Upgrading a TFS 2013 Continuous Delivery Platform to TFS 2015

Posted by Graham Smith on August 25, 2015No Comments (click here to comment)

In a previous post I described the high-level process for upgrading the continuous delivery platform I've been using for my Continuous Delivery with TFS blog post series to TFS 2013 Update 5. With the release of TFS 2015 on 6 August 2015 it's now time to upgrade this platform to the brand new version. See my previous post for the list of servers that participate in my continuous delivery platform, and as with the upgrade to TFS 2013 Update 5 all servers had been patched with the latest Windows Updates.

Team Foundation Server

There is a wealth of advice for upgrading to TFS 2015 and if you are upgrading a production instance you'll probably want to do some research. A good starting point is the ALM Rangers' TFS Upgrade -- New Elements of TFS 2015 that influence an upgrade. I can also recommend listening to Radio TFS episode 95 -- Out and About with TFS 2015, and don't forget to check out the show links.

Since I was upgrading a non-production instance I dove straight in, mounted the iso and started the setup routine. After installing the bits the Upgrade Wizard started automatically and as with previous upgrades each page of the wizard was straightforward.


One addition to the wizard is a page to configure the new Team Foundation Build. Although in the fullness of time anyone upgrading will want to move to the new build system it is quite likely that you will need to keep existing XAML builds running as you gradually move over. This is fully supported but you will need to enable this from the Team Foundation Server Administration Console under Additional Tools and Components > XAML Build Configuration. The good news is that settings from the previous version of TFS are remembered. You can read the release notes for TFS 2015 here and the list of known issues here.

Visual Studio

Although TFS 2015 is backwards compatible with some prior versions of Visual Studio many teams are likely to want to move to Visual Studio 2015 at the same time as moving to TFS 2015. Visual Studio 2015 installs side-by-side with previous versions and whilst the installation process is straightforward there are some other things to consider since the installation routine now offers third party products as well as the ability to select just the Microsoft components you require. I chose to keep things light but did take the opportunity to install PowerShell and Git-based components as they are areas I want to explore for future blogs.


As a test of Visual Studio 2015 I opened up my Contoso University sample application (previously created in Visual Studio 2013) and the only issue was with the SQL Server Database Project whose connection string was referring to a previous version of LocalDB. This was a quick fix as per Bill Wagner's post -- don't forget to update Web.config as well if this affects you. Whilst Contoso University worked fine locally, running an existing XAML build on the new TFS 2015 instance wasn't quite as successful and partially failed with TF900547: The directory containing the assemblies for the Visual Studio Test Runner is not valid ‘C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 14.0\Common7\IDE\CommonExtensions\Microsoft\TestWindow'. I'd pretty much expected something like this since I hadn't installed Visual Studio 2015 yet on my all-in-one TFS machine which hosts the build agent, and performing the install (Microsoft components only) fixed this problem. (As an aside, I always make sure Visual Studio instances on a build agent server are registered with a licence key to avoid trial period expiry problems.) You can read the release notes for Visual Studio 2015 here and the list of known issues here.

Release Management

As discussed in my previous post there was no Update 5 to Release Management 2013 and instead Release Management 2015 was released and is backwards compatible with TFS 2013. Since I'd already upgraded to Release Management 2015 there was nothing much for me to do except test that the build definition that started my release pipeline still worked -- which it did! However, the automated web tests part of the pipeline (based on the MTM Automated Tests Manager tool) was still running against 2013 Agents and Microsoft Test Manager 2013 and naturally I wanted to get these components upgraded.

Microsoft Test Manager and Agents for Visual Studio

Microsoft Test Manager 2015 (aka Test Professional 2015) is installed as part of Visual Studio 2015 Enterprise however it is also available as a separate installation for testers who don't use Visual Studio or where it is needed to run the bundled tcm.exe. The latter scenario applies to me as I have a Windows 8.1 web client machine that runs automated web tests written using Selenium that require FireFox, Microsoft Test Manager and Agents for Visual Studio (Test Agent component) to be installed. I upgraded this machine (please keep reading as most of what I did was unnecessary) by first uninstalling Microsoft Test Manager 2013 and the Agents for Visual Studio 2013 and then installing and configuring the 2015 replacements. One key difference was that at the time of writing there was no upgrade to the Test Controller component of the Agents for Visual Studio 2015 so the Test Agent was shipping as a standalone exe. However, when I came to configure the Test Agent there was no Test Agent Configuration Tool for Agents for Visual Studio 2015. No matter since I knew it would be possible to partially configure the agent from Microsoft Test Manager 2015 (Lab Center > Environments and then choose to repair). However, all this did was install Agents for Visual Studio 2013. (Note that when it does this the service will run under Network Service. If you want to use a domain account you need to use the Test Agent Configuration Tool on the machine where the test agent is installed.) So a lot of work for nothing and it looks like we'll need to wait for a new Test Controller before the Test Agent can be upgraded.

Last Piece of the Puzzle

I wasn't done yet, since I upgraded Microsoft Test Manager on the web client and it turns out that the PowerShell script that forms part of the MTM Automated Tests Manager tool in Release Management 2015 hasn't been upgraded to work with the Visual Studio 2015 installation path. The proper way to fix this would be to create a new tool  in Release Management (since the built-in tools can't be edited) with an updated script that includes a reference to the VS140COMNTOOLS system environment variable which allows the script to locate tcm.exe. Since I'm due to retire my current continuous delivery infrastructure in the near future (as I prepare for a new blog post series based on TFS2015 Update 1 which should contain the new web-based Release Management) I opted for the quick and dirty trick of pointing the VS120COMNTOOLS system environment variable to C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 14.0\Common7\Tools\. Probably not something for a production environment but good enough to get my automated web tests working and showing green. Always a relief...

Cheers -- Graham

Continuous Delivery with TFS: Enable Test Impact Analysis

Posted by Graham Smith on May 28, 2015No Comments (click here to comment)

Test Impact Analysis is a feature that first appeared with Visual Studio / Microsoft Test Manager 2010 and provides for the ability to recommend tests that should be re-run in response to changes that have been made at the code level. It's a very useful feature but it does need some configuration before it can be used. In this post in my series on continuous delivery with TFS we look at the steps that need to be taken to enable TIA in our development pipeline.

Setting the Scene

The scenario I'm working with is where a new nightly build of the sample ASP.NET application has been deployed to the DAT stage and all of the automated Selenium web tests have passed. This now leaves the build ready to deploy in to the DQA stage so that any manual tests (including manual tests that have been automated to run from MTM) can be run from a browser on a client workstation. With TIA configured there are then at least two places to check for any tests that are recommended for running again.

Whilst working through the configuration for TIA I discovered that TIA doesn't seem to work in a multi-tenant web server, which is what I've set up for this blog post series to keep the number of VMs to a minimum. More correctly, I suspect that TIA doesn't work where there is a separate application pool for each website in a multi-tenant web server. I haven't investigated this thoroughly but it's something to bear in mind if you are trying to get TIA working and something I'll address in my future blog post series on continuous delivery with TFS 2015. The MSDN guidance for setting up TIA is here but it's slightly at odds with the latest version of MTM and in any case doesn't have all the details.

Create a Lab Center Environment and a Test Settings Configuration

As good a starting point as any for TIA configuration is to create a new environment in the MTM Lab Center. I covered this here so I won't go through all the steps again, however the environment needs to contain the web server that hosts the DQA stage's web site and it should be configured for the Web Server role.

Now move over to Test Settings and create a new entry -- I called mine Manual Test Run. Choose Manual for the What type of tests do you want to run? question and then in the Roles page select Web Server to join the Local role which is pre-selected and mandatory. In the Data and Diagnostics page the Local role needs to be configured for ASP.NET Client Proxy for IntelliTrace and Test Impact as a minimum and the Web Server role needs to be configured for Test Impact as a minimum. Additionally, after selecting Test Impact click on Configure at the far right. In the dialog's Advanced tab ensure Collect data from ASP.NET applications running on Internet Information Services is checked.


Configure the Test Plan

Either use an existing test plan or create a new one and in Testing Center > Plan > Contents add a new suite called Instructor. Create a new Test Case in Instructor called Can Navigate and then add the following steps:

  1. Launch IE
  2. Type URL and hit enter
  3. Click on Instructors

Now from Testing Center > Test > Run Tests run the Can Navigate test:


The aim of running the test this first time is to record each step so the whole test can be replayed on future runs. This sort of automation isn't to be confused with deep automation using tools such as Selenium or CodedUI, and is instead more akin to recording macros in Microsoft Office applications. Nevertheless, the technique is very powerful due to the repeatability it offers and is also a big time saver. The process of recording the steps is a little fiddly and I recommend you follow the MSDN documentation here. The main point to remember is to mark each step as passed after successful completion so that MTM correctly associates the action with the step. Hopefully the build steps are obvious, the aim being simply to display the list of instructors.

The final configuration step for the test plan is to configure Run Settings from Testing Center > Plan:

  1. Manual runs > Test settings = Manual Test Run (created above)
  2. Manual runs > Test environment = ALMWEB01 (created above, your environment name may differ)
  3. Builds > Filter for builds = ContosoUniversity_Main_Nightly (Ready for Deployment) (or whatever build you are using)
  4. Builds > Build in use = Latest build you have marked with the Build Quality of Ready for Deployment. (Build quality is arbitrary -- just needs to be consistent.)


Web Server Configuration

In order for TIA data to be collected on the web server there are several configuration steps to be completed:

  1. When environments are created by MTM Lab Center they are configured to use the Network Service account. We need to use the dedicated ALM\TFSTEST domain account (or whatever you have called yours) so on the web server run the Test Agent Configuration Tool and make the change. Additionally the TFSTEST account needs to be in the Local Administrators group on the web server.
  2. The domain account (ALM\CU-DQA) that is used as the identity for the application pool (CU-DQA) for the DQA website needs to have a local profile. You can either log on to the server as ALM\CU-DQA or use the runas /user:domain\name /profile cmd.exe command, supplying the appropriate credentials.
  3. The CU-DQA application pool needs to have the Load User Profile property set to True.
Web Client Configuration

The web client machine (I'm using Windows 8.1) needs to be running MTM and also has to have the Microsoft Test Agent installed. This should be configured with the ALM\TFSTEST account (which should be in the Local Administrators group) and be registered to the test controller.

Putting it All Together

With the configuration out of the way it's now time to generate TIA data. The Can Navigate test needs one successful run on the web client against the currently selected build in order to generate a baseline. As noted above it seems that TIA doesn't play nicely with multiple application pools and I found I needed to stop the CU-DAT and CU-PRD application pools before running the test.

  1. In MTM navigate to Testing Center > Test > Run Tests and run Can Navigate as earlier.
  2. The Test Runner will fire up and you should click Start Test.
  3. The Test Runner will display the steps of the test and the VCR style controls. From the Play dropdown choose Play all:
  4. When the test has successfully completed use the Mark test case result dropdown to mark the test as a Pass:
  5. A dialog will pop up advising that impact data is being collected and when it closes you should Save and Close the test.

Back at Testing Center > Test > Run Tests, in order to check that TIA data was generated click on View results with Can Navigate selected. In the attachments section you should see a file ending in testimpact.xml:


We now need to create a change to the method that displays the list of instructors. Typically this change will arise as part of fixing a bug however it will be sufficient here to fake the change in order to get TIA to work. To achieve this open up the Contoso University demo app and navigate to ContosoUniversity.Web > Controllers > InstructorController > Index. Make any non-breaking change -- I changed the OrderBy of the query that returns the instructors.

Check the code in to version control and then start a new build. If the build is successful you can confirm that Can Navigate is now flagged as an impacted test. Firstly you should see this in the build report either from Visual Studio or Team Web Access:


(Whilst you are examining the build report mark the Build Quality as Ready for Deployment, but note that you would typically do this after confirming a successful DAT stage). Secondly, in MTM navigate to Testing Center > Track > Recommended Tests. Change the Build in use to the build that has just passed and then change Previous build to compare to the build that was in use at the time of creating the baseline. A dialog should pop up advising that there may be tests that need to be re-run. After dismissing the dialog Can Navigate should be listed under Recommended tests:


Test Case Closed

As is often the case with continuous delivery pipeline work it seems like there is a great deal of configuration required to get a feature working and TIA is no exception. One valuable lesson is that whilst a multi-tenant web application configuration certainly saves on the number of VMs required for a demo environment it does cause problems and should almost certainly be avoided for an on-premises installation. I'll definitely be using separate web servers when I refresh my demo setup for TFS 2015. And when Windows Nano Server becomes available we won't be thinking twice about trying to save on the number of running VMs. Exciting times ahead...

Cheers -- Graham

Continuous Delivery with VSO: Executing Automated Web Tests with Microsoft Test Manager

Posted by Graham Smith on April 9, 20154 Comments (click here to comment)

In this fourth post in my series on continuous delivery with VSO we take a look at executing automated web tests with Microsoft Test Manager. There are quite a few moving parts involved in getting all this working so it's worth me explaining the overall aim before diving in with the specifics.


The tests we want to run are automated web tests written using the Selenium framework. I first wrote these tests for my Continuous Delivery with TFS blog posts series and you can read about how to create the tests here and how run run them using MTM and TFS here. The goal in this post is to run these tests using MTM and VSO, triggered as part of the DAT stage of the pipeline from RM. The tests are run from a client workstation that is configured with MTM (a requirement at the time of writing) and the Microsoft Test Agent. I've used Selenium's Firefox driver in the test code so Firefox is also required on the client machine.

In terms of what actually happens, firstly RM copies the complete build over to the client workstation and then executes a PowerShell script that runs TCM.exe which is a command-line utility that lets you run tests that are part of a test plan. Precisely what happens next is under the bonnet stuff but it's along the lines of the test controller is informed that there is work to be done and that in turn informs the test agent on the client machine that it needs to run tests. The test agent knows from the test plan which tests to run and in which DLL they live and has access to the DLLs in the local copy of the build folder. Each test first starts Firefox and then connects to the web server running the deployed Contoso University and performs the automation specified in the test.

In many ways the process of getting all this to work with VSO rather than TFS is very similar and because of that I don't go in to every detail in this post and instead refer back to my TFS blog post.

Configure a Test Controller

VSO doesn't offer a test controller facility so you'll need to configure this yourself. If you have a test controller already in use then it's simplicity itself to repurpose it to point to your VSO account using the Browse button. If you are starting from scratch see here for the details but obviously ensure you connect to VSO rather than TFS. One other difference is that in order to get past some permissions problems I found it necessary to specify credentials for the lab service account -- I used the same as the service logon account.

Although I started off by repurposing an existing controller, because of permissions problems I ended up creating a dedicated build and test server as I wanted to start with a clean sheet. One thing I found was that the Visual Studio Test Controller service wouldn't automatically start after booting the OS from the Stopped (deallocated) state. The application error log was clearly reporting that the test controller wasn't able to connect to VSO. Manually starting the service was fine so presumably there was some sort of timing issue with other OS components not being ready.

Configure Microsoft Test Manager

If MTM isn't already installed on your development workstation then that's the first step. The second step is to connect MTM to your VSO account. I already had MTM installed and when I went to connect it to VSO the website was already listed. If that's not the case you can use the Add server link from the Connect to Your Team Project dialog. Navigating down to your Team Project (ContosoUniversity) enables the Connect now link which then takes you to a screen that allows you to choose between Testing Center and Lab Center. Choose the latter and then configure Lab Center as per the instructions here.

Continue following these instructions to configure Testing Centre with a new test plan and test cases. Note that you need to have the Contoso University solution open in order to associate the actual tests with the test cases. You'll also need to ensure that when deployed the tests navigate to the correct URL. In the Contoso University demo application this is hard-coded and you need to make the change in Driver.cs located in the ContosoUniversity.Web.SeFramework project.

Configure a Web Client Test Machine

The client test machine needs to be created in the cloud service that was created for DAT and joined to the domain if you are using one. The required configuration is very similar to that required for TFS as described here with the exception that the Release Management Deployment Agent isn't required and nor is the RMDEPLOYER account. Getting permissions correctly configured on this machine proved critical and I eventually realised that the Windows account that the tests will run under needs to be configured so that MTM can successfully connect to VSO with the appropriate credentials. To be clear, these are not the test account credentials themselves but rather the normal credentials you use to connect to VSO. To configure all this, once the test account has been added to the Local Administrators group and MTM has been installed and the licence key applied you will need to log on to Windows as the test account and start MTM. Connect to VSO and supply your VSO credentials in the same way as you did for your development workstation and and verify that you can navigate down to the Contoso University team project and open the test plan that was created in the previous section.

Initially I also battled with getting the test agent to register correctly with the test controller. I eventually uninstalled the test agent (which I had installed manually) and let the test controller perform the install followed by the configuration. Whether that was the real solution to the problem I don't know but it got things working for me.

Executing TCM.exe with PowerShell

As mentioned above the code that starts the tests is a PowerShell script that executes TCM.exe. As a starting point I used the script that Microsoft developed for agent-based release templates but had to modify it to make it work with RM-VSO. In particular changes were made to accommodate the way variables are passed in to the script (some implicit such as $TfsUrl or $TeamProject and some explicit such as $PlanId or $SuiteId) and to remove the optional build definition and build number parameters which are not available to the vNext pipeline and caused errors when specified on the TCM.exe command line. The modified script (TcmExecvNext.ps1) and the original Microsoft script for comparison (TcmExec.ps1) are available in a zip here and TcmExecvNext.ps1 should be copied to the Deploy folder in your source control root. One point to note is that for agent-based pipelines to TFS Collection URL is passed as $TfsUrlWithCollection however in vNext pipelines it is passed in as $TfsUrl.

Configure Release Management

Because we are using RM-VSO this part of the configuration is completely different from the instructions for RM-TFS. However before starting any new configuration you'll need to make a change to the component we created in the previous post. This is because TCM.exe doesn't seem to like accepting the name of a build folder if it has a space in it. Some more fiddling with PowerShell might have found a solution but I eventailly changed the component's name from Drop Folder to DropFolder. Note that you'll need to visit the existing action and reselect the newly named component. Another issue which cropped-up is that TCM.exe choked when the build directory parameter was supplied with a local file path. The answer was to create a share at C:\Windows\DtlDownloads\DropFolder and configure with appropriate permissions.

The new configuration procedure for RM-VSO is as follows:

  1. From Configure Paths > Environments link the web client test machine to the DAT environment.
  2. From Configure Apps > vNext Release Templates open Contoso University\DAT>DQA.
  3. From the Toolbox drag a Deploy Using PS/DSC action to the deployment sequence to follow Deploy Web and Database and rename the action Run Automated Web Tests.
  4. Open up the properties of Run Automated Web Tests and set the Configuration Variables as follows:
    1. ServerName = choose the name of the web client test machine from the dropdown.
    2. UserName = this is the test domain account (ALM\TFSTEST in my case) that was configured for the web client test machine.
    3. Password = password for the UserName
    4. ComponentName = choose DropFolder from the dropdown.
    5. PSScriptPath = Deploy\TcmExecvNext.ps1
    6. SkipCaCheck = true
  5. Still in the properties of Run Automated Web Tests and set the Custom configuration as follows:
    1. PlanId = 8 (or whatever your Plan ID is as it is likely to be different)
    2. SuiteId = 10 (or whatever your Suite ID is as it is likely to be different)
    3. ConfigId = 1 (or whatever your Configuration ID is as it is likely to be different)
    4. BuildDirectory = \\almclientwin81b\DtlDownloads\DropFolder (your machine name may be different)
    5. TestEnvironment = ALMCLIENTWIN81B (yours may be different)
    6. Title = Automated Web Tests

Bearing in mind that the Deploy Using PS/DSC action doesn't allow itself to be resized to show all configuration values the result should look something like this:


Start a Build

From Visual Studio manually queue a new build from your build definition. If everything is in place the build should succeed and you can open Microsoft Test Manager to check the results. Navigate to Testing Center > Test > Analyze Test Runs. You should see your test run listed and double-clicking it will hopefully show the happy sight of passing tests:


Testing Times

As I noted in the TFS version of this post there are a lot of moving parts to get configured and working in order to be able to trigger tests to run from RM. Making all this work with VSO took many hours working through all the details and battling with permissions problems and myriad other things that didn't work in the way I was expecting them to. With luck I've hopefully captured all the details you need to try this in your own environment. If you do encounter difficulties please post in the comments and I'll do what I can to help.

Cheers -- Graham

Continuous Delivery with TFS: Running Automated Web Tests with MTM

Posted by Graham Smith on February 3, 20152 Comments (click here to comment)

In this instalment of my series on implementing continuous delivery with TFS we pick up where we left off in the previous post and add the automated web tests we created to Microsoft Test Manager. We then look at how to schedule these tests for automatic execution through the deployment pipeline. Exciting stuff so lets get started...

Configure a Test Controller

Our starting point is to configure our TFS admin machine as a test controller. (You could create a dedicated machine of course but in our demo environment it's an unnecessary overhead.)

  1. Create a new domain account called TFSTEST and add to the Administrators group on your ALMTFSADMIN machine.
  2. Download the Agents for Microsoft Visual Studio 2013. See here for 2013.4 releases.
  3. Mount the Agents for Microsoft Visual Studio 2013 iso and from the TestController folder install the test controller on ALMTFSADMIN configuring it to run with the TFSTEST account and for the appropriate Team Project Collection:
  4. Click Apply settings to ensure that the configuration steps were successful.
Configure a Web Client Test Machine

The big picture here is that we will deploy the Contoso University application to the DAT (Development Automated Test) environment and then run the automated tests against DAT. We won't be using our development machine and instead will make use of a dedicated web client test machine which should be configured as follows:

  1. Create an new Azure VM from a Windows 8.1 Enterprise (x64) image called ALMCLIENTWIN81. (Note that Windows desktop editions are only available to MSDN subscribers).
  2. Add the RMDEPLOYER and TFSTEST to the Administrators group.
  3. Install the Release Management Deployment Agent and ensure it is in the Ready status in the Release Management client. (See here for details.)
  4. Install Microsoft Test Manager 2013.
  5. Mount the Agents for Microsoft Visual Studio 2013 iso (see above) and from the TestAgent folder install the test agent configuring it to run with the TFSTEST account and to register with the test controller installed above:
  6. Click Apply settings to ensure that the configuration steps were successful.
  7. Install FireFox.
Configure Microsoft Test Manager

As usual I'm assuming you have a degree of familiarity with the tooling, in this case Microsoft Test Manager 2013. If not then see my getting started with Microsoft Test Manager blog post here. You will need to have installed MTM on to your development machine and successfully connected to your ContosoUniversity Team Project. Now carry out the following steps.

  1. Open MTM and connect to Lab Center. Navigate to Controllers and ensure that ALMTFSADMIN is registered as the Test Controller and that the Test Agent on ALMCLIENTWIN81 is in the Ready status:
  2. Navigate to Lab and create a new Standard environment called ALMCLIENTWIN81. From the Machines page add ALMCLIENTWIN81 and give it the Web Client role and specify credentials which are in the Administrators group on ALMCLIENTWIN81. From the Verification page click Verify to initiate the verification procedure. If all verifications pass you should end up with a new environment in the ready state:
  3. Navigate to Test Settings and create a new entry called Automated Test Run and choose Automated for the What type of tests do you want to run? question. From the Roles page choose the Web Client role which should match the environment created above. From the Data and Diagnostics page choose everything except Screen and Voice Recorder and feel free to configure each option as you see fit. Click on Finish to save the settings and close MTM.
  4. Open MTM and connect to Testing Center. If this is the first time you have connected you will need to Add a Test Plan:
  5. Add a test plan called Regression and then choose Select plan to open it at the Contents tab. Add a new suite called Department by right-clicking the Regression node and choosing New suite:
    microsoft-test-manager-new suite
  6. Now over in the right-hand pane create two new test cases called Can_Navigate_To_Departments and  Can_Create_Departmemt:
  7. Note the IDs of these new test cases and switch to Visual Studio, opening the ContosoUniversity solution if it isn't already open. From Team Explorer > Work Items search for each of the two new test cases and in turn open them to carry out the next step for both test cases.
  8. Click on the Associated Automation tab and then choose the ellipsis at the right of the Automated test name field. This brings up the Choose Test dialog from where you can select the required test:
  9. Make sure to save the test case work items after associating the automated tests.
  10. Back in Microsoft Test Manager navigate to the Run Settings tab of the test plan. Under Automated runs set Test settings = Automated Test Run and Test environmentALMCLIENTWIN81 -- the items we created above. Make sure you Save and Close.
Configure Release Management

With our automated web tests incorporated in to an MTM Test Plan the next step is to configure Release Management to run them as part of the DAT stage of the deployment pipeline. Carry out the following steps from within Release Management:

  1. From Configure Paths > Servers add ALMCLIENTWIN81 and ensure it is in the Ready status.
  2. From Configure Paths > Environments add ALMCLIENTWIN81 via the Link Existing button.
  3. From Configure Apps > Components create a new component called Contoso University\Run MTM Auto Tests and configure as follows:
    1. Source > Builds with application (= selected) > Path to package = \
    2. Deployment > Tool = MTM Automated Tests Manager
    3. Configuration Variables > Variable Replacement Mode = Only in Command
  4. From Configure Apps > Agent-based Release Templates open Contoso University\DAT>DQA and edit the Deployment Sequence for DAT as follows:
    1. From Toolbox > Servers drag ALMCLIENTWIN81 to the Deployment Sequence below ALMSQL01.
    2. From Toolbox > Components right click the node and add Contoso University\Run MTM Auto Tests.
    3. Now drag Contoso University\Run MTM Auto Tests to ALMCLIENTWIN81 and configure the compnent as follows:
      1. TestRun Title = Department Tests
      2. PlanId = 28 (or whatever your Plan ID is as it is likely to be different)
      3. SuiteId = 29 (or whatever your Suite ID is as it is likely to be different)
      4. ConfigId = 1 (or whatever your Configuration ID is as it is likely to be different)
      5. TfsCollection = http://almtfsadmin:8080/tfs/PrmCollection (or whatever your Team Collection URL is as it is likely to be different)
      6. TeamProject = ContosoUniversity
      7. TestEnvironment = ALMCLIENTWIN81
      8. Build Directory = $(PackageLocation)
Some Final Configuration

In order for automated tests to run I've found that as a minimum the Deployment Agent account (RMDEPLOYER) needs to be in the Project Collection Administrators group.  It may be possible to fine tune this requirement but it's a level of trial and error I haven't had time to perform. This permission can be granted on your TFS admin machine from Team Foundation Server Administration Console > $(TfsAdminMachineName) > Application Tier > Team Project Collections > $(TeamProjetName) > General > Group Membership > [$(TeamProjetName)]\Project Collection Administrators > Properties.

If your Visual Studio solution contains a mix of unit test and automated test projects and the build definition is configured to run unit tests you are going to want to ensure the automated tests are excluded as they will fail and cause the build to report it only partially succeeded. There are various ways to do this but the technique I've used is to modify all build definitions to change Process > Build Process Parameters > 3. Test > 1. Automated tests > 1. Test source > Test sources spec to unittest where it was previously just test. This obviously ties in with my project naming convention of ContosoUniversity.Web.UnitTests and ContosoUniversity.Web.AutoTests.

Start a Deployment

From Visual Studio manually queue a new build from ContosoUniversity_Main_Nightly. If everything is in place the build should succeed and you can open Microsoft Test Manager to check the results. Navigate to Testing Center > Test > Analyze Test Runs. You should see your test run listed and double-clicking it will open up the fruits of all our endeavours so far, the test run results:



If getting to this stage felt like it required a huge amount of detailed configuration you are probably right. There are a great many moving parts to get working correctly and any future simplification of the process by Microsoft in the in the future will be welcomed.

Although we've reached a major milestone on this continuous delivery journey there is still plenty more to talk about so do watch out for the next installation.

Cheers -- Graham

Getting Started with Microsoft Test Manager

Posted by Graham Smith on January 29, 2015No Comments (click here to comment)

Microsoft Test Manager is the part of the TFS ecosystem that helps you test your application. Test Cases are organised in to Test Suites which are all contained in a Test Plan. There's a wealth of automated capability for taking some of the drudgery out of manual testing and all manner of features for analysing and managing test results. That's only about 5% of what it does so be sure to check out these resources to learn about the full breadth of what MTM can do:

One thing to be aware of is that Team Web Access (the browser component of TFS) has a growing number of test features available directly in the browser. In some sitations that may be all you need  See here for just one article that has more details.

Cheers -- Graham