What do I mean with agile “multidisciplinary team”?

We return with items that I see, live and experience with agile methodologies. And now it’s up to the multidisciplinary teams, something that much has been written, and with many different visions.

If we follow the general concept, and in which many think, a multidisciplinary team is a team of generalists, which everyone knows to do any task needed to complete the sprint. This has a number of benefits that are obvious

  • Avoid bottlenecks
  • Facilitate communication of knowledge across the project team
  • We have multiple views on one point

And more benefits that we could go.

However, there are things we lose, as may be specialized knowledge to a particular topic.

Besides, it is quite difficult to find a good team of generalists in all the tasks that may arise in a sprint, remember that we will perform tasks ranging from front-ends of applications, databases, application deployments, etc. etc.

Therefore, in my view, to achieve a multidisciplinary team I rely on another approach. To me a computer so the computer I have, working as one, and you have all the knowledge needed to sprint, does not mean that everyone knows how to do everything.

Here we take advantage of special knowledge of any member of the team, it would be naive to believe a team of specialists only. In a team of specialists only shudder to think of the possible struggles of egos, and the struggles of each in his field.

Not bad to have a team of some experts in the fields we need, and people more generally. As long as they work as one, collaborate with each other and have all the ultimate goal of course sprint. And of course, all the team must have, at very least, a general knowledge about everything which is needed to accomplish the objective of the sprint, so we avoid big bottlenecks, and “islands” of knowledge.

And eye specialist when I’m not talking about people who can do only one thing, people, the more we know better, but then we have a more specific skill, as I said a friend of mine, specialization is for flies, humans we know many things.

General knowledge is very rewarding, and the more varied in theme, more enriching, but also know a lot about something and have much experience in it, allowing us to save not only familiar situations, if not deal with our guns unknown problems.

Documenting our Test Plans with Microsoft Test Manager

If you already know Microsoft Test Manager, you will know that it is a great tool to manage our plans for functional testing, however, to check the information concerning the plans for testing of a project in Team Foundation Server, we need the tool itself, connectivity to the TFS server, and go checking each of the Test Suites. This is all very well for the day to day, but there are times in which we have to share this information or make documentation of these plans (Yes, there is also documentation on agile projects).

To generate this documentation, our test plan,  and executions, in the visual Studio Gallery, we have a very useful tool: Test Scribe, which you can download it from here: http://visualstudiogallery.msdn.microsoft.com/e79e4a0f-f670-47c2-9b8a-3b6f664bf4ae

Once downloaded and installed on Microsoft Test Manager, we will have a new option in the main menu: Tools


From this section, we can make two main actions: a test plan documentation and obtain a report from an execution.

Documenting the test plan


In this option that we will do is, select a test plan for the project from Team Foundation Server to which we are connected and press the Generate button.

This leads us to a Microsoft Word document in which we have all the details of the test plan selected, this includes information such as:

  • The hierarchy of Test Suites
  • All the tests and their steps that make up the test plan
  • Settings to try

Ultimately a quite complete overview of the test plan.

Summary of implementation


With this option, select an execution of tests, either manual or automated, and will generate us a report that includes information such as:

  • Executed tests
  • A result of the tests
  • Defects found
  • Details of executions

Ultimately these reports they provide very interesting information, and what is best, in a format that podemso share and consult without having to be connected to our Team Foundation Server.

Give your feedback for next version of Visual Studio ALM

As in any agile process, the Visual Studio ALM team, prioritize the features and improvements for next versions of the products from the users, as you all know, feedback is an important part of building new versions.

And how can you give your feedback? well there is a UserVoice site they have set up, so you can give your feedback for the next version of:

– Visual Studio Ultimate

– Visual Studio Test and Lab Management

– Team Foundation Server

You can access it here:


Creating Work Items “tickets” (i.e.: for Call Centers) without needing Client Access License for TFS

Hi all, recently I came over a consult of a friend, on a situation he wanted to solve in his company. Basically was that they had a call center, external to them, those who wanted to give access to the Team foundation Server, but only to register and keep track of the Work Items created by the users of the call center (each user their own nothing else).

Posed me questions about, whether to publish Sharepoint portal, digital licensing, etc.

The thing is relatively simple, and we will support in two things, the publication of the website (not the Sharepoint) of Team Foundation Server, that has a url such as http://TFSSERVER:8080/tfs, and an exception in the licensing of TFS, which allowseWe have users, who can create Work Items, and keep track of those (only) Work Items created by them, without having to leave. This exception, from TFS 2010, applied both to internal users and external to the organization.

But we are going step by step, the first thing is to publish the website of TFS, as many already know, TFS is installed in IIS as a web site, Team Foundation Server name, so first thing, and I am not going to explain here, it is to publish this web site, to make it accessible from outside, either HTTP or HTTPS (the most recommended).

The next step is, in the TFS server using the Management Console, (start | Programs | Microsoft Team Foundation Server 2010 |Team Foundation Administration Console), in the Application Tier section, have a link to change the URL:


When you click that link, on the next screen, you will ask the Notification URL and the URL Server, just change the notifications, so that when issuing notifications by email for example, the links to Work Items, etc. point to the external Url. The next step is to add the users you want to have this feature, the Group of Team Foundation Server Work Item Only View Users, do this also from the management console, using the link Group Membership:


On the next screen shows all the global groups in Team Foundation Server, we select the Work Item Only View Users, and click on Properties, select on the next screen Windows user or group:


Already we can, with the Add… button Add call center users, or those who wish, also, from Visual Studio 2010, in the properties of the Team Project that we want to give access, we also have to add these users to the Group of Contributors, so they can connect with the Team Project.

When these users from accessing http://miservidorTFS.com:8080/tfs, you will see the web portal of only management of Work Items, which can only see their own work item:



Several reminders, to do all this, you need to be administrator of TFS, and connect remote TFS server desktop, that the management console can only be used in local.

And, of course, if users have access to source code, reports, documentation, or any other type of information to TFS, this not you worth, because they need a Client Access License (CAL) of TFS 2010.

Installing TFS 2010 and Visual Studio 2010 SP1 on Lab Management environments

As I am sure that almost everyone will remember, recently announced that Service Pack 1 for both Visual Studio 2010, and for Team Foundation Server 2010.

And one of the questions I have received lately, it’s "ok, but I have ridden Management Lab, with several virtual environments, what and where I have to install each service pack (TFS and VS)?"

The answer is simple, in part, so let it.

Team Foundation Server and Team Build 2010

The easy part, is the Team Foundation Server itself where, if we do not have Visual Studio installed on the same server, we only need SP1 for Team Foundation Server. And if we have Visual Studio 2010 also installed, you need the Visual Studio SP1 as well.

This also apply to our servers with Team Build 2010.

Test controller 2010

In our Test Controller 2010, install the Visual Studio 2010 SP1 only (siemppre and when we do not have more components of TFS).

Virtual Environments

This is where we have more work to do, because, depending on the capabilities that we have assigned to our surroundings we have to install either (or both) SP1.

Let’s first recall the capabilities we can allocate our virtual environments:

  1. Ability to execute automated tests through a Test Agent 2010 and Lab Agent.
  2. Ability to execute workflows, to deploy the application using Team Build 2010 and Lab Agent.
  3. Network isolation, to create duplicates and isolated environments at the network level. With Lab Agent.

This should already be a little clearer, so let’s see the three cases:

  1. We just need the Visual Studio 2010 SP1, as it is all part patched client.
  2. We need the Visual Studio 2010 SP1 to patch the Lab Agent, and SP1 of Team Foundation Server 2010 to patch the components of Team Build.
  3. We just need the Visual Studio 2010 SP1 to patch the Lab Agent.

And that’s it, now, encouragement, and to update our environments.

[Slides] Testing in agile teams with Microsoft Test Manager 2010

I hope all the people who came to my session where happy with it, the fact is that all demos worked perfectly, and there were so many people, I’m happy with it, lot of interest around MTM.

Tha bad thing … the event was late in time, and they “inserted” another 10 minutes session (I won’t say anything about this fact, sorry), so our 2h session, ended with only 1h15m, so I didn’t have time to show all the slides and finish the complete demo as slow as I wanted.

But anyway, we are happy with it, and we are happy to announce we are planning a deep dive workshop about Microsoft Test Manager and Lab Management 2010, we will announce the dates soon.

And well, here you have the slides, published in our Testhouse Slideshare:

News: SP1 for Visual Studio and Team Foundation Server 2010 and unlimited Load Testing

Two great news today for MSDN subscribers Smile

First one, the Service Pack 1 for Team Foundation Server and Visual Studio 2010 is available from today, as always, it has some improvements, but also hundred of bug fixes, so, if you are using any of this tool, go to MSDN Download Site, and start downloading them for installing. The SP1 for Visual Studio 2010 also includes bug fixing for Microsoft Test Manager, if you have used it, you will know it has some memory leaks, as well as other bugs.

To check what includes this updates, you can check this links:

And the other great news is a change in the virtual user licensing for MSDN subscribers. Till now if you want to do load testing with more than 250 virtual users, you had to buy additional packs of virtual users license, but now, in your MSDN subscription you have the option of getting a key to access unlimited virtual users for load testing with Visual Studio 2010.

This is the 5th feature pack of Visual Studio 2010, so enjoy it, I’m already enjoying it. Just look for “Visual Studio 2010 Load Test Feature Pack Deployment Guide” on your MSDN Download Site and get the key and instructions to enable it.

[Event] Testing in agile teams with Visual Studio 2010

When we talk about testing in agile environments, we quickly think about unit testing, integration testing, or some more code-level tests, of course, there are teams that already use tools like Selenium, or Cucumber for more functional testing, but doesn’t cover so well al the test cycle.

Recently, with Team Foundation Server 2010, and Visual Studio 2010, we have new tools which cover more scenarios about testing applications, from a functional point of view.

All based in the agile principles we will take a look on how to use the tools in agile teams, taking a look at agile testing concepts like automatize, or the testing quadrants from Brian Marick.

Starting from one of the nearest to agile concepts applied to testing with the exploratory testing, we will learn how to use the tools run the tests and promote communication with the developers with the actionable bugs with rich information for developers, even discovering how developers code changes affects our tests.

We will review how Coded UI tests will help us in the process of automatize the testing effort, so we can go more agile while testing.

At last we will see how to automatize our build-deploy-test cycle with Lab Management, so we can get quicker deliverance of software.

With my new job in Testhouse (well maybe this is topic for another post), as Microsoft ALM Division Manager, I will be the responsible of driving this conference.

And when will this be? it will be on Thursday 9th, in Madrid, during the ALM Sessions 2011, which this year is shared with the Cloud Day, so if you happen to be in Madrid this day, maybe you are interested in coming to see how to do this, you can register and see more info here:


It will be on the second track, from 11:30 to 13:30.

Testing improvements and editing Coded UI tests with Visual Studio 2010 Feature Pack 2

Recently, for MSDN Subscribers, Microsoft has launched the Visual Studio 2010 Feature Pack 2, which, also contains all new features included in the first Feature Pack. It can be downloaded here: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/vstudio/ff655021.aspx

Apart from a lot of improvements in the modeling tools, there are new cool features for testing applications, two big improvements are the support of being able to record one coded UI or manual test in Internet Explorer and playback it in Mozilla Firefox, a really must-have for all web developers, also they have introduced the possibility of test Silverlight 4 applications with coded UI tests or action recordings, cool.

But there is one new tool I have been using these days, the new Coded UI Test Editor. If you have been using coded UI tests, you will know, after creating the tests, doing some changes in them, manually, is almost a pain.

So how can we use this new tool? Ok, in the project we have our coded UI tests, we have a file called UIMap.uitest just double-click this file, or with the right button select open, and it will open a window like this one:


Here we have in the left side, the UI actions recorded and asserts, you can notices the icon difference between them, and, in the right side we have the controls which have been mapped from the recordings.

And what can we do? here you have a complete tutorial of the possibilities of this tools: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-US/library/gg269469.aspx

This includes options like delete an action we don’t want anymore, divide an action recording into several methods to be more easily maintained, extract one complete method to another class file, rename methods, a lot of things.

But here comes the downsize of this tool, let’s imagine we rename the action “Abrirurl” (sorry for the Spanish), to “OpenURL”, well we are used to refactoring tools inside Visual Studio, but this time, when we choose to rename, it will be only renamed in the UIMap.uitest file, so, we will have to go manually to all UI tests which used that method, and change to the new method name, not so good, as it is a feature (renaming methods) which has been so long in Visual Studio.

It happens also if we decide to break one long recording into several methods, let’s say we have this action recording method:


Almost everyone will agree is a long action recording, and can be more readable i f we break it into several methods, so we right click on any action inside it, and choose Split into a new method:


It will break this method in two, and all the actions from the one we selected will go into a new method, but here is the downsize, in the place we used the original method, we will have to go, and manually, add the call to the newly created method.

It happens with some more options of this tool, but don’t worry too much, the tool will always advise you about this kind of things, so take care to read any pop-up which will appear when using this tool.

Conclusions? Well, I really like this new tool, and all the new advantages of the Feature Pack 2, but take care when using it, as it involves some manual work in some cases, that’s all. Maybe in a future Feature Pack, all this things will be done automatically.