February 14, 2011

Commenting on TestTrack Defects

Helix ALM
When I review TestTrack defects to address documentation requests or review product change requests that affect documentation, I typically look at the Overview tab first. This tab displays a read-only summary of the defect description, workflow events, and tracked emails. It helps me quickly see all the information related to the defect in one place and follow any discussion about the defect in sequential order. Our development or QA teams typically enter a Comment workflow event to add feedback to defects instead of adding comments to the defect description field. This makes it much easier to follow the discussion thread because inline comments can get buried if a description is long. The amount of text displayed from the defect description on the Overview tab may be limited based on the project options. If a description includes a lot text and inline comments, it is possible that not all comments are visible and critical information may be overlooked. The following example shows a defect description with several inline comments, which are stamped with user initials and dates. These comments are not displayed on the Overview tab because the number of characters in the description exceeds the number of maximum characters allowed. A user looking at the Overview tab to understand the state of this defect would not immediately know that comments exist on the defect. [caption id="attachment_7158" align="alignnone" width="605" caption="Defect description with inline comments"]Defect description with inline comments[/caption] Because the defect in this example has multiple reported by records, inline comments become even more difficult to find. Users have to look at each reported by record to see the comments. The following example shows the Overview tab for the same defect. Notice that Comment events are used instead of inline comments. The same information is provided as the inline comments in the previous example, but each Comment event is displayed separately. This helps users immediately see each comment, the date it was added, and the person who added it. The flow of feedback is easy to view and understand. [caption id="attachment_7159" align="alignnone" width="609" caption="Defect Overview tab with Comment events"]Defect Overview tab with Comment events[/caption] The method your team uses to comment on defects depends on your process, but I find that using Comment events makes it easier to understand the information that was added to a defect over time.