Get enterprise test management with Zephyr

The following article is a guest post to Zephyr from Chris Bland, CEO of BDQ. BDQ is a partner of Zephyr and its data profiling product called BDQ Analysis is used by notable customers such as Swiss Re, Lloyds of London, Tokio Marine, COLT, etc. 

BDQ are Atlassian Solution Partners, and a Zephyr Expert Partner and our customers need solutions that integrate well with the Atlassian Stack. We were fortunate enough to get our hands on the new release of Zephyr Enterprise, and were interested in seeing how it compared to its predecessor.

The main thing that greets us is the new UI has a really modern, HTML 5.0 and JavaScript web based user interface, which is intuitive and easy to use. We know its predecessor well, but soon felt at home using the new version. Furthermore, Zephyr Enterprise feels much more similar to JIRA in the way it works, so we think that users who are experienced with the Atlassian stack will find it easier to take to. There is a great new customisable dashboard feature, which works in a similar way to JIRA. Users can create as many customised dashboards as they wish, using drag and drop widgets that are all tailored to presenting test management information. In practical terms, it will now be easy to create dashboards that are relevant to the multiple test projects that will be carried out within Zephyr.

We were particularly keen on checking the integration capabilities of Zephyr Enterprise with JIRA. Typically, we want JIRA to be the place where requirements and defects are managed.

So - in terms of the development process, Confluence typically contains overall requirements documentation, which all stakeholders can understand and collaborate over. JIRA Software contains the detailed requirements, or Stories, that represent the features to be built – typically these are associated with a particular release. JIRA also contains defects or bugs that are found, so developers have all their work managed in one place.

Zephyr Enterprise integrates extremely well with this situation. We’ve had clients who have had difficulties with other test management tools, which require syncing or loading with JIRA – ultimately various types of workaround which are rarely satisfactory, leading to a situation where the requirements in the test tool aren’t properly reflecting the requirements that the developers are working on.

With Zephyr, it is possible to import requirements quickly and easily from JIRA. Zephyr maintains a bidirectional, real time link, so that changes are reflected. Requirements can be managed in QA specific hierarchies within Zephyr, but these are actually links to JIRA Stories – so JIRA is the source of requirements for both developers who stay in JIRA, and QA staff who are working in Zephyr.

QA staff can then link these test requirements to test cases and test executions plans within Zephyr.

When executing tests, it is necessary for testers to quickly and easily create defects. The integration here works extremely well too – we can just tell Zephyr to use JIRA as its defect tracking system, and then defects found during testing can be created without leaving Zephyr, but under the covers, these defects are bugs that are created in the appropriate JIRA project. This means that developers have one source of bugs to deal with, i.e. those that are recorded in JIRA, but it makes it easy and productive for testers to create them within Zephyr during test executions.

As an Atlassian Specialist, we are pleased to see that Zephyr is maintaining its excellent integration. Customers who use both Zephyr Enterprise and JIRA will now find that it is even easier to flip between the products, due to Zephyr’s slick new HTML 5.0 UI. If your company is using Atlassian products, but you want a high end, robust, enterprise test management product with great integration, we suggest taking a look at Zephyr. If you want to contact us for more information, please email

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Author Chris Bland: Chris has been in the software industry for over 20 years, and understands the full lifecycle of the software business, working from initial concept to delivered product, providing business value to global partners and some of the largest companies in the UK. He is always interested in how cutting edge technologies can be used in combination with established approaches to solve business problems.