Over the years I’ve used a lot of tools – for writing tests, managing test cycles, managing defects, automation, performance, etc. What I’ve found is that there is no one perfect tool for any of these tasks, Very few integrate testing with the entire software development process. Instead, I have found features that I really like in some tools and others that I despise, My assumption is that tool vendors really don’t understand the test process and view it as a minor annoyance that they have to include. The tool I’m currently using (I won’t name names) is by far one of the worst. And its from a major tool vendor! I wish these tools were like a stew…a little of this, a little of that and viola – the perfect tool box. Sadly, short of building it myself, the perfect tool doesn’t exist – yet. So tool vendors – pay attention!!! Here’s what I want in my tool:
1. Fully customizable. Don’t force me to use your workflow. My defect life cycle is my defect life cycle and I want to us it – not yours! Let me design my own workflows to meet my needs. Especially if you advertise yourself as Agile compatible. Agile is flexible – you need to be too.
2. Play well with others. I like the test case documentation features in one tool, but the test management features in another. Is it too much to ask that they be able to play together?
3. Automate the workflow/task transition. When I complete my task, automatically assign it to the next person in the work flow. I have enough to do without having to manually update the status and assign it to the next person. We defined a work flow – follow it.
4. Allow custom reporting. Your canned reports may or may not work for me. My managers want to see specific things in a specific format, and there is no canned report that fits their needs. So I have to access your database (assuming you let me) to build my own reports or manually transfer data from your tool into something like Excel to get the report I need. This is bad!
5. Web access. Don’t make me install your tool on my work station. I want to access it anywhere, any time….and don’t forget my smart phone!
I could probably go on. I’m curious to see who shares my frustrations. What makes a good test tool?
In the mean time watch for Dave’s Perfect Test Tool – code named Unicorn.