July 17, 2009

Using Email as a TestTrack Interface

Issue Management
My colleagues and I have presented several different ways to interface TestTrack with other systems, mostly using the TestTrack SDK. If you want to create a simple data interface, there is another option: Email. For the sake of this discussion, let's say we want to interface TestTrack to a Help Desk system that can send and receive emails. Here's how it would work:
  1. Define a new email account on your POP3 server. This new account should be used only for importing issues into one TestTrack project.
  2. In your TestTrack Project Options, specify the server, email address you created, and how often you want the server to check for new messages.
  3. If a Help Desk ticket's information needs to be sent to development, the system should send an email to TestTrack. When the message is read by the TestTrack Server, the email's Subject will become the defect Summary, the email body will become the defect Description, and the email Sender will be added as a customer and the defect Found By user.
  4. The defect will follow the project workflow like any other defect. When the defect is closed, TestTrack can automatically send an email to the Help Desk system with updated information. By defining an email template, TestTrack will create a message that the Help Desk system can interpret properly. TestTrack can also send messages to the Help Desk staff and/or the original submitter.
An email interface cannot populate other defect fields or use more complex logic like the TestTrack SDK, but it does not require any scripting and is easy to maintain. For a simple data interface, email is a great way to automatically transfer information in to and out of TestTrack.