Putting QA Tool PractiTest to the...test

When it comes to managing your QA and testing processes, it’s ideal to have a tool that fully supports your business needs. At Smashing Boxes we found a handful of features we absolutely needed and several nice-to-have features. So we began the quest to find the tool that worked for us. We landed on PractiTest, a cloud-based, SaaS test case management tool.

Positives

PractiTest provides multiple benefits for us as a small QA team. These are some of the top features that helped us make the decision:

       
  • Prioritization of tests - In an agile agency world, it’s impossible to test every permutation and combination of tests. It helps us focus and prioritize main features and functionality such as logging in, submitting/checking out, uploading a document, etc.
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  • Compliance - Some of our clients have requirements and guidelines to follow when it comes to testing and documentation. While this can add extra time to record, it provides value to the client like: who was the tester, when was the test run, what were the steps, etc.
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  • Collaboration - Having a centralized location for testing related data makes it more convenient for the project team. Some scenarios that would add to the ease:
  •    You need to onboard another QA Engineer.    
  • The Project Manager is asking for more details on a card/ticket.
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  • You need to reference the details of when you completed a test run two weeks ago.
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  • Bi-directional Jira Integration - Traditionally, we would discover a bug in testing and have to manually create a card in Jira with all of the details. Having the ability to create bugs during a test run in PractiTest and linking them to cards in Jira is a huge time saver.
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  • Automation Testing - PractiTest supports many commercial tools including Selenium. It also supports language bindings in Shell, Ruby, Python, Java and C#. The API enables us to integrate PractiTest with other applications using REST calls issued in JSON. This is beneficial to us because it allows us to update automated test results into PractiTest.
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  • Customizable Dashboards - The dashboard is the first thing a user sees when logging in, so it’s critical to show the current state of your requirements, issues, tests and test sets, etc. You can choose what to display and even organize it under different tabs.
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  • Customizable Reports - Filters and fields allow you to customize professional reports for clients. Some notable features include scheduling report distribution by email, deciding who is going to receive the report, and re-running the report at the click of a button. Reports are available in CSV, PDF, and HTML.

Drawbacks

While researching multiple tools, we found that they all had some downsides. Here are a few things in PractiTest that we came across:

       
  • Feature Rich - Depending on business needs, you may not need all of the features PractiTest offers. As a smaller QA team, we found that some features such as time management and exploratory testing were not needed.
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  • Cost - PractiTest does require you to pay for at least 3 users. $35 per user for the professional version, $45 for the enterprise version. Both options are billed monthly.
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  • Dated UI - We believe the UI could be more modern to provide a better user experience.

The pros really outweighed the cons for us. Regardless of what you choose, it is beneficial to have a test case management tool as part of your QA process. We encourage you to do your own research to find one that works for you.Derek Clifton is a QA Engineer at Smashing Boxes, providing end-to-end manual and automation testing support.

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