QTRACE - good exploratory testing tool

2 years ago, while still working in one of my last full time jobs (only working on contract these days), I saw a presentation given by HP about their latest exploratory testing application.

The app was very interesting and useful but unfortunately, it came only as part of Quality Center so not available to any private users.

Last week, while looking for some information on the uTest tester forum, I accidentally read this old post about an exploratory testing tool called QTRACE.

I already knew and used Rapid Reported (http://testing.gershon.info/reporter/) which I find useful but a bit too raw. QTRACE is much better in many ways.

QTRACE (http://www.qasymphony.com/qtrace-overview.html) is as good as the Quality Center exploratory testing software but with the great advantage of being free. The paid version offers only the advantage of exporting unlimited bug reports to a bug tracking system like Jira.

QTRACE works by recording all user activities and takes screenshots every time the screen changes or the user interacts with the application under test.

At the end of the recording, all steps and screenshots are displayed in the QTRACE EDITOR where more changes can be done:

- the screenshot names can be modified
- the task descriptions can be changed
- new tasks can be added
- notes can be added for tasks
- the screenshots can be annotated

The end result is a very visual oriented bug that should leave no questions for the developer on how the tester tested and what the problem is.

The bug can be exported in a WORD or PDF file and will include detailed information about the system used and the application tested.

The only problem that I can find with QTRACE is that lots of user activities are recorded and may need to be changed.

I have tried it with both a client Windows app and a website and it worked well in both occasions.

If sufficient time exists for bug reporting and the bug reporting standards are high in your company, you should add QTRACE to your QA apps toolkit.

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