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Every software testing company and its staff is aware of the existence of test documentation. There are two ways of maintaining the documents: an old school way that assumes using XSL-files and folders or a way the real Jedis do – using a specialized tool. The given article describes one of the successful tools for maintaining documents – TestRail.  Every project requires test documentation and keeping documentation in local files turned to be inconvenient and unprofessional. One can use a wiki for keeping and maintenance test documents, but TestRail is one of the most suitable and widely used tools for this purpose.

Core Capabilities

TestRail is a multiuser and a multi-project system for keeping documentation and records of results of performed tests. The given product provides places for everyone: test managers who are more interested in finding bugs and their amount, dedicated tester team or common testers who report about passed test cases, analytics who like to get to the bottom of all the issues.

The Process Itself:

  • Creation of a project. Test designer creates a project and indicates “Defect View Url” and “Defect Add Url”. Integration with an online bug-tracker is simple and genius. TestRail generates %id% for every defect. It is suitable for the majority of online bug-trackers.
  • Creation of Milestone. Test designer indicates a version of the tested product and the deadline.
  • Creation of a Test Suit. Test designer  inputs a set of test cases, for example, UI Testing. One creates test cases and sections of test cases inside every test suit. For example, UI Testing has two sections: UI Client and Back-end. Sections support unlimited nesting. Every test case consists of Preconditions, Steps и Expected Result. One can also attach images and cross-link them.
  • Creation of Test Run. The required test suites and test cases are included in the Test Run. Every Test Run has its executor chosen from the active system users. Work of a test designer is finished at this point. Tester appointed to be an executor of a test run receives a notification and starts to perform the test run. Every test case receives a status upon execution: Passed, Failed or Retest. Here are the comments and ID of the bugs as well. Test Run is closed upon execution of all the tests. The test results are sent to the analyst, and the system stores all the data about the testing process.
  • Results. The results can be exported to convenient formats, prepared for printing or even dump into XML for some weird using. The system builds some graphs that allow estimating the dynamics of Test Run results.

Comparison with Rivals

Among known products for maintaining test documentation are Rational Quality Manager and TestLink. Even though TestLink is free, which is a cogent argument, it has an old-fashion interface, inconvenient and crude link-system for test cases and test suites and unhandy structure of test suits. So, one can draw a conclusion that TestLink  is not useful for working. Rational Quality Manager is not bad, but it is too massive for small projects, overloads with its methodology and costs a fortune. One can also turn attention to Testopia, it is a module for BugZilla. If BugZilla is used at the project, Testopia may be suitable as it has  a high level of integration with BugZilla. There are also some other systems like Mercury or desktop standalone products (TestLog, QaTraq), but they have problems with web access.


The system turned out to be nearly perfect in terms of the baseline set of features, and in terms of being convenient for everyday use.  TestRail license policy limits only the number of active users, so one can deactivate client accounts after finishing the projects. TestRail has two drawbacks: an active version of TestRail doesn’t support Unicode and Wysiwyg- editor is absent in every text edit fields that makes the engineers happy and confuses the customers.

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