June 20, 2016

Test Case Versioning in TestTrack TCM

Test Management

Helix TCM (formerly TestTrack TCM) lets you preserve older versions of test cases, see a full change history, duplicate test cases for reuse, and use custom fields to manage and search through versions.

You have a few different options for viewing and preserving older versions of test cases in Helix TCM. For instance, you can see the test run steps at the point you performed the test, using Helix’s test runs, and you can view the full change history via the History tab. You can also duplicate test cases to create new versions while preserving the original as a baseline, and easily manage and search through test case versions by setting up a few custom fields.

Preserving Test Case Versions as Test Runs

Helix TCM uses both test cases and test runs. Test cases define the set of conditions, actions, expected results, and other criteria used to determine if a product component works correctly and meets its specified requirements. Test cases can change over time to reflect functional changes in your product. Test runs, on the other hand, are snapshots of test cases that are generated at a milestone in the testing cycle, like when a build is provided by the development team. A test run contains all information from the related test case, but also includes the results of a specific instance of the test. So while the test case may change in the future to reflect new user interface modifications, the test run steps that were executed in the past will never change. By saving test runs, managers and auditors can look back on the exact steps followed during testing years after the tests have been completed. A single test case can have one or more related test runs, depending on the test variants selected when test runs are generated. For example, an application supports multiple languages, but a single test case applies to the English, French, and Spanish variants. You can select these variants when you generate test runs, which creates a separate test run for each selected variant. The test runs include identical information except for the test variant value, which indicates the language to use for testing.

Viewing the Full Change History

As noted above, test cases change over the course of the development cycle. If you want to view these changes, you can select a test case and then click the History tab to see a detailed change report, including who made the change, when it was made, and what was changed. Change reports display details of content added to and removed from a test case (or any item, for that matter) each time it is saved. These reports can help you determine the specific changes made to a test case over time. However, change reports are only available if you enable both historical item information logging and detailed audit trail logging for test cases. Once you’re in the Change Report window, you’ll see content added to the test case displayed in green text; removed content is displayed in red strikethrough text. You can also view the electronic signature if a change was made and signed (in Helix ALM 2012 and later) and you have permission to view the audit log. If there’s an attachment, a link to it will be visible.

Duplicating Test Cases

If you want to add test cases that share the same basic information, you can save time by duplicating an existing test case and then editing the new test case. Simply select the test case you want to duplicate in the Test Cases list window, then select Duplicate Test Case from the Edit menu. Helix ALM gives you the option to link the new test case with the original test case. You can also specify the relationship between those test cases by selecting from a list of all test case link definitions. For example, you might create a “Baseline Test Case” link definition, so you can easily identify why items are linked together. Duplicating test cases also copies information you select from the original test case. Expected result attachments are always included in duplicated test cases, but you can also copy the history, file attachments, source control attachments, links, and more from the original test case. For more information about duplicating test cases, along with step-by-step instructions, see TestTrack’s online help.

Using Custom Fields

You can use Helix ALM’s custom fields to more easily manage and search through the different versions of your test cases. In the Setup Custom Fields dialog box, simply select “test case” from the Type list and create a field named “Product Version.” Make the field a multiple selection pop-up, and then populate it with your product versions (e.g., 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, etc.). The end result should look something like this:   CustomFieldProductVersion   You can use this field to identify the product version for which each test case is valid and make it visible at a glance in the test case list window. In the example below, you can see test cases 19 and 20 are valid for all three releases.   versioning   Because this user has also displayed the column for Baseline Test Case Linked Items field links, you can see which test cases are linked, and click on the blue links to go directly to that test case. For example, test case 23 is a version of test case 17 that is only valid for release 3.0. If you want to review what changed, you can click on the blue “TC-17” link to go directly to test case 17. When release 4.0 comes out, this user will edit the Product Version field to add “4.0” to the dropdown list. Any current test case that would not change or doesn’t need steps to be updated can be marked as valid for 4.0. If a test case does need changes, the user would duplicate the test case, make the changes, and mark it as valid for 4.0 only. Creating a custom Product Version field also allows you to filter by product version, enable email notifications about changes based on product version, enable field-level security, and more.

Again, for more information about creating custom fields, see TestTrack’s online help. Folders are another option for managing test case versions in Helix ALM. 

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