When I started researching PowerStory for PowerPoint, I was floored by the rich set of features. I wondered where to begin in order to do this product justice. I decided to take my time and use it extensively.
Having been using it for some time, I can truly say that PowerStory offers a lot of value. I’m sure that you know that PowerStory will do the basics such as creating UI Mockups / Wireframes and so on. But did you know that it has an incredible UI Mockup Library?
These allow you to (among others obviously) add your custom stencils to the Stencil Library. This is especially useful if you find yourself having to create the same set of UI shapes over and over. Think company standard dialogues or Application Logo. You might need to set consistent and specific standards for common UI elements within your designs.
I also have to say that the stencils are graphically of a very high quality. Resizing them on your PowerPoint slide also scales perfectly in relation to the other controls on your slide. This makes adding and resizing very easy, and will not ruin the already created UI.
The best option would be to go and visit the PowerStory website and watch their self-help videos. With this post, I wanted to talk about a few of my favourite features.
PowerStory Steps Editor
The first feature I love is the Steps Editor. Steps Editor allows you to define use case storyboards. This means that you can define a use case with main and alternate flow steps and associate a UI Mockup with each step. It is better than a standard linear storyboard for a few key reasons:
- Storyboards should be able to define the alternate flows of user interaction depending on what the actions the user performs
- Traditional linear storyboards require a lot of duplication of steps and mockups in the main flow of a use case across many storyboards
Use case storyboards eliminate this duplication. PowerStory also makes the Steps Editor available when in full PowerPoint presentation mode. This makes it easier to walk-through and communicate storyboards. It also means that you are always aware of where you are in the context of the use case.
For a better demonstration of how to use the Steps Editor, have a look at the following demo on the PowerStory website.
PowerStory TFS Integration
Yes, you read right. PowerStory integrates with TFS. What is even more impressive is the ease of setting up this integration. To do this, you need to follow these steps:
From the Ribbon Bar, select the TFS Configuration menu item.
This will display the Connect to Team Project screen. From here you select your Team Foundation Server and a Team Project.
The idea is now to attach this storyboard to a TFS Workitem. Simply click on the ‘Attach to TFS Workitem’ button on the Ribbon Bar.
In the Related Work items dialogue screen that comes up, click on the ‘Find Workitem(s)’ button.
In this example, I’ll attach this file to a Task. So in the ‘Find and choose Work item(s)’ window, select the type as Task.
My Task items are then displayed in the search results.
Select the work-item that you want to attach the storyboard to and click on the Attach button.
A confirmation dialogue confirms that the storyboard has been attached to your work-item.
If you go into TFS and look under attachments, you will see that your storyboard has been attached to the specific task. This is the task you selected earlier from PowerStory.
This is an incredibly powerful and useful feature and one that I have to admit, blew me away.
Create Test Cases in PowerStory
You can create test cases from a storyboard and attach these to a workitem. PowerStory will generate a test case into TFS for each unique path through the use case storyboard. PowerStory will also automatically create a traceability relationship between the test case and its corresponding requirements workitem in TFS. This is critical when it comes time to answer the question, do we have enough test cases to cover our requirements.
In short, you create Test Cases as follows:
Click on the Test Case generation option on the PowerStory menu in PowerPoint.
The Test Case generation wizard screen gives you the option where you would like to generate the test cases.
After selecting TFS, you will be allowed to select which workitem to link the test cases to.
The next step of the wizard allows you to specify keywords for user actions <user> and expected results <system>.
When you click on the Generate Test Cases button, PowerStory will generate and save the test cases into TFS.
After this has completed, the wizard will display a confirmation screen.
If you had a look in TFS, you will see the generated test cases there.
To further illustrate the power of this feature, review the video below:
The full power of this product lies in its usefulness. Initially (for me personally) I found that I didn’t expect the rich feature set. I was pleasantly surprised to be quite honest. The features are also very intuitive and easy to use. This coupled with the incredible user friendliness of PowerStory makes this a tool I intend to use for a very long time.
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