Quality Center Review

Allows us to track our manual tests with actual results and screenshots. The Active-X technology requires client-side installations that are difficult to manage.


What is most valuable?

  • Requirements sync and traceability: This allows us to see how many requirements have been tested and to show auditors this information easily.
  • Test Execution (Test Lab): This allows us to track our manual tests with date and time and enter actual results and screenshots.

How has it helped my organization?

QC has been invaluable in the past for documenting our testing process, especially when needed for audits.

What needs improvement?

The Active-X technology requires client-side installations that are difficult to manage in environments where the tester's PCs are locked down to prevent installs. Test management is too rigidly dedicated to older ways of testing with scripted test cases. More support for newer approaches, such as exploratory testing or behavior driven testing would make QC more relevant to the way testing is done in many current contexts.

ALM requires that you install client side components. If your organization does not allow admin rights on your local machine, this means you will need someone to run the installation for you with admin rights. This client side install is also limited to Internet Explorer and does not support any other browsers.

As far as the test structure goes, you are limited to to a step-by-step test case with description, expected result, and actual result for each step by default. This makes it difficult to support an exploratory testing approach with ALM. Of course, much of this part of the tool can be customized, but it still pales in comparison to something like the Test and Feedback tool that Microsoft provides for exploratory testing.

My understanding is that the newer Agile Manager product is more friendly to exploratory approaches, but I have not used this product yet.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using this solution for 16 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

In terms of stability, the QC client crashes often when attempting to expand a node on a tree. Upgrades are a nightmare and documentation is difficult to understand.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There were no issues with scalability, but I have never managed a large user base.

How is customer service and technical support?

Technical support has gotten better than it was a few years ago, but Tier-1 seems to just go through the motions of asking questions I've already answered.

Which solutions did we use previously?

I have used other solutions, but many do not have the traceability requirements that ALM does.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was highly complex, mostly because of the database setup. Upgrades are even worse, especially if you need to migrate to a new server, since the repository needs to be copied over.

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

Make sure you get the correct license for your needs. The full ALM license lets you use the requirements tab, along with test automation and the Performance Center. You can also just buy the Quality Center edition (Manual testing only), or the Performance Center version (Performance Testing only). I have no idea where they get their pricing numbers from, but they seem to always be negotiable.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I have used Oracle's Test Management solution, Zephyr, Bugzilla, TestTrack, JIRA, and others.

What other advice do I have?

Be sure to have a DBA available when you install. There have almost always been changes needed to the DB when I have installed the application.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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