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Test management tools: A pros and cons look at the best to use

Wojtek Nartowski

Software development and delivery have to keep up with ever-increasing user demand for speed. Testing processes have to keep up right along with it. Can it help us testers to miss major defects and make mistakes? Certainly yes, but we’re able to effectively reduce the number of bugs we overlook by using effective test management tools.

 

Test management tools: A pros and cons look at the best to use

Table of contents:

 

What are test management tools?

Before I get into why you need a test management tool, let me explain what test management tools are. Software development teams use test management tools to keep all the things they need to manage, plan, run, and report tests. There are many different test management tools out there, but most of them facilitate both manual and automated test management. Many of these tools also allow you to manage test environments. In addition to planning, managing, auditing and running tests, test management tools also play another key role — they’re an efficient repository for defects that must then be managed.

 

To decide on a tool, carefully consider your needs.

 

First of all, you shouldn’t choose a tool for everything. Just because a tool has the most options doesn’t mean it will also work for your project. Sometimes it’s worth choosing something simpler, easier to implement and cheaper. Focus on achieving a real benefit for you and the team developing your application.

 

So what should you think about when deciding which test management tool to choose?

  • Number of target users
  • Ease of implementation
  • Integrations with other tools supporting software development
  • Test case grouping
  • Task monitoring
  • Visual reporting and analysis
  • Integration with frameworks and automated tests
  • Continuous integration
  • Ability to import/export files
  • Storage plan
  • Traceability matrix
  • Integration with API tests
  • Support
  • Price

It’s not accidental that I mention the price at the end. The price is a relative concept and depending on your needs, the amount you pay for the tool may turn out to be too high or just right for other projects.

 

Of course, your requirements may change. Therefore, when choosing a tool, you should also take into account the ease of changing or adding new modules.

 

Reasons to implement test management tools

So if you’re not already using test management tools, here are some reasons why you should consider implementing some.

 

First, you want to improve the quality of your software. If you’re reading this article, it means that you want to ensure the quality of your application. By providing high-quality software, you meet the needs and requirements of your application users. This is probably one of your most important goals. Test management tools are a great support for project teams and avoid missing errors that have been saved “somewhere in the excel file.”

 

Human error, especially software development errors, are inevitable. Fortunately, test management tools make it easy to cover as much of your application functionality as possible. Imagine working without the right test management tool. You save all errors in a text or calculation file. People at different levels in the organization can run on the same file at the same time. They can simultaneously edit this file, add data and delete it. In this case, there is a high probability that testers will miss a critical error or a critical test.

 

On the other hand, such tools will allow you to avoid repeated testing of the same errors by preparing clear and accurate documentation. Accurate documentation saves the team a lot of time to identify where the error occurs in the application and facilitate its reproduction.

 

Because you want to be up to date with everything. Building software isn’t all about code writing and testing. Creating software includes development, design, programming and testing. Reports on the current situation at every stage of software development allow for a quick reaction and possible transfer of forces to the right place. Reports on previous tasks are equally important. When building an application, it often happens that you have to go back to previous documentation or encountered errors
because you want to know what tests were carried out and when.

 

A test management tool will allow you to view the tests at every stage. By understanding the testing stage of your project, you can make key decisions more easily. A thorough analysis of the tests carried out will allow you to find out at what stage your project is. It may happen that on this basis you want to speed up or delay the release of the current version of the application because you want to increase the efficiency of the team and avoid repeating the same work.

 

In poorly managed projects, it happens that several people do the same job, or one person does something they did last week and has already forgotten about it due to the sheer volume of work. Avoiding repetition will allow your team to be more productive and efficient, especially if the project uses an agile approach. Test management tools allow you to automate many processes, which reduces the time needed to perform more important tasks because you want to manage access to documents, reports and want your project and test data to be safe. Test management tools have the ability to grant permissions to users for different levels. Thanks to this, you can be sure that only the right people have access to the right data. Below, I propose three interesting test management tools.

 

PractiTest

PractiTest is a SaaS quality management tool. This tool is among the most advanced and functional test management tools available on the market.
It integrates with bug tracking tools like JIRA, Pivotal Tracker, Redmine ora Bugzilla, as well as various automation tools like Selenium or Jenkins. PractiTest API allows you to further customize the tool to your needs.

 

PractiTest is one of the most secure test management tools on the market today. The PractiTest support team is renowned for providing great support

Pros:

  • Reuses existing tests and compares the results with previous trials
  • Detects and prevents duplicate issues
  • Enables graphical visualization of reports
  • Reports errors directly from email
  • Integrates with automation tools and C
  • Manages tests and requirements seamlessly
  • Manages tests based on cycles and sprints
  • Integrates with Slack

 

Cons:

  • Pricey
  • No SDK feature to support mobile app testing
  • No Mobile App
  • Only a cloud-based option

 

TestRail

TestRail allows you to manage your tests in real time. It works great in both small and very large teams. TestRail works both on a local server and in the cloud. It also integrates seamlessly with bug tracking and test automation tools.

Pros:

  • Document test cases with full details
  • Tracks the time spent on performing individual tests
  • Allows detailed filtering
  • Tracks the resources and time commitment of the team
  • Creates a coverage report from performed tests
  • Offers an open API

 

Cons:

  • No automation support or selenium integration
  • No mobile app
  • No defect management module
  • Doesn’t detect and prevent duplicate issues
  • No Slack integration
  • Doesn’t report issues directly from emails

 

XRAY

XRAY is a Jira add-on for test managment. All test management and testing happens on Jira. One major pro is that the tool is budget-friendly. XRAY enables testing in accordance with the assumptions of BDD and seamlessly integrates with automation tools and devops using the API. It is the most functionally limited of the tools I propose, however. It can’t manage requirements and user stories.

 

If you’re looking for a tool that relies entirely on Jira, then XRAY is a decent choice. XRAY already has 4,000 customers in 65 countries. It is the fastest-growing application for Jira.

Pros:

  • Has traceability between requirements, tests, defects, executions
  • Organize tests in folders and test sts
  • Tracks progress with test plans
  • Allows you to write test scenarios in BDD in Jira
  • Integrates with automation frameworks (Selenium, JUnit, Robot)
  • Provides REST-API
  • Integration with CI
  • Budget friendly

 

Cons:

  • Doesn’t detect and prevent duplicate issues
  • No slack integration
  • Doesn’t report issues directly from emails
  • Doesn’t manage requirements and user stories
  • Doesn’t have an external dashboard

 

 

Conclusion

The fact is that test management tools make it very easy to manage the development process of both simple and the most complex software. Most of the tools on the market are designed to integrate with other tools that you may be using today. If you want your processes to be even more efficient, flexible and at the same time absorb the least financial resources, then a test management tool is a must for you.

 

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