Test Environment Management Tools: Best Solution in 2024

by Suzany Araujo // Last updated on June 18, 2024  

Test Environment Management Tools The Best Solution In 2024

Managing test environments is a great challenge in big companies with extensive IT teams. Test Environment Management Tools are essential, as various teams with poor or no communication use them to test new features, bug fixes, or future products. The tech area also experiences high turnover, requiring constant team training to adapt using manual Test Environment Management tools like spreadsheets, emails, or even post-its, which are not suitable for effective management.

Therefore, in this article, we will provide a guide to the best Test Environment Management Tools in 2024. We will also discuss the particularities surrounding test environments, their different types, and the importance of this management practice for achieving an aligned and organized tech department, ensuring a smooth and efficient release process and optimizing the software development life cycle (SDLC).

What are Test Environments?

To ensure that products, improvements, and new features are implemented without causing potential harm to the existing systems, development teams set up tests (often automated) in controlled environments within software that simulates requests as if they were real, providing high-quality data.

These spaces used before changes go live are called test environments.

What are they used for?

There are times when the situation requires tests in production, directly in practice with potential consumers already using it (which is, undoubtedly, the best possible "test environment").

However, many times, especially when dealing with changes that could harm the company or the consumer if an error occurs, you will want a test environment that mimics production with similar data, yet controlled and free from real losses; gathering reliable feedback by simulating activities similar to reality.

Types Of Test Environments: Dev, Test, Staging, Production

What are Their Types?

There are various environments that can be used, and the choice is directly related to the needs of your structure at the moment. Test environments can be flexible depending on which phase of DevOps they are in, but they generally follow the following categorization:

Dev environment:

The development environment is the space designated for writing the code that engineers are developing for various functionalities, such as implementing new features or fixing bugs, unit testing, and even integrations. In most cases, this environment is precisely the developer's machine;

Test or QA environment:

After undergoing initial tests, the changes can be reviewed by testers and QA analysts responsible for managing various performance tests in QA environments. Very necessary to use test environment management tools;

Staging/Pre-production:

Considered the environment closest to the release stage, pre-production is dedicated to acceptance testing, usually closely monitored by a product lead to finalize features before launch and implementation;

Production:

Although the production environment already involves real consumers with the new features, it is also used as a testing focus to explore data and validate more accurate hypotheses. Typically, for risk control purposes, only a selected group of users have access to tests in this environment.

Each environment serves a specific purpose, from writing and testing code to conducting performance tests and final acceptance testing. For a deeper understanding of how these environments function and their importance, read the full article What Test Environments do you need? Dev, Test, Staging?

Why Is Test Environment Management Important?

To create tests in diverse environments, you'll likely need test environment management with tools capable of ensuring: quick and reliable creation, effective management available to all teams in a timely manner, and delivery of high-quality (and preferably realistic) data.

Test Environment Management (TEM) combines best practices with TEM tools to provide the control your infrastructure needs to orchestrate each team's pre-production steps effectively.

When done with excellence in a tool with specialized environment configuration:

  • Efficient communication between teams, avoiding conflicts in configurations and environment statuses;
  • Elimination of the need to use multiple tools simultaneously;
  • Significant improvement in Release Management speed;
  • Efficient monitoring of all stages and teams;
  • Live reporting and dashboards with analysis;
  • Easy access to the history of tests and changes made;
  • Reduction of costs and delays in releases.

When done carelessly:

  • Communication that generates conflicts between teams using the same environments;
  • Need to use multiple tools for management;
  • Delays in product launch deadlines;
  • Higher costs involved in the development process;
  • Need to create another resource for analysis and reporting;
  • Difficulties in orchestrating what has already been tested.

Best Test Environment Management Tools

Test environments are indispensable for organized and efficient software development. The three main use cases include maintaining a Test Environment Inventory, which keeps a comprehensive record of software versions, deployment details, and current status; implementing a Test Environment Schedule to manage environment bookings, real-time availability, and usage tracking; and enabling Test Environment Self-Service, which empowers non-technical team members to trigger deployments and provision environments autonomously. For more detailed insights on optimizing your test environments, read Test Environment Explained.

To ensure your development team has clarity and efficient communication throughout the SDLC, check out the best options for Test Environment Management (TEM Tools) available in the market:

Apwide Golive

Apwide Golive is a Test Environment Management hub, available to organizations using Jira. This Jira App connects to your toolchain and provides you with live dashboards for tracking your test environment, increasing visibility across teams. It also relies on Jira issues to schedule activities on your environments, with automated conflict detection and approval processes.

Pros

  • Native integration with Jira;
  • Has plugins and REST API for integration with existing tools;
  • Free for up to 10 users;
  • 30-day free trial;
  • Unlimited users in Data Center plan;
  • Support for integrations and customizations;
  • Real-time monitoring and tracking dashboard;
  • Available reports for collected data;
  • Track, Schedule and Orchestrate environments.

Cons

  • Only for companies that use Jira.

Omnium Lite

Considered a hub for DevSecOps tools, Omnium Lite is also used for environment management. It allows automation of reservations, scheduling, and requesting environments from development to production.

Pros

  • Ready-to-use integrations;
  • Offers a free trial;
  • Supports integrations and customizations;
  • Real-time monitoring and tracking dashboard;
  • Available reports for collected data;
  • Track, Schedule, and Orchestrate environments.

Cons

  • Requires a custom plan to use the free REST API;
  • Requires a custom plan for free implementation and installation;
  • Offers a free trial, but no free plan;
  • Only 10 users in the Shared Tenant plan.

ServiceNow Environment Management

ServiceNow has a tool for managing environments in manual testing. You can request and reserve environments as well, but you need to use the Orchestration functionality from the same company.

Pros

  • Ready-to-use automatic integrations;
  • Effective real-time monitoring and tracking;
  • Orchestrate environments;
  • Good for automating IT processes;
  • Robust for building anything.

Cons

  • Extensive analysis dashboard with low effectiveness;
  • High price compared to competitors;
  • Targeted for more manual testing;
  • No free plan available.

There are several other companies that offer TEM tools, which might suit your specific needs. For more information, you can read articles about Enov8 and Plutora (specializing in release planning), or explore Digital.AI (focused on continuous delivery).

Conclusion

When an organization has multiple delivery teams that need to communicate effectively, a central system for tracking and scheduling all test environments becomes essential. Without an efficient test environment management tool, organizations face increased costs, delays, and stress, significantly jeopardizing their delivery and release processes.

If your organization uses Jira and seeks a solution for test environment management, ask your Jira Admin to enable your free trial of the Golive App. Our solution is designed based on TEM and DevOps best practices, and it is free for teams with up to 10 users.


Apwide Golive Logo

Transform your Test Environment Management with Apwide Golive:

  • Never hunt for environment info again,
    it's all in Jira where your team already is!
  • Say goodbye to environment booking conflicts,
    and hello to seamless test campaigns and demos
  • Keep your inbox organized,
    by choosing the environment notifications you need via email, MS Teams or Slack
  • Streamline your environment planning,
    with easy drag-and-drop on an intuitive timeline

Leading companies have already Golive as part of their DevOps toolchain:

Southwest Airlines Company
Mercedes-Benz Company
Manulife Financial Corporation Is A Canadian Multinational Insurance Company And Financial Services Provider.
Sky Television Company
Macy's Operates With 508 Stores In The United States.

Free trial / Free forever up to 10 Jira Cloud users!

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