Testing is an important part of every application. Even if a company does not have a dedicated testing team, it is imperative to ensure that any custom development or custom solution is working properly before deployment. Black box testing is a process that involves testing an application from a high level, without any access or knowledge of the code. If you are familiar with creating black box test cases, then you are probably familiar with Microsoft Test Manager and the functionality that it provides. If not, then this blog should help break it down for you and give a few reasons why it can be so useful.

What is Microsoft Test Manager (MTM)?

MTM is an application that provides the ability to test a solution or a product before deployment. MTM integrates with Team Foundation Server enabling increased visibility within a project. Because of this, it is possible to create test plans directly from TFS. MTM helps consolidate tests in one easy to manage and easy to maintain package. It allows several people on a team to access and execute the tests. The application additionally allows users to export their test cases to excel. This is perhaps the most valuable feature for me as a consultant to generate test cases, export them to excel, and send them to a client for user acceptance testing and tracking.

How to Run Testing in MTM

Running the tests is a simple and intuitive experience in MTM). From the test view, you can record what actions that you take. MTM takes note of every action that happens on your screen.  Any button that you click on the screen is recorded in text and automatically attached in a .txt document. This makes it easy to go back through and reproduce the steps that were taken when the test was first created.

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From this screen, you can also take screenshots for further transparency, or create bugs against a task for a specific test.
microsoft test mananager basics
Exploratory Testing in MTM

One unique feature that Microsoft also includes in test manager is what they deem “Exploratory Testing”. This helps in the initial testing stages of testing, as you can record your actions and take screenshots or create test cases from a separate window.

Additionally, MTM provides reporting capabilities where you can visually see the amount of passed tests against failed ones.
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Test Automation in MTM

Test automation in MTM is also possible, though this requires custom code

Perhaps the biggest downside of using Microsoft Test Manager is the requirement that you have Visual Studio Test Professional or Visual Studio Enterprise installed before you can use it. The software itself is not sold separately. In some cases, it might be more cost effective to use Excel. However, I do believe, it is invaluable to have an application dedicated to testing.   MTM can test your solutions and provide the metrics on the results, which provide greater visibility and quality to your customers If you’d like to learn more about Microsoft Test Manager, please feel free to let us know in the form below!