Organizing artifacts by using categories

A category is an attribute of a test artifact. You can use categories as a tagging or grouping mechanism to organize a test project into logical hierarchies. If you migrate test artifacts from other products that typically use a hierarchical organization, you can use categories to represent that organization. You can use the global categories option to apply attributes to a selection of or to all artifact types.


You can assign categories to test plans, test cases, test scripts, test data, test suites, test case execution records, test suite execution records, test case results, and test suite results.

By assigning categories to your artifacts, you can set up a hierarchical directory structure that is useful for keeping artifacts organized. A hierarchical directory structure is also helpful when you need to find individual artifacts among the many test artifacts that you manage.

You define categories in the category editor for each artifact type. You can open the category editor from the following places:
  • The Manage Project Properties page, which you access from the Administration menu
  • The list view for an artifact type, such as the Test Plans page
  • The Summary section of an artifact

The following figure shows the category editor for test plans.

Category editor for test plans

The title bar of the Values pane shows the exact number of values for a category. For example, the Product category has two values. When a category has a large number of values, the Values pane lists and makes the values more visible.

You can create global categories from existing categories for any artifact type.

Categories and category values

The process of organizing with categories starts by defining the category hierarchy, which is composed of categories, category values, and subcategories. Each category can contain one or several category values, and subcategories and values. Many artifact types include default categories and category values that you can supplement or replace. For example, the default categories for test plans are Product, Release, and Iteration.

The following table shows a few sample categories and category values for test plans.

Table 1. Sample categories and category values for test plans
Category Category value
Product Personal Banking
Personal Investing
Release 1.0
Build 041511
Iteration Developer Test
Integration Test
Performance and Service Level Test
User Acceptance Test
Location RTP

You can use the REST API to retrieve all category values associated with a specific category type. Use the following filter to query the Quality Management server for all category values that are associated with a category type:

https://<server>:<port>/<context>/service/<project area>/category?fields=feed/entry/content/category/categoryType[@href= "https://<server>:<port>/<context>/service/<project area>/categoryType/<category type ID>"]

Category relationships

After you define categories and category values, you can further define a hierarchical organization of artifacts by establishing category relationships. You can set up a parent-child relationship by defining subcategories. For example, in the following image, the Release category has the values of 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0. Those values also have specific subcategories, such as Iteration and Build.

A sample hierarchy of categories

You can also designate a category as required. In that case, you cannot save until the required category value is assigned. An asterisk indicates a required category.

You can also designate a category as multivalued. When a category is multivalued, you can assign multiple category values to a test artifact. For example, you might want to indicate that a test plan is to be used for both Iteration 1 and Iteration 2.

Video about organizing artifacts with categories