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Test plans vs Test Runs


I’m just starting to try out testrails in anger and I’m pondering on how to use test plans as opposed to test runs.

I have a single project with several test suites. Each test suite has 50 or so test cases divided in a few sections.

I want to create what I think of test plans (e.g. quick and dirty test, full test, acceptance test) each of which would use a subset of test cases from one or more of the test suites.

I’m trying to decide whether these should be test runs or test plans. Obviously if they span multiple test suites they need to be plans. But suppose the above examples are all related to a single test suite. Am I better creating test runs and then re-running them each time I need to retest or do I create a test plan with a single test suite in it.

I guess the essence of the question is: is a test run = a test plan with one test suite or are there differences which make one preferable to the other.

Apologies if this isn’t clear.



Hello Nigel,

Thanks for your message. Your assumption is correct that you wouldn’t need a test plan for a “single-suite” test run. We have added test plans to TestRail specifically to:

]easily start multiple test runs at once: if you have many test suites and need to start a full system test, test plans make this a lot easier than starting separate runs[/]
]group related test runs: you can also use test plans to group multiple related test runs; this allows you track the overall status of all related runs on the plan page[/]
]testing against multiple configurations: you can use test plans to start separate test runs for different configurations such as operating systems or web browsers[/*]

If you just want to start a simple test for a single suite, simply use a test run; there wouldn’t be a benefit of using a test plan for this. A test plan is basically just a collection of runs and is only needed to start multiple test runs at the same time.

I hope this answers your question!



Thanks for the quick response. Loving the system so far :slight_smile:


Great to hear! :slight_smile: Just let us know in case you have any other questions or feedback.