Micro Focus UFT One Review

Enables us to quickly obtain detailed product behavior information, but continuous testing needs improvement

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution as a front end for testing for our customers, to automate installations, for behavior testing, and for various types of API testing. We mostly use the technology on our websites, and sometimes on older technologies, such as for Oracle Forms applications.

How has it helped my organization?

One of the ways the product has improved our organization is that we are able to quickly get detailed information about the behavior of our applications, and we can provide this information to our customers through screenshots and additional information so that they can also easily check the reason for the defect or bug. We can work together without our customers needing special knowledge of programming. This is very important.

UFT allows us to install our applications much more easily, without our customers having to do anything. They don’t even need to click on anything. We can use UFT One to install via scripts. This eases the installation process.

The solution has allowed us to reduce test execution time. If we use it in continuous integration or in headless mode, it improves performance. Between the normal run mode with debugging, and the fast mode in Jenkins, it can reduce it by about 30 percent. That's a lot.

We can run the solution on virtual machines. This greatly affects our ability to control machine configuration and allocate appropriate resources for testing. We wouldn't be able to conduct tests or to carry out work without this solution. This is both very helpful and useful and we consider this a necessity.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features include

  • the simplicity with which the product can be maintained
  • the ability to reuse its components 
  • the record and play 
  • AI

We haven't been using the AI feature for very long. 

These features allow us to provide good functionality to all our customers without the overhead of maintenance costs, while at the same time allowing us to work with many customers with varying capabilities on different projects. With only a few technicians we can help a lot of customers.

Running the solution on virtual machines allows us to run tests in parallel. It reduces a lot of the time it takes to test or to do certain kinds of work. We are dealing with customers who give an API to their customers and they're using our tools in the background. As a result we must use it to scale the load for these tests. This is a very important and useful feature.

What needs improvement?

There is a lot of room for improvement when it comes to friction-free continuous testing across the software life cycle, as a local installation is required to run UFT. Most of the time, administrative rights are required which necessitate much trouble to integrate it seamlessly. When integrated, it works fine, but to maintain it in CI, special systems and privileges must be utilized. This is challenging for us.

In addition, UFT One has a Jenkins plugin that provides us the connection we need to Micro Focus so that we can obtain our UFT test cases. The problem is that the plugin does not come with exception handling, meaning that if we enter the wrong credentials we don’t know why it does not work. This can lead to the Jenkins server crashing.

Another issue is that we can't address the UFT output to the Jenkins console. This means that when carrying out our tests in a continuous integration server, we cannot know what the UFT tested, step-by-step.

The usability can also be improved. When we receive new versions of UFT, some of the icons are altered so that things are not recognizable to us or to the customer.

Another issue is that the application requires slow work. If you go too fast while debugging, the Step Over button may easily change to the Stop button.

The Git integration is also a point when it comes to continuous integration. There are aspects that are not recognized by Git. We cannot do a side by side comparison of changes, such as comparing the QSL side and the object repository side.

When they updated UFT from version 14 to 15, they changed the data table structure of UFT, such as the first data line turning into the column name. This is a problem as our customers may have different versions of UFT. An example would be if we wish to change the data table of version 15 but a customer has version 14, it can be problematic. This destroys the tests.

Another question we have is why everything is in read mode during the execution. With other IDEs, like Visual Studio, you can change the variables while you execute or debug something, and this is not possible in UFT. It's only in read mode, so you can’t play with variables or objects.

Also on our list is the fact that UFT  allows you to work on 11 or 12 tests. If you want to change something with search and replace, you can only change it in the 11 or 12 tests that are open in the solution. But what if we have a 13th test case that is not included in the solution? We then need to open that test after we have already searched and replaced. That's a little bit inconvenient because other IDEs give you the opportunity to make those changes everywhere, in every script, not only the 11 or 12.

We have already addressed some of these issues with technical support, but not all of them have been handled. For example, we brought up the issue of the icons changing with every version some years ago and nothing has happened. It gets worse and worse from version to version.

We also have menus and instructions for our customers, but because all the screenshots become outdated with the next version, we have to do maintenance on them all the time. And it’s not because of new functionality. Most of the time, only the icon style and the design is changing and sometimes it’s the positioning that changes and we are not able to reconfigure it. We end up having to do a lot of work without any need for it.

The old VBS language can be a nuisance. It could be easier to use and it could be better integrated in continuous integration pipelines. And it could always be faster.

For how long have I used the solution?

Micro Focus UFT One has been available for around two years. We have been using it since inception.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is very good, except for the example I mentioned regarding the data table. Most of the time you can switch to the next version without any problems. The old features and behaviors are, in terms of the code base, the same. It’s just that you have to find the icons, asking yourself “Where is my feature?” But the stability is very good.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We use the product as often as we can. Between 50 to 100 people are using the solution. We are constantly looking for additional customers and projects so we have ongoing plans to increase usage.

The overall scalability is very good and utilizing the licensing server allows us to scale the solution as we need. One area which can be improved involves the running of instances on a single machine. 

How are customer service and technical support?

Overall, if you are able to reproduce an issue, their technical support can help you. But sometimes it can  be very hard to find a technician with a high level of technical background and knowledge of the product, so that they can understand the situation, the problem, and the behavior. This can be a challenge. Sometimes we have had to escalate to get a technician with the necessary background and knowledge.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We utilized QuickTest Pro (known now as Micro Focus Unified Functional Testing) for between eight and 10 years.

How was the initial setup?

We found the initial setup to be very easy. It is very robust and leaves no room for making errors. The availability of config files for setting up all the installations from a single master configuration is nearly perfect. The customer would have no problem simply opening the machine and using it.

As for deployment, the time can vary. Sometimes there are only minor changes and sometimes there are a lot more changes. Including tests, and to be sure it’s working in all cases, it should take no more than one business day.

It’s the same for upgrades. Micro Focus support has advised us that, in case of an error or a problem with upgrades, they cannot be sure whether that problem would exist on a clean installation. So we always uninstall the entire product and install it on a clean system.

We use one or two people for deployment and maintenance, in the role of test automation engineers.

What was our ROI?

Even without being able to provide exact figures, this product has given our company a return on its investment.

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

If you use it all the time and for different use cases then it is a good price. If you only use it one time a day for half an hour then it is pricey.

What other advice do I have?

The ability of the solution to cover multiple enterprise apps, technologies, and environments is very important to us and it forms part of our company policy. It is a point we had to validate before going with this solution. The reason for this is that we must meet the technical needs of our customers, many of whom lack a technical background.

UFT One provides cross-browser and desktop application support, although the cross platform support, which is not good, is not so important to us at the moment. These capabilities are important to us because our customers are using different kinds of technologies, some that are newer, some that are very old, and all kinds that are in between. To provide a good solution, the cross-browser and cross-platform functionalities are very helpful and necessary.

UFT One gives us integration capabilities with the API and GUI components, which is very important to us since we must occasionally alternate between the two. We can use the API to make calls through scripts, so we don’t have to use the GUI for UFT One. That’s why it’s important for us to have the REST API.

We can run the solution on virtual machines. This greatly affects our ability to control machine configuration and allocate appropriate resources for testing. We wouldn't be able to conduct tests or to carry out work without this solution. This is both very helpful and useful and we consider this a necessity. We have 100 percent usage of UFT on virtual machines -- All our instances are running on them. This allows us to help the customer access his application under test. The customer can configure the system with permissions and the like. All these points are, in some cases, not possible on hardware in our company, because of political restrictions, security reasons, et cetera.

The solution has allowed us to reduce test execution time. If we use it in continuous integration or in headless mode, it improves performance. Between the normal run mode with debugging, and the fast mode in Jenkins, it can reduce it by about 30 percent. That's a lot.

Overall, it's really easy. Try it out. There is nothing one can do wrong.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?


Which version of this solution are you currently using?

**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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