Rational Quality Manager 4.0.4 – Manual Test Editor

Rational Quality Manager’s manual test editor got a bit of a makeover in version 4.0.4.  Some updates are pretty obvious, some are not so obvious.

Obvious – Stack Top to Bottom


Since time began, RQM manual tests have consisted of a Step column, a Description column, an Expected Results column and a Mystery column.  The Mystery column really contains icons for attachments, comments and assisted data, but you really don’t know that until you add the first one of those.

4.0.3 manual test row

Optionally, you could use a toolbar icon to toggle on and off an additional column that contains the full text of your comment.

4.0.3 comment column

Why that toggle tool was implemented as two checkboxes instead of a simple toggle button is a mystery.  Perhaps RQM Dev got a really good deal on checkboxes or something.


Now in 4.0.4, you not only have the same “Stack Left to Right” orientation, but you have the option of a “Stack Top to Bottom” orientation which puts the Expected Results below the Description column.  The Mystery column remains on the right side, but when you hover in it, three tool icons appear for attachments, comments and assisted data.

4.0.4 stacking

This will probably be a matter of personal preference, but this orientation gives you more horizontal space to enter and read your description and expected results.

Not So Obvious – No More Comments Column

Comments now appear directly in the mystery column so there is no more toggling on and off of the comment column.  Darn, I guess we will never know why they used checkboxes instead of a toggle.


Not So Obvious – Column Headers in “Stack Right to Left”

In the traditional Right to Left orientation, the Description and Expected Results headers are now stuck to the toolbar so they don’t scroll away.

4.0.4 headers

Obvious – Maximize Steps Display

You have a bunch of steps to enter into a manual test.  That’s all you will be doing for the next 20 minutes.  You don’t need to see the Formal Review section.  You don’t need to see the State, Originator or Owner.  You just want as much space as possible to edit your test.

Presenting the Maximize Steps Display icon:

4.0.4 Maximize

The steps editor now consumes everything except the Related Information area on the right side, if you have that turned on.

Obvious – Multiple Step Selection

Using Control-Click, you can select multiple steps in a test.

Not So Obvious – What to do then

One thing you can do with multiple test steps is copy them to the step clipboard.

4.0.4 Copy multiple steps

The big change here is the removal of the step clipboard window.  This is a big improvement as you can copy/paste steps without losing screen real estate to a window that really didn’t add that much value.  Instead of dragging and dropping steps to and from the clipboard window, you just use the copy/paste in the step menus.

Obvious – On Demand views

The Test Data, Execution Variables and Keyword view windows are all “floating” and can be resized.  The old fixed-sized windows really didn’t lend themselves to scaling to large projects.

4.0.4 floating windows

Not So Obvious – Compact View

Before 4.0.4, the Compact view setting hid all graphics from the description and expected results columns for all steps except the step you have selected in an effort to compress the information into less screen real estate.  It was moderately effective.

In 4.0.4, the Compact view does much the same thing in Stack Left to Right mode.  In Stack Top to Bottom mode, it also hides the Expected Results cell.  One handy addition is that each step gets a “twistie” that can be used to expand that step individually.  So you can see the graphics for the step you are working plus the one before, for example.

4.0.4 compact

Obvious – Keyword Support

Keyword support is maturing in RQM.  Keywords will be a major part of our Multi-Channel testing initiative going forward.  The new keyword support in 4.0.4 deserves its own blog post so I will save that for another day.


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