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Overview of Lab Management and TFS

Overview of Lab Management and TFS



A presentation I did with Microsoft on the "Testing Tour"

A presentation I did with Microsoft on the "Testing Tour"



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  • “Of course, we’ve had Visual Studio for a long time…” [click] <br /> “In 2005, we introduced Team Foundation Server, which allowed us to provide a central repository of data around application development…” [click] <br /> “This central server also became our integration point for those not working within Visual Studio…” [click] <br /> “With 11, we are incorporating the DevOps story and other tools for managing an application outside of its relatively short time in developer’s hands…” [click] <br /> “And, as with most Microsoft products, the real strength of this platform is the ability to extend it, integrate it, and make it your own!”
  • Considering how IT has evolved over the past decades. Why was Agile a relatively newcomer to the process? <br /> <br /> Setting aside that debate for a second. The cost of transitioning states was and still can be an expensive endeavor. For instance, if the cost to deploy your application to the QA team is expensive, I would try to do that as few times as I could. The same holds – if the cost of deploying the application is high, I’d want to do that as few times as possible. So – the longer that I could stay in that state – that I just transitioned to – I get more value. My team (it was thought) was more productive because they are doing the same thing in a repeatable fashion. Now what I mean by that was – after I’m in my test/stabilization phase, I knew I could have my testers execute tests, and execute tests repeatable. I can have my developers fix bugs repeatedly. I wasn’t trying to mix things up by having people work on different functions on the project at the same time. <br /> <br /> Setting aside agile v waterfall at the outset, what if there was this world, where at least we reduced or almost removed those hurdles to giving teams the way to decide what is most efficient for them without the artificial challenges. What if we automate the build/deploy/test cycle for one. What if we could actually have tools that could make us more efficient in doing our real jobs – in this case – the testing of our environment. <br />
  • Practices to continuously test software against the defined acceptance criteria as it is being developed, using the appropriate tools, and by the appropriate stakeholder functions (product owners, developers, testers, users). Continuous acceptance testing helps prevent late detection of unmet requirements and reduces rework costs. <br /> <br /> An ALM solution that enables continuous acceptance testing should include tools and services to: <br /> <br /> Enable a mix of testing practices that engage cross-functional stakeholders in continuously validating the fulfillment of acceptance criteria (product owners, developers, testers, users, and operations). Engaging stakeholder functions early and often in the lifecycle to validate the fulfillment of acceptance criteria will help prevent the late detection of unmet requirements and reduce rework costs <br /> Build -> deploy -> test automation services to reduce cycle times in continuously integrating and validating the quality of team builds <br /> Test lab management automation services to reduce the cycle times in standing up and releasing test environments needed to continuously execute tests of varying intents (build verification testing, systems integration testing, user acceptance testing, stress testing) <br /> <br />
  • Talk Track: A lab management automation solution reduces the cycle times to manage and provision the test environments needed to enable continuous acceptance testing.  
  • A lab management automation solution reduces the cycle times to manage and provision the test environments needed to enable continuous acceptance testing. A lab management automation solution should include capabilities to: <br /> <br /> Store and manage baseline templates for the needed test environments <br /> Provision environments on demand using the environment templates <br /> Provision environments to on-premise bare metal, private cloud, and public cloud infrastructures <br /> Snapshot environments when defects are encountered and needed to be reported <br /> Provision environments from snapshots to enable defect reproduction and resolution <br /> <br /> Environments supported include: <br /> <br /> On-premise self management environments <br /> On-premise virtualized environments managed using SCCM <br />
  • Talk Track: Lab Center lets you create and manage your testing environments from a single location. Environments can be stored on local metal, or virtualized on site or in the cloud. Maintain multiple realistic environments so that your application can be quickly deployed and tested under the configurations you expect your users to use. <br /> <br /> Environments can be based on self-managed infrastructure or virtualized infrastructure managed using SCCM (System Center Configuration Manager)
  • Talk Track: <br /> With Lab Manager, your build and deployment cycle times can be reduced in step with your development and testing cycle times. Automating your build and deployment pipeline will reduce manual errors, decrease cycle times, and increase quality.
  • Talk Track: <br /> Whether it is bare metal machines, or multi-part SCVMM environments, Lab Manager helps you manage your test environments from a single location. Testers can quickly find the right environment to test on, reducing hand-off times and decreasing manual deployment defects. The ability to take environment snapshots when bugs are found significantly reduces the likelihood of “no-repro” errors.
  • Talk Track: Enable data collectors and generate detailed test results to ensure any bugs that are found are actionable. <br /> Team Foundation Server keeps track of all the pieces, keeping your entire team on the same page and reducing time to repair.
  • Talk Track: Historically, the build-deploy-test pipeline is the most time expensive and manually-driven portion of the software development lifecycle. <br /> Introducing continuous deployment with Lab Manager ensures that testers know which builds to test and have the correct virtual environments to test on; it eliminates the hand-off wait time between developers and QA. <br /> Quality is increased, cycle times are reduced, and value is delivered to your customers.