If you’re in the market for a Test Management Platform that can cope with the demands of Agile Testing and keep pace with the rapid cycles of agile development, then QASymphony’s latest release is going to interest you. The company recently unveiled a new combination of its Test Management solution, qTest, and its Exploratory Testing tool, qTest eXplorer.

The consolidated testing platform is intended to be a one-stop-shop for testers. It encompasses the full lifecycle from requirements and test case design, through test execution and defect tracking, to real-time reports on the status and quality metrics.

This SaaS solution allows you to get up and running in a matter of minutes. It supports both scripted and unscripted (Exploratory) Testing approaches.

QTest EXplorer

Let’s dive in for a closer look at what this solution has to offer:

See also => qTest Test Management tool detailed review

qTest eXplorer Installation

There’s no installation required for qTest as it is cloud-based. You can create an account and set up your project quickly in a few simple steps:

#1) Get qTest first – Sign up for the trial is straightforward. Simply head to the qTest site and click the free trial button.

#2) After registration the trial activation link will be sent to the email address you provide.

#3) Log in with the credentials you chose and you’ll be presented with an example project and a set of tutorials.

#4) Installing qTest Explorer – You’ll see a link at the top of the screen prompting you to download and install eXplorer, or you can choose it from the drop-down Help menu.

qTest eXplorer 1

#5) The download is less than 20MB and the install is quick and easy. Enter your login details in eXplorer and it will be linked up with your qTest setup.

Getting Started

The qTest platform is very clearly laid out and everything is labeled, so you shouldn’t have too many issues if you want to get started straight away. The self-explanatory menu items, video tutorials, and also the option to schedule a live demo is great to get started quickly and easily.

When you’ve installed eXplorer it will fire up alongside qTest by default and you’ll see it on the right-hand side of your screen as a small widget that slides into view when you hover your mouse over it.

qTest eXplorer 2

You can put it anywhere you want and the configuration is pretty self-explanatory. If you want to check out the full details then tap on the small triangle at the top of the widget to get the drop-down menu and select Help.

qTest Explorer Features

List of Useful Features:

  • Support for Agile testing
  • Intelligent multi-screen capture
  • Auto recording of all clicks and screen actions
  • Cross-application capture
  • Ability to add notes and annotation
  • Test case and defect submission

One of the main attractions of the qTest platform is the level of customization it offers. Tap the small gear icon at the top of qTest and you’ll find that you can configure every aspect of the project. Integration Settings is a likely first stop and you can link in existing defect tracking systems and databases such as Bugzilla, FogBugz, JIRA, Rally, or Version-One.

Before you start working with qTest it’s also a good idea to configure your Field Settings and Notification Settings. You can specify the exact field names you want and add custom fields to your project in qTest. Create your new project, add and configure user accounts, and when you have the framework in place, it’s time to take a look at the eXplorer tool.

#1) Capture all actions: The eXplorer tool runs in the background, performing step-by-step capture of all testing actions taken during a test session. The tool then automatically generates detailed documentation that includes text descriptions of actions performed and accompanying screen captures.

Tap the gear icon on the eXplorer widget and you’ll find a range of settings enabling you to define testing time types, set hotkeys for actions and notes, add templates, and create defect tracking connections. You can opt to record everything, or an active window, or just a specific area of the screen.

qTest eXplorer 4

Note: This is just one screenshot of the complete steps we recorded in a complete Google search test case.

When you hit record, a pop-up box will ask for a title and there’s an option to include a description and set a planned duration. You can also dictate which of the open applications you’d like to include in the test, which makes it easy to exclude things like instant messengers or email applications that may be running, but not part of the test.

#2) Keep only what you need: There’s also an option to select the number of screens to store, by keeping just the last 20 screens you can limit the amount of storage space needed. This means that you can keep eXplorer running all the time and be assured of capturing what you need to report any defect you may encounter.

qTest eXplorer 3

#3) Full set of screenshot editing tools: At the end of a session you tap the stop button and you’ll get a step-by-step breakdown of your actions during the test. You can edit, delete, and annotate each step and screenshot. There’s a full set of editing tools for adding text and highlighting areas of a screenshot or cropping it down.

You’ll see the screens listed down the left of your screen and you can tap on Session to edit your session details and see how your test breaks down into time types. You can also select the Environment to get a detailed breakdown of the system information and the application version used.

#4) Automatically Generate Test Cases: When you’re happy with the steps you can submit it directly into qTest to automatically generate a test case for scripted testing or submit it to your defect database as a Word or JPG attachment. It’s also possible to export it as an Excel file.

Each of these methods will include all the data you’ve saved, as well as the environment, and you can choose to include all screenshots or just select the ones you need to ensure that the defect is clear.

qTest eXplorer 5

Submit to qTest and you’ll get a Test Case ID hyperlink that you can follow. All test cases coming from eXplorer are put in an eXplorer Test Case section in qTest by default and you can edit and move them to the appropriate place.

If you want to use the exploratory test session from eXplorer to serve as the basis for a new defect or create a test case for regression testing, it’s fast and simple to do so, because all the pertinent data has been automatically filled in for you.

#5) Create user manuals, training documents and other how-to guides quickly: The combination of the qTest test management platform for planning and tracking your project, with the eXplorer tool for capturing detailed step-by-step documentation really gives you everything you need to handle your scripted and unscripted testing needs.

The what, when, and how of each testing scenario is clear and because it’s automatically captured your testers can focus on finding new defects instead of getting bogged down in writing them up.

#6) A big time saver for UAT Testers: Also with the help of qTest eXplorer UAT testers can submit the detailed defect reports. This is useful as most of the time the UAT testers are business users who are not good at writing the good defect report.


Automatic tracking for test sessions is enormously useful and it simplifies life for testers and developers. Having a Test Management solution in the cloud will obviously reduce IT overhead and it really does make qTest very easy to use and quick to get up and running.

There’s a clear chain for every test session and defect, and all the pertinent data is automatically recorded. It’s the automation of the process and the reduction in the demands on individual testers that really makes the platform so usable.

Room for improvement

  • The qTest eXplorer solution is only compatible with Windows 7 or 8. Some testers might appreciate the support for Mac OS or Linux.
  • Another very nice to have feature will be support for iOS and Android mobile platforms for those testing mobile apps.


Along with qTest pro, it’s worth to get the qTest eXplorer to capture test sessions step-by-step and then use them to generate test cases.

Software development has evolved rapidly, but agile testers are woefully short of the right tools. For speed, efficiency, and transparency qTest with qTest eXplorer is tough to beat. Easy to set up, scalable enough to fit your project phases, and unusually focused on empowering testers, qTest really stands out from the crowd.

About the Author:

This review is written by Kaushal Amin. He is Chief Technology Officer for KMS Technology, a provider of IT services across the software development lifecycle with offices in Atlanta, GA and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Explore this tool once and you will see how powerful it for your test management activities including – creating test cases, recording defects, screen capture, image editing, and much more.

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