Rangers – Lab Management Guide: Rough(necks) Notes #5 … Stepping through the scenarios

Part 5, continued from Rangers – Lab Management Guide: Rough(necks) Notes #4 … Using the Walkthrough VHD, Rangers – Lab Management Guide: Rough(necks) Notes #1, Rangers – Lab Management Guide: Rough(necks) Notes #2 and Rangers – Lab Management Guide: Rough(necks) Notes #3 … Setting up an environment for a mobile Lab Rat.

In the previous posts we spoke about preparing the relevant hardware for a Lab Management environment and then preparing and using the Lab Management 2010 Walkthrough VHD.

In this post I merely want to give some feedback on three of the five scenarios I have completed to date.

Scenario 1 – Provisioning Environments

I found this to be a great scenario to demonstrate how a test lead persona would use the Microsoft Test Manager to quickly deploy environments. I put quickly in italics, because the elapsed time of the scenario is all relative … if you have abundant hardware it is quick, for most of us it will be 30min+.

The scenario covers two main steps:

  1. Deployment of a pre-created environment
  2. Logion on and preparing the provisioned environment

Simple … it just takes time and patience after you select deploy in step 1.4.

Scenario 2 – Automate the build-deploy-test cycle

This scenario walks through a process that is not new, but one that I would have and am dreaming of in many environments.  Many colleagues (Geoff, Stephen, …) often worked on and dreamt of an environment that automates the entire build-deploy-test cycle. Using Lab Management we can achieve this effectively, taking care of many pain points that the likes of Geoff spent hours, days and more implementing with custom code and scripts.

The scenario takes you through the configuration of the TFS Team Build … you then hit (gently) the Build option and watch in awe as the Lab Management environment reverts the virtual environment to a configured snapshot, then builds and deploys the solution. But there is more … it then creates a post-deploy snapshot and starts running the coded user interface tests.

The scenario demonstrates how you create and automate an environment that not only improves the productivity of your team, but also improved the confidence in the daily build+test workflows by reverting to a known and trusted state of the virtual environment.

Scenario 3 – File Rich Bugs

The third scenario was initially kind-of-boring as it walked through the Test Manager and general testing features that a tester would complete. There was, however, a moment in the walkthrough where I sat back and then upright … when the tester selects “take a Snapshot of environment” which attaches a snapshot of the environment to the test step.

The developer can select the snapshot (.lvr) in the bug work item, which reverts the environment to the exact state where the bug was filed. The developer not only has screenshots, video recording and tons of information at his disposal, but the environment in which the bug occurred. This is a huge productivity feature and a move to w world where there is no ping-pong-cannot-reproduce game between testers and developers  🙂


Have you given the Lab Management 2010 Walkthrough VHD a try as yet? If you are serious about testing and especially the automation thereof you should definitely spin up this virtual environment and walk through the scenarios.

Next time we will report back on the advanced scenarios.

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