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Testing with Excel is History

Learn why testing with Excel eventually becomes slow, unstructured, complex and very frustrating.

The old days: let’s use Excel…

… because everyone knows how to use a spreadsheet!

It starts out simple

You create a spreadsheet because Excel is already there. Let's rock!


But it soon gets out of hand

A new release means copying all the spreadsheets. Questions arise: which file is the right version? What is the status of each test case?


Eventually it becomes slow, unstructured, complex and very frustrating

At a certain moment, you are drowning in spreadsheets. Tracking activities becomes impossible. Who is testing what? Are we missing any test results?

5 reasons why testing with Excel should be history

Can you test software with Excel? Well, it depends. Can you chop down a tree with a pocket knife? Eventually you will succeed. However, we think that testing software with Excel should be history because:

1. Everyone can change items, without any restrictions

Users are allowed to edit your spreadsheets. Before you know it, your test cases have become a complete and utter chaos. A poor starting point for structured testing.

2. Impossible spreadsheet management

What if you want to know how the overall test process is going? Do you link all your separate sheets in Excel together?

Excel is fine as a short term approach, but it isn’t a big data solution.  Excel was never designed for that purpose.

3. Lack of security

Is testing with Excel safe? Encrypted Excels can easily be cracked, imagine your test results and issues leaking and become public. Securing data in an Excel document is not easy.

4. Information can quickly become fragmented

You always have Excel at hand, but are your test results and issues complete?
Information can quickly become fragmented and it’s difficult to keep track of all the different changes.

5. No data integrity and traceability

Maintaining a file archive is possible, but it will also soon become unmanageable: issues_20161201_final2.xls is now the latest version or was it? Convincing an auditing party of data integrity and traceability is an impossible task using this method.

Testing with Excel is not a shame

Is testing with Excel something to be embarrassed about? No, because testing software is always better than doing nothing at all – “it’s the taking part that counts, not winning”.

Why you should move away from Excel

But therein lies our most important message. Excel works fine as a short-term solution, but for long-term projects you can save time and money by using a professional test management application.

Organize all your projects and tests in a central place

  • Add your test cases and execute your test runs, at any place, at any time, no experience required.
  • Enterprise ready & highly scalable. Battle-tested for even the most complex types of projects.
  • Easy to set up. Get your project started within minutes.
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TestMonitor vs Excel

Microsoft Excel TestMonitor
Test cases can be reused for multiple regression cycles
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Real-time insights in test results and issues
Add screenshots and attachments related to test results and issues
An interface made for acceptance testing
Automatic notifications
All activities such as owner, status, and so on, are logged automatically
Everything in sync without a complex folder structure

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