TestRail API: Setup, Use Cases, Best Practices and More

testrail api, testrail tutorial

TestRail is a comprehensive test case management tool designed for quality assurance teams. It offers an easy way to manage, track, and organize your testing efforts, boosting your team’s productivity.

The TestRail API allows you to interact with TestRail’s functionalities programmatically. This interface provides the ability to add, update, or extract data from your TestRail instance, opening up possibilities for automation and integration with other tools. Understanding APIs and how they work can help in effectively utilizing the TestRail API.

The importance of TestRail API lies in its versatility. It extends the use of TestRail beyond the user interface, making it possible to create custom workflows and reporting, integrate with other software, and automate routine tasks.

How to Set up and Configure TestRail API

Before setting up the TestRail API, ensure that you have the necessary access permissions. Only TestRail administrators can enable and configure the API.

Here’s a step-by-step process to set up TestRail API:

  1. Navigate to ‘Administration’ > ‘Site Settings’ > ‘API’.
  2. Turn on ‘Enable API’ and save your changes.

Common issues during setup include access denial, which is usually a result of insufficient permissions, and incorrect configuration. Always verify your permissions and settings if you encounter problems.

A real-world setup scenario involves integrating TestRail with your CI/CD pipeline. Once the API is enabled, you can use it to automatically trigger test runs when a new build is deployed.

Understanding the Basics of TestRail API

The TestRail API consists of several key components:

  • Endpoints: These are specific functions or methods exposed by the API, such as ‘get_case’ or ‘add_run’.
  • Methods: TestRail API uses standard HTTP methods like GET, POST, and UPDATE.
  • Responses: These are the data returned by the API, usually in JSON format.

API methods in TestRail allow you to perform a variety of tasks. For instance, ‘get_case’ retrieves information about a specific test case, while ‘add_run’ creates a new test run.

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The TestRail API supports data in JSON format, providing a universal data interchange format that can be used with many programming languages.

For a simple use case, consider a situation where you want to retrieve the details of a test case. You would use the ‘get_case’ endpoint, and your code might look something like this (in Python):

import requests

def get_case(case_id):
    url = "https://your.testrail.instance/index.php?/api/v2/get_case/{}".format(case_id)
    response = requests.get(url, auth=('user', 'password'))
    return response.json()

case_details = get_case(1)

This script will print the details of the test case with ID 1. The code is simplified for illustrative purposes; in a real scenario, you would need to handle potential errors and secure your credentials. More detailed examples can be found in the official TestRail API documentation.

Advanced Use Cases of TestRail API

With TestRail API, you can achieve more than just basic test case management. It allows you to perform complex operations, such as:

  • Adding a new project: You can use the ‘add_project’ method to create a new project programmatically.
  • Creating a test suite and adding test cases: The ‘add_suite’ and ‘add_case’ methods can help you build your test suite and populate it with test cases.
  • Running tests and retrieving test results: The ‘add_run’ and ‘get_results’ methods respectively enable you to start a test run and fetch the results.

Consider an example where you want to create a new project, add a test suite to it, add test cases to the suite, run the tests, and retrieve the results. For a comprehensive understanding, you can follow the complete guide on API testing.

Best Practices and Tips for Using TestRail API

Using the TestRail API efficiently requires a solid understanding of its best practices:

  • Using versioning effectively: TestRail API versions ensure backward compatibility. Make sure to specify the version in your API requests.
  • Ensuring data security: Never expose your API keys publicly. Store them securely and use them safely in your requests.
  • Troubleshooting common issues: Familiarize yourself with common errors and their solutions. The official TestRail API documentation can be a great resource.

Case studies showcasing best practices can be found in TestRail’s official blogs and forums.

TestRail Alternatives For Test Case Management

Test case management tools play a crucial role in the software development lifecycle. They facilitate the creation, management, and execution of test cases, contributing to the efficiency and effectiveness of testing efforts. TestRail, Zephyr, qTest, and Jira are four such popular tools. This article provides a detailed comparison among them.

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Developed by Gurock Software, TestRail is an end-to-end test case management tool that supports both manual and automated testing. It offers a clear, well-structured interface for test case organization, along with capabilities for milestone tracking and robust reporting. TestRail also provides a powerful API, enabling easy integration with other software tools.


Zephyr is a flexible, real-time test management tool that offers features like test case creation, execution, and reporting. It supports both manual and automated testing, and its native integration with Jira is a key selling point for teams already using the Atlassian suite. However, Zephyr lacks a standalone version; it requires a Jira server or cloud for its operation.


qTest by Tricentis offers a suite of agile testing tools, catering to various needs like test case management, exploratory testing, and test automation. It provides real-time integration with Jira, and its interface is intuitive and user-friendly. One downside is that its reporting functionality is not as robust as some of its competitors.


While Jira is primarily known for issue tracking and project management, it also offers a basic test case management functionality through its native application, Jira Core. For more advanced features, integrations with tools like Zephyr and qTest are available. However, as a test case management tool, Jira is not as feature-rich as the other tools discussed here.

Test Case ManagementExcellentGoodExcellentBasic
Manual Testing SupportYesYesYesYes
Automated Testing SupportYesYesYesWith Integrations
Integration with JiraYesNativeYesN/A
PricingMid-RangeHighHighLow (for Jira Core)

The choice of a test case management tool largely depends on your team’s specific needs. TestRail shines with its superior test case management, strong reporting capabilities, and a powerful API. Zephyr and qTest offer excellent test case management features and have the advantage of seamless integration with Jira. Meanwhile, Jira could be a cost-effective choice for teams needing basic test case management coupled with issue tracking and project management.


How do I enable the TestRail API?

You can enable the TestRail API from the ‘Site Settings’ > ‘API’ section. Remember, only administrators can enable the API.

Can I use the TestRail API to automate test runs?

Yes, you can use the ‘add_run’ method to automate test runs.

How can I secure my TestRail API key?

Never share your API keys publicly. Store them securely and only use them in secure connections.

How does TestRail API versioning work?

TestRail API versions ensure backward compatibility. Always specify the API version in your requests.

How does TestRail API compare to Jira or Zephyr’s APIs?

All these APIs allow for test case management, reporting, and integration. However, TestRail’s API stands out with extensive documentation, ease of use, and strong community support.

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