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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Zephyr the Test Management Tool

Zephyr is a test management tool that manages the QA flow. It uses Adobe Flash Player in creating the interface. Although it is a web application, but the whole UI feels like a desktop application, with fast response time that does not resemble the traditional web applications. Take a look at the screenshot to see what I mean:

The reporting and the UI feel and look are simply unparralled among other web applications.

Some of the drawbacks are
  1. retype needed if you wrongly input your password. It happened a few times. I wrongly input my user name and password and when I clicked login, the program informed me that the user name and password were not valid-- and wiped out both of them. It shoudn't be that way
  2. Bugzilla as the backend bug tracking system. It's not that I have anything against Bugzilla, but Bugzilla has just too many fields to fill in that it simply discourages testers to open cases.
  3. Two step Login-- one login to the Zephyr system, another login to the Bugzilla system. Although I can understand why Zephyr did this, but from user prespective one login is enough.
  4. The interface can be confused at times. Maybe due to the black background, some of the disabled buttons are not properly grayed. But if you click on them they won't function. There is some expectation mismatch here.
  5. The demo. The demo is great, but I would like to see more data being proloaded into the system. It's important to see how a web application performs under normal working condition.
But despite these shortcomings, Zephyr is really, really impressive as a test management tool. If you need to manage around your QA department, probably this is something you can look into.

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