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CLM 2012 Part 3 – Rational Quality Manager: Test it, fix it, track it … done

This is the third in a series of blogs discussing the enhancements in our Collaborative Lifecycle Management 2012 solution.  Take the passenger seat and let me take you through the paces with the new Rational Quality Manager.

You will see right away the new gauges and controls that keep you in pole position even in the worst conditions.

Driving innovation to the dashboard

When it comes to meeting the business needs one thing is clear, they never stop changing. By linking related artifacts, teams are better equipped to answer questions such as “which test cases are impacted by a requirement change?” or “which requirements are affected by defects?” New real-time lifecycle traceability views in Rational Quality Manager show the links between requirements, test cases and defects. With such a GPS-like view, you won’t go off-track and lose precious time.

We’ve also added execution progress views showing the number of tests executed, pass/fail verdict, time spent and remaining work. Real-time metrics enable agile teams to quickly identify and respond to issues.

Some innovations have also made their way into the reports with updated design and management interfaces. New out-of-the-box reports (including test suite status reports) are available, and RQM will be able to generate document style reports based on templates created with IBM Rational Publishing Engine.

Test prioritization helpers

We’ve ensured that teams can track and manage priorities thanks to new test artifact attributes. We’ve added a priority field to test cases, test suites, test case execution records and test suite execution records and estimate and time spent fields to execution records.  You have new indicators to fine tune your performance over time but still not go past the red line.

Process customization and project templates

Do you need to tune RQM to match your processes? We’ve added the ability to customize the workflows for Test Plans, Cases, Suites, and Scripts. You will be able to modify the default states and transitions and add process advisors on each state which act as pre-conditions or follow-up actions.  Those advisors provide the supporting gears for enforcing a strict process for test artifacts.

And you can extract this process customization as well as custom attributes, categories and test artifact templates into a process template. So you will have the ability to quickly setup custom quality management projects.

Review/approval process improved

The formal review capability within test artifacts has been undergoing a redesign for additional capability and usability. Users can review several artifacts at the same time, or provide inline comments. Artifacts can go through several rounds of review and approval while keeping track of all the comments and status updates. Reviews and approvals are key to ensuring the whole team joins the race towards the same finish line.

E-signature support

E-signature is now supported on the lock/unlock and review & approval actions, and for the following test artifacts: test plan, test suite/case, test script, test execution record, and execution results. Multiple artifacts can be signed at once, and the history view of the test artifacts show who signed, when and for what action, as well as comments. You can use Rational Quality Manager for delivering projects with strict regulatory requirements.

Timelines and team areas

Existing test plan iterations are upgraded to use hierarchical timelines. A timeline is an activity within a project area with its own schedules, deliverables, teams and processes.  Timelines are shared across all the test plans of the same project area. Test teams can now more easily coordinate their activities across multiple test plans.

Team areas allow finer grain access control within a project area. They can be enabled to isolate access of specific test assets to members of a Team Area. Each team area can have its own hierarchy of timelines.

Requirements-driven testing

We’ve also been busy polishing the requirements-driven testing capability of Rational Quality Manager. On top of being able to link requirements to test cases, we’ve added the ability to associate requirements to test script steps to achieve fine-grained traceability often times required in regulatory environments.

Have you been using DOORS to define and manage requirements? RQM integration with DOORS will be taking advantage of linked-data based on the OSLC RM v2 specification. This new integration provides direct visibility into DOORS requirements from RQM and enables live requirements traceability.

Speed up manual testing

Think of it as adding a turbo boost to manual testing. You will be able to dramatically speed up the process of authoring manual test scripts in IBM Rational Quality Manager by leveraging the recording capability of IBM Rational Functional Tester (RFT). No more need to write down the steps, user interactions with the application under test are automatically captured and then turned into an English natural language test script with screen captures. The resulting manual test script can be used as if written by hand with no dependency on RFT. This new capability will require IBM Rational Functional Tester and will be available for Web and Java applications under test running on Windows.

As you can see, Rational Quality Manager 2012 has some great new features you just gotta have to keep you and your team at peak testing performance.

Christophe Telep,
Product Manager, Quality Management for CLM