The 2008 inaugural release of Rational Quality Manager introduced a new approach to test case management. The Rational Quality Manager dynamic test plan allowed test cases to be associated to a test plan in a non-hierarchical nature. There are many benefits to this approach, the main being that in a distributed test team, where many people are working off a test plan, having tests tied to a hierarchy often makes them difficult to find. While the categorization, of filing of test cases in folders of folders of folders might seem logical and simple to the person who originally created and organized the structure might seem logical and obvious, for anyone coming in new to the structure, navigation is much more difficult.
You can think of this as similar to the way Google and Yahoo took to indexing the web. Yahoo originally, and still available today, used hierarchical directories to categorize web content. Google of course simply put all websites into one group, and enabled you to find what you were looking for with a powerful search facility. Both valid approaches, but how do you find what you want on the web? Exactly.
What made Rational Quality Manager approach possible was the advanced tagging and searching mechanism. Using a paradigm similar to the Google approach, all test cases are stored in one bucket, with a very powerful and fast search feature that enables you to find what you are looking for based on all the common identifying properties of a test case such as names or tags. Rational Quality Manager’s web 2.0 sytle dynamic filtering further enhances this, enabling you to see search results returned as you type.
Hierarchies, however, are not without their benefits. Viewed from above, they provide a good graphical representation of content. You can quickly see relationships between artifacts and get an idea of the number of artifacts in a certain area, such as the number of test cases for a given requirement.
Accordingly, new in Rational Quality Manager 2.0 is a hierarchical view of assets. In this tree view you can see how the Viscosity Defect is attached to the Viscosity Execution of the Viscosity Test, attached to the Viscosity Test Case of the Viscosity Requirement in the Red Test Plan in the Paint Shop project.
This powerful new view enables testers to visualize relationships while still being able to leverage the powerful searching and tagging facilities for finding test cases. Two approaches to viewing your data, with two different benefits makes this one of Rational Quality Manager 2.0’s most powerful features.