Meliora Testlab has had a steady flow of updates. Hence once in every quarter, it includes plenty of new features that make the life of a Quality professional much easier. One interesting area of Meliora Testlab is it’s powerful integration to Jenkins – lets learn more about this later in this article.
Projects that either does not have a test management tool or have a tool that does not meet it's users' expectations often end up working inefficiently.
What You Will Learn:
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 etc. For these things, a test management tool helps by giving an interface that is designed to help in doing the daily work successfully.
As they say, Meliora Testlab tool that we are going to review today is 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. In order to support testing it also has requirements management module, issue management module and team collaboration features.
The approach that Testlab has on test management is familiar to the users with experience on other test management tools like HP QC / Microfocus ALM:
- 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 the issues found during the testing.
Then again the implementation is fresh here: For example, the tool supports tags, drag & drop for files and has a responsive user interface that is easy to use.
The tool also shows relevant information to the user in a simple manner and the user does not need to ”travel” in the tool to see for example requirements that are linked to a test case. What takes many clicks in many other tools can be done here just by hovering the mouse cursor over the requirement/user story ID.
If a project wants to get straight to the testing, Meliora Testlab allows a user to get into the business using “simple” workflow. Which means that the projects requirements and the test cases do not need to be reviewed. Just enter test cases, maybe requirements to the tool and start testing right away.
You can edit the test cases during the testing if needed. This seems to be 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 the QA, the workflow, user role access and module visibility can be configured to match the ways of working. Both the ways can be used at different projects and at the same time if required.
Meliora Testlab Important Modules
Testlab uses different modules to allow the users to perform certain tasks. This seems to be an easy approach, as the user has a visibility to those functions he or she needs.
(Note – click on any image to view full size)
A dashboard is configurable, but the main idea here is that 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 the user should be doing. The list can contain example tasks for designing or running tests, updating requirements or fixing the issues.
Milestones module is used to wrap up development and testing into 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 very easy. No complex setup or definition is needed.
Requirements management module is a pretty standard implementation of the requirements management tool. Business requirements, user stories or such can be maintained easily here and they are used as a basis for development and test design.
Integrations to tools such as Jira and Pivotal tracker seems to be an interesting option. If the user stories are maintained in another tool, they can be set up to be seen by the testers so that the testers will always have an access to the latest agreed version and thus know what they should be testing.
#4) Test case design
Test case design is again a quite straight forward implementation. Test cases can be stored in a tree structure using filters and tags so that the relevant test cases can be found even if there are a lot of test cases. A test case can be written in a rich text description 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 required to maintain versions.
#5) Test coverage
Test coverage view is very powerful in seeing how the testing is going on– what has been tested since the last update, and what are the test results. Coverage can be viewed from requirements/user stories as well as from the test case point of view.
Test coverage is probably required more for bigger projects. Anyway, as it is interactive, it is one easy place to look how certain areas of a 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 the testers. Testlab has a great feature to show failed or non-run test cases to be picked up that are 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 informations which the user is interested in without required to stop the testing and navigating to other areas of the application. One can see the connected requirement information just by hovering the 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 a usable way. The tester can record a video and send it to the issue in one click.
That creates a standard mp4 video which a developer can open without installing anything extra – so they will actually see the video!
This is the most standard one of the modules. List of issues simply works fine. Enables easy filtering and one button solution to re-run a fixed defect.
Reporting module allows storing reports with certain filters to be used later on. It is a quite straight forward one to use: Pick a basis for the report, add filters if you want and save it to be used by only you or a group of people. After that making, an updated report is always only one click away.
Expert mode of the report offers possibility to make complex rules for those who need them.
Test automation is definitely the way where the world is going, but it is not efficient to automate 100% of testing. This leads to having combination of test results from automated and manual testing technique. Taking both the results into account and showing the big picture is the strong point of this tool. It allows basically any test results to be imported from Jenkins and showing those along with manual results.
Meliora Testlab Pros and Cons
- The user interface is thought well. Only fewer clicks are required to accomplish things.
- Quite easy to use straight away with default options.
- Customizations and integrations allow for managing even complex projects.
- For a tool with this set of features, it is very affordable. And features to import automated results.
- Searching for anything in the tool is very simple and effective.
- Assignments and real-time notifications of what is happening on the tool help in team collaboration.
- Easy to pick what should be tested next to failed runs or fixed issues.
- Some setups, like dashboard configuration, are not based on roles. Every user has to set up them manually on their own.
- Reports can be saved only as pdf, excel or open office documents and not in .doc format.
- Some field values are fixed. If a user wants to, for example, use own values for issue severity, he needs to create a new custom severity field.
- Assignments, like who is responsible for the issue, is always not personal – so the issue can not be assigned to a group of people.
- While for some organizations this might be a merit, for some this is a demerit: The tool has so many features under its hood that mastering them all takes much time.
To wrap up, the tool is modern, rich in features but easy enough to start using it with reading the online material. It is suitable for small agile projects to big enterprise projects.With Jenkins integration, the tool can be leveraged to manage automated testing also.
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 on this page.
Let us know if you have any questions, tips or suggestions about Meliora Testlab Test Management Tool.