Azure Test Plan

What is Azure Test Plan?

To enhance the quality of a product or service, manual and exploratory testing are crucial. However, DevOps emphasizes automated testing. Today, in modern software development practices, everybody in the team including developers, testers, managers, and owners contributes to improving the quality of applications. Azure Test Plans is a one-stop solution for all these needs.

Keeping each team member’s requirements in mind, a few years ago Azure DevOps launched a new service called Azure Test plans. This service provides browser-based test management solutions for exploratory, planned manual, and user acceptance testing. Azure Test Plans also provides a browser extension for exploratory testing and gatherers feedback from stakeholders.

How Does Azure Test Plan Work?

A Test Plan is a container to group Test Suites - a collection of test cases. In Azure DevOps, you create your Test Plan and then create your Test Suites inside of it. Now, when you create a Test Suite inside your Test Plan there are three options:

  • Test Suite 1 - Requirement Based: These test suites are the simplest and most traceable, as they pull in all the test cases for a given requirement.
  • Test Suite 2 - Query Based: These test suites pull in a group of tests from your project irrespective of what requirements the test case is linked to.
  • Test Suite 3:- Static Based: These test suites are used either as containers to group other test suites or to group a specific set of test cases.

Depending on your choice, a Test Suite will allow you to pull in all of the Test Cases that you want to Test. Once you have your Test Suites created, and the Test Cases inside, you will be able to execute the entire Suite and that will become a Test Run.

Different Types of Test Suites:

  • TRequirements-Based Test Suite: It pulls in all of the Test Cases for a specific requirement. So instead of choosing the Test Case when you build a Suite, choose the Requirement. Any Test Cases that have already been built and connected to that requirement get pulled in and populate your Test Suite. You can then run all of the Tests for that given requirement and see from each Test Run, concluding that the requirement has been fully met and passed or that it needs work due to it failing.
    The biggest advantage of this is your QA team doesn’t need to redo the work. If other teams have already created a Test Case for a particular requirement, other teams can also use it. Besides this, whichever team creates a similar test case, will be automatically added to the requirement itself. If you use Requirements-based Test Suites, your team can create Traceability Matrices that show you not only how your Test Cases align with your requirements, but can also whether a Test Case has passed or failed for any given requirement.
  • Query-Based Test Suite: Query-based Testing is slightly different from requirements-based Testing. Query-based Test Suites allow teams to create a Test Suite using any criteria available. It means when you create this type of Test Suite, it asks you how you want to pull in Test Cases, and allows you to construct a specialized query to do so. In simple words, you are not concerned with how Test Cases are connected to specific requirements, and instead allows you to pull in the Test Cases that match specific criteria.
    In some cases, teams run tests on all of the Test Cases that are currently in a given iteration or run tests on everything with a given tag, and these conditions are not necessarily tied directly to a given requirement. Query-based Test Suites include any Test Case from your project that you would like to test, irrespective of their connections with Requirements.
  • Static Test Suite: In Azure Test Plans, you can have nested Test Suites. Static Test Suites are used as containers for other Test Suites, or as a place to create Test Cases ad-hoc. Most of the time you will be using Static Test Suites as a means of grouping Test Suites together.

Features and Benefits of Azure Test Plan:

  1. Manual Teasing Made Easy:
  2. With Azure Test Plans, a team can leverage manual testing right from within their Kanban board. This provides end-to-end traceability because tests and defects are automatically linked to the requirements and build being tested, which also helps you track the quality of the requirements.

    You can add, view, and interact with test cases directly from the cards on the Kanban board, and progressively monitor status directly from the card. Developers and testers can use this feature to maximize quality within their teams.

  3. Exploratory Testing Ensures Quality:
  4. Exploratory testing is an approach to software testing that is described as simultaneous learning, test design, and test execution. It supports planned testing by being completely unscripted yet being driven by themes/tours. Exploratory testing can be leveraged by all team members including developers, testers, managers, product owners, user experience advocates, and more. This way it brings quality.

  5. Planned Manual Testing for Larger Teams:
  6. For simple Testing needs, the Kanban board is sufficient, but for larger teams, it is not useful. Larger teams deal with more complex needs, such as creating and tracking all testing efforts within a test plan scope, testing across multiple configurations, distributing the tests between multiple testers, tracking the progress against the test plan, etc. Hence, you need a full-scale test management solution.

    Planned manual testing in Azure Test Plans fulfills this need. It lets you organize tests into test plans and test suites. Test suites can be dynamic -requirements-based-suites and query-based-suites - that help understand the quality of associated requirements under development. Also, it could be static to help you cover regression tests.


Be it Agile, DevOps, or Waterfall software development approach, testing plays a crucial role in delivering quality software. However, DevOps stresses automated testing, yet you can’t undermine the role of manual and exploratory testing if you crave excellence. But here’s the hard truth: to meet all your testing needs in one place can give you nightmares unless you use the Azure Test Plan.

Azure Test Plan provides a single platform for all your testing needs required by your organization. Be it manual, automated, or exploratory, this feature from Azure DevOps won’t disappoint you.