aqua and Zephyr Enterprise provide management staff, development and test teams with the software they can rely on. However, choosing between two tools with approximately similar functionality is pretty challenging. Let’s compare what features they have and what users say about them.
Each tool offers several levels of support, making it complex to compare. In this article, we will focus on the ALM framework and test management functionalities of aqua and Zephyr in order to put them on the same level.
Test Management tools should have the ability to level up your software development process and make it easier for both testers and developers to collaborate on solving issues and fixing bugs.
Several criteria can sort out the necessary features of a test management tool that can meet the needs of IT employees, such as managing test cases or their reusability.
Notification about issues and changes via communication channels
Visualisation of test results (pass/fail) status
Visualisation of test automation
Reusability of test cases
Customisation of folders
The ALM functionality has a lot in common with test management tools. However, the main task of ALM is to help management set appropriate requirements for projects and control whether they are met, or changes must be made. Using an efficient ALM system also impacts the development process to ensure that executing tests are appropriately set, and the work is fairly distributed amongst the team members.
Criteria that should be considered for ALM tools include the following workflow, permissions control and collaboration tools.
Customisable dashboards graphs, reports and metrics
Security and certifications
Service and support
We don’t want to highlight the actual prices since plans are different and depend on licence types, Cloud or on-premise versions, and other factors.
Regarding pricing for these tools, we should notice that none of the contenders appeals to freelancers due to the tools’ cost. As you can see in the table below, Zephyr doesn’t appeal to freelancers and small and mid-size businesses as their prices are unclear. To find out Zephyr Enterprise’s quotes without referring to a sales team seems almost impossible, which we consider as one more point not to specify the actual prices in this comparison.
Another significant factor that affects the price is the company size and the number of required licences (users). Plus, in some cases, prices can be tailored to meet your company’s specific needs. For example, aqua ALM develops a customised feature upon request when it is needed and can offer a customised plan that serves your company size.
Don’t forget about integrations. Given the many types of testing, connecting multiple integrations is a great feature. And the more integrations are available for this or that test management there, the easier it is for the tester to make his choice. This means simplifying their work in the future and carrying out automation in general without much loss.
aqua also brings a unique integration among test management solutions — a Chrome extension to run tests and immediately document them. aqua Test Recorder enables you to record interactions, edit captured data, leave comments, annotate screenshots, and then send everything to your company’s aqua server. This approach saves time on all the tab switching, and immediate documentation ensures the QA specialists share everything they observed.
For context, virtually all aqua competitors lack a first-party Chrome extension. They have to rely on third-party solutions that often cost extra money and lack native integrations with test management solutions.
aqua and Zephyr might have a lot of similar features, but aqua provides more customised features and a broad spectrum of integrations based on our review. Zephyr has been built to integrate with Jira predominantly; this explains why the number of integrations is limited. Another perk VS con is the price — a lack of information about Zephyr prices makes it challenging to make your mind based only on cost-effective factors. Both test management systems’ test case management features are pretty good and available for a free trial. However, aqua discovers more advantages of using their system as an ALM tool with all the features compared above.
aqua’s advantages over Zephyr
Based on Capterra’s reviews aqua is rated 4.7 stars. We picked one of these reviews from a person who has been utilising aqua for over six months at the moment of submitting the review.
“Very good experience with a very good testing tool.”
Overall: The experience with Aqua ALM was overall very positive. This tool, pretty much, exceeded our expectations since it's very complete and easy to use. Even with some limitations due to the trial version, the customer service was excellent and very fast to answer every doubt or request that we had and this was very much appreciated.
Pros: Friendly interface and easy to use.
A complete tool for testing. You can do pretty much any testing-related tasks.
Great customer service.
Cons: At the beginning, maybe not 100% intuitive.
Limited trial version. It would be nice to have the experience of a user management system even during the trial period.
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aqua is quite a flexible tool suitable for all types of development. If we compare what advantages aqua has over Zephyr, then the following should be noted.
aqua is suitable for teams regardless of their size. Even the basic free license supports the ability for team members to view tests they have already completed without having to purchase the paid version (if it is not going to be used further). Also, we were unable to find detailed information about migration to Zephyr from other tools. Whereas in aqua this process is mastered to perfection and takes about 1 day on average.
The number of integrations provided by Zephyr also leaves a lot to be desired. It is quite limited, while aqua has the ability to integrate up to 11 different tools that testers need to work with.
Another important factor is that it is quite difficult to make your own decision without understanding how much you will have to pay for the tool, how much the license costs, and so on. aqua provides fairly detailed pricing on available licenses and plans, but if your business requires additional rates, then aqua develops an offer specifically for these needs.
aqua became a trendy tool for regulated industries and big enterprises. Amongst their clients, you can spot established banks, world-class insurance companies, manufacturers and medical care providers. Many German government companies also trust aqua in their testing processes, which can be considered as compliance with the top-notch security requirements.
Zephyr’s advantages over aqua
The rating of Zephyr on Capterra is not that high — 3.4 stars. We picked the most relevant and comprehensive review from a person who used Zephyr for 2+ years.
“Used to work with Jira.... now you constantly can't login!”
Overall: I have been a longtime Jira Capture user and at some point Zephyr replaced it. For a longtime it worked seamlessly... then all of a sudden we would get a constant "Invalid Login" when trying to login with Atlassian credentials. After contacting support several times I was told we had to create an API key. After going thru the pain... it would work for a week... then right when you urgently needed to take a screenshot it forgot the credentials and you are forced to create a new API key ... which takes over 15 minutes each time. Worked. Forgot credentials. Create key. Over and over. You have to pay for each user and after awhile it just got so frustrating it was no longer worth it. I wish Jira capture still was around. That worked flawlessly for years!
Pros: Integrated with Jira, allowed QA to easily capture screenshots.
Cons: Cant login, login errors, can't use standard Atlassian credentials and forces you to create API keys, constantly forgets credentials but doesnt tell you until after you have filled out a full bug report so you end up losing all your work.
Reasons for Choosing Zephyr Enterprise: Forced to when Jira Capture became Zephyr.
Zephyr is one of the most popular tools on the software market for quality assurance. We have not considered in the comparison tables the compatibility of the versions with the software of the devices, but we must note here that the aqua’s on-premise version is only available for Windows. Zephyr is available for two OS — Windows and Linux. None of the tools is unfortunately available in the desktop version for Mac.
Another significant advantage is that Zephyr has 24/7 support, which aqua cannot boast of yet. This is especially important for companies that run their testing non-stop.
As we can see, aqua and Zephyr Enterprise cover the necessary functions for test management and simple organisation of the work of the development department quite well. Both of the presented tools provide many options for the implementation of planned projects — tracking and automation of testing, the ability to communicate with colleagues and detailed reports, and customisation of the workflow and folders.
However, a significant difference when choosing from the two presented tools was that Zephyr is suitable only for large enterprises, while aqua is able to provide all possible scenarios for companies with a few people to companies with thousands of employees. aqua is the leader for regulated industries and companies with strict security protocols, you can be sure that aqua is able to cover any needs for quality assurance when the size of your team is considered as a large enterprise.
Among other things, aqua makes it clear from the very beginning that its pricing policy is quite flexible and fully corresponds to an adequate price category for the provided range of services.
aqua and Zephyr Enterprise are worthy competitors with the widest and most convenient functionality among popular test management and ALM systems on the market. We can definitely say that you will not be mistaken by choosing any of the considered tools.
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