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. A 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 which 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!
TestFLO is a Jira plugin which extends your instance with test planning, management, execution and reporting functionalities. 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.
Why should I move to TestFLO?
- 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 manage them in a similar way 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
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.
Lack of redundancy in user accounts management makes administration pure pleasure. Having all roles and groups such as developers, testers, test managers, analysts, product owners and scrum masters in one system simplifies permission management. Your developers are able to see the tests, which is useful when you’re trying to replicate a bug.
Sometimes you might 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 permissions to it that are sufficient for full transparency of your efforts.
- TestFLO is flexible like an olympic gymnast
Sometimes you mightneed 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:
- 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.
- Progress Bar that is fully customizable. We use it in many ways in TestFLO, for example, to show you the progress of your test plan.ut feel free to use it in any way you like:
- Dynamic Table that allows viewing and editing test case steps. 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 a 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. You can:
- edit all workflows;
- add/remove/rename statuses;
- add/remove additional actions, triggers, conditions and validators to be executed on the transitions between statuses.
Finally, you can simply customize everything to suit your preferences.
- Tagging tests allows flexible grouping
TestFLO 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:
- 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 individual step can be marked as passed or failed, and their sequence can be changed using drag and drop:
- Excellent usability and user experience
Let’s face it, TestLink’s UI is far from today’s usability standards. As Francisco Mancardi, the leader of the TestLink project put it: ‘A GUI refactoring is needed (we are still using frames), also improvements on configuration is planned’.
He said this in 2013, and 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…
TestLink doesn’t provide their own support. Have a look at TestLink’s online demo website, here’s what you’ll find: :
That’s rather unfortunate.
We believe our customers deserve first-class support service. we react quickly to incidents like this one and often release updates.
Of course, you can find third-party companies who will support your local TestLink instance but none of them are TestLink’s actual creators and so have no real impact on the product’s direction.
Our support is handled by developers whose daily job is TestFLO development. 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’ opinion 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’.
- TestFLO can import test cases from TestLink
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:
And then simply select the file that you’ve exported from TestLink:
Give TestFLO a trial ride and check out how the plugin can improve your testing process.
I am pleased to share knowledge about methodology, best practices, and IT standards. I use my many years of experience every day to support companies in optimizing their internal processes and developing strategies. I believe 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. Personally a pragmatist, entrepreneur, and passionate developer of algorithms, interested in psychology and development.