30 September 2010

OTSUG–A Look at Visual Studio 2010 Testing Tools

Last night, Russ Wagner and I met with the Omaha Team System User Group to present on “Creating Quality Software: A Look at Visual Studio 2010 Testing Tools”.  Once again, Farm Credit Services of America hosted the event and provided pizza for the attendees.

Here’s the description of the talk we gave:

Visual Studio 2010 provides application lifecycle management (ALM) tools that enable teams to create quality software.  In this presentation, Jeff Bramwell and Russ Wagner will demonstrate the new testing features of Visual Studio 2010 including Microsoft Test Manager, Test Runner, Coded UI Tests, Load Testing capabilities, and more.  If you've never had a chance to see some of the new testing features in Visual Studio 2010, or if you simply have questions regarding the use of the testing tools, this meeting is for you.

If you’re interested in the PowerPoint slides, you can download them here

OTSUG LogoFor more information about the Omaha Team System User Group:

Microsoft SQL Server 2008 SP2 Released

Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Service Pack 2 is now available for download.

What’s included in this service pack:

  • SQL Server Utility. After you apply SP2, an instance of the SQL Server 2008 Database Engine can be enrolled with a utility control point as a managed instance of SQL Server. For more information, see Overview of SQL Server Utility in SQL Server 2008 R2 Books Online.

  • Data-tier Application (DAC). Instances of the SQL Server 2008 Database Engine support all DAC operations after SP2 has been applied. You can deploy, upgrade, register, extract, and delete DACs. SP2 does not upgrade the SQL Server 2008 client tools to support DACs. You must use the SQL Server 2008 R2 client tools, such as SQL Server Management Studio, to perform DAC operations. A data-tier application is an entity that contains all of the database objects and instance objects used by an application. A DAC provides a single unit for authoring, deploying, and managing the data-tier objects. For more information, see Designing and Implementing Data-tier Applications.

  • Reporting Services in SharePoint Integrated Mode. SQL Server 2008 SP2 provides updates for Reporting Services SharePoint integration. SQL Server 2008 SP2 report servers can integrate with SharePoint 2010 products. SQL Server 2008 SP2 also provides a new add-in for SharePoint 2007 products. The new add-in supports the integration of SharePoint 2007 products with SQL Server 2008 R2 report servers.  For more information see the “What’s New in SharePoint Integration and SQL Server 2008 Service Pack 2 (SP2)” section in What's New (Reporting Services).

The full details of this service pack are available in the Microsoft SQL Server 2008 SP2 Release Notes.

Here are the various download links:

13 September 2010

Visual Studio 2010 Testing Tools Round Up

Yesterday, I co-presented a session covering some of the testing tools available in Visual Studio 2010.  Overall, the talk seemed to go very well.  In fact, the majority of the feedback responses were highly positive.  However, there was one negative comment – “This talk really was about Team Foundation Server.  Without this expensive application, the information provided is useless.

This comment was, no doubt, formulated based on a statement I had made near the start of my talk.  I pointed out that Microsoft Test Manager relied on Team Foundation Server (TFS) and that it could not be utilized without it.  In hindsight, I should have clearly pointed out that the remaining test tools found within the various SKUs of Visual Studio 2010 are not reliant on TFS to be functional.  Also, although it wasn’t directly relevant to the topic at hand, I should have pointed out that TFS is now included with Visual Studio Ultimate/Test Professional (w/MSDN) – thereby possibly addressing the “…expensive application…” portion of the above statement.

To address some of the confusion around the various testing tools available within the various Visual Studio 2010 SKUs, I’ve create the following graphic (note: each of the SKUs listed below are assumed to have a corresponding MSDN subscription):


For full comparison of Visual Studio features, click here

If you’re not familiar with all of these testing features found in Visual Studio 2010, check out the links below for more details.

  • Lab Management REQUIRES TFS – Lab Management lets you manage a collection of virtual machines, templates, and virtual environments for your Team Foundation team project. You can use these environments to develop, test, or run your application.  Many of the Lab Management features can be integrated into your automated builds as well.
  • Microsoft Test Manager - REQUIRES TFS – this is a brand new product with Visual Studio 2010 providing the following capabilities:
    • Create Test Plans
    • Create/Manage Test Suites
    • Create/Manage Test Configurations (e.g. Operating System, Web Browser, etc.)
    • Create/Manage Test Cases
    • Manual Testing – with the ability to record test actions
    • “Fast Forward” capabilities – the ability to automatically run through a selected set of manual test steps that have been previously recorded.
    • Lots more
  • Basic Unit Tests – Unit tests give developers and testers a quick way to look for logic errors in the methods of classes in Visual C#, Visual Basic, and Visual C++ projects.  TFS is not required for unit tests to operate in Visual Studio.  However, if you have TFS, the results can be published for later review.
  • Database Unit Tests – You can use database unit tests to establish a baseline state for your database and then to verify any subsequent changes that you make to database objects.  NOTE: In Visual Studio 2010 Professional, you can run database unit tests but you cannot create or modify tests in the designer.
  • Generic Unit Tests - A generic test typically wraps an automated test or tool that was previously created outside the Visual Studio Team System framework. Using generic tests, therefore, is a means for taking advantage of an existing test infrastructure.
  • Ordered Tests - An ordered test contains other tests (e.g. unit, web, generic, manual, and ordered tests, but not load tests) that are meant to be run in a specified order.
  • Coded UI Tests - You can use Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate or Visual Studio 2010 Premium to create automated tests of the user interface (UI) known as coded UI tests.
  • Load Tests - You use a load test to encapsulate non-manual tests, that is, unit, Web, generic, ordered tests, and then run them simultaneously by using virtual users. Running these tests under load generates test results, including performance and other counters, in tables and in graphs.
  • Web Performance Tests - Web tests consist of an ordered series of HTTP Requests that you record in a browser session using Microsoft Internet Explorer. You can also create a coded Web test, in which you can add more advanced features, such as flow control.
  • Test Impact Analysis - By using Test Impact Analysis during code development, you can identify the methods in a test project that have been affected by code changes in your managed code solution.
  • Code Coverage - You can use the code coverage feature of Visual Studio Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) to determine what proportion of your project's code is actually being tested using unit tests.

10 September 2010

HDC 2010–In the Books

For the past three days, the Heartland Developers Conference has been in full swing.  The first day was comprised entirely of hands-on classes (eight choices all together) while the remaining two days consisted of 45 sessions, 4 keynotes, and 2 receptions/after parties.  All this for a steal at $250 (plus a little extra if you signed up for any of the 1st day classes)!  Needless to say, Joe Olsen has once again put on a great conference.

I attended several sessions over the past couple of days and there was some great information to be consumed presented by some great speakers.  My personal favorite, other than my own session of course Smile, was the Windows Phone 7 “Deep Dive” session by Jeff Brand.

Russ Wagner and I had the privilege to present on “Generating Quality Software: A Look at Visual Studio 2010 Testing Tools”.  Overall, the session seemed to go very well – especially since we were in the final time slot for the conference (just prior to the closing keynote and giveaways!).  We were constrained to 45 minutes so we had to pack a lot of information into a short amount of time.  Due to the time constraints, we decided to try something a little different… We utilized a second projector to display the PowerPoint slides on while we demonstrated various features on the main screen.  This allowed us to focus on the demonstrations while still allowing the audience to review the various feature highlights contained within the slide deck.

If you missed our session and would like a chance to see it, we will be presenting an extended version of today’s session at the next Omaha Team System User Group meeting (where we’re not constrained to 45 minutes).  You can also view the session’s slide deck here.

For all those who traveled for the conference, have a safe trip home and we hope to see you again next year!

09 September 2010

TFS Power Tools–September 2010 Release

The latest release of the Team Foundation Server 2010 Power Tools are now available for download:

There are several new features in this release of the tools, including:

  • Admin Console Backup/Restore Wizard – you can now quickly and easily setup a backup schedule from within the Team Foundation Server Administration Console.
  • View With – this feature adds a new context menu item, View With…, to the Source Control Explorer (SCE) window in Visual Studio 2010 giving you the ability to view a file, directly from the SCE, using a non-default application (e.g. Notepad, etc.).  You can also change the default application for a given file extension.
  • Clone Build Definition – this feature provides the ability to right-click a build definition and create a copy of it.  This will be a nice time saver for anyone who has to create multiple but similar builds.
  • Copy Work Item Shortcut – this is a new context menu item for the results of a work item search.  This allows you to easily copy one or more work item hyperlinks to the Windows clipboard which can then be pasted into an e-mail message, etc.
  • TFPT Branches – a new “branches” command has been added to the TFPT command line utility.  This command mimics similar branching functionality available in Visual Studio 2010 today providing command line access.

You can get the full details on Brian Harry’s blog, here.