Creating and Managing Tests

Creating and managing tests is a key part of the process for a test team to organize their work. Depending on your testing needs, there are different types of tests that you can use: manual tests and automated tests.

You can create test cases for your manual tests with both action and validation test steps using Microsoft Test Manager.


  • Visual Studio Ultimate, Visual Studio Premium, Visual Studio Test Professional

Tip Tip

You can now also perform exploratory testing. Exploratory testing is the testing of an application without a set of tests defined in advance. During an exploratory test session, you are not restricted to a script or a set of predetermined steps as you are with a manual test. For more information, see Performing Exploratory Testing Using Microsoft Test Manager.

You can also create automated tests using Visual Studio. Automated tests let you test your application more efficiently. Automated tests run test steps for you and determine whether the test passes or fails. Therefore, they can be run more quickly and more frequently than manual tests. Automated tests can assess whether your application is still working correctly after code changes were made. 

Later, if you want, you can convert manual test cases to automated tests by linking automation to the test case that contains the manual test steps. Then you can run these automated tests using Microsoft Test Manager and then view the results as part of the test plan progress.


Associated Topics

Creating Tests for Requirements: After you review the users' needs for your application, you can create test cases to test these needs. You can link each test case to the relevant requirements or user stories, depending on your project management methodology. You can add the test steps to your test case if you are doing manual testing. In addition, you can associate an automated test with your test case.

Creating Manual Test Cases for Test Suites: You can create test cases with manual test steps and expected results in your test suites in your test plan. The test suites can be based on whatever criteria that you need. You can even create a test suite based on a query. Then, all test cases that are returned by that query will be added to the suite.

Creating Automated Tests: You can create automated user interface tests. These tests can be used to verify that there has been no regression or change in the user interface from coding changes.

You can create unit tests to verify your code and check that changes to your code do not break existing functionality.

You can create load tests to measure the performance of your application.

You can also create generic tests that might call an API to test the features of your application.

Organizing Your Tests: You can organize test cases in test plans using test suites. Then you can run these tests from your test plan by selecting a test suite to run. You can report on your tests based on suites.

You can organize automated tests that you run using Visual Studio, Team Foundation Build, or mstest.exe by marking test methods with a test category attribute. You can then use these test categories to select the tests that you want to run. Each test method can belong to multiple categories based on your requirements.

An automated test might be organized into a test category to run from Visual Studio and associated with a test case in a test plan to run as part of a test suite.

Converting Manual Test Cases to Automated Tests: You can convert manual test cases to automated tests by associating the automated test with the test case using Visual Studio. You can then run these tests as part of a test plan using Microsoft Test Manager.