Can anyone recommend some software that can be used to document the results of functional software testing?

This is not at developer level, it is for testers to follow documented procedures/scripts and then document what they find.

I thought there must be some common tools that people use for this.

  • Traditionally, most test procedures are written with pass/fail criteria, and as the tester encounters failures, they log them in a bug tracking system. Is your process more complicated than that? If so, would you mind elaborating?
    – user246
    Commented Sep 14, 2011 at 11:49
  • I dont think we want them logging bugs but just reporting on things they have seen. Also we need to provide customers proof of testing so scripts and script results are a good way. What are your thoughts and recommendations?
    – Jon
    Commented Sep 14, 2011 at 12:50
  • Okay, so I'm still not sure here: Why do you want the testers to avoid logging bugs? You sound to me as if you may be wanting more narrative results than just a list of pass/fail. Is that the case? Do you want to hear about issues and comments, or just record pass/fail? Have your customers specified what format they want to receive their proof of testing in, or is there another reason you've decided on this format for test recording and reporting?
    – testerab
    Commented Sep 15, 2011 at 22:36

9 Answers 9


Excel provides decent tools for reporting and distributing results. Do you have specific requirements from the tool ?

  • 2
    I tend to use Excel for this purpose as well. And the results are checked into SharePoint for others to read. Commented Sep 14, 2011 at 13:38
  • We also use Excel. We also upload to Sharepoint. Commented Sep 14, 2011 at 18:07
  • We use excel as well - a shared spreadsheet organized so that the results can be tracked over time as well as by specific test sets.
    – Kate Paulk
    Commented Sep 15, 2011 at 10:38

If you are looking for tracking there are options like Jira - http://www.atlassian.com/software/jira/ or MSTest if you use Visual Studio. Although you can find many options at Open Source Testing as well - http://www.opensourcetesting.org/


Where I work - a team of 6 testers - we use Excel spreadsheets a lot. For bug fixes, there's rarely more than a text file saved with our bug tracking tool (built and maintained by the company). Feature development usually gets a spreadsheet with a listing of test cases and results. The regression automation has a separate shared spreadsheet where the results are logged daily.

A lot depends on the level of detail that's needed: for the regression automation my team has a tab per major release, and a column per test set (usually the test sets are organized around functional areas of the system). The first row lists the expected results for each run - usually something like 0 errors, x warnings and what those warnings are for.

For feature development, the spreadsheet gets organized around feature sets or user stories, depending on which makes more sense in terms of testing and reporting, and wraps to a summary tab with pass/fail results for each major section. The detailed test lists are on a pass/fail basis as well, with space to describe failures and note bug reports created if needed.

What I've found is that the level of detail and structure depends a lot on the complexity of the application(s) under test, the size of the team, the speed of development (if you can tell a developer who's working on a new feature and get a fix in within 24 hours, there may be no need to report a bug), and the amount of overlap between different development teams.


A simple and inexpensive approach would be to record the documented procedures/scripts and the tester's findings in a spreadsheet. It sounds as if you have more than one tester. If you are concerned about the logistics of multiple testers updating a single spreadsheet, you could use an online spreadsheet, e.g. from Google Docs.

There are more sophisticated systems, but it is hard to recommend them without knowing more about your circumstances. I assume you performed at least one Google search (e.g. for "test case management system") for available solutions before posing your question here. If you can summarize what your search revealed and how those findings relate to the problem you are trying to solve, I am sure someone will be glad to share their experiences and insight with you.


You might consider looking at the list of tools that handle planning and reporting at the following link:


I can't say how complete this list is but there are several choices. Perhaps you could find one or two that look like they might meed your needs then you would be able to post more specific questions.

  • The list is very useful to know the general tool landscape, but it has become outdated. For instance: Compuware tools merged into Borland ones and they are not on sale anymore. Another example: after HP, Quality Center was sold to Micro Focus and it is now property of OpenText . I also have to say that the list is biassed to show XQual itself as the only one covering all features, which is not true.
    – Johnbo
    Commented Jun 7 at 7:58

It sounds like you're looking for some sort of Test Management Software, as semaj pointed out there is an excellent list at http://www.xqual.com/qa/tools.html though it's currently missing our new tool called TestWave (http://www.testwave.co.uk) which allows you to manage test, execute tests and record the results as you go, and if you want to raise a defect from the test execution. There's a free 30 day trial and since it's hosted you can be going in a few minutes.

Disclaimer: I'm one of the developers on TestWave


Google docs, the problem with excel say you have 1000 tests and person A finished 200 and person B finished 143 test cases, now the poor lead has to merge the report, since multiple people can edit google docs, and it is free that is the way to go, in addition people can see status in real time


There is a long list of common tools that people use to document test results, be it functional or non-functional.

People use,

Word processors: MS Word or Libre Office Word or any other.

Spreadsheets: Excel, Calc, etc

Text Editors: Notepad, Notepad++, Etc

Mind map: xmind, freeplane

Online tools: Zoho Project Manager, Evernote, Google Docs

Test Management Tools: TestLodge, TestLink, TestRail, and so on

Bug Tracking Tools: MantisBT, Redmine and so on.

And any other means of communication people are comfortable with.

There also people who use WordPress for documenting test results.

Basically its up to an individual or a team. First they will have to decide the format in which they would like to document the test results. Once done with that, they can look up the tool that will be a good suit for them and go for it.


Spreadsheets are the perfect tool to report on functional testing. Now, there are cloud-based spreadsheets like Google Docs which provide easy shared access; thus the regression test suite can be updated with little effort. Time estimates for a single regression run and even for individual test runs can be worked out and recorded easily in spreadsheets. The critical path can be easily maintained within the regression test suite so that there may not be any duplication of efforts. It is easy to collate manual and automated test results in spreadsheets. This article which I have written as a technical writer for OnPath Testing can help you manage your test suite well.

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