Monday, 9 July 2012

Testing: Some Thoughts on Microsoft Test Manager


It was about two years ago when I was first introduced to Microsoft Test Manager *(MTM). It worked quite well for us; we were a completely .net environment so the running tests and pushing bugs through to the developer through TFS workflow was fairly smooth. I remember thinking at the time that once the software was out in the wild for a year or so Microsoft should send out a service pack to fix the obvious bugs, correct the UI issues, and hopefully add reporting tools as standard.

Fast forward to now. I am again in a .net environment. I am again using MTM as the tool for running tests and reporting bugs.During the interim I have been exposed to many different tools, most of which, in their way, out class MTM:
For record and playback of test steps I use Selenium IDE, or iMacros
For progress reporting I can format them natively in the application or export a CSV from just about any test tool (Testlink, Testrail, Jira, Bugzilla) and manipulate in Excel.
And for reporting of bugs, there are multiple pieces of software, Bugzilla, Jira, TFS to name a few.

You can imagine my disappointment to see that MTM had not moved an inch from where I last left it. The software is still buggy, chews up resources, crashes at the slightest misuse, and has a UI that was designed by a, well, by something that has never used software before. It is so frustrating as to almost make you weep. I have tried to fathom Microsoft's strategy with MTM. It isn't cheap, so companies invest a lot to get it set up and integrated. It seems like Microsoft are willing to let the tool mothball whilst still receiving license money from the few companies unfortunate enough to have this as their main testing, bug reporting, and progress reporting tool. Yet it fulfills none of those functions to a satisfactory level!
I can only hope that with the new generation of software versions coming out (Windows 8, Office 2012, etc.) there is a major upgrade to MTM that makes it usable.

* I started inserting links after I wrote the article. Attempting to find MTM 2010 on the Microsoft site is almost impossible. Perhaps they realised what a dog it was and hid it in the cupboard under the stairs.



[End Note] At the beginning of 2012 I was going to start up (yet) another blog about my life as a tester. I haven't done that yet, so I will be posting here for a while until I get off my lazy arse and actually set up the bloody thing!
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