Migrating test cases from Excel to VSTS 2010

Lately, there has been a hurried slew of queries on migrating test cases to VSTS 2010 from other sources. The most popular q of course is to move test cases from Excel to VSTS 2010.

We have this facility to import work items from Excel to VSTS, right? Well, test cases are yet another kind of work items. So, you can leverage this feature to import your stuff from Excel to VSTS. You’ll need to map your columns in Excel to the right test case fields though (and this can be a pain to do manually) However, test cases in 2010 have this field called “Test Steps” that are actually XML fields. The content in this is represented as an XML blob. So, when you export a test case from the 2010 server to any Excel worksheet using the regular Excel integration, you see this field containing some unformatted steps. So, if you have your test steps typically written in multiple rows in Excel, it becomes conversely hard to import those into VSTS 2010.
To solve this problem plus give users greater flexibility over what and how to import, we wrote an internal tool that lets you do mapping from Excel columns to test case fields via a small UI. It can also automatically pick up test steps from multiple rows and import them properly into VSTS without all the formatting hassle. This is still work-in-progress however and we don’t have it available externally yet. I know a couple of our customers that just used the TCM Object model and whipped up a migration tool of their own. I believe we should shortly have *something* out to help folks that want to migrate – either a solution from our partners in the community or a tool on codeplex.

Once there is a tool to do this, migration from other sources should not be a problem. All you need to do is export from old TCM to Excel and then to VSTS 2010. [Edited to add – here is the tool: http://tcmimport.codeplex.com ] 

Comments (7)

  1. Frank says:

    I’m assuming there are no tools currently which allow organiztions to import existing test cases into VSTS 2008.

    If there are, please share that information.



  2. H Frank – for VS 2008, you dont need any tools other than Excel to directly import your test cases into TFS. Did you try this already?

  3. UK says:


    I am facing problem when i am trying to connect tfs server through this tool. After giving the tfs server name it is saying "Server connection could not be established".

    I am using vstf2010 and excel 2010 on Windows 7 platform.

    [Anu] UK – Can you try accessing your TFS via Visual Studio or Web to see if server is reachable? Post your reply onto the forum so you get faster responses



  4. Sherry says:

    Hi, Anu

    I was also facing this problem when i am trying to connect tfs server through this tool. After giving the tfs server name it is saying "Server connection could not be established".

    And I TFS can reach the server, but web cannot.

    [Anu] Sherry- could you please file this bug on http://connect. I have asked my dev team to take a look at this meanwhile. Any logs that you have collected from the tool will help



  5. Sarvesh says:

    Is there any way to export test cases from TFS to Excel

    [Anu] Sarvesh – try the tcmtestcasemigrator on codeplex http://blogs.msdn.com/b/vstsqualitytools/archive/2010/05/07/work-item-migrator-excel-mht-to-tcm-tool-on-codeplex.aspx

  6. Robert says:

    While tryng to import excel test cases to TFS or Test Manager, I am getting the following exception when trying to connect to the server (I am able to connect to TFS and see all my PBIs) using the TestCaseMigratorPlus.exe tool.

    "An unhandled Microsoft .NET Framework exception ocurred in TestCaseMiratorPlus.exe[4780].

    Could you please help me out here?  

    [Anu] Robert – do you have the VS client installed on the machine where you are running this tool? What SKU is that?


  7. Robert says:

    Hi Anu,

    I have the following installed in my machine;

    Microsoft Visual Studio 2010

    Version 10.0.30319.1 RTMRel

    Microsoft .NET Framework

    Version 4.0.30319 RTMRel

    Installed Version: Standard

    Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Team Explorer   01011-532-2002361-70717

    Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Team Explorer

    Microsoft Visual Web Developer 2010   01011-532-2002361-70717

    Microsoft Visual Web Developer 2010

    Security Update for Microsoft Visual Studio Team Explorer 2010 – ENU (KB2251489)   KB2251489

    This security update is for Microsoft Visual Studio Team Explorer 2010 – ENU.

    If you later install a more recent service pack, this security update will be uninstalled automatically.

    For more information, visit support.microsoft.com/…/2251489.

    [Anu] Robert – can you please write to me on anutthar @ microsoft dot com so I can get one of my PMs to follow up with you? Thanks!