Difference Between Microsoft Test Manager and Visual Studio Test Professional

Microsoft Visual Studio Test Professional 2010 BoxWhen talking with our consulting customers and leading our 4-Hour Testing Workshops across North America, there is some common confusion about what exactly the differences are between Microsoft Test Manager and Visual Studio Test Professional.  It’s a pretty simple difference that I’ll see if I can help clarify and share some additional news for the vNext release of the Visual Studio family of products at the same time.  Once you get the difference, it will make perfect sense!

Visual Studio Test Professional

Visual Studio Test Professional is one of the different SKUs that you can purchase from the Visual Studio family of products.  What this means is that this is the “box” that you buy.  You can’t buy Microsoft Test Manager.  You buy an edition of Visual Studio that includes Microsoft Test Manager.  Visual Studio Test Professional happens to be the edition that many people will get when they are looking only to get Microsoft Test Manager (in addition to a TFS CAL and MSDN Subscription).

Microsoft Test Manager

Microsoft Test Manager IconMicrosoft Test Manager is the application you use to interact with Team Foundation Server to:

  • Create and manage test plans
  • Create, author, and maintain manual and automated test cases
  • Manage association of automation for test case artifacts
  • Run exploratory tests
  • Analyze previous manual, automated, or exploratory test runs
  • File rich actionable bugs while executing manual test runs or from automated test runs
  • Create and provision individual or shared lab environments with multiple machines for development or testing with Lab Management
  • Connect to physical or virtual lab environments for development or testing with Lab Management
  • Facilitate structured User Acceptance Testing (UAT) from business users
  • And lots more…

Microsoft Test Manager actually is included with two of the different SKUs or Visual Studio editions in the Visual Studio 2010 release.  You can acquire either Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate or Visual Studio 2010 Test Professional to receive Microsoft Test Manager.

Visual Studio “11” Release Changes – So Far

(Written for Beta) Microsoft has announced that Microsoft Test Manager will now be included in the Visual Studio Premium edition in addition to Visual Studio Ultimate and Visual Studio Test Professional.  That’s a great change and brings a lot of value to the Visual Studio Premium SKU!  You can find out some additional comparisons (that have been publicly announced so far) here on the Microsoft site:  http://www.microsoft.com/visualstudio/11/en-us/products/compare

Visual Studio "11" Beta Edition Comparison - Microsoft Test Manager

Need Help?

Let me know if you have any additional questions!  We help customers all the time figure out what types of licenses they should get, advocate to get the best pricing for their company, and sort through all of the licensing details to come up with the best scenario.  Contact me and I’ll be happy to get you started down the right path.  BTW – if there is also one thing to remember, don’t pay retail prices for any Visual Studio licenses before you come talk to us!

Ed Blankenship

Friday, 30 March 2012 10:05:55 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Nice post! Now I'll just refer my confused clients to this post! Also, didn't know about the Premium SKU change. Very nice!
Tuesday, 08 January 2013 00:35:42 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
I understand now why VS 2012 Pro doesn't include Test Manager. Nice post!
Tuesday, 19 March 2013 20:06:32 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
hi, thanks for your post. can u help me? I want to know how to make an automated test on Microsoft Test Manager? as I read on msdn.microsoft.com "if you want to run your automated tests and see the results immediately, you can just run your tests from Visual Studio and view the test results, as shown in the following illustration."

from that sentence, I can say that Visual Studio is different with Microsoft Test Manager, is that right?
sorry I'm newbie in this product, maybe you can help me. Thanks in advance :)
Wednesday, 27 November 2013 13:35:51 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
it looks like setting up test agents now require team foundation server because agents depend on test manager and test manager depends on team foundation server.

Am I correct in my assessment?
Thursday, 28 November 2013 05:11:30 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Hi ...

I am try to work in test manager unable to run the test.. may i know there is any document please provide me step by step progress.

Tuesday, 29 March 2016 05:03:36 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
need to know testmanager for record and play
Friday, 01 July 2016 03:12:11 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)
Hi, nice post. I wanted to know if we can find a solution to run automated test cases in a particular specified order by us.
I tried the following options but it didn't work:
• Created a new suit and re-ordered the test IDs(by changing the order and clicking on "apply changes") and gave run.
• Checked all the column names values(such as 'activated date','start date','automated test id'etc.) to see if there is a pattern by which MTM picks the test case that is to be run next. Found none.
• Created another suit and added each test case one by one. Gave run and found that they also didn’t follow the order in which they were added in the suit.

It would be great if you could help me with it. Thanks.
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