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Once a suitable guideline for .tst file layout is established for your team, it is critical to establish a method for sharing the test assets across the team in order to enable collaboration. 

Shared Directories and Network Drives

Some users choose to store their test files on shared directories or network-mounted drives. This is an easy route that may work for some users—especially those who share other test assets in this manner. However, Parasoft strongly recommends the use of a repository, which is better suited for multiple users working on the same files. 

Problems with using shared directories or network drives include:

  • They can sometimes be slower to access than the local file system. We have seen customers who successfully implement that method for a while, but as their assets grow over time, they start to suffer from slower network access—especially when data source or payload files grow quite large, and when users work remotely.
  • They lack revision control. As a result, if a resource needs to be reverted to a previous version due to an unintended change (or simply to mirror a reversion in the functionality of the system under test) then it would need to be rolled back manually. (Note that SOAtest can keep a one-step save backup of .tst files, but that is not intended to solve this problem.)

  • They do not manage concurrent access. As a result, if two users open the same file and make changes simultaneously, they can overwrite each other’s work.

Source Control Systems

Parasoft strongly recommends the use of a source control system to maintain the test files and keep them in sync for all users. A source control system (such as Subversion, CVS, ClearCase, or many other free and commercial tools) alleviates the problems listed above. 

SOAtest can plug into and work with almost any popular source control system in the market. CVS is already built into Eclipse, so it is available in the SOAtest installation.

Sharing test files with a source control system from SOAtest is easy. Once the Eclipse plugin of the associated vendor is installed in SOAtest, you can right-click a file, folder, or the entire project, then choose to share it by uploading it to the repository, commit changes, or download other users’ file updates. The system will protect against collisions and enable effective collaboration.

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