9 reasons why you should move from TestLink to TestFLO

TestLink doesn’t need to be introduced to anyone. This is a popular tool and the basis of the work of every software tester. However, the IT industry is developing very dynamically and, at some point, the question arises: will such as old tool be able to meet the rapidly changing requirements and continuously implemented modernizations? What if we need a tool that will be compatible with our work management software, such as Jira? Why is it worth moving from TestLink to TestFLO – another testing tool, fully integrated with Jira? Here is the answer.

History of TestLink in a nutshell

Since the early 2000s, TestLink has been helping testers all around the world in getting their work done more effectively. Back then, TestLink was a big step forward in testing methodology – it introduced order into testers’ daily work. Before TestLink, testers often struggled to check which test cases were already executed and what were their result. Consequently, test managers couldn’t easily keep track of their team’s efforts. Thanks to TestLink, nobody had to rely on Excel files anymore. New quality was born.

Fast forward to the present, and you’ll see TestLink still being used by many testers. Even if its core is quite old, testers stick to it because they simply can’t imagine switching to a different tool. Many testers believe that TestLink works great for covering their basic needs and have no time to look around for a tool that could offer them more functionalities. There are many reasons to account for that.

We’ve been gathering customer feedback for a while now and understand why testers feel discouraged from switching to a different tool. Here is our survey of TestFLO, a modern tool that an array of offers smart functionalities in addition to what TestLink does. The switch from one tool to another is much simpler than you expect!

Why should I move to TestFLO? 

TestFLO is a Jira plugin that extends your instance with test planning, management, execution and reporting functionalities, and test automation. Think of it as TestLink which is tightly integrated with Jira, and additionally offers many more functionalities. Here are some good reasons why considering a switch is a good idea.

TestFLO is a part of Jira, no more switching between systems

TestLink is simply a test case and requirements repository. If you want to look at an implementation unit related to a test case or check a defect created from it, you need to log in to another system where these are stored.

With TestFLO, your life is much easier. As a part of Jira, TestFLO’s test case specifications, executions, and test plans are nothing else than Jira issues, just like user stories and all other entities. You can similarly manage them as you would other standard Jira issues. You can also use the additional functionalities that TestFLO offers to get even more from your data.

Requirements, defects, and sprints are all stored within the same system and that means seamless integration of your tests with these entities. You can link test cases with requirements, create defects directly from failed test cases, browse top-down from requirements through a test case down to a defect (and vice versa) to get full traceability, without ever leaving Jira.

Consistent and straightforward management of user accounts and permissions

Jira has a built-in user management module and an incredibly flexible permissions module which are both instantly available to you.

Do you manage your users through Active Directory and want to use these accounts to manage your tests as well? You can do that out-of-the-box with a simple setup. If you wanted to do the same with TestLink, you’d require some pretty complex configuration or third-party solutions.

Having all roles and groups such as developers, testers, test managers, analysts, product owners and scrum masters in one system simplifies permission management. Developers can see the tests, which is useful when they’re trying to replicate a bug.

In case you want your customers to have access to the development/testing efforts, all you need to do is create accounts for them in your Jira, set up a customer-specific role, and assign to it permissions that are sufficient for full transparency of your efforts.

TestFLO is flexible like an Olympic gymnast

Sometimes you might need to add an additional field to your test case or test plan. How can you do that when using TestFLO? Just add a custom field that you need. Sure, TestLink can do that too but in TestFLO you can use a library of custom field types that came with other plugins you already have in your Jira.

Moreover, TestFLO itself comes with a set of practical custom field types that you can use for all issue types, not just for tests. Here are a couple of custom field types you can use:

  • The Enhanced Issue Picker allows searching and linking issues conveniently (e.g. link test cases and requirements). Just start typing a text the issue you’re searching for contains in its summary or key, and you’ll get a list of matching issues. Once you select them, they’ll become connected to your ‘parent’ issue.
  • The Progress Bar is fully customizable. We use it in many ways in TestFLO, for example, to see the progress of a test plan. Feel free to use it in any way you like.
The progress bar for a test plan on the issue view reflects the statuses of particular test cases.
The progress bar for a test plan on the issue view reflects the statuses of particular test cases
  • The TestFLO Steps allow viewing and editing test case steps right on the issue view. Would you like to add a new column? Rename an existing one? Get rid of one? Go ahead. You can change the test steps statuses’ names or colors along the way. Make good use of this table for your testing.

Have a look here to see the full list of custom fields that come with TestFLO.

By the way, does the default test case workflow seem too simple or too complex? You can change it to perfectly match your needs:

Finally, you can simply customize everything to suit your preferences.

Tagging tests allows flexible grouping

TestFLO for Jira users benefit from the possibility to tag their test cases with customized tags. These are called labels in Jira and you can create them on the go. Once you’ve created them, you can search for test cases and other issues based on these labels.

The labels are marked with a red frame.

Assign entire test case packages to specific testers

TestLink’s workflow requires you to assign individual test cases to your testers, one by one. In TestFLO you can assign the entire test plan to a specific tester and make sure all the tests it contains are performed by a specific person.

Creating test cases is pure pleasure with TestFLO

Creating test cases has never been easier. Each step can have a comment, can be cloned, the sequence can be changed using drag & drop, can be marked with a given status, e.g. pass, fail, (depending on configuration). Individual steps can be aggregated into groups.

Excellent usability and user experience

Let’s face it, TestLink’s UI has been created in 2006 and remained almost unchanged. As Francisco Mancardi, the leader of the TestLink project put it in 2013: “A GUI refactoring is needed (we are still using frames), also configuration improvements are planned” but not much has changed since then.

At Deviniti we like to move fast with the development of TestFLO, reacting on the go to customer suggestions for greater usability and features. Need diagrams to track your test plan’s progress? We’ve got them. Need progress bars? There they are. You found out that an action’s name is misleading? Let us know and we’ll be happy to correct it for you. Because user experience isn’t just about the product, it’s also about support.

Well-developed support

TestLink doesn’t provide its own support. Have a look at TestLink’s online demo website, here’s what you’ll find. Of course, you can find third-party companies who will support your local TestLink instance but none of them are TestLink’s actual creators nor have a real impact on the product’s direction.

We believe our customers deserve first-class support service. We react quickly to incidents like this one and often release updates. TestFLO support team is supported by a dedicated team of specialists who are ready to answer and help in any situation. We know our product inside out and are available 8 hours a day, 5 days a week to fix any issue you might find and answer your questions about the product. We value our customers’ opinions and really like to talk to people. There’s nothing more pleasant than hearing: “It was a pleasure to talk to someone friendly and helpful who knows his product”.

Finally, we designed TestFLO to help users switch from TestLink. All you need to do is export your test suites from TestLink into an XML file and then import them into TestFLO. The import is a two-step process with a wizard that guides you through it. First, you need to specify basic data – for example, to which project you’d like to import the test cases. Then simply select the file that you’ve exported from TestLink.

TestLink vs. TestFLO – comparison

TestLink is a good tool for managing tests and requirements, but if your company works with Jira, then TestFLO is the better choice. In addition, TestFLO for Jira offers many more possibilities, e.g. assigning the entire test plan to a tester, the library of custom field types, flexible grouping by tags, and well-developed support.

1. Integration with Jira: TestLink - Independent test case and requirements repository, TestFLO - Fully compatible with Jira; 2. User accounts and permissions management: TestLink - Some pretty complex configuration or third-party solutions required, TestFLO - Built-in, consistent, and straightforward; 3. Flexibility: TestLink - Custom fields available, TestFLO - The library of custom field types from Jira and custom fields from TestFLO; 4. Flexible grouping by tags: TestLink - No, TestFLO - Yes; 5. Assigning to specific testers: TestLink - Assign individual test cases, TestFLO - Assign the entire test plan; 6. Creating test cases: TestLink - Basic, TestFLO - Bread & butter; 7. Usability and user experience: TestLink - Uses standards from 2013, TestFLO - Excellent; 8. Support: TestLink - Not provided, TestFLO - Dedicated team available 8 hours a day, 5 days a week.
TestLink vs. TestFLO brief comparison

Give TestFLO a trial ride and check out how the plugin can improve your testing process. You can also book a live demo via Calendly to see the app in action. Read more on bringing test management process inside Jira on our blog: 

Boguslaw Osuch

Bogusław is the Head of Atlassian Services at Deviniti. His brightness star in Deviniti Galaxy is to share knowledge about methodology, best practices, and IT standards. He uses his many years of experience every day to support companies in optimizing their internal processes and developing strategies. He believes that people are the essential element in every team, and the most effective teams are those that work according to jointly developed processes and use tools that release their potential. Bogusław is a pragmatist, entrepreneur, and passionate developer of algorithms, interested in psychology and development.

More from this author