Jira is an application for issue and project tracking in software development that has been widely adopted by teams working with Agile methodology. Jira provides an easy-to-use platform for planning, tracking, releasing, and reporting on software. Offering out-of-the-box and custom workflows, Jira is easily customized and can be integrated with third-party applications, allowing everyone from developers and engineers to managers and non-technical professionals to use the same set of tools.
Because Jira is so popular, many development organizations have tried to use the software for test management as well. While Jira lacks native test management capabilities, teams have been attracted to the prospect of uniting testing tools and issue/project tracking on the same platform. While testing with Jira offers certain benefits, using Jira for Agile or DevOps testing presents several significant hurdles that must be addressed in order to establish the most efficient and effective testing methodology.
The role of test management technology
For teams considering testing with Jira, it’s helpful to take a step back and consider the role of test management technology in the software development lifecycle (SDLC). An ideal test management solution should provide:
Automated test launches. With a superior test management solution, team should be able to automatically launch tests from within the tool.
Superior efficiency. As the volume of tests within an Agile development process grows, having a tool that delivers greater efficiency is essential.
Reusability. Testing teams can dramatically increase productivity by reusing test cases across modules and projects.
Coverage metrics. A test management tool should be able to determine what percentage of software is covered by tests and identify what additional tests can help to maximize coverage.
Track, share, and retain test results. A test management tool should make it easy to track results and communicate findings to the right stakeholder at the right time. Additionally, a test management solution should be able to store results for historical reference.
Simplify compliance. Testing tools with built-in compliance reporting capabilities help to minimize the compliance burden on development and testing teams.
Match requirements. Test management tools must make it easy for developers and testers to measure how well an application is meeting the requirements specified for the software.
How does testing with Jira measure up?
When compared to the ideal test management solution, Jira test case management technology may not provide enough benefits to outweigh the challenges of testing with Jira. To make Jira work as a test management tool, development organizations typically customize it by adding a “test case” issue type or by tweaking the “user story” functionality. But these workarounds don’t satisfy many of the essential requirements of test management solutions.
Limited functionality. Jira lacks many of the basic native functions that are commonly found in superior test management tools.
Frustrating inefficiencies. When testing with Jira, users need more steps and more clicks to accomplish basic tasks that are far simpler in dedicated test management solutions.
Inability to reuse tests. Reusing tests in Jira is difficult or unworkable, as completed tests are marked with a “done” status. To rerun the test, testers must set up the test again, creating a significant duplication of efforts.
Problems with coverage metrics. Jira doesn’t offer a way to create a test case coverage report that covers manual, automated, and session-based execution. Additionally, Jira does not provide traceability reporting between issues and test case coverage.
Issues with scaling. As teams scale to tens of thousands of tests, storage constraints cause performance issues when testing with Jira.
Lack of automated execution. Tests cannot be automatically launched from within Jira.
Managing testing with Jira add-ons
There are a number of add-ons available that increase the functionality when testing with Jira. These solutions typically extend testing functionality in various ways, making it easier to consolidate testing and issue tracking on the same platform and allowing teams to continue using familiar tools.
But add-ons don’t solve many of the challenges that testing with Jira presents.
Reusability is still an issue with add-ons, creating significant barriers to efficiency
Add-ons offer no logical folder structures
Testers can’t access change history for test case versions and they have only limited visibility into test execution history
Test case objects can’t be shared across Jira projects, making it difficult to scale and creating a lot of duplicated effort
Performance is still an issue when storing a high volume of test results data in automated testing scenarios
Integrating dedicated solutions with Jira
Some dedicated test management tools offer integration with the Jira platform, making testing with Jira more effective. These technologies frequently offer access to standard test management features and the ability to reuse test cases and share objects across different projects. But because these integrated solutions don’t provide full integration with Jira, there are still several drawbacks to this approach.
Synchronizing databases between the test management tool and Jira is a constant battle
Testers must continue to manage permissions for artifact mapping
Various browsers offer different restrictions, complicating testing protocols
Depending on how well the integration works in an open-source environment, testers may need to create a variety of workarounds
Tricentis makes testing with Jira simple and efficient
Tricentis solves the challenges of testing with Jira by providing a Continuous Testing platform that offers real-time integration with Jira releases, issues, and defects. Tricentis qTest Manager fills the gaps between the testing capabilities organizations require and the challenges of using a Jira testing tool. qTest Manager provides teams with a robust and easy-to-use test management solution that enables developers and testers to deliver higher quality software at an Agile pace.
With Jira qTest Manager, development organizations can:
Ensure test coverage. Jira allows testers to ensure test coverage by aligning tests, user stories, tasks, epics, or custom Jira issue types. qTest connects open-source automation with Jira issues for in-sprint traceability.
Report with ease. qTest Manager provides reporting tools that capture key metrics in visually stunning reports on release readiness, requirement coverage, and trends in change history.
Real-time integration. Testers can quickly access and analyze test scenario results across all Jira deployments in the cloud, on servers, and in data centers.
Scale with ease. qTest makes it easy to map test projects to multiple Jira projects and instances.
Enable Agile planning. With qTest, stakeholders can collaborate and streamline test scenario creation directly within Jira.
In addition to Agile test management, the Tricentis platform offers solutions for intelligent software test automation, performance testing, data integrity testing, smart impact analysis, and app-native testing.
What is Jira?
Jira is an issue and project tracking software that is the #1 development tool used by Agile teams. Jira provides tools that everyone in a development organization can use to plan, track, release, and report on software.
What are the advantages of testing with Jira?
Many development teams prefer to manage testing with Jira because it allows them to unite testing and issue tracking tasks on the same platform and to use tools they are already familiar with when testing software.
What are the disadvantages of testing with Jira?
Jira offers few of the native functions that are typically found in superior test management tools. Testers using Jira will need to take more steps to accomplish basic tasks. Jira has significant performance issues when scaling to tens of thousands of tests. And perhaps most importantly, it’s very difficult to reuse tests in Jira, which creates a lot of duplicate effort for testers.