Projects that either do not have a test management tool, or have a tool that does not meet it’s users’ expectations often end up working inefficiently.
There are many things that affect efficiency: What people should be testing, how to find the right test cases or specifications, what should be tested after the issue is fixed and how to show what has been tested and where the problems are. For these things a test management tool helps by giving an interface that is designed to help in doing the daily work.
The Meliora Testlab tool that we are going to review today is, as they say, either a test management tool or an application lifecycle management tool that is designed to combat those problems. The core in Meliora’s product is managing the testing. To support testing it has also requirements management module, issue management module and team collaboration features.
The approach Testlab has on test management is familiar to users with experience on other test management tools like HP QC:
- The testing is based on executing test cases.
- Test executions are grouped in test runs
- Tests can be linked to requirements/use cases to track what features have been tested
- Tracking issues found during the testing.
Then again the implementation is fresh: The tool for example supports tags, drag & drop for files and has responsive user interface that is easy to use.
If a project wants get straight to the testing, Meliora Testlab allows user to get to the business using “simple” workflow. That means that the projects requirements and test cases do not need to be reviewed. Just enter test cases, maybe requirements to the tool and start testing.
You can edit the test cases during the testing if needed. This seems a sensible approach for projects using more agile approach, but that still want to track the testing. If the company already has a more defined process for development and QA, the workflow, user role access and module visibility can be configured to match the ways of working. Both ways can be used at different projects at the same time, if needed.
Testlab uses different modules to allow users to do certain tasks. This seems an easy approach, as user has then a visibility to those functions he or she needs.
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Dashboard is configurable, but the main idea is that here the users can see what is going on in the project. The pearl of the dashboard is the assignments list of what QA related tasks user should be doing. The list can contain for example tasks for designing or running tests, updating requirements or fixing issues.
Milestones module is used to wrap up development and testing to manageable chunks. Project’s sprints or releases are natural milestones. Using milestones it is possible to compare different milestones and to easily see what should still be done for a given milestone. What is actually nice about this implementation is that using it is easy. No complex setup or definition is needed.
Requirements management module is pretty standard implementation of requirements management tool. Business requirements, user stories or such can be maintained easily there to be used as a basis for development and test design. Integrations to tools such as Jira and Pivotal tracker seems an interesting option. If the user stories are maintained in another tool, they can be set up to be seen by testers so testers will always have an access to latest agreed version and thus know what they should be testing.
#4) Test case design
Test case design is again quite straightforward implementation. Test cases can be stored in a tree structure, and with using filters and tags the relevant test cases can be found even if there are a lot of test cases. Test case can be written in rich text description an / or using test steps. Meliora Testlab creates revisions of test cases automatically if the ready test case is re-designed again, so no extra effort is needed to maintain versions.
#5) Test coverage
Test coverage view is probably needed more on bigger projects. Anyway, as it is interactive, it is one easy place where to look for how certain areas of program have been tested.
#6) Execution planning
For making reusable test sets this module makes sense. It is also used for assigning test cases to be run by testers. Testlab has a great feature to show failed or non-run test cases to be picked up to be executed. From a big list of test cases it is good to find the test cases that will most probably find the bugs.
#7) Test execution
Test execution module focuses on what is relevant. It shows the test case and other information what the user is interested in without needing to stop the testing and navigating to other areas of the application. I can see the connected requirement information just by hovering mouse over the requirement, see connected issues completely and just concentrate on testing. One interesting thing in the tool is integration with Monosnap, a free screen recording software.
While the idea is old, the implementation is for once done in usable way. Tester can record a video and send it to the issue in one click. That creates an standard mp4 video that the developers can open without installing anything extra – so they will actually see the video!
The most standard of the modules. List of issues that simply works. Easy filtering and one button solution to re-run a fixed defect.
Reporting module allows storing reports with certain filters to be used later. It is quite straightforward to use: Pick a basis for report, add filters if you want and save it to be used by only you or group of people. After that making an updated report is always only one click away.
Meliora Testlab Pros and Cons:
- User interface is thought well. Less clicks needed to accomplish things.
- Quite easy to start using straightaway with default options.
- Customizations and integrations allow managing the most complex of projects.
- For a tool with this set of features, it is very affordable.
- Search for anything in the tool is simple and effective.
- Assignments and real-time notifications of what is happening on the tool help team collaboration.
- Easy to pick what should be tested next from failed runs or fixed issues.
- Some setups, like dashboard configuration, are not based on roles. Now every user has to set up themselves.
- Reports can be saved only as pdf, excel or open office documents, but not in .doc format.
- Some field values are fixed. If user wants to for example use own values for issue severity, he needs to create a new custom severity field.
To wrap up, the tool is modern, rich in features but easy enough to start using it with reading the on-line material. It is suitable from small agile projects to big enterprise projects.With Jenkins integration the tool can be leveraged to manage also the automated testing.
Meliora Testlab is offered both as SaaS and as an installed version. They offer a trial in the cloud and it can be tried by registering at this page.
Let us know if you have any questions, tips or suggestions about Meliora Testlab Test Management Tool.