Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: Kong Yang, Carmen Gonzalez, Yeshim Deniz, Jyoti Bansal, Elizabeth White

Related Topics: Java IoT, Industrial IoT, Microservices Expo, Microsoft Cloud, Machine Learning , @CloudExpo

Java IoT: Product Review

Product Review: qTest by QASymphony

A comprehensive testing tool

QASymphony is the company behind qTest, a new test management tool that's aiming to empower test teams. As software development has increasingly moved towards Agile methodology, with its focus on fast delivery, thorough documentation has fallen by the wayside and test cycles have shortened. Test teams have less time to identify and document defects, but expectations for bug-free software remain high. The flexibility to adopt feedback and accelerated build cycles offer real benefits for software development, but they require careful thinking from QA departments.

These are the challenges that qTest is trying to address by equipping testers with a fast, intuitive tool capable of handling complex projects. It's designed to be easy-to-use, it's fully customizable, it can plug into existing bug tracking software, and it creates a chain of transparency that lays bare the entire life cycle of each defect. It should be a tool that's appealing to teams trying to save time by implementing agile testing. Like so many new releases nowadays, it is a SaaS solution, based in the cloud and it's offered at $20 per month per user. The 30-day free trial gives you five licenses, so you can test it out for yourself. How does it measure up?

Activation
Getting started with the qTest software is pretty simple. Head to the QASymphony website and you too can test the five-minute setup claim. When you click "Try qTest Free" you'll be asked to fill in your name, provide an email address, company name, create a site address (which is your cloud-based home on QASymphony's server), and choose a password. You'll get a confirmation email with a link to verify your account, and then you sign in and voila! You should now be looking at your administration panel.

There's no software to install and, since it's cloud-based, you can access your projects from anywhere. So far, so good.

Getting Started
New tools always take a bit of getting used to. Thankfully, upon entering qTest, you'll be greeted by a pop-up window entitled "Five Minute Quick Guide." It consists of bite-sized chunks of info, complete with screenshots, on how to create a new project, invite other users, and dictate roles and permissions. The help guides are context sensitive, because when you enter an actual project you'll find new guides that cover creating requirements, importing test cases, and so on.

Initial impressions are that the interface is streamlined. Everything is clearly labeled, and the main bar at the top offers you navigation options. There's an inevitable, slight lag as each new section loads up. You'll also notice a bit of lag as well when you create a new project or start to add requirements, but on the whole it's fairly snappy and accessible.

Features
What does it actually do? Once you create a project and add your start and end date, and any other admins, you can start to populate it. You'll find the following options in your navigation bar at the top - Test Plan, Requirements, Test Design, Test Execution, Defects, and Reports. These options are followed by a tools menu that allows you to configure user permissions, custom fields, external systems, notifications, and environments. The final option is the help guides, where you can also submit bugs or feature requests for the qTest tool.

As you enter each section you'll see the panel on the left-hand side get updated. This is where you can create a tree of project modules and their attendant requirements, test cases, and defects. If you've already been using a defect-tracking solution, like Jira or Bugzilla, or you have test cases written up in Excel documents, you can start by importing data. That option works both ways - you can also export XLS files. To link up an external system go to Defect Management in the tools menu and all new defects you enter in qTest will be automatically exported and vice versa.

If you're starting from scratch then you'll enter your Test Plan, which isn't intended as a project management tool, but rather as a way for QA teams to track the build release schedule. The Requirements, or user stories, come next and you can actually create Test Cases directly from the same screen, which is a real time-saver. Once again there will probably be some overlap with your project management system, but having a requirements module in here is a good way to uncover gaps in the documentation, provide extra detail, and provide traceability because the full history is recorded.

Test case management is provided in the Test Case module. It seems that qTest understands that testers like to work with Excel, so the test case editor looks and works a lot like Excel. It's quite easy to create, edit test steps and move them around.

You'll then move on to Test Execution where you can create and structure your Test Cycle, Test Suite, and Test Runs. When you've planned out the tree you can move on and actually execute a Test Suite. When you click Run you'll get a Testpad pop-up where you can enter expected and actual results, attach files, mark each step as a pass or fail, tweak the steps as required, and, of course, enter any defects you encounter. It's possible to use QASymphony's screen capture qTrace tool alongside the Testpad to record steps and screenshots that can be added to a defect report.

qTest has a full Defect module so you don't have to get another tool to manage defects. But if you are wedded to a defect tracking tool, qTest gives you the option to turn off the internal tool and use an external tracker. It seems that qTest is able to integrate with Jira, Bugzilla, Fogbugz, as well as Rally and VersionOne ALMs.

It's fairly straightforward to work through and if you run into any problems the help guide is a click away. You'll also find that the Notification icon in the top right of your interface provides useful, real-time updates about what's happening on your project. You can click directly on these to go to the relevant defect or test case. The full chain of actions on every element is recorded for full transparency.

At the far top right there's a powerful syntax search tool, so as the project grows you should still be able to jump directly to whatever you are looking for quickly. You'll also find the Reports section increasingly useful over time as it offers analysis, which can be filtered by fields, values, or dates. You can also create your own customized reports based on your choice of metrics. The nice thing about the reports screen is that you get a single place to see the project progress at-a-glance and filter by date or field. You can also drill down further and bring up defect details in a list on the same screen.

Usability
You really can get up and running with qTest within minutes. The interface is clean and uncluttered, which makes it easy to come to grips with. The full history on each record makes it clear who did what. The real-time updates work well for collaboration.

There's obviously a fair bit of work to do to create your project and it's worth planning carefully to ensure that you have things set up correctly before you invite the rest of the test team onboard. When your Test Plan is ready, the actual implementation couldn't be easier. Any field that can be automatically filled is dealt with by qTest, so testers can really focus on identifying and describing defects. Related records are linked and the ability to create test cases directly from requirements makes perfect sense.

Tracking your test results via the Testpad pop-up without having to leave the application you are testing is very convenient. Just like the ability to clone defects, it's a time-saving feature that enables testers to work faster.

Room for Improvement
No product is ever perfect and qTest is still being developed, so there are inevitably a few improvements that could be made. And while it's nice to see a rich text editor option for the Requirements, because it is quite rare in test management tools, sadly it isn't extended to comment fields or defect descriptions. qTest runs on a browser, so it actually is supported on a Mac and Linux.

There is an option via the Help icon in the navigation bar to submit tickets for defects in qTest to the QASymphony team and to request new features. Responses are fast, the development team will confirm whether they will be implementing your suggestions and give you a timeline. They are currently updating qTest once or twice a month, so bug fixes are fast and there's a good chance they'll accommodate feature requests.

Verdict
This is a really comprehensive testing tool and it works hard to fit in with the ethos of Agile development. The automated fields, linked records, and complete history are invaluable for test teams. Not only is qTest helping to increase speed and efficiency, but also to provide transparency. Compared to existing solutions, at first glance, qTest ticks all the same boxes, but there are a lot of little touches that you won't find elsewhere. The end result is a smooth workflow and a dynamic, robust system that's extremely accessible.

This is a competitively priced, scalable solution that any company could adopt instantly, without any hardware or software setup. Clearly QASymphony is focused on empowering testers. Compared to traditional test management systems, which are complex, expensive, and suffer from a steep learning curve, qTest is a breath of fresh air.

More Stories By Kaushal Amin

Kaushal Amin is Chief Technology Officer for KMS Technology, a software development firm with 300 employees and offices in Atlanta and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. You may reach him at [email protected]

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@MicroservicesExpo Stories
NHK, Japan Broadcasting, will feature the upcoming @ThingsExpo Silicon Valley in a special 'Internet of Things' and smart technology documentary that will be filmed on the expo floor between November 3 to 5, 2015, in Santa Clara. NHK is the sole public TV network in Japan equivalent to the BBC in the UK and the largest in Asia with many award-winning science and technology programs. Japanese TV is producing a documentary about IoT and Smart technology and will be covering @ThingsExpo Silicon Val...
Cloud Expo, Inc. has announced today that Aruna Ravichandran, vice president of DevOps Product and Solutions Marketing at CA Technologies, has been named co-conference chair of DevOps at Cloud Expo 2017. The @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo New York will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, and @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo Silicon Valley will take place Oct. 31-Nov. 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Is your application too difficult to manage? Do changes take dozens of developers hundreds of hours to execute, and frequently result in downtime across all your site’s functions? It sounds like you have a monolith! A monolith is one of the three main software architectures that define most applications. Whether you’ve intentionally set out to create a monolith or not, it’s worth at least weighing the pros and cons of the different architectural approaches and deciding which one makes the most s...
Cloud promises the agility required by today’s digital businesses. As organizations adopt cloud based infrastructures and services, their IT resources become increasingly dynamic and hybrid in nature. Managing these require modern IT operations and tools. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Raj Sundaram, Senior Principal Product Manager at CA Technologies, will discuss how to modernize your IT operations in order to proactively manage your hybrid cloud and IT environments. He will be sharing be...
This recent research on cloud computing from the Register delves a little deeper than many of the "We're all adopting cloud!" surveys we've seen. They found that meaningful cloud adoption and the idea of the cloud-first enterprise are still not reality for many businesses. The Register's stats also show a more gradual cloud deployment trend over the past five years, not any sort of explosion. One important takeaway is that coherence across internal and external clouds is essential for IT right n...
Back in February of 2017, Andrew Clay Schafer of Pivotal tweeted the following: “seriously tho, the whole software industry is stuck on deployment when we desperately need architecture and telemetry.” Intrigue in a 140 characters. For me, I hear Andrew saying, “we’re jumping to step 5 before we’ve successfully completed steps 1-4.”
A Man in the Middle attack, or MITM, is a situation wherein a malicious entity can read/write data that is being transmitted between two or more systems (in most cases, between you and the website that you are surfing). MITMs are common in China, thanks to the “Great Cannon.” The “Great Cannon” is slightly different from the “The Great Firewall.” The firewall monitors web traffic moving in and out of China and blocks prohibited content. The Great Cannon, on the other hand, acts as a man in the...
When you decide to launch a startup company, business advisors, counselors, bankers and armchair know-it-alls will tell you that the first thing you need to do is get funding. While there is some validity to that boilerplate piece of wisdom, the availability of and need for startup funding has gone through a dramatic transformation over the past decade, and the next few years will see even more of a shift. A perfect storm of events is causing this seismic shift. On the macroeconomic side this ...
Enterprise architects are increasingly adopting multi-cloud strategies as they seek to utilize existing data center assets, leverage the advantages of cloud computing and avoid cloud vendor lock-in. This requires a globally aware traffic management strategy that can monitor infrastructure health across data centers and end-user experience globally, while responding to control changes and system specification at the speed of today’s DevOps teams. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Josh Gray, Chie...
In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Scott Davis, CTO of Embotics, will discuss how automation can provide the dynamic management required to cost-effectively deliver microservices and container solutions at scale. He will discuss how flexible automation is the key to effectively bridging and seamlessly coordinating both IT and developer needs for component orchestration across disparate clouds – an increasingly important requirement at today’s multi-cloud enterprise.
To more closely examine the variety of ways in which IT departments around the world are integrating cloud services, and the effect hybrid IT has had on their organizations and IT job roles, SolarWinds recently released the SolarWinds IT Trends Report 2017: Portrait of a Hybrid Organization. This annual study consists of survey-based research that explores significant trends, developments, and movements related to and directly affecting IT and IT professionals.
Keeping pace with advancements in software delivery processes and tooling is taxing even for the most proficient organizations. Point tools, platforms, open source and the increasing adoption of private and public cloud services requires strong engineering rigor – all in the face of developer demands to use the tools of choice. As Agile has settled in as a mainstream practice, now DevOps has emerged as the next wave to improve software delivery speed and output. To make DevOps work, organization...
Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more business becomes digital the more stakeholders are interested in this data including how it relates to business. Some of these people have never used a monitoring tool before. They have a question on their mind like “How is my application doing” but no id...
In large enterprises, environment provisioning and server provisioning account for a significant portion of the operations team's time. This often leaves users frustrated while they wait for these services. For instance, server provisioning can take several days and sometimes even weeks. At the same time, digital transformation means the need for server and environment provisioning is constantly growing. Organizations are adopting agile methodologies and software teams are increasing the speed ...
Developers want to create better apps faster. Static clouds are giving way to scalable systems, with dynamic resource allocation and application monitoring. You won't hear that chant from users on any picket line, but helping developers to create better apps faster is the mission of Lee Atchison, principal cloud architect and advocate at New Relic Inc., based in San Francisco. His singular job is to understand and drive the industry in the areas of cloud architecture, microservices, scalability ...
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, discussed how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team at D...
Software as a service (SaaS), one of the earliest and most successful cloud services, has reached mainstream status. According to Cisco, by 2019 more than four-fifths (83 percent) of all data center traffic will be based in the cloud, up from 65 percent today. The majority of this traffic will be applications. Businesses of all sizes are adopting a variety of SaaS-based services – everything from collaboration tools to mission-critical commerce-oriented applications. The rise in SaaS usage has m...
The proper isolation of resources is essential for multi-tenant environments. The traditional approach to isolate resources is, however, rather heavyweight. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Igor Drobiazko, co-founder of elastic.io, drew upon his own experience with operating a Docker container-based infrastructure on a large scale and present a lightweight solution for resource isolation using microservices. He also discussed the implementation of microservices in data and application integrat...
We'd all like to fulfill that "find a job you love and you'll never work a day in your life" cliché. But in reality, every job (even if it's our dream job) comes with its downsides. For you, the constant fight against shadow IT might get on your last nerves. For your developer coworkers, infrastructure management is the roadblock that stands in the way of focusing on coding. As you watch more and more applications and processes move to the cloud, technology is coming to developers' rescue-most r...
2016 has been an amazing year for Docker and the container industry. We had 3 major releases of Docker engine this year , and tremendous increase in usage. The community has been following along and contributing amazing Docker resources to help you learn and get hands-on experience. Here’s some of the top read and viewed content for the year. Of course releases are always really popular, particularly when they fit requests we had from the community.