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All posts tagged TFS

TFS. When I Mention It Who Do You Think Of?

Developers? QA? Your Scrum Master? Well time to reframe your expectations and preconceptions.

Recently after working on a project using Microsoft Test Manager and TFS with I went into PowerPoint to update a presentation / pitch I was about to run and I discovered a new menu tab Story boarding.

Storyboarding - TFS - PowerPoint


Storyboarding allows us to turn our message into a visual display. This is a powerful tool for those involved in relaying the stories that explain the why and how of their product.

As you can see from the screen-capture above there are 3 points of interest in PowerPoint: –

Storyboard - 3 points

The first is self-explanatory. The second are importable, embeddable graphics in sets; as usual Microsoft has several additional sets for free for the user to download and use. The third Storyboard Links – Team allows the person creating the storyboard to add it to a work item in TFS.

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For those not in the know TFS is Microsoft’s ALM (Application Lifecycle Management) built around Visual Studio, MS-Projects, Sharepoint and Test Professional (and others). Depending on the role of the team member they are granted the tools and permissions to perform their role in building the product. TFS can be run from a server or online via

TFS is optimally used to build products using one layer of Microsoft technologies but not exclusively so. It can be used for Waterfall based projects but serves Agile projects extremely well.

The Warptest POV

Whoever is writing the story of your product, whether it be your marketer, community manager, product manager etc. this is a great addition to their toolbox. How do they get it?

This is a TFS add-in so the link here explains which versions of Visual Studio will add this to an installed version of PowerPoint 2007 (or greater).

The ROI on having menu and Visual Studio is obvious. By linking your storyboards to your TFS work items, you are drastically increasing the ability of your team to understand the why’s and wherefores each requirement or use case.

This will also prevent any disconnect from the information silo in TFS by personnel who traditionally don’t have any flavor of Visual Studio installed on their work PC.

You next question is probably Isn’t this a bit expensive for us in Startup Land? I can only suggest you jump over to Microsoft’s BizSpark site to see if you and your Startup are entitled to all the benefits of the program (designed to encourage innovation, growth and success for your idea and your execution).

Storyboard - Bizspark - TFS

So, don’t go overboard and end up exemplifying everything in Weird Al’s latest video instead ask what Storyboarding can do for you.

Are you ready to improve how you relate your product’s story?



Can You Tell Me About Bug Tracking?

As a QA Manager / Consultant I must have been asked hundreds of times which Bug Tracking Application I recommend.

If only life was that simple.

Answer a question with a question

This kind of question triggers two thoughts usually:

“Are they looking for free advice and support? Arghh!”

Putting aside the whole freebie debate for a moment, the second thought and usually my question back to you is,

“What platforms are they developing in and for?”

It’s Just Bug Tracking. Good Grief!

Isn’t it? Maybe not…

  • Are you developing for the web, mobile or an actual Desktop Application?
  • Is your product for Windows, Linux or MAC / iOS, Android, Windows Phone or Blackberry?
  • If it’s Web which browsers and platforms are you supporting?
  • The answer to these will probably define if you are using Visual Studio, Eclipse or other Development Environments

Some Bug Tracking solutions are not equipped to provide you with support if your product is being developed on more than one of these.

Bug Tracking Must Be Painless Productivity

If you are spending more time managing your Bug Tracking or if it duplicates your Customer Support Issue Tracking or cannot speak to your Source Control, Project Lifecycle Management or Test Case Manager then you are making your own life more difficult, more painful and being a lot less productive.

The key phrases here are: –

Web, Web, Web! Whichever you choose make sure it has web access for adding and viewing your bugs, whether you opt for a hosted solution or an install in your domain.

Real Time Collaboration: You want your Bug Tracking to allow your QA to interact and report issues with real-time notifications.

Integration: You want your other Development and test tools to be able to integrate seamlessly with your Bug Tracking.

Usability: You want to be able to setup and run the Bug Tracking and if need be make changes to configuration later.

Scalability: Build for success! Assume you are going to be growing as a company and will need to be able to scale your tools and not have to replace them. Having to migrate your Bug database to a new tool because you have outgrown the free or cheap tool you took a year ago can be painful and costly. So why do it?

The Warptest POV

Of all the Bug Tracking solutions I have worked with two stand out depending on your needs:

If you are doing all your development exclusively in and for Microsoft technologies, you are most likely using Visual Studio and the bright sparks at Microsoft realized several years ago that most development like this is done by teams. These teams were using Visual Studio, SharePoint and Microsoft Project so why not combine these to create a collaborative, task driven Lifecycle Management tool.

TFS offers some degree of support cross-platform including Linux, Android and iOS and it can connect to Eclipse for some functions.

TFS Cross Platform

Image Courtesy of Microsoft TFS webpage (link above)

TFS does all this and allows you to manage your Test Cases and Bug Tracking through a really nice web interface.

JIRA is probably the hottest Bug Tracking on the market today and delivers all of the key requirements listed above and is platform agnostic to boot.

Atlassian JIRA

Courtesy of Atlassian

Atlassian, JIRA’s parent company offers a slew of their own and 3rd Party tools that work hand-in-hand with JIRA in managing the Product Lifecycle.

JIRA Product Line

Courtesy of Atlassian

IMHO these are your two best options. Both factor in not just technologies but also methodologies being applied (e.g. Agile). As for the price-tag both are affordable based on number of users so before you jump on that free Bug Tracking option remember,


“If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys”.