Why Capture for Jira is an Essential Exploratory Testing Tool

Insight Main Image

Capture for Jira, which Zephyr acquired from Atlassian in November 2017, is an exploratory testing tool that allows software teams to use visual feedback to collaborate on everything from marketing content to prioritizing testing initiatives. The tool is an addition to Zephyr's portfolio of software quality management tools that includes ZAPI, Zephyr Enterprise Platform, Zephyr Blueprints for Confluence and Zephyr for Jira, one of the best selling test management solutions in the Atlassian marketplace since launching in 2012. Like Zephyr for Jira, Capture for Jira has a deep integration with the Jira platform, allowing users to capture screenshots within browsers, create annotations, and validate application functionality within Jira.

For the past six months Zephyr product teams have been committed to bringing number of enhancements to Capture for Jira in response to customer feedback. These enhancements, which will roll out over next upcoming product iterations, include video recording capabilities for Chrome, a new look for browser extensions, a deeper integration with Zephyr for Jira and enhanced support for Microsoft's Edge browser. All of these improvements are part of a robust product roadmap designed to make it easier to incorporate visual communication and collaboration into agile teamwork.

Seeing is Believing- The Power of Visual Testing Tools

Studies find that the human brain deciphers image elements simultaneously, while language is decoded in a linear, sequential manner that takes more time to process. One other statistic validates that 65% of the population are visual learners. The impact of this is readily seen on software development projects where team members often communicate via emails that contain long lists of things that need to be done, such as adding features or fixing bugs. This results in communication delays that are unacceptable for Agile and DevOps teams tasked with building high-quality, competitive software capable of quickly responding to changing market conditions. If there's a language barrier or if your development and testing teams include offshore team members, this laundry list approach to prioritizing development items on your software projects can easily become unworkable.

Capture for Jira is a simple, visual, collaborative tool for annotating screenshots with detailed, visual feedback that can be used on a wide variety of projects, from user interface and web design to feedback on sales and marketing content. It's particularly useful if a product owner--the person on an agile development team responsible for grooming or prioritizing work on the product backlog-- is not tech savvy. In this and other cases, the tool helps teams save time and collaborate more effectively using clear and concise visual feedback shared centrally.

Capture Preview

Capture as an Image Annotation Tool for Creating Jira Issues

Capture for Jira has easy-to-use image annotation tools for communicating feedback in web applications. The tool lets you create comprehensive issues directly in Jira, without ever leaving your browser window.

Creating an issue is done under the 'Create Issue' tab in the Capture for Jira browser extension. As you select the project and the issue type, Capture for Jira will update the issue creation form to reflect the same fields that are available in Jira's create issue web interface. Capture for Jira also allows you to quickly attach screenshots to the issue you are creating with the attach screenshot function.

Creating a Jira Issue

You can create issues faster by using Templates and Variables to pre-fill information, such as information specific to a particular project, version, or component you may be working on.

Once an issue is created, you can clone, search, export, print, bulk modify, link, label, share, vote, or comment on them, just like you would with any other Jira issue.

Enhance Collaborative Software Testing Sessions

Capture for Jira makes it easy for testers to create and record exploratory and collaborative software testing sessions, which are useful for planning, executing and tracking manual or exploratory testing. Session-based test management is a type of structured exploratory testing that requires testers to identify test objectives and focus their testing efforts on fulfilling them. Test sessions differ from test cases in two ways. First, more than one test can be carried out in a single session. Second, like test cases, test sessions can tell you who tested what, but they can also tell you how, when and why the tests were done.

Collaborative Test Sessions

Pre-written test scripts can be run during a session, but because test sessions emphasize test objectives over specific test cases, testers are encouraged to create and execute more tests based on what they've discover and learned. This type of exploratory testing is an extremely powerful way of optimizing test coverage without incurring the costs associated with writing and maintaining test cases.

A session is a type of testing framework that helps clarify and track almost every test element, from test planning to assigning work to coaching testers. To create a session belonging to an issue, click the "More Actions" drop down in the view issue page, and then fill in a session name. A session's name is flexible and can be anything you like (such as "Test browser compatibility with Microsoft Edge" or "Find security vulnerabilities").

Step 1 - Create a Test Session

You can also create a session on the project page by going to the 'Test Sessions' tab and clicking on the 'Create Session' button.

Test Session Filters

It is possible to associate a shared template (see below) with a test session. Anyone who joins the shared session will automatically use that template until they leave the session, ensuring consistent bug reports across your entire team.

Test Sessions Page

The test sessions page gives you an overview of all test sessions on the server, with filter options for assignee, project, status and session name. This page means that you no longer have to go digging through individual project pages just to find a test session. This page also includes sortable columns, a permalink option to help with bookmarking/sharing of filter results and a Create Session link to create a session for any project.

Coach Agile Team Members with Collaborative Software Testing

You can share a test session to allow others to participate in the session and join in collaborative software testing efforts. Because Capture for Jira allows you to invite team members to join your testing sessions, this is a good way to assign work to experienced testers or to coach new testers.

Session Members, Feedback, and Notes

Test sessions also increase the time available for testing by improving flexibility and responsiveness, while reducing the time spent on test planning and documentation. If your team is doing agile testing, Capture for Jira can help you and your team establish the traceability needed to track a requirement from conception through to delivery. Agile testing isn't a role on agile teams, it's an activity that involves the all members of a cross-functional agile team. On agile teams, everyone is equally responsible for the quality of the product or the success of the project. This means testing is done by the whole team, not just designated testers or quality assurance professionals, including team members whose primary expertise may be in programming, business analysis, database or system administration. Team members whose expertise is in software testing or using a particular testing tool aren't limited to only doing that activity--they can also collaborate with customers or business owners on product requirements and work with other members of the team to develop high-quality code that fulfills those requirements.

Capture for Jira makes it easy to track the acceptance criteria for each feature on agile projects. This can be done by building your test sessions during the early planning and development phases, when team members are likely to have questions about how a new feature should behave. Capture for Jira can document the answers as test sessions that will then be available to guide the team through to the UAT testing phase. This makes it easier to communicate expectations with traceability and accountability – you can show which scenarios were anticipated and that you actually did test them.

Capture for Jira is a powerful visual communication and collaboration tool that helps your entire organization make sense out of often complicated content and direct attention so that your agile team members preserve precious resources for work that is higher priority and part of the requirements.