Supported configurations and platforms for VS Coded UI Tests

Coded UI automated tests! Sounds good, uh? Well, yes, it’s very exciting to see how a machine is simulating that is playing with your app while input some predefine values in your textboxes and performing some actions. Said that, it’s good to know where you can create and apply these Coded UI Tests.

First, supported Operating Systems:

  • Windows 7
  • Windows Server 2008 RD
  • Windows 8

Supported Architectures:

  • .NET 2.0, 3.0, 3.5, 4 and 4.5

Second, Platform Support:

  • Windows Phone Apps: Supported
  • Windows Store Apps: Fully supported including HTML5 in IE9 and IE10
  • Internet Explorer 8 and 9.
  • Internet Explorer 10 and 11: is only supported on the desktop, not Modern UI
  • Windows Forms and WPF: Fully supported
  • Internet Explorer 6 and 7: Not supported
  • Chrome: Recording of action steps is not supported. Coded UI Test can be played back on Chrome and Firefox.
  • Opera: Not supported.
  • Safari: Not supported
  • Silverlight Not supported
  • Flash/Java: Not supported
  • Windows Win32 and MFC: Partially supported
  • SharePoint: Fully supported
  • Office Client Applications: Not supported
  • Dynamics CRM web client: Fully supported
  • Dynamics AX 2012: Action recording and playback are partially supported
  • SAP: Not supported
  • Citrix/Terminal Services: Partially supported
  • PowerBuilder: Partially supported

Of course, when the talk about ASP.NET, HTML5 pages, these are included in the fully supported list of apps.

If you want to know how to Create, Edit and Maintain a Coded UI Test, check this out:

Happy support!

Eduardo Ortega​

Posted in Coded UI, Testing, Visual Studio | Leave a comment

How to update to TFS 2013.4

​Step 1: Download the Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2013 Update 4 from your MSDN subscription or Microsoft downloads

Step 2: Start the installer:

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Step 3: Let the installation be. It will copy the needed components for the update

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Step 4: Follow the Team Foundation Server Upgrade starting with clicking “Next”
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Step 5: Before doing any upgrade (as happens for example in the TFS2010 to TFS2013 migration), you should do a DataBase backup of the main databases. So click where you read “Click here to launch the Database Backup Tool”.
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Step 6: Once finished. Go back to the previous screen and check “By checking this box, I confirm that I have a current backup”.

Step 7: Provide the settings for the application Tier. This means, which system account you want to use for the Application Tier services. By default it will use the Network Service and NTLM authentication.

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Step 8: Here is your moment to set up the Reporting Services. Even if you don’t have reporting services set up previously, you can do it now. If they are already in place just populate properly the fields. Example below:
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In the next step, the database will show up automatically in the databases list. Just make sure you Test the connection to it.

Step 9: Proceed on the same way with the Analysis Services. In case the Analysis Services is stopped, make sure it’s running.

Step 10: Report Reader Account. In this step we should provide a user account as System or Network Services accounts cannot be used here.
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So that’s it! We have skipped the SharePoint configuration as for this instance we don’t have such services set up. Just go to review and click on Configure.

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Now you are ready to enjoy the new features on TFS 2013 Update 4. I recommend you to see what’s new on TFS2013.4.

But just a sneak peak, check the new access levels from the configuration console in the Team Web Access:

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Happy upgrade!

Eduardo Ortega

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Team Foundation Server 2013 Access Levels

*Info updated here:

The amazing world of licenses…when to use them, how to use them, how many computers, how many users, how many services available, on premises or online… These are few of the many questions that I receive every time a Dev or Test teams need to increase its number or its disciplines.

Let’s explain first how it works for those users that work with Team Foundation Server 2013 (the On-Premises server).

TFS 2013.3 Access Levels

First, a user, whatever kind of user is, needs to access to TFS2013 Update 3, so we need to specify which features need to get accessible. For that we have 3 levels (more info here):

  • Limited (Stakeholder access level)

    • View My Work Items
  • Standard (Basic access level)

    • View My Work Items
    • Standard Features
    • Agile Boards
    • Backlog and sprint planning tools
    • Chart Viewing
  • Full (Advance access level)

    • View My Work Items
    • Standard Features
    • Agile boards
    • Backlog and sprint planning tools
    • Request and Manage Feedback
    • Test case management (including running tests)
    • Team rooms
    • Agile Portfolio Management
    • Chart Viewing
    • Chart Authoring

Now that you know more about the licensing, let’s differentiate the licensing on TFS2013.3 from TFS2013.4 and Visual Studio Online.

In TFS2013.3 the access levels were Limited, Standard and Full.

In TFS2013.4 the access levels are Stakeholder, Basic and Advance.

In Visual Studio Online the levels are Stakeholder, Basic, Professional, Advance and MSDN Subscribers.

TFS2013.4 Access Levels

Let’s see now how the licensing changed from TFS2013.3 to TFS2013.4:

Access level

License required


TFS client-access license (CAL) or Visual Studio Professional with MSDN subscription


One of these MSDN subscriptions: Visual Studio Ultimate with MSDN, Visual Studio Premium with MSDN, MSDN Platforms, or Visual Studio Test Professional with MSDN.


No license required. Assign Stakeholder access to customers or stakeholders that you want to collaborate with but who aren’t on your team.

It means that the Stakeholder level (previously called Limited), will allow you to create Workitems (such as Bugs, Test Cases, Requirements, etc) but now, on the Update 4 for TFS2013, we have some extra features:

Stakeholder access level:

  • View and edit all work items (not only yours)
  • Standard features
  • Agile boards
  • Basic backlog and sprint planning tools
  • Agile Portfolio Management

If you go for the Basic access level (you would require a CAL or a license of VS Professional), you will get the next features access:

Basic access level (all stakeholder’s plus…):

  • Chart viewing
  • Build
  • Code
  • Administer account
  • Advanced home page
  • Advance backlog and sprint planning tools

Advanced access level (all basic’s plus…)

  • Chart Authoring
  • Request and manage feedback
  • Test case management
  • Team rooms
  • Advanced portfolio management

Visual Studio Online Access Levels

And last but not least VSO. If you don’t want to host the TFS server on your premises or just you want to avoid all the set-up of servers, SQL Server Databases, etc. Maybe the best option is to subscribe to an on demand service called Visual Studio Online (previously called Team Foundation Service). This service allows you to get licenses on demand and monthly, so you will save a considerable amount of money. Right now you can’t have divided your infrastructure half on premises, half on the cloud, so that means that your online users will work on team projects hosted on the cloud.

VSO features are slightly reduced in comparison to TFS (like reporting or SharePoint integration) but most of the features are available!

Let’s go through the features accessible through the different access levels

Stakeholder access level (free):

  • Work item tracking, queries, tagging
  • Alerts
  • Agile planning boards and backlogs
  • View Iteration and capacity planning
  • Portfolio management boards and backlogs
  • View query based charts 
  • Provide feedback
  • Track test progress and charts

Basic access level (5 free and $20/month new ones). All stakeholder access plus:

  • Team chat
  • Git repositories and TFVC
  • Work with Xcode, Eclipse, IntelliJ and others
  • Code Reviews
  • Enterprise Scale
  • Full Build and Deployment features
  • Web-based test execution. Test runner
  • Administer accounts, users, teams and projects structure

Professional access level (includes stakeholder and basic access levels). $45 per user per month.

  • Includes Visual Studio Professional

Advanced access level (includes stakeholder and basic access levels). $60 per user per month.

  • Request and manage feedback
  • Test planning: create test plans
  • Test authoring
  • Test suite management
  • Test tracking

As you can see it’s slightly different the On-Premise Server than the On-Line Services but in practice, this would be transparent for your developers, testers or team leads.

For more information follow the links below.

Happy licensing!

Eduardo Ortega


VSO Matrix:

Visual Studio Versions:

Work as a stakeholder:

Visual Studio Online Pricing:

Pay for users accessing your account:

Visual Studio Online Basic:

Posted in ALM, TFS, Visual Studio, VSO | Leave a comment

Mobile testing with Xamarin Test Cloud

One of every two companies nowadays ask for a mobile application to integrate in their ecosystem of services and products. Most of the times is just for increasing the marketing or presence on the media, or to offer a better customer experience, or just to help their own employees to be more mobile. Whatever it is, one thing is clear, Mobile Apps are here to stay.

Microsoft Visual Studio offers its own Mobile Testing Platform, using frameworks such as Coded UI, MS Unit Test and few more included with the Visual Studio Suite. But most of the mobile test targets are Windows Phone apps. What about Android and iOS?

Xamarin is a multiplatform framework that allows you to write Mobile Apps for iOS, Android and Windows Phone using C# and Visual Studio or Xamarin Studio.

Recently they started offering a testing service called Xamarin Test Cloud. I’m not going to enter on licensing matters but in what you can do with it.

Xamarin Test Cloud automatically test your app on 1,000 devices in the cloud. Write your own tests, or have our engineers create and maintain a test suite for you.

Automated UI tests can be written using one of two frameworks:

  • Xamarin.UITest – This is a framework that allows test to be written in C# using NUnit testing library. This is mainly for developers that write their own automated tests. Xamarin.UITest is available as a NuGet package and relies on NUnit.
  • Calabash: This is a framework that allows you to write test in Ruby using Cucumber. This gives you an indication that this will be driven by Behaviour Driven Development.

With Xamarin.UITest, an interface shell called REPL is exposed to explore the views on a screen and automate interactions with the application. The best thing of this framework is it worksin any mobile app regardless of the platform it’s written in.

Each test is a method that follows the Arrange-Act-Assert pattern, as the one used in CodedUI with Visual Studio.


The process will follow the next steps:

  1. Automate your app using one of the testing frameworks
  2. Upload the test suite and run it on hundreds of real devices in the cloud
  3. Receive a detailed report with the results, screenshots and performance metrics.

In terms of the capabilities of the Frameworks, here some details:

  • Interaction:

    • Most of the gestures are allowed on the testing: tap, double-tap.
    • Build your own gestures.
    • Query UI elements and use CSS selectors to query these elements in hybrid apps.
  • Device features:

    • Change GPS location, press physical buttons, activate camera and rotate the device.
    • Simulate 2G, 3G, 4G networks.
  • Tools:

    • Write test in C# or Ruby with Cucumber.
    • Use Xamarin Studio and Visual Studio for C# tests.
    • Integrate with standard NUnit test runners
  • Analyse app performance

    • Screenshots and video playback for every step of every test.
    • Receive p.erformance data and compare reports against previous runs to find regressions.
  • Test continuously:

    • Collect test results in your CI system to include UI failures in your nightly reports
    • Integrates with TFS, Jenkins, TeamCity and post-build commands CI systems.

I didn’t have the luck to start playing around with it yet as it requires a license that I’m trying to get, so once is with me I will give you more details about how to perform and will do a comparison between Xamarin Test Cloud, SeeTest and Perfecto Mobile.

If you want to know more about how to write test with C# and Xamarin or Ruby, follow the links on the resources, there is a whole page plenty of guides, samples and API references here.

Happy testing!

Eduardo Ortega


Xamarin Test Cloud:

Introduction to Xamarin Test Cloud:

Submitting Test to Xamarin Test Cloud:

Automate Xamarin.Forms testing with Xamarin.UITest and Test Cloud:

[Video]Using C# and UITest to Create your first mobile test:

[Video]Uploading Test Scripts and View Mobile Test Results:

[Video]A Quick Overview of Xamarin Test Cloud:

Posted in Xamarin | Leave a comment

How to uninstall IE11 form your computer

Looks funny but people can think that having IE11 will be fully backwards compatible and even have tons of new features. Well, the thing is that for some specific scenarios IE11 is not supporting some plugins, activeX or old scripts and we have to revert it back to IE10 in order to do our work properly.

One example was explain to me from my colleague Abid; he told me in some scenarios the Microsoft CodeUI Testing tools​ don’t work properly with IE11, and this is an impediment for our teams.

Here is the solution to fix the problem:

1. On your Windows 7 computer, go to Control Panel –> Uninstall a program

2. On the top-left corner of your screen you will see View installed updates

3. On the list of installed updates you will be able to find Internet Explorer 11.

4. Right click on Internet Explorer 11 and uninstall it.

5. Restart your computer and voila!

If you want to make sure IE11 is not installed further with your Windows Updates, open the Windows Updates tool and on the optional updates you will find IE11, just hide it from there.



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[Windows Phone] Tip #1. Camera Lenses

​Few people know about the camera lenses on Windows Phone, something really cool that every Windows Phone has and that can delight from the most very professional photograper to the most junior selfie-maniac.

Photolenses will enhance the camera experience on your phone allowing you to create 360 experiences, capture notes from a whiteboard directly into word or OneNote just with a photo click, listen the latest Justin Bieber single just pointing at the CD barcode or translating with your camera to another language whatever you have in front of you.

Just let’s take a quick look:

First thing you have to do is open your camera on Windows Phone:

– For those devices that don’t have camera physical button, just go to the apps list (swipe your finger from right to left on the screen) and look for camera app. Better to pin it into the start screen for next time use (just hold your finger for 2 seconds on the app).

– For those devices with the camera button, just click on it once (it works even when the phone is locked or turned off!).


​The camera lenses are located on the camera view on the “bubble”icon.

1- Click on the lenses button before you take the photo

2- Select your desired lenses

3- Use the lenses special features to capture and save the photo.

4- Always remember that whatever picture you take will be saved in your phone and in your One Drive Cloud service automatically, in case you want to access to your pictures from any other device or computer. 

Here a list of the most useful lenses on Windows Phone:

Office Lenses: Office Lens trims, enhances and makes pictures of whiteboards and docs readable, and saves them to OneNote. You can use Office Lens to convert images to PDF, Word and PowerPoint files too. Office Lens is like having a scanner in your pocket. Like magic, it will digitalize notes on whiteboards or blackboards. Always find important documents or business cards. Sketch your ideas and snap a picture for later. Don’t lose receipts or stray sticky notes again!

Translator: Translator is your companion when you need to overcome the language barrier. Use your camera, voice or keyboard to enter text you want to translate. Use Translator on-the-go, even when you don’t have an Internet connection.

Handyscan: Handyscan is a portable document scanner and document keeper.

With this app you can scan anything into your phone and carry it with you, send it by email or save it to the cloud.

From receipts to contracts; from comics to class lessons, magazines & newspaper articles, old photos, notes, souvenirs, balance statements, contact cards, brochures, signatures, invoices, etc, etc, etc.


And much more!

That’s all for now

Have fun!

More information about how to use the lenses:

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Installing Team Foundation Server 2013 in Windows 8.1

Yes! It is possible, let me show you how:

  1. Download Team Foundation Server 2013 Update 3, you can do it from your MSDN Subscription, from the Microsoft Downloads site or even you can download the Express 2013 version here.
  2. Once you have it with you, just start the installation as usual and unless you have an error about your computer not following the minimum requirements, everything will be done in few minutes and 1 restart.
  3. Once the installation is done, it’s time to configure the server. Just a quick reminder, when you install TFS 2013 on a client machine, is only intended for a few concurrent users, you will use SQL Server Express and we are trying the have the most compact TFS installation possible. The main purpose of installing it in our Windows 8.1 is to have Source Control, Work Item tracking and Build Services, but you will see that you can do much more. So let’s select the Basic configuration

  4. So, welcome to the Basic Configuration Wizard! Let’s begin with the Installation of SQL Server Express:
  5. The information to review is giving us some hints about what’s going to happen after the configuration:

  • The authentication will be Windows Authentication.
  • IIS will be configured.*
  • A main site for TFS collections will be created.
  • The port 8080 will be opened for this purpose (check firewall after set up).
  • SMTP will be disabled by default as a client we usually don’t have a SMTP mail server set up on our machine.

    Note: IIS should be installed previously enabling also compatibility with IIS 6 and URL forwarding.

  1. Click on VERIFY before continue and if you have the 4 green checks, you can go for the next step.
  2. And the configuration it’s starting!

    And finishing after few minutes:

  3. Last step, check the connection to the Team Foundation Server Web Access:

Done! Now you can set up extra services like the Team Foundation Build Service but this is a different topic that we will cover in another blog post.

For now, just before we finish this post, check that the Team Foundation Server Administration Console has been installed on your computer and open it. From there you will be able to create new Team Project Collections, modify the Application Tier Set Up and access to the main administrative tools of TFS.



Interesting references:

TFS Overview:


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