aqua vs qTest

Can Enterprise software be modern?

aqua and qTest are both established test management solutions that also position themselves as modern, market-conscious tools. But what makes a TMS modern? Are these tools up to the standard? Find out in just 10 minutes.

Key differences between aqua and qTest

aqua offers free AI-enhanced testing

aqua has better test automation suite

aqua has much cheaper & free licences

AI

AI is a rapidly developing tech, so we will look at cutting-edge tech rather than the baseline. Here’s what you should expect from an AI-powered test management solution:

  • Analyse your workspace to get QA context
  • Create test cases, defects, and even requirements from a plain text description
  • Complete test case drafts
  • Prioritise tests
  • Remove duplicate tests and defects

AI-powered features are a major criterion for assessing how modern a test management system is. Developers have had access to the GPT large language model before ChatGPT became a thing. aqua used that to make QA-specific tweaks that result in relevant and project-focused suggestions for creating, completing, and updating test cases. qTest does not offer any AI-enhanced testing.

Auto-train AI Copilot with your tests
Not Avaliable
Generate entire tests with AI
Not Avaliable
Complete test drafts
Not Avaliable
Update tests for a changed requirement
Not Avaliable
Auto-prioritise tests
Not Avaliable
Remove duplicates
Not Avaliable
Auto-train AI Copilot with your tests
Generate entire tests with AI
Complete test drafts
Update tests for a changed requirement
Auto-prioritise tests
Remove duplicates
Not Avaliable
Not Avaliable
Not Avaliable
Not Avaliable
Not Avaliable
Not Avaliable

Verdict: aqua wins (qTest has no AI-powered testing)

Test management

Test management is the main reason we are looking at these two tools. You should consider various aspects of handling test cases as well as traceability-minded features. These include:

  • Create, execute, share, and manage test cases in the workspace
  • Group tests into test scenarios, segment them into folders, assign labels
  • Quickly navigate the test suite, apply filters, use individual and shared views
  • See the entire execution history for a test case
  • Store a full log of changes for compliance
  • Visualise requirements coverage and dependencies between requirements, test cases, and defects

Test management is the most essential functionality, and both tools perform well. Creating tests and managing them is generally an intuitive, feature-rich, and robust experience. There are, however, a few key flows that aqua does better. You can quickly edit multiple items as well as revert changes, which are massive time savers. qTest’s views are not particularly user-friendly either: the output resembles Excel slicers rather than a modern TMS view.

  • Test cases
  • Test scenarios
  • Execution history
  • Workflows
  • Nested test cases
  • Release planning
  • Filters
  • Tampering-proof project logging
  • Timestamped item history for compliance
Visual bulk edits
Data query edits only
Item change reversal
Not Avaliable
Visual views
Data queries only
Visual shared views
Shared data queries only
  • Test cases
  • Test scenarios
  • Execution history
  • Workflows
  • Nested test cases
  • Release planning
  • Filters
  • Tampering-proof project logging
  • Timestamped item history for compliance
Visual bulk edits
Item change reversal
Visual views
Visual shared views
Data query edits only
Not Avaliable
Data queries only
Shared data queries only
Verdict: aqua wins by views and item changes

Integrations

Most tools rely on automation via common third-party tools that QA specialists have been using for over a decade. The experience is much better when your test management solution has native integrations for industry-leading tools. REST API support is a must if you do not want to be at the vendor’s mercy for integrations.

  • First-party framework automation or third-party integrations with test automation tools
  • Native third-party integrations: Selenium, Jenkins, JMeter, SoapUI, Ranorex
  • Jira integration and/or Jira plugin
  • REST API support for integrating any tool

Both tools are designed to integrate third-party automation tools rather than offer in-app scripting. qTest also supports the Cucumber automation framework, but commercial development was discontinued in February 2023 by none other than qTest’s competitor SmartBear. As for third-party integrations, aqua has a clear lead over qTest. It matches the Jira real-time integration and offers a native experience with much more test automation solutions.

  • Jira integration & real-time project sync
  • Selenium, Jenkins for test automation
  • REST API
UFT, JMeter, SoapUI, Ranorex, Database MS SQL, Database Oracle for test automation
Cucumber test automation framework
Bug reporting tool Capture
Not Avaliable
Not Avaliable
VersionOne, Tricentis Vera, CA Agile Central Rally
  • Jira integration & real-time project sync
  • Selenium, Jenkins for test automation
  • REST API
UFT, JMeter, SoapUI, Ranorex, Database MS SQL, Database Oracle for test automation
Bug reporting tool Capture
Not Avaliable
Cucumber test automation framework
Not Avaliable
VersionOne, Tricentis Vera, CA Agile Central Rally
Verdict: aqua wins by a bigger test automation suite

Pricing flexibility

Pricing can vary a lot; you will find small differences that make no sense but also high fees that are completely justified. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Extra functionality beyond test management
  • Transparent pricing without locking essential features behind the most expensive plans
  • Custom enterprise plan
  • Price-to-volume scaling that suits your team size
  • No exorbitant setup and/or maintenance fee
  • Free licences for guests / non-tech specialists / manual testers

qTest has free access for two weeks straight without any functionality restrictions. However, it does lack free licenses. aqua, on the other hand, has a 30-day trial period and unlimited free licenses for its customers, making it more advtageous.

  • Free setup
30-day trial
14-day trial
Unlimited free licences for manual testers
No free licences
  • Free setup
30-day trial
Unlimited free licences for manual testers
14-day trial
No free licences

Verdict: aqua wins by lower pricing and free licences

Deployment Models

On-Premise deployment is a must in many industries, yet vendors won’t explicitly say if they don’t offer it. Depending on your security policies and scale, deploying in a non-vendor Cloud is a beneficial option too.

  • Vendor Cloud
  • External Cloud: AWS, Azure, etc.
  • On-Premise

aqua and qTest both develop and actively support the On-Premise offering. You can also host your Cloud instance separately from the vendor, striking a solid balance between convenience and security of your test management software instance. It’s worth noting that qTest doesn’t guarantee the specific location of their private cloud, allowing them to decide its placement. aqua stands out by offering any custom location and ensures geolocalised hosting based on your preferences.

  • On-Premise
Guaranteed geolocalized hosting based on client preference
No guarantee on hosting location
GDPR-compliant aqua-hosted German Cloud
qTest-hosted Cloud
Isolated Enterprise Custom Cloud (Any Azure data centre)
Custom Cloud
  • On-Premise
Guaranteed geolocalized hosting based on client preference
GDPR-compliant aqua-hosted German Cloud
Isolated Enterprise Custom Cloud (Any Azure data centre)
No guarantee on hosting location
qTest-hosted Cloud
Custom Cloud
Verdict: Tie

Dashboards

QA dashboards serve two vital purposes. They help the QA team track their progress, but they also make other teams aware of potential bottlenecks. At a minimum, you should be able to include any data and share dashboards with the team.

  • Use all data of the workspace
  • Create private and shared dashboards
  • Choose between various types of graphs
  • Set up KPI/values alerts that arrive as email/app notifications

Both tools have refined dashboards that are more than adequate for keeping your hand on the pulse. aqua, however, offers a lot more customisation but more importantly KPI alerts so you don’t even have to check dashboards manually.

  • Pie, bar, stacked bar, table charts
External dashboard sharing
Not Avaliable
Any data
9 dashboard types
KPI alerts
No KPI Alerts
  • Pie, bar, stacked bar, table charts
External dashboard sharing
Any data
KPI alerts
Not Avaliable
9 dashboard types
No KPI Alerts
Verdict: aqua wins by offering KPI alerts and customisation

Reporting

Reporting is important for both internal and external stakeholders. The goal here is to get what you need with as little or as much effort as possible. When a tool offers both a template library and rich customisation, that is a good start.

  • Access vendor-provided template library
  • Create custom layouts and save them
  • Use and transform any data
  • Apply text & image formatting
  • Add external data and imagery
  • Employ scripts and parametrisation to auto-update reports

Established tools with a large Enterprise footprint, aqua and qTest both offer excellent reporting. You can use any data from the workspace, transform it manually or with scripts, add external info, and go from vendor templates to a fully custom solution.

  • Template library
  • Diagrams
  • Drag-and-drop
  • Pivot tables
  • Parametrisation
  • Custom reports
  • Any data
  • External data & imagery
  • Text & image formatting
  • Scripts
  • Template library
  • Diagrams
  • Drag-and-drop
  • Pivot tables
  • Parametrisation
  • Custom reports
  • Any data
  • External data & imagery
  • Text & image formatting
  • Scripts
Verdict: Tie

User management

Precise user management is essential when working on multiple projects and/or working with external specialists. It will also save you a lot of pain from running crowd testing in the same test management solution.

  • Set default roles
  • Create custom roles
  • Apply per-user permissions
  • Authenticate users via SSO

User management is a breeze for both tools. You can create custom roles that suit your work better as well as assign individual permissions.

  • SSO
  • Default user roles
  • Custom roles
  • Individual permissions
  • SSO
  • Default user roles
  • Custom roles
  • Individual permissions
Verdict: Tie

ALM

This is not a hard requirement, but you may be interested in a test management solution that also handles the entire product lifecycle. This is a great money saver as you need licences from fewer vendors, and the synergy should save you some hours as well.

  • Test case management
  • Requirements management
  • Defect management
  • Project management

aqua and qTest can handle the entire lifecycle of your product by themselves. Getting off Jira may bring major savings to your budget. Even better, most test automation tools offered as integrations are free as well.

  • Test case management
  • Defect management
  • Requirements management
  • Project management
  • Test case management
  • Defect management
  • Requirements management
  • Project management
Verdict: Tie

What people say

Here are a few things people like and dislike about both tools.

star star star star star

“I was surprised to find such a comprehensive and mature tool for test management in the German market without having taken it seriously beforehand.”

Jörg Großmann

Head of Development at Bank 11

star star star

"qTest helps to manage projects, test planning, test case management, execution tracking, defect management and reporting. It supports real-time collaboration, which allows team members of a project to view, create and update test cases simultaneously. The customization features of qTest are a little bit below other tools. Sometimes while handling many test cases, test runs and users, we face performance issues."

Pahuni A.

Software Engineer at an SMB company

star star star star star

“The reporting is meaningful and provides a good basis for decisions. After the employees have used aqua, they recognize the added value very quickly.”

Thomas Haeske

Head of Organisation/IT at Berlin Hyp

star star star

“qTest does provide basic test case management functionality and some Jira integration. Frequent production issues leave all our users blocked. Poor follow-up on explaining the root cause of outages. No clear way to report functionality gaps and enhancement requests.”

A G2 Reviewer

Hospital & Healthcare SMB

star star star star star

“Manual test cases are easily automated with aqua. Seamless integration with test automation tools helps here.”

Jörn-Hendrick Sörensen

Test Manager at KBA

star star star

“It is a database for maintaining the test data for testers in a large organisation and large teams. Small testing teams and organisations can use some other methods for tracking the test status.”

A G2 Reviewer

IT Enterprise

star star star star star

“I was surprised to find such a comprehensive and mature tool for test management in the German market without having taken it seriously beforehand.”

Jörg Großmann

Head of Development at Bank 11

star star star star star

“The reporting is meaningful and provides a good basis for decisions. After the employees have used aqua, they recognize the added value very quickly.”

Thomas Haeske

Head of Organisation/IT at Berlin Hyp

star star star star star

“Manual test cases are easily automated with aqua. Seamless integration with test automation tools helps here.”

Jörn-Hendrick Sörensen

Test Manager at KBA

star star star

"qTest helps to manage projects, test planning, test case management, execution tracking, defect management and reporting. It supports real-time collaboration, which allows team members of a project to view, create and update test cases simultaneously. The customization features of qTest are a little bit below other tools. Sometimes while handling many test cases, test runs and users, we face performance issues."

Pahuni A.

Software Engineer at an SMB company

star star star

“qTest does provide basic test case management functionality and some Jira integration. Frequent production issues leave all our users blocked. Poor follow-up on explaining the root cause of outages. No clear way to report functionality gaps and enhancement requests.”

A G2 Reviewer

Hospital & Healthcare SMB

star star star

“It is a database for maintaining the test data for testers in a large organisation and large teams. Small testing teams and organisations can use some other methods for tracking the test status.”

A G2 Reviewer

IT Enterprise

Final verdict

aqua and qTest are both mature, yet also modern and extremely powerful test management solutions. They can act as ALMs if you prefer to handle the entire lifecycle in a single solution. qTest does not have major strengths over aqua; aqua brings AI-enhanced testing, better dashboards, and comes with free licences on top of cheaper full-price licences.

Weekly feature updates
3 feature releases per year
Bleeding-edge AI testing functionality
Regular testing only
8 test automation integrations + REST API
2 test automation integrations + REST API
Fully customisable dashboards
Dashboard templates only
KPI alerts
Manually checking dashboards only
Unlimited free licences for manual testers
No free licences
Weekly feature updates
Bleeding-edge AI testing functionality
8 test automation integrations + REST API
Fully customisable dashboards
KPI alerts
Unlimited free licences for manual testers
3 feature releases per year
Regular testing only
2 test automation integrations + REST API
Dashboard templates only
Manually checking dashboards only
No free licences