This is a hands-on review of qTest test management tool by guest author Kaushal Amin, whose team is using this tool. See author details at the end of the article.
I’ve been checking out the latest test management tool to hit the market, qTest, developed by QASymphony. The software is designed to mesh seamlessly with a typical Agile development and it provides a comprehensive set of options for the testing end of any project. It enables you to enter project requirements, extrapolate test cases, run them, and store all the results.
In effect, you end up with a clear and transparent chain highlighting the lifecycle of every individual bug that gets raised. It’s always clear who was responsible for what. It will also plug directly into your existing bug tracking software and it’s stored in the cloud for easy access. There’s a 30-day free trial which supplies you with a license to use it for 5 users.
I put it through its paces and here’s what I found.
What You Will Learn:
My journey began with the free trial version of the qTest tool. After filling site address (which is your cloud-based home on QASymphony’s server), and few other details, I got a confirmation email, verified my account and I was in. That’s the great thing about cloud-based solutions – there’s no download or installation procedure and you can sign in from anywhere.
It’s worth reading through the quick guide that pops up when you first enter qTest as it really will help you get to grips with the software and its capabilities. The help guides are context sensitive, so as you begin to explore, you’ll get relevant help explaining what you are looking at. The layout and main navigation options along the top are going to be easy to understand for any tester.
This is what you’ll see: (Click on any image to enlarge)
Test Plan – this enables testers to track the build schedule.
Requirements – you can enter requirements or user stories from agile development in here and it’s possible to create test cases directly from the requirements, so they’re automatically linked.
Test Design – you’ll create your test cases in here.
Test Execution – you can plan your test cycle in this module and structure the Test Suite and Test Runs. All the results of each test that is run are recorded.
Defects – you may already have something like JIRA or Bugzilla, in which case you can integrate it with qTest. If not, the defects module is capable of tracking all defects and storing all the details you need on them.
Reports – you can extract all sorts of useful data in here. Customize your reports to display whatever you want, drill down to individual bugs, or generate a high level overview, filtered by date or field.
There’s a Tools menu option after the modules I just discussed where you can really get your hands dirty and dive into configuration with:
- User permissions – dictate who has access to what.
- Custom fields – add custom fields to design a bespoke management solution for your testing.
- External systems – link to JIRA, Bugzilla, Fogbugz, Rally and VersionOne ALMs.
- Notifications – decide who gets emailed and when.
- Environments – choose the relevant environments.
Going live with qTest – Pros
As far as test management tools go, you can actually get up and running with qTest pretty quickly. You’ll naturally want to spend some time designing the test cases and much will depend on the data you can draw on for requirements. If you can import a lot of data, then the setup will be especially quick.
When you’re ready to go there’s a handy ‘Notifications icon’ at the top right which is like a running stream of real-time updates that informs you of any changes and developments in your project. I found that very useful from a management point of view as it enables you to see issues as they arise and click directly through to the defect reports or the test results.
The test management tool does a pretty good job of automatically linking records and filling in data for you, where it can. Options like the ability to clone a bug are big time savers. This makes it fast and easy to use. When you actually run tests you get a Testpad pop-up which allows you to record the results without tabbing back and forth between applications.
Every action in the system is recorded, so there’s never any doubt over who did what, and you can trace a defect from resolution all the way back to its discovery. I found the ability to generate a wide variety of reports was really handy for meetings with other departments and reporting back on progress to management.
There are many great features of this test case management tool, below are some I liked the most:
- You can import and export test cases from Excel spreadsheet or other test management tools
- Features to re-use test cases and test suites across multiple releases
- Easy requirement management and traceability
- Complete control over who modifies test cases
- Track changes to test cases and requirements
- Robust reporting with real time status of test cycles, test results, test progress, and team productivity
It’s a cloud-based solution so you might notice some lag, depending on the load your Internet connection is handling. It also means that testing will grind to a halt if your connection goes down. In terms of features, qTest seems well endowed, although I would like to see the rich text editor extended beyond the Requirements module.
The Help icon, just beyond Tools, in the top navigation bar does allow you to report defects in qTest, should you encounter any, and also to suggest changes. The QASymphony team was quick to respond to my queries and seemed willing to accommodate change requests. Updates to qTest are rolling out once or twice a month, so it’s improving all the time.
A cloud worth trying
There’s very little reason not to give qTest a try. A free 30-day trial offers enough for a real assessment, and it seems likely you’ll be tempted to splash out for a few user licenses and keep going with it. The cloud-based nature is the only thing that may give some users pause, but the convenience far outweighs the potential problems. I found qTest to be very accessible, it’s easy to adopt, it offers quick results, and it represents value for money. It’s also ideal if you want to scale up gradually, but don’t take my word for it – try it out for yourself. You may owe it to the cloud.
About the Author
Kaushal Amin is Chief Technology Officer for KMS Technology, a software development and IT services firm based in Atlanta, GA and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. He was previously VP of Technology at LexisNexis and a software engineer at Intel and IBM.