If you are familiar with software development processes, you’ll probably know how important quality assurance is to create a great and cost-effective product. To have good quality software you’ll definitely need to do high-level testing on it. If you want your software to maintain high performance, you’ll want to invest in a good test management tool so all your testing processes would be transparent and easy to manage. Software testing tools increase test coverage. You can automate the repetitive tasks and write test cases that will cover most of the application functionality. This will help to use saved time to focus on the scenarios not possible to automate, exploratory tests, and so on.

Nowadays there are so many test management tools that it can be really difficult to research all of them and understand what would be the best fit for your project. If you select a good test management tool for your system, then the testing process will become more effective and easier to maintain in the future. In this blog post, we’ll look at the most important features that a good test management tool should have and how to decide on which would be the best choice for your project.

Based on our experience with various testing projects, we see that a good test management tool should have these features:

  • Support multiple platforms/OS versions and technology
  • Support Manual and Automated test creation
  • Robust object identification for UI automation
  • Good debugging facility to resolve any errors. It should keep a detailed test activity log
  • Support multiple frameworks and programming languages
  • Easy to use and maintain a large number of test cases
  • Integratable with other popular tools
  • Customization of fields and reports so you can adjust the result visualization to your needs
  • Import & Export of test cases and issues to communicate data between different tools
  • Exploratory testing support is always a good to have feature
  • Responsive customer support for any questions

In case you’re currently not using any test management tools, you’ll need to research possibilities with the existing project environment. What is the project management tool that you are using at the moment? What are you using to track issues found within the project? If there is an existing system, it will already narrow down your options for test management tool selection because you’ll have a list of test management tools that are compatible with the tools that already are in use in your project.

If you’re already using some test management tool and you’re looking into other possibilities, you can understand the pros and cons of your existing test management tool and compare them to other available tools.

To understand which test management tools could be considered, you need to narrow down the most important features that your test management tool should have to meet your project needs.

  • You have to understand what platforms the tool needs to support and also plan for such support for the project needs in the future.
  • You need to understand if your project needs manual or automated tests or both
  • Also, consider if you’ll have to add API testing
  • Understand how many tests will be run
  • What integrations are needed for the tool to work with the existing system?
  • What is your software development methodology?
  • What is the available budget for the test management tool?

We investigated a few popular test management tools and came up with a matrix that shows a comparison between these tools based on common expectations from a good test management tool. For every project, this matrix will differ, so if you’re trying to choose a test management tool, it would be a good idea to create your own matrix for tool comparison. Here are the results that we came up with based on our experience and the information available from tool websites.

If you’re looking at tools that are free, you can definitely check out TestLink, which is an open-source test management tool. Open source tools are frameworks and applications that are free for use and their source code is available on the internet. You can modify the source code to adjust to your needs but there usually is no reliable technical support to which you could reach out if you face any issues with the tool. Documentation also is usually lacking needed information for this kind of tool.

If your current system consists of tools that are not so common or they are new tools and you can’t integrate them directly with a lot of test management tools, we’d suggest choosing a test management tool that has integration with Zapier or has a strong API so you can automate communication between the existing system and the tool you chose. Some examples of such tools are TestRail or qTest. Zapier moves information between your web apps automatically but the information that can be moved depends on the selected tool. Currently, test management tools like Test Monitor and PractiTest offer Zapier integration.

If your current project is using Jira as a project management tool, we’d suggest using Xray as your test management tool because, when using Xray, pretty much everything you need can be done in Jira. It is a lot easier to maintain real-time info when everything you need is available in one place. Xray also offers an exploratory test application that can help tracking work done during exploratory test sessions. It should be mentioned that Xray is available only if you’re using Jira. For more information check out our blog post on using Xray as a test management tool.

As it was mentioned earlier, every project is different, but we hope this blog post will help you find the best test management tool. Good luck and let us know if you need help with software quality assurance tasks.