An essential aspect of creating a QA test plan for your product is the setup of test users and associated data. VA.gov maintains a catalog of several dozen high quality test user identities in a tool we call the Test User Dashboard (TUD). The services that each identity is correlated to can be discovered within the TUD, however, the exact details of the data in that service are not yet described.
After reviewing this page you should have a good understanding of test accounts and using the TUD.
Working with test accounts
Test accounts are simulated VA.gov user login and password credentials that are used to sign in to the staging environment for testing purposes. The staging site has several hundred test accounts.
Each test account has unique attributes that allow you to simulate the experience of a real user, based on your requirements. Common testing scenarios using test accounts include the following:
Conducting QA testing for new features
Reviewing a user flow to make sure that all content and designs adhere to the VA.gov design system
Testing a feature for compliance with accessibility standards (508c and WCAG)
Accessing the Test User Dashboard
Test User Dashboard is hosted here – https://tud.vfs.va.gov/.
You must be connected to the SOCKS proxy to access TUD. Also, be sure to have
Host Wildcard proxy switching enabled for
Alternatively, if you’re accessing TUD from a Government Furnished Equipment (GFE) laptop there is no need to connect to SOCKS proxy or perform any other additional steps.
Finding a test account
On the Find a test account page, you can use the search bar and dropdown filters. The search bar allows you to search for test accounts by first name, last name, or email. Dropdown filters allow you to select attributes associated with an account.
The checkbox labeled “Only show available accounts” limits your search results to test accounts that are not in use by someone else. Using a test account at the same time as someone else logs them out of the staging environment. To avoid disrupting your testing, do not use test accounts with an Unavailable status.
Test account filter options
Authorization (Auth) type
Using test account credentials
Once you’ve found a test account that meets your needs, follow these steps to sign in to the VA .gov staging environment.
In the find a user account search results, click on the > icon for an available test account to expand for more details. The password for a test account is hidden by default and will display when expanded.
Confirm that the test account details provided meet your testing needs.
Select Go to staging to open VA.gov in a new browser tab.
Choose the appropriate login ID type for the test account you’re using (DS Logon, My HealtheVet, or ID.me).
Go back to the TUD browser tab and copy the email address for the test account.
Paste the test account email address in the username/email field.
Go back to the TUD browser tab and copy the test account password.
Paste the test user account password in the password field.
Select Sign in.
Conduct your testing.
Sign out of the VA.gov. Signing out when you’re done makes the test account available for other testers.
Requesting a new test account
The process for requesting a new test account is TBD. See https://depo-platform-documentation.scrollhelp.site/support/Getting-help-from-the-Platform-in-Slack.1439138197.html for assistance.
Troubleshooting login problems
Sometimes the authentication services have unreported outages and you may not be able to sign in with ID.me, DSLogon, or My HealtheVet. Also, test account credentials may change without warning. If you’re having trouble logging in with a set of test account credentials, follow the steps below. If you’re still having trouble, open an issue in GitHub to request an update to test accounts.
Confirm you have the correct credentials
If you found the test account using the TUD, first clear the cookies and cache, then perform a hard refresh on the staging site https://staging.va.gov. Next, confirm your credentials are up-to-date by verifying mvi-staging-users.csv. Finally, try to sign in again with the same test account.
Try to sign in with a different test account
If you're unable to sign in with a different test account it could mean that a service provider has an outage. If you can sign in with a different account it could mean the previous test account has outdated information and you should open an issue on GitHub.
Verify staging environment status
Sometimes our service provider's staging environment is unavailable and we aren’t notified. You can verify an outage by viewing the status pages below or try again when the service provider is back in service.
Reporting a problem
Before reporting a problem, search the vets-website and the va.gov-team repositories to see if someone else has already reported it. If you don't find an existing issue related to the problem you’re seeing, we want to know about it. Open a new GitHub issue based on the problem types listed below.
Accessibility and 508c issues for accessibility problems
Front End (non-accessibility) for issues specific to content, styles, or linking