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How testing tools can help

As with any profession your choice of tools is one of the most important decisions you make when considering how you are going to approach your work. You should specify all the test tools you require in the Test Strategy. The following are some of the more popular test tools in use today.

HP Quality Center

Quality Center is probably the most popular test tool around at the moment. It manages Requirements, Test Scripts, Test Execution and Defects. It also provides comprehensive reports for monitoring test execution and tracking defects.

The Requirements section in QC enables you to add all the sections of the requirements associated with testing. This allows you to allocate requirement sections to test scripts so that you can ensure all of the specification is covered by testing. Sections of the requirement can also be assigned to software releases.

Test scripts are held in the Test Plan section of Quality Center. Tests are held in a directory structure and are grouped by whatever is logical to the project e.g. a software feature to be tested. In the Test Plan you can view the test details and description, the test steps, any attachments, requirements coverage and test script history.

Test results are stored in the Test Lab and are again contained ina directory structure of your choosing. Usually tests are stored in a folder representing the software release or build identifier. The execution grid gives an overview of the test results for the folder selected showing the test identifier, the date and time it was run, who executed it and other attributes.

Screenshot of SpiraTest test repository

HP Quality Center test lab

Defect tracking in Quality Center is probably its most used and powerful feature. You can configure QC to operate on the defect process flow that our organisation requires and generate detailed reports. A typical defect report will show the defect ID, who raised it, defect description, incident date, priority and severity, subsystem under test, closing data and many other defect details.


SpiraTest is another test repository and defect tracking tool. It is web based and like QC allows test managers to measure requirements coverage. Once again tests are stored in a hierarchical, directory structure. With SpiraTest you can define test sets and execute them as groups, it can also be integrated with Selenium and LoadRunner.

Screenshot of SpiraTest test repository

SpiraTest test repository

Defect reporting on SpiraTest is similar to the QC and again the defect flows can be customised to match the business processes. SpiraTest also allows you to export defects that can then be imported into other bug tracking tools such as Bugzilla.


Bugzilla is an open source defect tracking tool. It is highly configurable and supports email integration so users can be notified when changes occur such as status changes or the addition of a comment. Some useful features that Bugzilla supports are duplicate bug detection and time tracking. The user interface can be customised through a selection of skins available.

Screenshot of a Bugzilla defect summary page

Bugzilla summary screen

When we have completed scripting and have acquired the necessary test tools we can commence the test execution phase.


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