When you draft a test cycle, you will have the option to set different test cycle types under the Details section, with radio buttons for a Single Test Cycle or Continuous Test Cycle.
In many cases, you’ll want to have a targeted focus for your testing, which is what a Single Test Cycle is for. This type of cycle allows you to design and refine your testing goals to align with a single specific goal – whether reproducing a specific type of problem, or focusing in on a particularly troublesome feature, or trying to squeeze out the last remaining showstopper bugs on a final build. Ultimately, the goal of a single test cycle is up to you. While a single test cycle is valuable for all kinds of customers, in our experience we’ve discovered that groups that develop with a Waterfall methodology, or within longer sprint or agile cycles, find the single test cycles especially beneficial to their product.
Conversely, the idea of a Continuous Test Cycle is to set up for testing the same application or product over and over again. With a continuous cycle, developers can upload new iterations of builds to the active test cycle, which allows for a more rapid turnaround time on bug fix verifications or feature iterations. Another benefit is that your cycle prep is quite limited – you’ll use consistent messaging and a persistent defect tracking database, meaning your verifications will occur within the same cycle with little lost, as opposed to closing an old cycle and opening a new one.
There are some downsides to a continuous cycle – major changes to your testing focus or scope during a cycle should be avoided as it can cause confusion for your test team for example. But, in our experience we’ve found that customers who develop in an iterative agile model of less than 1-week increments, or for when recurring regression testing is needed, that the benefits are substantial.