Managing your first project with IBM Rational Quality Manager

Built on the Jazz™ platform, IBM® Rational® Quality Manager is a collaborative, Web-based tool, that offers comprehensive test planning and test asset management throughout the software development lifecycle.

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Michael Kelly (Mike@MichaelDKelly.com), Consultant, www.MichaelDKelly.com

Michael Kelly is currently an independent consultant and provides custom training in the IBM Rational testing tools. He consults, writes, and speaks on topics in software testing. He is currently serving as the Program Director for the Indianapolis Quality Assurance Association and is a Director at Large for the Association for Software Testing. He can be reached by email at Mike@MichaelDKelly.com.



28 October 2008

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IBM® Rational® Quality Manager is a collaborative, Web-based, quality management tool for comprehensive test planning and test asset management throughout the software lifecycle. It is built on the Jazz™ platform and is designed to be used by test teams of all sizes. It supports a variety of user roles, such as test manager, test architect, test lead, tester, and lab manager, as well as roles outside of the test organization. This article explains how to set up a new project in Rational Quality Manager and reviews several of the basic things that you can do with it in your projects.

Author's note:


This article was written using IBM® Rational® Quality Manager Open Beta Version 1.0.0.20080919_1011 running on a Microsoft® Windows® XP Professional SP3 server, using a Microsoft Windows 64-bit Vista™ Business SP1 with Mozilla FireFox 3.0.2 browser. In addition, this article references www.BookPool.com, the version that was publicly available at the time of writing.

For this exercise, you will be testing BookPool.com. It is good to use as an example because it is intuitive (most people have ordered something online) and it has plenty of features and content. Before you start testing, you need to create a new user.

Create a new user

To create a new user, follow these steps:

  1. Log in as the default administrator (user name: ADMIN; password: ADMIN).
  2. If this is the first time that you have started Rational Quality Manager on this server, it can take a couple minutes to load. When the dashboard finishes loading, look for the Admin menu. From that menu, select Jazz User Administration (see Figure 1).
Figure 1. Admin menu
image of menu
  1. That will load the User Management screen with "Active Users" as the default. On that screen, select Create User.
  2. Enter a name (use your name), user ID, and e-mail address (your e-mail address), and then select the appropriate Repository ,Permissions and Client Access Licenses for your new user (see Figure 2).
Figure 2. Creating a new user
image of workspace
  1. When you are finished, click Save.

Note:
Notice that the new user is created with a default password that is the same as the user ID. Later, that user ID and password will be what you use to log in.

  1. When the user has been created, you should see the confirmation message that says "User created successfully. Return to Manage Users" (Figure 3).
Figure 3. Confirmation dialog box
image of dialog box
  1. When you see that message, click the Return to Manage Users link. You will see the user that you created listed under Active Users.

Plan your test

The test plan in Rational Quality Manager is used to guide the work. It defines the objectives and scope for a test and contains the criteria to determine when your testing is complete. Here are some of the things that you can do with the Rational Quality Manager test plan:

  • Track reviews, approvals, and test plan status
  • Create and manage test cases and associate them with the test plan
  • Import and track project requirements from external requirements management tools and associate these requirements with test cases, or associate requirements directly in the test plan to track coverage
  • Associate environments (browsers, databases, operating systems, and other items) that are supported and tested by the test plan and use those to generate test configurations and track coverage
  • Size the overall test planning and test execution effort and define schedules for each test iteration
  • Define business objectives, test objectives, quality goals, and entrance and exit criteria

The plan is designed as a series of templates that you can customize to your own specifications. If there are sections in the test plan that you do not think you will use, simply remove them. If something is missing that you would like to add, you can create your own test plan sections and add them to the template.

Follow these steps to see how to create a simple test plan by using the default test plan configuration:

  1. Log out of Rational Quality Manager and log back in as the user that you just created. This time when your dashboard loads, you will see your name (assuming that you entered your name when you created the user record).
  2. In the left navigation area, click the Planning icon and select Create Test Plan.
  3. When the Create Test Plan tab finishes loading, start by entering a name for the test plan in the header and selecting the template type. Set the Template field to Default Test Plan Template.
  4. After you have done that, click Save. (Until you get comfortable working in the tool, save early and save often.)

Figure 4 shows the result.

Figure 4. Saved Test Plan template
image of workspace

The test plan is segmented into three main sections:

  • Header (shown in Figure 4)
  • Table of Contents (where you manage the sections in your test plan)
  • Section detail area (thats where the work gets done)

In each section, you will see a Work Item with a Create link.

  1. In the Summary section (which is where your cursor should be by default), click the Create link.
  2. This brings up the Create Work Item dialog view (Figure 5). All you need to do is to select an owner and a due date. When you have done that, click OK.
Figure 5. Create Work Item dialog
image of workspace

This action does two things:

  • First, it creates a task link in the Work Item field where the Create link used to be.
  • Second, it creates a work item that is assigned to you for tracking something that you need to do.

Note:
You do not need to navigate all 15 sections of the default test plan now. All you need in the plan is basic information so that you can navigate through the key features of the tool.

  1. Next, navigate to the Requirements section and click the Add New Requirement icon: image of icon
  2. This will open a form for entering requirement details. Under the Overview tab, enter a Summary and a Description.

This example also includes a requirement for the Subject navigation panel on the BookPool.com home page, with details copied from that Web site into the form. Figure 6 shows the completed information:

  • Summary: The top left-hand navigation for the site
  • Overview tab, Details section:
    • Type: Requirement (selected from drop-down menu)
    • Severity: Major (selected from drop-down menu)
    • Owned by: Unassigned (drop-down menu option)
    • Created by: (filled in by default)
    • Description: "The site should be searchable by subject, with the following subjects available:"
Figure 6. Requirement details
image of workspace
  1. You can add any requirement. When you are finished, click Save.

You should see your requirement added to the table in the section detail, as Figure 7 shows. Notice the link under the Status ID column. (But do not click it, because it is another Work Item link, and you' will see more on that later in this article).

Figure 7. Details table
image of workspace
  1. Next, navigate to the Test Cases section and click the Add New Test Case icon: image of icon
  2. This will open a form for entering test case details. Enter a Name, Description, Template, and Owner.

This example shows a test case added for the navigation panel referenced in the requirement added previously (see Figure 8).

Figure 8. New Test Case details
image of dialog box

Note:
You have the option to enter Category, Function, and Theme. Those three values are included to give you a way to classify test cases for subsequent grouping and reporting. On a default installation, the drop-down menus beside those fields are probably blank. When you log in as an administrator, you can assign values to them by going to Admin > System Properties > Test Case Categories, or you can simply click the Manage Test Case Categories icon, which is available in both the test plan and test case views: image of icon

  1. Before you move on, make sure that you enter a Weight. The idea behind setting a weight for a test case is that not all test cases are equal; some are more important than others. Later, after you run the test, you can use the weight to distribute your results (youll see that in what follows). If a test marginally passes, but some things dont fully work, you can say 70% pass, 30% fail by using the weight sliders. With a weight of 1, this is impossible. That is why using a scale of 1-100 works well.
  1. When you are finished, click OK.

You should see your test case added to the list in the section detail (Figure 9).

Figure 9. Test case added to the Details section
image of workspace
  1. That should be enough to get you going, so click Save again.

After saving, you can close the test plan tab by clicking the X icon next to the test plan name: image of icon
Or, you could dig into specific work items contained in your test plan by selecting them directly from the plan.


So far, you have a test plan, a single requirement, a single test case, and a single task. In this section, you learn where to find those items and how to work with them.

In many enterprise-level tools, one of the biggest challenges can be tracking the work assigned to you. Rational Quality Manager helps with that by providing customizable dashboards that can help you not only track project status but also keep track of the work you and the rest of the team need to do.

Navigate back to the default dashboard to see some of the default viewlets:

  1. Either close your test plan or simply click the Home tab to return to the default dashboard.
  2. When you get there, you may need to refresh the view to get the update that shows the work that you just did. To do that, simply click the Refresh button: image of icon
  3. One of the first viewlets to load, under the Welcome viewlet, should be one titled My Tasks. That viewlet should contain both the test case and the test plan section documentation task that were created earlier.
Figure 10. My Tasks viewlet
image of workspace

Selecting any of those links takes you directly to the work item so you can work on it.

  1. Below that, you should see a summary of your current requirements coverage (Figure 11). Notice the test coverage is bad right now (0%), but that is OK, because it is only one requirement at this point. The goal to reach by the end of this exercise is 100%.
Figure 11. Status of current requirements coverage
image of workspace

Tip:
Clicking on this viewlet takes you to a more detailed reporting tool for requirements coverage where you can customize parameters for reporting.

  1. You should also see an "Execution status per tester" chart and another chart for "Unfinished work item count." They are not included here because they are large and, at this point, not very exciting.

You will see additional viewlets for defect tracking and test execution. The goal here is to get those to populate before you finish this exercise. However, it is also important that you see how easy it is to create your own viewlets to customize your dashboard.

Now that you have a request out there, it is time to look at some of the different options that you have to find it. There are two basic ways to monitor requests:

  • The first is the brute force method, which is to look at all the requests and filter based on different criteria.
  • The second method is similar but a bit more elegant, you can add a viewlet to your dashboard.

Here, you will add a viewlet, but you can get to the same files by clicking the Lab Management icon and selecting All Requests.

To create a Requests viewlet for your dashboard, follow these steps:

  1. On your dashboard (the Home tab), click the down arrow on the General tab (Figure 12) and select Add Viewlet.
Figure 12. Adding a viewlet to the dashboard
image of menu
  1. In the resulting viewlet explorer, select Work Item Statistics under Quality Manager and click Add viewlet.
Figure 13. Viewlet explorer
image of workspace
  1. This should add the Work Item Statistics viewlet to your dashboard, probably at the top of the screen. You can move it around, but wherever it is, you should see a message stating "No work item query defined" yet. To define a query, click the Select a query link in that status message (Figure 14).
Figure 14. Work Item Statistics viewlet status message
image of viewlet

The first thing that you need to do is to select the query that you want to run. To keep this example fairly simple, you wll use one of the predefined queries.

  1. Click Edit next to the Query field, where you can select any of the predefined queries in the Work Item Queries view. For this exercise, selected Open assigned to me.
Figure 15. Select a query to run
image of dialog box
  1. When you have selected the query, click OK. This carries your query over to the viewlet settings.
  2. Next, under the Preferences tab, select the Parameter that you want to view. For now, select Type from the drop-down menu next to the Parameter field (see Figure 16).
Figure 16. Select a parameter to view
image of workspace
  1. When you click Save, the viewlet should load, based on the query settings you selected (Figure 17).
Figure 17. Open Assigned to Me viewlet
image of workspace

This is an interactive viewlet. Selecting one of the areas of the viewlet will load a table of work items related to the query. Using these views can be easy ways to track the work that you have in front of you, as well as to navigate Rational Quality Manager.


Work with requirements

For many teams, requirements management is an essential aspect of a successful software project. If you defined your requirements in an external tool, such as IBM® Rational® RequisitePro®, you can import them into Rational Quality Manager, where they are visible in the Requirements view. You can also import requirements directly into test plans and test cases. You can also add requirements to your test plan manually.

When requirements are changed or deleted in the requirements source application, the status of the requirement in Rational Quality Manager is updated to show the latest requirement status. Test cases with requirements that change or are deleted are identified as questionable. This enables you to adjust test plans and test cases quickly and accurately to respond to requirement changes. In addition to having the ability to import requirements from external tools, you can create new requirements withn the test plan.

Take a closer look at the requirement that you created earlier:

  1. In the navigation pane at the left, select the Requirements icon and then select All Requirements.
  2. That will load a table containing the requirement for the various BookPool.com subject categories. Click the requirement ID link in the table to load the requirement.

The first thing to do is to get this requirement moving through the requirements process workflow.

  1. To start work on the requirement, click the arrow next to the drop-down menu by the title field and select Start Working:image of menu item

That action signals to the rest of the team that you are working on this.

Your description already contains the list of categories from when you created it earlier, but assume that you want to add a new category called Software Testing.

  1. Click Edit and add it that category the list.
  2. After you have edited the list, click Save.
  3. If you look back to the top, you will see that the status changed automatically to In Progress.
  4. To submit this requirement for approval, select Stop Working from the status drop-down menu.
  5. Next, click the Approvals tab.
  6. To submit your updated requirement for approval, click Approval to add a new row.
Figure 18. Setting a requirement for approval
image of workspace
  1. Enter Due date and click Save.

Now that the requirement is updated, it is time to go back to the dashboard and take a look at that test case you created earlier.


Create and run the test case

Test case means different things to different people. For some, it is merely a unit of work. For others, it represents an idea. In Rational Quality Manager, you develop test cases to define the things that you want to test to ensure coverage, test for possible issues, or to track your effort in specific areas of the application.

Test cases describe what you are going to test. In Rational Quality Manager, they often include preconditions and post-conditions for test execution and describe the expected results. You can create a new test case independent of any test plan, or you can create a new test case in the context of an existing test plan. When you add a test script to a test case, it is listed in the Test Scripts section of the test case.

Note:
Rational Quality Manager integrates with IBM® Rational® Functional Tester, IBM® Rational® Manual Tester, IBM® Rational® Performance Tester, and IBM® Rational® Service Tester for SOA Quality.

Associate your requirement with a test case

First, tie the requirement to a test case in the test plan:

  1. In the navigation view on the left, click the Construction icon and select My Test Cases.
  2. That should load a table containing your test case for testing BookPool.com navigation by subject category. Go ahead and click on the test case id link in the table to load the test case.
  3. You should notice a layout similar to the test plan you saw earlier: table of contents, section detail, and header. Things work pretty much the same. Select the section you want to work with, make your changes, and save.
  4. To associate a requirement with your test case, click the Requirements section in the Table of Contents.
  5. When the requirements section loads, click the Add Requirement(s) icon: image of icon
  6. This loads a a table of your current requirements. Select the check box next to your subject categories requirement and click OK. You will then see your requirement listed in the Requirements table in the test case (see Figure 19).
Figure 19. Requirements view
image of workspace
  1. Click Save so that you do not lose what you have done.
  2. For a quick diversion, click the Home tab and check your test coverage report again. You will need to Refresh your dashboard view. When it has reloaded, you will see that you now have 100% requirements coverage (see Figure 20).
Figure 20. Updated requirements coverage status pie chart
image of workspace
  1. To go back and run your test case, click the Test subject navigation tab (the tab for your test case) to returns to where you were before when you added the requirement.

Associate a test script with your test case

Next, you need to add a simple test script to your test case. This example requires only a couple of steps, but it gives you a feel for the entire workflow.

  1. To create a test script, select the Test Scripts section in the Table of Contents.
  2. To add a test script to your test case, click the Add New Test Script icon:
    image of icon.
  3. When the New Test Script dialog loads (see Figure 21), enter a Name and Description. Unless you have other tools integrated with Rational Quality Manager, the only type of test script available will be Manual.
Figure 21. New Test Script dialog
image of dialog
  1. When you are finished, click OK to list the new test script in the Test Scripts section (Figure 22).
Figure 22. Test scripts list
image of workspace
  1. Click the test script link. If you are asked to save the test case before viewing the new test script, click Yes. This loads a new tab with your test script.
  2. Under the Manual Steps section (Figure 23), click the Click to add link to start adding test steps. The default test step type is Execution Step. Each time that you add a new step, the Click to add link moves down one row in the Manual Steps table.
  3. Add a step to open a browser and load BookPool.com.
Figure 23. Manual Steps section
Also shows Keyword View
  1. Add a second step to verify that the subjects you added in the requirement that you created earlier are listed. To turn that step into a Verification Point, click the icon next to the step number and select Verification Point (Figure 24).
Figure 24. Make the step a verification point
image of pop-up menu
  1. To save the test script, click Save and then close it and return to the test case.

Run your test case and view results

Now you can run the test case and look at your results in the dashboard:

  1. In the upper-right corner of the test case, click Run Test Case, which will open the Run Test Case dialog. (Most of the fields on that dialog cannot be populated, because there is additional setup required for some features before you are production-ready).
  2. Simply click Associate Results with a Test Plan and select BookPool.com Phase 1 Test Plan from the drop-down menu for the Test Plan field (Figure 25).
Figure 25
image of dialog box
  1. Then click OK.

This opens the script execution screen. You should see a test progress bar and a section detailing the test script steps. As you run your test, you can add attachments, log defects, and add comments to the script. In the Script Steps section, the small yellow arrow points to the row that shows the status of the step (Figure 26).

Figure 26. Script status update
image of workspace
  1. When you are ready to execute a step, click the Apply icon to move to the next step: image of icon

You will see that the Result for Step 1 gets checked off, and the execution progress bar moves to 50% (Figure 27).

Figure 27. Ready for Step 2
image of workspace
  1. When you are executing a verification point, you can select several results. In this example, select Fail so that you can see some of the other features at work. When you apply the Failed status, you should see a Failed result. The progress bar moves to 100%, and an "Execution Complete" message is added to your script (Figure 28).
Figure 28. Step 2 failed, steps completed
image of workspace
  1. When you are finished, click Close and show results to bring up the Execution Result screen.
  2. From there, you can set the Actual Result for your test, as Figure 29 shows (in case you want to show the test as passed, blocked, inconclusive, or another status, instead).
Figure 29. Actual result setting options
image of workspace
  1. Check the weight distribution by moving the Weight Distribution slider to get the execution percentages for the possible results: Pass, Fail, Blocked, Inconclusive, Attempted.
Figure 30. Weight Distribution view
image of dialog

Tip:
Although this example did not show it, you can also see what test environment the script was executed against .

  1. Review the Results Detail by clicking the Link to Results History option for that test case (Figure 31).
Figure 31. Result Details view
image of workspace
  1. When you have finished making changes, click Save.
  2. For another quick diversion, click the Home tab and check the test execution report. You will need to Refresh your dashboard again. When it has reloaded, you should see that you now have execution results (Figure 32).
Figure 32. Test execution results
image of workspace
  1. To go back to the execution results, click the Execution Result tab.

For this example, the test result is set to Failed for two reasons.

  • First, BookPool.com does not have the Software Testing category that you added to the requirements.
  • Second, that offers a chance to explain how to log a defect. Just follow the next steps.
  1. From the Execution Result screen, click the Defects icon and select Add New Defect from the drop-down menu.
  2. This should open the defect entry dialog. You will be required to enter a Summary (or title), and it is advisable to also set the Priority.
  3. Click Save.

When you return to your test results, you should see the defect related to the results in the upper-right corner (Figure 33).

Figure 33. Related Defects report
image of workspace

This gives you a defect that is tied to your test execution results, which is tied to your test case, which is also tied to both your test plan and your requirement. You probably get the picture from here: reports galore!


Next steps

Rational Quality Manager is intended to be an environment for both decision-makers and testers. Like all Rational software, it comes with default workflows and settings, but you can customize most of it for your projects. Rational Quality Manager captures test-related data in one central location and makes that data available to everyone on the team. It tracks task ownership and responsibility for individuals and teams, which makes task progress and status of deliverables clear.

Your challenge as you start to get more involved in using this software will hot be getting it to do what you want but will be in figuring out how to effectively use all of the information provided and learning how to customize some of the common features and artifacts to be most effective for you and the way you work. Keep an eye on IBM® developerWorks® for future articles on intermediate and advanced Rational Quality Manager topics.

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