for desktop Silverlight applications too. There are a few other restrictions that you can read about in the docs that accompany the release but all-in-all, it’s a big step forward for testing Silverlight apps.
With our Visual Studio testing tools today, you can record and playback web applications in Internet Explorer. With Feature Pack 2, you can play back those recordings on FireFox as well. As with our Silverlight support, it applies to both Coded UI tests created with Visual Studio and automation recordings created with Microsoft Test Professional.
Among other things, this will enable you to create a set of tests once and use them to regression test on both IE and FireFox! Now you can make sure your changes don’t break apps across multiple browsers.
Managing your coded UI test has just gotten easier. In VS 2010, a coded UI test is generated as an XML description and some code. Neither is particularly easy to approach if you want to make some minor tweaks to your test – like change how a control you are testing is identified or remove a superfluous UI gesture, etc. The new coded UI test editor in Feature Pack 2 makes tweaking and customizing your recorded tests MUCH easier.
The test editor is accessed by opening the UIMap.uitest item in solution explorer (the coded UI test editor is the designer for it and opens automatically). Below is a picture of the main designer window. On the left is a list of the actions that were recorded. You can edit them and their properties. On the right is a hierarchy of all of the controls that were used. You can edit those too (for example, changing the properties used to identify the controls).
I’m really excited to see the second feature pack about ready to ship. It includes some great new capabilities for people using Visual Studio to do their testing and it’s a great addition to the architectural features in Feature Pack 1. And, believe it or not, we’re already busy working on Feature Pack 3 (actually, it was developed concurrently with Feature Packs 1 & 2). I promise to say more about it in the next couple of months but it will add a new set of capabilities to the product outside of what we’ve done with Modeling and Testing. I look forward to telling you more about it.
As soon as Feature Pack 2 is ready for download, I’ll post links to let you know.