Using Team Foundation Server to Create a Client Contact Database: The Testing Phase (part 3 of 6)
Continuing a series of six posts on a project, began in 2008, by the Blackbaud User Education team. See previous post (part 2 of 6).
By: Ellyn Hassell and Lindsey Rix
In our previous post, we discussed the ins and outs of creating a work item form in Team Foundation Server. We now had a working form and a sandbox project in TFS, where we could “play” around before we imported our form into a live TFS environment. It was time to move to the testing phase.
Before we began, we created a test plan to easily compare our results. We planned to create new contact work items; link items to related work items; search for items based on information in the fields; export multiple items to Microsoft Excel for editing and import the updated items back into TFS; and, finally, test the team queries we created. We’ll discuss queries in a future blog post.
We tested each item in the plan and jotted down issues, best practice ideas, and any thoughts we had while completing each task. We then compared notes and tweaked the form based on our testing results. For example, we rearranged sections and tabs, and provided defaults for specific fields to make data entry consistent and easier for our team members.
During the testing phase, we finalized a workflow for creating work items, determined best practices for working with the form, and decided what information to include in our pre-defined queries and reports. It was interesting to see that, even with all the planning and preparation, there were still things we missed. After a few more rounds of polishing, it was time to import our work item into a live TFS project and start adding records.
The form was now in place, but we still had to create workflow instructions before unveiling our new work item to the team. This is where all the documentation we noted along the way came in handy. We put together a series of wiki pages to outline the workflow and provide detailed information about concepts and best practices. We also documented exactly how we created the form in Visual Studio’s Process Editor so other team members could create new forms in the future. We were now ready to present the work item form to our team.
Up Next… we share our top 10 best practices and discuss some of the lessons we learned.
- Using Team Foundation Server to Create a Client Contact Database: Best Practices (part 4 of 6)
- Using Team Foundation Server to Create a Client Contact Database: What’s Next? Queries, Reports, and Future Goals (part 5 of 6)
- Using Team Foundation Server to Create a Client Contact Database: Where Are We Today? (part 6 of 6)
- Using Team Foundation Server to Create a Client Contact Database: The Nuts and Bolts of a Work Item Form (part 2 of 6)
- Using Team Foundation Server to Create a Client Contact Database: An Overview (part 1 of 6)