Manual Testing tools for Word and Excel
WorX is a Manual Testing Accelerator that sits “above” your test case during execution. The test case itself, in Word or Excel, gets tucked away down on the task bar but can be modified at any time.
WorX records new tests directly into Word and Excel, and runs existing tests by “locking on” to them in their current location on the file system. By keeping the test steps in Word and Excel, users are able to preserve their authoring freedom while avoiding the time and cost associated with importing or migrating their test suite to a new system.
For each Word and Excel test case, an entry is made in our Test Management system pointing to the physical location of the document or workbook. By doing this, we can use our Test Management system to trace those test cases to Requirements & Incidents, group and sort them into Test Sets, and report coverage and execution results using the various Dashboards, Charts, and Reports.
When we “run” a test from our Test Management system, WorX intercepts the command, navigates to the physical Word or Excel test case out on the file system, and accelerates our execution with powerful & vibrant features & functions.
For every execution, a new date/time stamped copy of the test case is created, the execution is timed, and the results are transported back to our Test Management system.
WorX allows us to freely modify our test cases during execution and then gives us the option to update the master test case with the changes we’ve made on-the-fly, so that these can be carried forward into future executions.
Example: Using SpiraTest for Test Management
Example: Using TestRail for Test Management
Example: Using Enterprise Tester for Test Management
Example: Using Tosca Testsuite for Test Management
Example: Using Excel as a simple Test Management system
Test Cases Today
Manual tests can be found all over the world inside Word documents and Excel spreadsheets and it’s easy to understand why literally billions of test cases are authored in these tools:
- They are the Gold Standard for business documentation, and are rolled-out automatically on the machines we use.
- They are easy to learn and require little training.
- They’re inexpensive.
- They give us incredible authoring freedom and offer powerful features and functions that allow us to write very rich test cases in very little time.
- We have the flexibility to use any number of columns and rows.
- We have the same tools at home and so we can transport work from the office to home and back again.
- Documents and Spreadsheets can be easily shared, copied, pasted, emailed, printed, and stored in any location on the local workstation, on a network, on portable media, or even in the cloud.
- No special database or storage facility is required. Our test documents and workbooks are self-containing in terms of their own content.
- We are free to describe our test steps in any level of granularity.
- We can apply the company Templates, Logos, Graphics & Colours and can incorporate Tables, Hyperlinks, Bulleted Lists, etc with ease.
Despite these freedoms, test teams often struggle with a common set of challenges:
If we think about our test cases in Word & Excel, these are simply files on the file system, and there might be hundreds or thousands of these arranged in various directories. Each time a new build is released, the team might copy a whole directory of test cases to do a new execution run, and so we can end up with many duplicates of the same test case… some of these will be out of date, and so things can quite quickly become disorganised.
Even organising our test cases into logical groups for Smoke tests, or Full Regression tests, or tests for Build 108… this can be a challenge because a test case might belong to more than one of those groups and so there is a high risk that we’ll end up with duplicates. Word and Excel don’t help us with this organisation.
Word & Excel are great authoring tools but they’re not so good as testing tools… they don’t do anything for us at run time to speed things up:
1. They don’t time our execution for us
2. They don’t make a new copy of the test case for us automatically and date/time stamp it – every time we do a new execution
3. They don’t integrate with defect tracking systems
4. Word and Excel don’t enter our input data for us into the system we’re testing
So execution today is entirely manual and it stays that way from one build to the next.
It will usually be during execution that we spot that the test case is out of date. It might be a spelling mistake, or an outdated screenshot, or there might be entire test steps that need adding or deleting… so the process usually involves making a note of the change during execution and then revisiting the test case after execution to actually make the change… and we have to make sure that we update the right copy of the test case so that future executions don’t run into the same problem.
So there’s a bit of a maintenance nightmare that goes on – especially where a hardcopy of the test case is printed and it sits physically on the table in front of the test engineer. It’s physically impossible to update the test case during execution in these situations.
Collation of Results
At the end of the day we need to collate all our passes and fails and results with those of our teammates into a central location so that we can draw progress reports from there.
Where Test Cases are migrated out of Word and Excel and into a new dedicated testing tool, this process often comes with its own headaches:
The Test Cases often need to be massaged or converted into a new format compatible with the new tool, and are not always at the level of granularity required.
Content is sometimes left behind during the migration process as the new tool is incapable of hosting it.
When migration is complete, the Test Cases may only be updated using the new Software which may now require network access, an install of the new testing tool, and access to an available license – and these must be present on any workstation where updating is to be performed.
Test Case transportation options may cease – impacting the ability for them to be accessed or moved freely between office, home, customers, vendors, and other project members.
Where tests continue to be executed manually, it can be difficult to find a business case for the migration effort – especially if there are few efficiency gains to be enjoyed in the new environment.
The WorX Solution
By connecting WorX into popular Test Management and Defect Tracking systems, our challenges are quickly resolved.
We get to choose our Test Management system – employing all of its features and functions
We get to choose our Defect Tracking system
We get to preserve our Authoring Freedom in Word and Excel
We get to Record, Design, and Execute tests 2-5x Faster with WorX at our fingertips