Quick-start guide

A step-by-step guide to setting up your app, learning to write your first tests, and integrating notifications and results into your workflow.

Welcome to Rainforest QA! In a few simple steps (and about 20 minutes) we'll show you how to add your app to Rainforest, write your first few tests, set up testing schedules, and integrate results notifications and bug reporting into your workflow.

1. Add your app URL and/or mobile app to Rainforest

  1. Go to the Settings > Sites Page
  2. Click to "+ New Web Site", name it ('Google' for example), and enter your default base site URL, like https://google.com.
  3. [Optional] If you plan to test against multiple environments, like Staging and Production, click the carrot dropdown next to the site you just added, and update the URLs to point to the environment(s) you may want to test on, such as https://staging.google.com or https://dev.google.com.

Note: If your app is behind security layers, check out Accessing test environments for common access methods, like whitelisting IPs.

If you're a video person, watch our tutorial below:

To test a native mobile app, check out Setting up your mobile apps for testing with Rainforest. If you don't have access to this feature but would like it, let us know!

2. Write and run your first test

First, a quick overview: Rainforest Regression Testing allows you to create functional, UI-level tests in a matter of minutes, and run them on-demand and in parallel by our Tester Community, a global crowd of thousands of human testers, and/or our Automation bots, with just a click of a button. No technical expertise required!

We have two test types, but there's no need to pick just one - our most successful customers mix and match a combination of both. To go get started, let's write one of each kind of test.

Rainforest Automation Test (Automated Testing)

What is it? Tests are written in a structured, no-code automation language, and test steps are defined in terms of actions (like 'click' 'paste' etc.) and targets (screenshots of UI elements like buttons or fields).

In the video below, we write a simple Automation test together and learn how to:

  1. Define the test steps - the "actions" and "targets"
  2. Use "Live Replay" to replay the actions against the VM, just to make sure they work before publishing and running the test

Unlike our Plain English tests (above) these can be run against our Automation, for faster/cheaper execution. Or, if human feedback is important to you, they can be run by Our Tester Community.

We've written our first test! Now, let's run it.

See the gif below - we can choose "Automation" to run the test against our automation bot, for fast/cheap execution. Or we can choose "Tester Community" to run the test against our Tester Community.

Plain English Test (Crowd testing)
Plain English tests are written in action-question format, and when executed, they're run in parallel by 2+ testers from Our Tester Community, a global crowd of thousands of human testers.

In the video below, see how to:

  1. Write an example sign-up test for Amazon test: insert step variables, screenshots/downloadable files, and embed tests for easy test-writing and maintenance
  2. Preview Your Test to run through it yourself, and verify it works before publishing it
  3. Run it on the browser(s) and against the environment of your choice

3. Check your test results

Go to the Results page to see the results of the test you've run.
If your test passes, great! If not, don't worry. It's normal to need to make tweaks, especially when you're learning the ropes.

How to investigate & triage failed tests run by our Tester Community (video below):

How to investigate & triage failed tests run by Automation:

  • First, determine the cause of the failure, by viewing the reproduction video. Check out Interpreting Automation Test Results to learn more.
  • Then, you'll want to categorize your failure. Why? Failure Categorization allows you to add failure notes and/or send the failure to team members to take action on. Failure categories also display in the Dashboard in the form of a to-do list, and you can track your failure reasons over time in your Rainforest Analytics and Reporting page.

4. Set up automatic testing schedules and organize your suites

First, let's set up a testing schedule: In the gif below, we create a run group called "Smoke Tests" and set an automatic testing schedule. Tests or test groups can also be kicked off programmatically using our CLI and/or integrated with the CircleCI Integration.

  1. Go to Tests > Run Groups
  2. Create a Run Group, name it, and set up a testing schedule (optional)
  3. Go to Tests, select any number of tests, and click the "Add to Run Group" icon

We have many other features to help you organize your test suite, including Tags, Features, and Saved filters. To learn more about test suite organization features, check out this video.

5. Integrate Rainforest into your workflow

  • Results notifications: Send notifications via email, or use our Slack Integration to feed results into a Slack channel - a great way to keep your team engaged. If you don't use Slack, set up email results notifications on the Integrations page.
  • Issue reporting: Set up our JIRA Integration to create tickets from test failures with a single click.

Check out the Integrations section of our Help Center or this Rainforest Integrations Overview video for more info.

6. Optimize and Expand:

Now that we've designed and built our initial test suite, set a test execution cadence, and developed workflows for results triage and failure recovery, where to focus our efforts next?

  • Get additional tests into Rainforest... continue writing tests yourself, or submit text or video outlines to our Test Writing Service and let our trained test authors take on the heavy lifting for you.
  • Want to run tests against your internal team? Check out On-Premise Testing to turn members of your team into your own testing crowd, and aggregate their test results alongside your Rainforest results.
  • Once you have a good level of scripted test case coverage established... introduce regular Exploratory testing runs to bug-bash new features and/or test the edges around your application, no investment in test case writing needed. Check our article Introduction to Rainforest Exploratory for more information.
  • If your application processes payments... look into our Virtual Credit Cards to test real credit transactions in production.
  • Have a native mobile app you'd like to test? Let us know you'd like access to Testing Native Mobile iOS and Android apps on Virtual Machines and our Supported Web Browsers and Mobile Device Specs, and be sure to check out our Scaling Mobile QA Guide.


Hey, you're learning new software - it's normal for questions to come up! When they do, know that we're here to support you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us at [email protected] or through Intercom!

Updated 2 months ago

Quick-start guide

A step-by-step guide to setting up your app, learning to write your first tests, and integrating notifications and results into your workflow.

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