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Software Testing tools for 2014: Zephyr for JIRA

Feb 17, 2014
Belen Padilla
Belen Padilla

At the Atlassian Summit 2013, Zephyr introduced a plugin for JIRA that allows you to do test management inside JIRA. The Zephyr group presented this add-on in a funny and original way; Zephyr and a legacy system were two contestants to on a dating show with JIRA (modeled after a dating show you’d see on TV).

Launchpad presentation at 2013 Atlassian Summit

While JIRA already made “her” decision, each company needs to evaluate the add-on itself. At Oshyn, we did some research about the plugin and today I’ll go over some of the JIRA for Zephyr features and advantages.

How test cases are created in Zephyr for JIRA

When you have Zephyr for JIRA installed in your JIRA server, your team will be able to create issues of the new type, “Test”. Creating a Test case will be like creating a common JIRA task. As in any JIRA issue, your test will have a description, assignee, reporter, priority, due date, components, labels, and iterations.

Create a test


Test steps are added in the “Test details” section that appear for all “Test” issues. Each step has steps, test data, and expected results.

Add Steps

With Zephyr for JIRA, there are several ways to create test cases:

  1. Adding a new issue from JIRA top menu.
  2. With JIRA Capture.  You can have a template to create test cases or create them from any site you need.
  3. Exporting a .csv file as a JIRA administrator with the JIRA Importers Plugin, but only Test name, description, components will be created, not the steps!
  4. Zephyr offers a tool to import from Excel spreadsheet and with this option steps can be included.

How to create a Test Cycle

A Test Cycle is “a grouping of executed or unexecuted tests”. Zephyr for JIRA offers a page to see all the cycles created for your project.

Test Cycles

When creating a new Test Cycle, you start with the basic information: name, build, description, environment and even initial and end date.

Create New Cycle

How to add test cases to the Test Cycle

There are three ways to add test cases to a Test Cycle:

  1. From the Test issue

    Go to the Test issue in JIRA and click on “More Actions” and then “Add to Test Cycle(s)”

    Add to Test Cycle

  2. From the Test Cycle

    Test Cycles can be added or edited from the Test Cycles page.

    Add or edit test cycles

    1. Adding test cases individually

      Click on “Add Tests” and insert JIRA Test tickets.

      Add tests

    2. Adding test cases with a Search filter

      Save a Search filter. For example, create a filter with all test cases with “Mobile” label.

      Save search filter

  3. From another Test Cycle

    Click on “Add Tests” and click on “From Another Cycle” Select the Test Cycle from which you want to copy test cases. Then you can filter test cases by: Priority, Execution status, component, label, and/or test issue status. You can even filter by test cases with defects and with linked defects.

    Add tests to cycle

How to run the test cases

Zephyr for JIRA allows you to run test cases from the Test Case or the Test Cycle page.

In the Test issue page, you can click on “Execute”. Select the version and Test Cycle for the test or select “Ad Hoc”.

Execute Test

In the next step you can:

  • Save the test execution status
  • Add defects by inserting JIRA bugs individually
  • Insert comments
  • Insert results per step

Test Execution Details

JIRA tasks of type “Test” have a “Test Execution” section that lists all the cycles the test cases have been added to. You can click on “E” (execute button) for the corresponding cycle.


From the Test Cycles page, users just click on “Execute” for the corresponding test case in each Test Cycle.

Cycle Summary

Test Results

In the Test Cycles page, you can see the Test status for each test case, defects assigned to it, components, who it was executed by, and the date and time of execution.

Test Cycle Results

With the Zephyr for JIRA add-on, there is also a page that allows you to search for test executions and as well as use the JIRA search filters.

For example, you can search for all your failed executions.

Search failed executions

Finally there is a Test Summary page where you can check how many test cases are left to run, how many test cases you have per iteration or component, and even graphics that show the progress of your testing.

Test Summary

Zephyr for JIRA unique features

Zephyr is fully integrated with JIRA, you can create test cases, test cycles and test reports inside JIRA.

Usually only the Test team checks the Test Management system, but with theZephyr add-on, all team members could be more involved, assuming all are familiar with JIRA. Developers will easily have access to the test cases so if something is wrong or changes in a test case, they can point to it. The testing reports could be also accessed by project managers, clients, and development team.

Zephyr for JIRA could allow project managers and test leads to have the same configurations for as the development projects

Once the project is configured in JIRA, the testing team is ready to create the test cases and test cycles. With a separate test management tool, testers will have to create users, components, iterations for the testing tasks, which means more time spent.

With Zephyr for JIRA searching for tests is as easy as searching for any JIRA ticket

As shown before, you can create test cycles with a saved filter. In the same way, you could look for a certain group of test cases, save the filter, create reports, and graphics with other JIRA tools and overall share this information with all the team members.

Zephyr for JIRA add-on is definitely a good match for JIRA!


Zephyr Enterprise Connector for JIRA

Zephyr for JIRA documentation

Zephyr YouTube Channel

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