In Sitecore 7 series, it was possible to create AB tests for components and have them deployed independently from the workflow associated of the page where they were applied. With Sitecore 8 a component level AB test needs to be approved within the page workflow to be properly started.
The interface for Sitecore 7.5 had the following buttons on Page Editor for starting or stopping a test:
The new interface for Sitecore 8.1 Experience Editor doesn’t have the Start Test/Stop Test buttons:
In order to have the test started you must submit the item in the worflow and then select “Approve with Test“.
One thing that was possible to do with Sitecore 7 was to go directly to the test item in the content tree and hit “Deploy” in the Review tab. That would also start the test. However, if you try to do the same in Sitecore 8 then your component test will simply not work. You actually need to go through the wizard to make it work.
Here it is the wizard:
To know more about it I recommend reading this very good post by Jonathan Robbins, it explains really well these parameters and also the difference between component level, page level and content testing in Sitecore:
And that’s the lesson for today, sometimes you shouldn’t try to use Sitecore 8 the same way as Sitecore 7 but look into the specifics for that version.