Testing Sub-Team

This is a cross-council subteam that includes members of the ArchivesSpace User Advisory and Technical Advisory Councils. The Testing subteam was created in January 2016 following a decision to split the former Features Prioritization and Testing team into two separate groups. The subteam coordinates work via email and only holds meetings when necessary. The preference for cross council teams is to have the lead and vice-lead be from different councils


Testing occurs on an ad-hoc basis as JIRA issues become ready for testing or prior to any release. JIRA testing is targeted and tests only the specific issue(s) selected for testing. Full suite testing prior to a release involves testing the standard operations and workflows in ArchivesSpace.

JIRA Testing

Each issue is assigned randomly to two members of the testing team. The testers then review the issue to understand the feature request, change or fix and then test - typically in the sandbox at test.archivesspace.org. If the test is successful, then each tester will add a comment to the issue stating that the testing was successful. If the test is not successful, each tester will comment on the issue with details about how the test failed. They should include screenshots if applicable and as much information as needed so that the developers have a clear picture of the problem.

Full Suite Testing

Prior to a new release, each main section of the application is tested to ensure that any changes to ArchivesSpace do not break existing workflows. These main sections typically represent the top level areas of the application - Resources, Accessions, Archival Objects, Reports, User Management, etc. Again, each section is randomly assigned to two testers. A worksheet is provided to each tester so that they can track the results of their testing. Each tester completes the portions of the worksheet assigned to them and indicates whether the tests were successful or not. If a specific test is not successful, the tester should provide details (including screenshots if applicable) detailing how the test failed.

These worksheets can be useful for internal testing by an institution - either as a complete guide to testing or as a base for your own customized workflows.

Testing Worksheets (Google Sheets/Docs)


Testing offers team members the opportunity to become very familiar with all sections of ArchivesSpace - even those that may not be part of the standard workflow at their home institution. This familiarity is essential for the full suite testing which tests the all sections of the application. JIRA testing offers a similar opportunity, though the JIRA issues are much more focused.

The ability to follow specific sequential steps and workflows is key to testing. Since not everyone is as technically minded and may require another team members assistance in working through the specifics of a complicated JIRA issue, communication skills are also important.

Some familiarity with GitHub may be useful for more complex JIRA testing. For the more technically minded, the ability to run and test ArchivesSpace locally may be useful in certain, rare situations.


Workload varies and is typically concentrated in bursts throughout the year. The full suite testing for each release is the most time consuming and will typically take at least several hours to complete for each round. There are usually 2-4 releases per year, though this varies. The full suite testing requires the tester be familiar with all sections of ArchivesSpace. JIRA testing for sprints is less time consuming, but may also require the tester to become more familiar with a specific section or workflow.

The team lead has additional duties which include assigning the testing, attending UAC meetings, noting quarterly accomplishments, and writing up an end of year report. These duties are shared with the team vice lead.