Inflectra SpiraTest Review

Produces a test result based on both manual and automated tests

What is most valuable?

Currently, I work as an SDET only and I don’t write or run tests. However, I use SpiraTeam existing tests so I can decide how to automate them. I use Spira RemoteLaunch to schedule a test server, which in turn schedules various test clients which run Ranorex.

In the future, we intend to use SpiraTest to store a script which will be passed on to the test server. This will run the tests and return the pass/fail result. We will generate the test script using a web page server.

In my previous job, I used SpiraTest to design and document tests. I would have a technician run manual tests using SpiraTest. I used Spira RemoteLaunch to run Ranorex automated tests and store test results. I would use SpiraTest to produce reports to generate a Test Plan, and also to produce a test result based on both manual and automated tests.

How has it helped my organization?

My team uses SpiraTeam to document tests and test results.

What needs improvement?

  1. Sometimes I need to restart Spira RemoteLaunch because it goes into a bad state and is not listening for new tests.
  2. Spira RemoteLaunch does not have the capability to run simultaneous tests in more than one server.
  3. Spira RemoteLaunch does not have the capability of communicating with an ongoing test (e.g., send it commands). So it’s not possible to have a one-to-one relationship between manual test steps and automated tests.
  4. The preset test reports are very limited, thus I had to XSL to modify tests. This is quite involved. My biggest suggestion for improving SpiraTest/SpiraTeam is to provide an editor to produce test report templates that are more flexible. For example, one should be able to specify variables (e.g., unit-under-test name, IP address, or web site reached).

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used SpiraTeam and Spira RemoteLaunch for about one year. Previously, I used SpiraTest for about two to three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Yes, I just noted that sometimes RemoteLaunch goes into a bad state and I need to restart it. I have noticed this in the past that sometimes the RemoteLaunch does not schedule things properly. It’s been a long time, so I cannot provide details about this at the moment.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Yes, I noticed in my previous job, as one generates many test reports, database access becomes very slow to the point of being unusable.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have not requested technical support on this job. Previously, before purchasing SpiraTest, the support was superb. However, after purchasing the product, I noticed that sometimes I had to wait for days to get a response. The regular support people were not as knowledgeable as the sales support.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

In my previous job, I introduced SpiraTeam after looking at different test management products. At the time, there were not using any. I chose SpiraTeam because it was one of the few products that supported Ranorex, which is the test tool that the company was using.

How was the initial setup?

I don’t remember much, but I don’t believe that the setup was difficult.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

From my recollection, SpiraTest was reasonably priced so that was not a big factor in convincing people about getting it. The bigger issue was whether it was the right product for us.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I looked at public domain tools and found one that I liked (don’t remember the name), but the problem was that it did not explicitly support Ranorex. I looked at other tools, but they were too expensive.

What other advice do I have?

  1. Use a fast web server with lots of memory.
  2. Limit the amount of log messages for the test report.
  3. Try to pick test clients in the same subnet as the test server. This will reduce scheduling and communications issues.
**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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