IBM Rational Functional Tester Review

A highly compatible solution; lacks modernity


What is our primary use case?

We provide this solution and others like it to our customers. We have implemented IBM Rational Functional Tester for at least 10 to 15 customers between banking and telecom.

What is most valuable?

IBM Rational Functional Tester is very contextual. It is highly compatible across technologies. It supports and interacts with model applications as well. That's why we went ahead and implemented RFT.

There are also a lot of new tools, technology, and new frameworks that have come into the picture. 

What needs improvement?

RFT needs to think from a contemporary point of view — from the current context. They need to look at the way they're positioning the tool. They need to do a complete revamp so that even a non-technical person can manage the tool. These are the aspects IBM needs to look into it. The moment they look into it, I think they might come up with something new, which can be contextual to the current needs and demands.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been actively using this tool from 2010 onwards. 

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is good; at least their response time is good. We have been partners with IBM for the last 10 years. We raise tickets and go through the process and whenever we ask them for help — regarding deployment customizations, custom code implementation or other code needs —, they heavily support us. They assign us IT engineers who work alongside us, helping us with code-related issues. They stay until the problem is resolved. The support is quite good.

What other advice do I have?

Automation has two aspects: what is the tool you are using? and what is the framework you are using to implement it? I think it is always the framework that is standard, and our framework is far more in line with the RFT. That's how we managed to implement it so easily. At the time, it was more data-driven. There weren't a lot of parameters, we could just go ahead and execute many things. On the other hand, we couldn't do distributor programming or schedule dictation. These are problems that we used to have, just like any other conventional automation. Otherwise, it used to work really well on the web-based hi-interactive mode application. That was one of the selling points for us. 

Today, I don't think anyone is interested in RFT because currently, there are a lot of open-source tools on the market. There are a lot of tools out there and customers want the best solutions available. If there is a more advanced solution that can support multiple applications, then the customer will choose that solution. I honestly don't think customers are interested in RFT.

Customers are not open to change. Some people are overconfident when going through a change, and others don't like the idea at all. This is especially true for older organizations — they don't see a need to change. I don't see any reason why customers have not moved ahead. We ourselves are telling people that it's time to move ahead from RFT. It's not a vote against RFT or something like that, the technology as a whole just needs change. RFT definitely is not in line with the times, but I haven't heard anything from IBM regarding new technology or a new tool which is far more robust and easier to manage.

If you look at today's current context, I wouldn't recommend RFT because there are far more advanced solutions and products available. I would, however, recommend RPT because their workbench has some principal components, including RFT.  My recommendation is to go with RPT — we might be doing so in the near future. RPT in certain circumstances still has an edge. 

On a scale from one to ten, I would give RFT a rating of five.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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