Different test management tools use different terminology for the concept of having a library of reusable test cases. With Quality Center the term used is the test plan. Not quite sure why it’s referred to as the test plan as a test plan is far more than just a repository of reusable testcases you’ve written. I suspect it’s just historical so we’ll let that point go.
Anyway, in Quality Center terms the test plan is a library of testcases. Those testcases reside in the test plan area and can be used in sets. Those sets are then executed and the associated testcases executed. So you can see that you have two different instances of the testcase….
1. The instance that you’ve written and stored in the plan. This instance doesn’t have a result associated with it.
2. The instance that you execute as part of a set for which you have a result record associated with it.
Whilst the two instances are essentially the same testcase, the relationship between the test plan instance and the run time instance means that the content could be completely different. This is the focus of this Quality Center video.
What is important here is that we can manage the separate instances independently, yet see the relationship between them clearly. Quality Centers approach to this is well founded because the run time instance can exist as a separate entity whilst the linkage back to the original/master test case in the library (test plan) is maintained.