Micro Focus ALM Quality Center Review

Helps with our delivery, testing, and quality processing


What is our primary use case?

We are from a Vodafone department that manages testing and quality. We brought this tool in to assist us. We are constantly using it. 95 percent of projects are running on it.

We mostly use this solution on our laptop devices.

How has it helped my organization?

It is helping with our delivery, testing, and quality processing. It links all our test cases with defects. Users from across the globe can comment on a defect or add attach artifacts to the defect cycle. ALM adds control with its integration.

We use it for visibility on multiple projects. We categorize all our deliveries into different domains and projects. Recently, we had a call with the technical team and they suggested to split our project into multiple domains and projects since this account is not that big. We hardly have six to seven projects running in parallel so we manage with one domain and one project, and all other projects are archived. We decided the way forward would be to split one project into multiple domains. This way, if in future something goes wrong, other projects will not get impacted if there is a problem with a project.

The solution’s ability to connect all related entities to reflect project status and progress is good. Right now, individual users are logging in with Single Sign-On and uploading their test cases. Performance usability is fine.

We have never experienced any security issues.

What is most valuable?

We can get an entire project into a single repository where we can view all the data in detail. This is where we keep all our test cases where everyone can reference them. This provides everyone access to the test cases and artifacts via the cloud. There is no need to contact anyone. It is the same with defects. It uses a common forum for tracking the defects and centralizing discussions.

Test Lab: This is where we keep all the test cases and mapping of all the defects. It's also for storing of all the artifacts.

Defect management: This is a good feature and fulfills all our requirements. We use it for user and role management. Only the admins can see all the users' details.

We use the application's Single Sign-On feature. The usability is good. There are no access performance issues. It is easily understood, even for new users. 

What needs improvement?

It takes time because it has a 360 view of all the processes when talking about test case, design, and defects. There are so many things to track. Therefore, if I try to inject Micro Focus ALM into a small agile, delivery project, there is resistance. If there is resistance, is there flexibility for customization based on project scale? I don't know if this is possible.

Also, it adds time when I upload and execute all my test cases to Micro Focus ALM. For example, when I prepare test cases, I need to run them individually, then upload them to my sheet. After 10 days, I might have finished all my testing after tracking everything in Excel. Moving to ALM at this point adds time and overhead. It increases my testing timeline, e.g., if my testing takes eight days, when I add on time for ALM, the testing time is now 10 days.

The version of Micro Focus ALM that we use only works through Internet Explorer (IE). We have to communicate to everyone that they can only use IE with the solution. This is a big limitation. We should be free to use any type of browser or operating system. We have customers and partners who are unable to log into the system and enter their defects because they work on a different operating system.

For how long have I used the solution?

From 2011, we have been using Test Director, which became HP ALM, and finally Micro Focus ALM Quality Center.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We haven't seen any issues when working with multiple projects. Maybe once a year, we have an issue with stability.

When this solution was upgraded to version 12.55, we saw some performance issues. We raised this as an incident. The team has worked on this and provided us with results. We have seen performance issues which may not be related to ALM, such as latency in the data or remote working conditions. These are issues that we are raising to the Micro Focus team though.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have experienced some scalability issues. I would rate the scalability as an eight to nine out of 10.

We have about 50 to 60 users logging into the solution.

How are customer service and technical support?

I would rate our Qatar technical support as 10 out of 10. Our technical support person is always available to help us. We are very thankful for the service and support. The communication is excellent. However, when we have an issue, e.g., an application is not working, having error, or we are raising a ticket, it takes time to resolve. This should be improved.

How was the initial setup?

When we were installing for the first time, it was not simple. We could not just go to the URL and install. There were some initial installations problems with IE where we have to add the URL and make it a trust site. This had to be done by an admin, which takes times. I would like to see this improved. 

After the installation, we didn't have any problems with deployment or integration into our environment.

We can open this solution by URL and access the application where it runs to the server. We do have a restriction when installing infrastructure applications. We have to ask our IT to have our admin install it.

Admins should not need to directly install objects into the application. This should be done directly into the server or cloud.

What about the implementation team?

We don't do any maintenance. The solution is SaaS and managed by the Micro Focus team.

What was our ROI?

The solution has saved time with background activities and helped my delivery to move forward. However, this application is a support function into our delivery.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Compared to the market, the price is high.

We just renewed our licenses, which took time to do. I think we have 30 concurrent licenses. 

The world is changing to open source code and free applications. This may be an issue in the future.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

In one of our agile projects that was going into a sprint, we recently started using Jira (about a year ago). This was for a small delivery project whose team felt more comfortable using it. For example, if a tester raises a defect in ALM, there are many fields, including those that we have customized. It takes time to raise a defect, then close it. Since it takes time, the project team decided Jira is quicker and also open source. On the other hand, they agree that Micro Focus ALM is better overall, e.g., in the way, it keeps information and provides reports. Because the team didn't need a lot of information as part of their delivery, they went with Jira.

What other advice do I have?

We are happy. It is a good product. We have benefited from the tool and recommend it. We have received very good feedback regarding its use. From a user perspective, the ability to create test cases and manage defects is excellent.

We are planning to integrate automation with Micro Focus ALM. This is in development. 

We are doing risk-based testing using manual generation of the script, then uploading it.

To use the flexibility feature from a requirement to my test cases and get the benefit of traceability per the SDLC process, I would need to keep and map all my requirements. It is on the user whether they are using this feature or not. While I know this feature is there, we are currently not using it. We are manually managing traceability. We are preparing and keeping all our test cases in Excel. When the test cases have built up, we are manually mapping them based on our requirements.

We are not currently using mapping test cases. This is a feature of ALM that would allow us to map our requirements, solutions, and everything the test misses. We had a call with the Micro Focus technical team regarding this and about how we can use other features. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud

Which version of this solution are you currently using?

12.55
**Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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author avatarYingLei (Micro Focus)
Vendor

Thanks Manoj for this valuable review, it really helps people who are looking for a solution of this category.

I want to let you know that ALM/Quality Center client no long has dependency on IE browser. ALM Client Launcher is the new solution for users and site admins to do everything without the need of IE.

You can download it for free from Micro Focus AppDelivery Marketplace at
https://marketplace.microfocus.com/appdelivery/content/alm-client-launcher
And here’s a short video showing how to use it:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F37l7ZIiwTw
For details, please refer to the ALM Client Launcher User Guide:
https://admhelp.microfocus.com/alm/ALM_Client_Launcher/ALM_Client_Launcher_Guide.pdf