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The tools used by the test environment management function are generally chosen as part of environment strategy phase. This blog aims to give you list of tools to support the test environment management function and also an idea of what sort of modification might be needed to be made in a new and existing toolset.

It is possible to run the test environment function without a formal toolset or using spreadsheet, but it will be harder and time-consuming. Although a manual approach may be viable in a small organisation. A good toolset is essential for larger organisations. Below are the key areas and toolsets used in each:

  • Service management tool – Its essential to have ITSM tools, theseare often marketed as ITSM suites and support whole processes. Some of the available ITSM tools are:
    • ServiceNow
    • BMC Remedy
    • Fresh Service
    • JIRA Service Desk
    • Zen Desk etc
  • Knowledge management tool – knowledge management tools are systems organisations use for sharing information internally and externally. Examples of knowledge management tools include customer relationship systems, learning management systems and knowledge bases. Example of these tools are Confluence, Zen Desk, Fresh Desk, Bloom Fire etc.
  • Configuration management tool: software configuration management (SCM or S/W CM) tools are used to track and control changes in software, these are part of the larger cross-disciplinary field of configuration management. SCM tools help in revision control and the establishment of baselines. Example of these tools are Chef, Puppet, Ansible, JuJu, Rudder, etc.
  • Issue/defect management tool – These are the tools help to track issues and defects. HP Quality Centre, Bugzilla, Backlog Mantis, JIRA are examples of defect and issue management tools.
  • Environment booking and allocation tool – These tools manage the lifecycle of test environments, and are currently evolving in IT. Plutora and Enov8 are currently the best available environment booking and allocation tools.

Managing the workflow and information– Most of the tools provided by different vendors support a generic workflow, but sometimes it  isn’t fit for some organisations hence they require customisation. Its essential to define clear states or statuses throughout the workflow which help stakeholders to understand at what stage in process each environment activity is.

A good tool customised effectively should also provide visual representation of information in the form of reports and a dashboard. Tools should provide effective information management along with effective search criteria and threads.

Reporting – The tool should make data easily available for reporting and communication purposes. The user should be able to set up report templates that extract specific information for the target audience. It will have a good report scheduling feature in the tool which can send a report automatically to configured stakeholders.

Read more information like this in Test Environment Management.