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Major Differences between using Test Packages vs Testcases in SCTM 2011

[Migrated content. Thread originally posted on 15 March 2012]

Any comments on these issues:

Test Packages (Plans)
1. Using SilkTest Plan files allow any suite to be run outside of SCTM.
2. SilkTest Plans converted to Test Packages run the same as a plan; only 1 .res result file is created, all testcases are run at once, the script is only opened and closed once, the log and output.xml files are stored in SCTM with the .res file.
3. Individual Stats are collected for the Reports in SCTM.
4. SCTM 2012 will introduce dynamic updating of Test Packages for added or removed testcases in a plan file.
5. Disadvantage: Users cannot rerun just failed testcases in SCTM, they have to copy the .res file to the local share and mark all failures in plan to rerun.
6. Disadvantage: Manual Testcases cannot be converted to Test Package Testcases; an entire plan has to be tied to the Execution Plan.
7. Disadvantage: For Reporting purposes, Manual vs Automated tracking is lost.

Manual Testcases converted to Silk Testcases
1. Manual Testcases can be readily converted to Automated Testcases and tracked via Manual vs Automated Reports.
2. Workflow can easily be tracked for Testcase backlogs to be automated.
3. Individual Testcases can be dynamically or statically assigned to multiple Execution Plans.
4. Failed Testcases can be selected and run from within SCTM.
5. Disadvantage: Testcases are tied to SCTM, and cannot be readily run outside of it unless a Plan file is maintained.
6. Disadvantage: Every testcase assigned to an Execution Plan will open the script file, run the test, and close it, creating a separate .res result file for each testcase. (100 Testcases = 100 .res files)
7. Disadvantage: The suite of individual testcases is slightly slower but not much.
8. Disadvantage: The log and output.xml files are lost or not created in SCTM.
1 Reply


SCTM 8.0 was created in 2005 with the functionality to import SilkTest planfiles - which was a one-time import. After this import you had to maintain your plan file and your representations in SCTM in parallel. Hence the usage of this was rather lowly.

Some releases ago we introduced the test package capability in SCTM - first for JUnit and with the idea to help developers more easily to interact with SCTM. You had to do a one-time configuration for your whole suite and after that the whole structure was maintained with each execution - hence nearly NO maintenance effort but the benefit of historical results across all executions.

After that we also introduced the plan file test type for SilkTest plan files as the number of users still having plan files (including us internally) did not decline - it has the same advantages as for JUnit - ONE configuration and auto-maintenance of the structure with each execution.

BUT it is more for people already having "legacy" plan files.

If you are transforming manual tests in SCTM to automated ones I would not recommend the way of doing this automation via a SilkTest plan file - the plan will then be the Execution Plan inside SCTM. This gives you much more flexibility.

Product Owner - Silk
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