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Microsoft ALM Feature Pack 2 Tests Silverlight and Firefox

Visual Studio 2010 Feature Pack 2 is available for download this week to MSDN subscribers with Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate, Visual Studio 2010 Premium or Visual Studio Test Professional 2010. Among the highlights is better testing for Silverlight 4 applications and limited Firefox 3.x support.

Feature Pack 2, which includes the first feature pack, Visual Studio 2010 Visualization and Modeling, extends the testing capabilities found in Microsoft's Application Lifecycle Management solution.

Silverlight 4 developers can create and edit coded UI tests (automated functional testing and UI control validation) in Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate and Visual Studio 2010 Premium. They can also take advantage of the action recordings and play back tooling in Test Professional 2010, which enables developers to fast forward through coded UI and manual tests, according to Microsoft. Action logs and environmental data are supported for SL apps, but Intellitrace logs are not.

For now, the new testing functionality is limited to SL4 apps that are hosted on IE7 or later. It can not be used for Windows Phone 7 apps. Support for SL desktop apps and LightSwitch apps is on the docket, according to Microsoft's Brian Harry.

Harry described the benefits of the new coded UI test editor in his blog:

"In VS 2010, a coded UI test is generated as an XML description and some code. Neither is particularly easy to approach if you want to make some minor tweaks to your test – like change how a control you are testing is identified or remove a superfluous UI gesture, etc. The new coded UI test editor in Feature Pack 2 makes tweaking and customizing your recorded tests MUCH easier."

Developers with Test Professional 2010 can play back coded UI tests and manual tests on Firefox 3.5 or 3.6. However, UI actions can only be recorded in IE7 or IE8. The Firefox support will facilitate one set of tests for regression testing, according to Harry.

Visual Studio 2010 Feature Pack 2 is cumulative and includes the UML modeling, C++ support and code generation in Feature Pack 1. Feature Packs originated with Visual Studio 2010. As a reminder, the testing of Feature Packs is limited, according to Microsoft, and support is offered through forums only.

When the concept of Feature Packs was first introduced, Microsoft indicated that shipping code in the core Visual Studio 2010 product would not be altered. That apparently didn't happen in Feature Pack 2, which requires a hot fix.

Even so, FP2 sounds like a positive development for Silverlight 4 developers. Express your thoughts on the new Feature Pack. Drop me a line at krichards@1105media.com.

Posted by Kathleen Richards on 11/16/2010 at 12:54 PM

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