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Enlist Jira for testing with these test management add-ons

With the right add-ons, Jira users can turn the tracking product into a potent test management platform. Gauge your organization's Agile maturity, and then consider these options.

IT organizations practicing Agile, DevOps and iterative development often rely on the Atlassian tool suite. While Atlassian tools span coding, collaboration and releases, there isn't a native test management component. Instead, QA teams can turn to test vendors' add-ons.

Atlassian users adopt Jira for project and issue management; Confluence for collaboration and documentation; and Bitbucket and Bamboo for code and release management. In Atlassian's products, defects make up just one issue type, and teams must track test cases and test execution notes with individual user stories. Reporting is especially difficult within the Atlassian tool suite, which means that testers might export data to Microsoft Excel or other external tools to effectively manage test planning and execution and provide actionable test status metrics to stakeholders.

While they understand the need for efficient and effective test management tools for QA, project and program managers, Scrum masters and other stakeholders want all documentation managed in a single source. To bridge the divide, use a test management tool that integrates with Jira. Many vendors provide add-on versions that enable teams to use Jira for testing.

Add-ons offer a familiar Jira interface or provide functionality for test management that takes place directly within Jira. These five tools integrate with Jira to enable both effective test management and comprehensive project management.

Author's note: Atlassian Marketplace features more than 40 test management tools that offer Jira add-ons and integration with the issue manager, including all five of the add-ons detailed below.

Test management tools for Agile newcomers

A tool with comprehensive test management functionality can help an organization that is beginning its Agile transformation. Several test management tool vendors -- your group might already use them -- provide add-ons to use Jira for testing, including QMetry, Zephyr and PractiTest, detailed below.

QMetry for Jira. QMetry for Jira is user-friendly; it integrates fully with the bug and issue tracker so teams can create test cases directly within the user story. The tool's reporting functionality is flexible, with standard and customized options. Additionally, QMetry's auto suggestion capability prompts customers to follow test scenarios based on the user story, which should help them write test cases. QMetry for Jira offers exploratory testing capabilities, as well as APIs to integrate with most automation technologies for test, including Selenium, JUnit, Cucumber and TestNG. Most CI/CD tools can connect through QMetry's open API.

Zephyr for Jira. Zephyr for Jira also enables its users to create and run test cases directly in Jira. Among the application's most notable test functionalities are how it logically groups test folders, enables tests to be executed in an ad hoc fashion and provides full traceability from requirements through defects. The Zephyr add-on integrates with automation and CI/CD tools -- provided the user purchases ZAPI, the Zephyr API, under a separate license.

PractiTest. Companies in regulated industries should consider PractiTest's Jira add-on, which is SOC (System and Organization Controls) 2 Type 2-compliant. With PractiTest, the organization executes tests outside of Jira, but it does offer two-way integration. The test management tool updates Jira issues automatically during test runs and includes a failed test report with full descriptions. PractiTest populates defects, with steps to reproduce the bug, directly in Jira. Organization by test filters and folders encourages reuse. This add-on integrates with automation and CI/CD tools.

Test management tools for Agile and DevOps practitioners

Organizations with mature Agile practices that have embarked on DevOps adoption should look at test management tools for Jira that not only hook into most CI/CD tools, but also enable behavior-driven development (BDD) and use of Gherkin syntax to parse plain language. Gherkin uses a Given-When-Then format to facilitate automation of test criteria, a practice that advances the users' DevOps maturity.

Xray Test Management for Jira. The Jira-specific Xray app integrates with automation frameworks that enable DevOps code delivery and management, including Cucumber, Selenium and JUnit. The app provides native support for BDD and Gherkin syntax and enables users to write Cucumber automated test scenarios directly in Jira. Xray also provides full traceability among user stories, test cases and defects and has reporting capabilities built in.

HipTest - BDD & Test Management for Jira. HipTest, a SmartBear tool, is designed to put user story, acceptance criteria and test case development in the Given-When-Then format. HipTest's Jira add-on integrates with more than 20 automation tools, including Cucumber, RSpec and JUnit. Customers create tests in HipTest and attach them to user stories in Jira via drag-and-drop functionality. Furthermore, the platform provides the option to track test execution manually or within a CI tool of choice.

This approach to use Jira for testing is one way to effectively and efficiently manage software quality in an IT organization that relies heavily on Atlassian's tools.

Next Steps

Git integration for Jira is another add-on to consider

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