If your application requires a login to perform tests, or if your test cases require making and verifying edits to a database, it's a best practice to create unique test accounts for each tester. This prevents testers from figuratively "stepping on one another's toes" while executing your tests. 

Before we get into the details, we recommend reading the following to learn more about why you would want to create unique test accounts for every tester, how to seed test accounts with the data needed for your tests, and how to reset your test accounts

Why do we create unique test accounts? 

The reason is to avoid testers stepping on each other's toes and also ensuring that the test results are accurate.


  • Tester 1 and Tester 2 log in using the same account. 
  • Tester 1 adds a product to their cart. 
  • Tester 2 adds a product to the cart. 
  • The test verifies if 1 item appears in the cart. 
  • The test fails as Tester 2 item has also been added.

Most customers do one of two techniques when it comes to providing unique accounts to testers:

  1. The tester logs in to a unique account via an email and password and is able to test within that account  (staging.example.com/login and the tester logs in with a unique email and pwd)
  2. The tester logs in with a single email and password pair via a unique URL that directs them to a unique account (staging.example.com/test_account-13 and the tester always logs in with 'testerrainforestqa@example.com', for example)

The choice is up to you as to what is the best method for your QA needs.

Creating test accounts

To create these test accounts, we recommend working with one of your developers to write a script to create hundreds of test accounts (this ensures no matter how many tests you run, a unique test account will be available and the run will not fail). Rainforest requires the following amount of test accounts per run:

     number of tests X number of browsers or device types executed on X 6 possible
     testers who will be sent to execute each test

So if I were running 20 tests across 3 browsers and devices, I would need 360 accounts as a minimum  (20 tests X 3 browsers X 6 testers).

Adding test accounts to your Rainforest QA account

Once you have the test accounts created, move them into a spreadsheet that can be saved as a CSV. Arrange the information similar to this example (title in row 1 and paired values in subsequent rows):

Testers will be able to access these accounts (or unique URLs) via a tool called Step Variables. Step Variables allow you to inject dynamic data like credentials into test steps.

  1. Navigate to the Step Variables Settings page 
  2. Add a new Tabular Variable with a name like login
  3. Upload the CSV file 
  4. Click Create.

Note: Marking a variable as Reusable will allow the variable to be re-used as testers using the variable complete tests. This is useful if creating the needed amount of variables is not possible. 

The tradeoff of using this option vs adding sufficient tabular variables is the run may take longer because variables must free up for new testers to use them.

Using Test Accounts for Test Writing

Writing tests yourself:

  1. When creating/editing a test, add a Step Variable by clicking the {} step variables text and clicking the variable you just created. 
  2. Save the step.
    Testers will receive one of the accounts provided when they execute the test.

Writing tests via Test Writing Service:

  1. Simply indicate in the description of what the test should cover what step variable you want the test authors to use

Note: Test Writing Service is an add-on feature, please contact us if you're interested in learning more!

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