PractiTest now includes a new type of test that supports Exploratory and Session Based Testing practices.

Exploratory tests in PT allow you to define Charters for your ET Sessions, document annotations as you are running your tests, report bugs directly from your runs, and finally to review your ET sessions with colleagues in order to gather feedback.

Unlike other tests, which are created first in the Test Library and then added to any Test Set (new or existing) before running, the Exploratory Test is created as an instance in the TestSet and Runs module “on the go”, which is more intuitive and supportive for exploratory testing methodology.

A Test Set can contain all types of tests at once: automated, manual and exploratory. This ability to combine various tests improve QA coverage and trace-ability.


Creating an ET test

  1. Start in Test-Sets and Runs and select or create a new Test Set.
  2. Above the Test Instances grid press the “Add Exploratory Test” button.add_et2
  3. Enter required Title of test and Test Charter (equivalent to regular test Description field). Other Custom fields can be filled in as well.
    *The fields that appear are the ones defined to appear for the Instances entity of you project [Learn more about defining Custom Fields]
  4. You can enter descriptive steps in the Guide Points field to further focus you test instance.
  5. You can also enter an Estimated Duration for your test instance.
  6. When done with set up select “Save Changes”.new exploratory test
  7. Once Test instance is saved Run status fields is added as well (By default it will be “No Run”)

Exploratory test example

Now you can hit the “Run” button and run your test.

Running an ET test

In the Exploratory Test Instance window, when you run an Exploratory Test you create annotations (parallel to regular test steps).
a. Each annotation looks like a table row.
b. The headers of the rows are
– Type: Setup, Note, Bug, Question, Test, Concern
– Description: unlimited text field
– Attachments / URL: if you want to attach a screen shot or other image/reference.
c. Annotations can be deleted or re-ordered using the control buttons on the right.

exploratory test annotations

Reporting an Issue

If you encounter an issue or bug, you can report it under the actions column and hit “Report Issue”.

This works similarly as the “Fail and Issue” link within regular test runs. The window that will opens to report the Issue depends on your project’s integrations. For instance, if your project has Two Way integration with JIRA, selecting “Report Issue” will pop open your JIRA account with “report a bug” option. If there is no integration set up, the Issue will be created in PractiTest’s Issues module and linked to the Test.


Additional functionalities:
  1. You can edit a run, or to choose to run the ET again to override the current results – just like a regular test. (there can be several run instances for the same ET test)
  2. You can create a regular test from an ET, when you do this you create a new test that has the Charter and Guide Points on the description, steps come from the annotations (type – title; Description – description).

ET test Status in Reports and Dashboards

When creating a dashboard item, to present test status (annotations) for exploratory tests, Select Entity> Instances, and Item type> Step Status Pie.
This will display the exploratory test steps (annotations) and their status.
In this manner you can view all status results in one pie chart for any manual, automated and exploratory test.

steps status pie


This is reflected in the reports as well –

The report displays detailed information about the exploratory tests including Charter, Guide Points and Annotations with linked Issue.
ET reports




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