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Micro Focus ALM Quality Center OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Micro Focus ALM Quality Center is the #1 ranked solution in our list of top Quality Management Tools. It is most often compared to Micro Focus ALM Octane: Micro Focus ALM Quality Center vs Micro Focus ALM Octane

What is Micro Focus ALM Quality Center?

Micro Focus ALM/Quality Center serves as the single pane of glass to govern software quality and implement rigorous, auditable lifecycle processes. Designed for complex multi-application environments, organizations can achieve high efficiency in their testing and measure quality with a requirements-driven and risk-based testing approach. Advanced reporting provides a complete view across all releases to gain new insights and make informed decisions. With numerous deployment options, open integrations with common tools and strong data controls, ALM/Quality Center is a perfect choice for enterprises that need to enforce standards, ensure compliance and adapt to changing tools.

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Micro Focus ALM Quality Center is also known as HPE ALM, Quality Center, Quality Center, Micro Focus ALM.

Micro Focus ALM Quality Center Buyer's Guide

Download the Micro Focus ALM Quality Center Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: October 2021

Micro Focus ALM Quality Center Customers

Airbus Defense and Space, Vodafone, JTI, Xellia, and Banco de Creìdito e Inversiones (Bci)

Micro Focus ALM Quality Center Video

Pricing Advice

What users are saying about Micro Focus ALM Quality Center pricing:
  • "It all comes down to how many people are going to access the tool. When teams go above 20, I think ALM is a better tool to use from a collaboration and streamlining perspective."
  • "The solution has the ability to handle a large number of projects and users in an enterprise environment with the correct license."
  • "Most vendors offer the same pricing, though some vendors offer a cheaper price for their cloud/SaaS solution versus their on-premise. However, cloud/SaaS solutions result in a loss of freedom. E.g., if you want to make a change, most of the time it needs to be validated by the vendor, then you're being charged an addition fee. Sometimes, even if you are rejected, you are charged because it's a risk to the entire environment."
  • "Compared to the market, the price is high."
  • "Quality Center is pricey, but cheaper is not always less expensive."

Micro Focus ALM Quality Center Reviews

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Leon Van Niekerk
Head of Testing at Pick n Pay
Real User
Top 20
Makes it easy to go back and execute the same test every time with automation

Pros and Cons

  • "The execution module and the test planning module are definitely the most valuable features. The rest we use for traceability, but those are the two modules that I cannot live without."
  • "Browser support needs improvement. Currently, it can only run on IE, Internet Explorer. It doesn't work on Firefox, doesn't work on Chrome, doesn't work on a Mac book. Those are the new technologies where most companies move towards. That's been outstanding for quite a while before it even became Micro Focus tools when it was still HP. Even before HP, that's always been an issue."

What is our primary use case?

We use all the major modules in ALM Quality Center. From the releases and management portion, we use the requirements, and we create our releases. We create requirements. We link our test spaces to these requirements and we schedule the execution in the test lab. Then we capture our results in Quality Center and we follow the management process that is not only for manual testing. 

We also have quite extensive automated testing in our environment with some of the other Micro Focus products. They are all integrated into Quality Center, like the UFT, we use service virtualization, we have RPA and we also use Mobile Center. Quality Center plays a major role in our test artifacts, our execution, and our order tracking, both in manual and automated.

How has it helped my organization?

Quality Center has improved my organization from a traceability and test coverage point of view. We have multiple vendors providing development to my company, Pick n Pay. If we use automation or Sprinter, the tool documents the steps for us as we follow it to the point that we've got a defect, so it's easy to send that information on to third parties so that they can duplicate the defect on their side and then provide us with a fix. 

The other thing is from a regression point of view, with everything documented in Quality Center, it's easy to go back and execute the same test every time with automation.

Quality Center's ability to connect all related entities to reflect project status and progress is great. This is the tool that we share with all our project managers so that they can see the progress on their projects, even if it's a project across multiple applications or what it is within our environment. We set it up so they can have an overall view of that specific project. It is a great tool to use in that sense.

The test center is our way of working. It's fully integrated, we have a test strategy that supports the use of ALM Quality Center. That's the only way that we track progress on projects. We don't use Excel or anything like that for creating test cases or anything. We also have an environment where we follow a more agile approach and we've integrated Quality Center into JIRA for user stories and defect tracking. If it's not in Quality Center, it's not happening. If it's not documented in Quality Center, we don't believe it.

I wouldn't necessarily say that in the beginning it reduced the time required for testing but if you start on an application and you had the four-quarter full version of that, reusability is automatically built into the tool. Then if you've documented the test case, you've got it. You can reuse that test case in multiple instances of releases at execution. You don't have to go and rewrite it if you plan correctly. If there's a change to something with the way you've structured in Quality Center it will filter through. So it brings our maintenance down by a lot less. Even on the automation side, it brings the maintenance down a lot less with the way we've structured our modules within Quality Center.

It has reduced it by around 15%. That's without automation, it's straight Quality Center. If you add the automation, in some of our areas like the digital area, it brought it down by about 45%. In some of the other areas by around 50%.

Quality Center enables us to conduct risk-based testing. Testing is always a measured approach in our environment. Depending on when development is finished and when we go live, we will do a risk-based approach to say that if we have a look at the critical requirements or test cases, this is how long it will take us. We then get sign-off from the systems analyst, the project manager, and even the business to say, based on the time we have, we're only going to execute critical test cases, for instance.

I'm not 100% sure if Micro Focus is still investing in the product. If I have a look at the features, not 15.01 because we still have to install that, but previously from Quality Center 11 up to where we are now, there are a few things that have been outstanding for a while that I believe will add value. And they're not really getting to that. So I'm not sure what their road map is. Unfortunately this year, the Micro Focus Universe was canceled in the Netherlands, because I'm sure there they would have shared some of the road maps with us, but I don't think the communication on their road map is clear enough to their customers.

What is most valuable?

The execution module and the test planning module are definitely the most valuable features. We use REST for traceability, but those are the two modules that I cannot live without.

From a test execution point of view or the test lab, from an audit requirement, we have internal and external auditors of the major projects that will do an audit on the project to make sure that we follow the right processes and procedures within the TCOE and within our STLC in Pick n Pay. It's easy to give auditors access to Quality Center as a viewer only and they can view everything we've done from test execution and test planning, as Quality Center keeps the audit trail for us.

In terms of its ability to handle a large number of projects and users in our enterprise environment, we have 17 dedicated testers and automation specialists in the test centers and plus or minus another 35 to 45 business users/developers or systems analysts that access the product. From a scalability point of view, we run multiple projects over multiple domains at any given time with everyone that's got access. Quality Center's ability to send out emails when you log defects makes it possible for someone that works over multiple projects to know exactly where to find the defect if they just follow the emails that go out.

We use Quality Center for all of our reporting purposes. We have dashboards that we've created across domains and projects. With all the information already available in Quality Center, it's quite easy to set up all of our reporting. Work management doesn't necessarily want to go into the details of the projects. It's easy for them to just access the dashboards that we create from information in Quality Center, with direct integration to see that. From a traceability point of view, it is a great product.

In terms of the security features, we don't do the LDEF or the active directory integration. We have a stand-alone solution. We can obviously set our own password. We don't enforce password rules at this stage, but going forward with security becoming more important in the company's life, we are going to follow and going to do the active directory integration. We have single sign-on to Quality Center, as it can handle that integration portion into the rest of the Pick n Pay landscape. We don't use SSO.

What needs improvement?

Browser support needs improvement. Currently, it can only run on IE, Internet Explorer. It doesn't work on Firefox, doesn't work on Chrome, doesn't work on a Mac. Those are the new technologies where most companies move towards. That's been outstanding for quite a while before it even became Micro Focus tools, when it was still HP. Even before HP, that's always been an issue.

Other smaller things need improvement. If you log a defect, you have the ability to upload attachments, but it will only allow you to add one attachment at a time. If you have ten screenshots, for instance, you have to do it one at a time. You can't go and highlight all ten and upload.

Finally, the biggest problem in our environment, and it's the reason we're not necessarily upgrading our solution every time, is when we do an upgrade or even install a patch, there are always changes to the UI. What it means is that we need to have local admin rights on our machine. The next time we log on, we unload all those components to our machine. Now in an environment like Pick n Pay, where not everyone can have local admin rights, it's quite a mission if we upgrade to go around and get to the 60 to 70 PCs or laptops that are impacted to get the users to log on or get IT support to log in with local admin rights to install the browser portion after an upgrade. There are a few .net downloads that need to happen on the browser side in IE and that takes some time.

For how long have I used the solution?

I started using this product when it was still called Mercury Interactive, from 1997.

It's on-prem, hosted in a partner that is doing all our hosting. It's on-prem and we do our own administration.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is great. I can't think of any time in the last three years where we had an issue with the product. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is great. It doesn't matter what the size of your organization is. If your testing area is 5 users or 500 users, this product can definitely scale. Before I joined Pick n Pay, I worked for a company in Kazakhstan and Russia. We used Quality Center across different countries to roll out a big project and at the end, we had a 400-user license to have everyone following the same process when it came to testing.

We have 17 permanent users in Quality Center. They are testers. We have a test manager role. We have automation engineers. We have test analysts, we have senior testers and we have junior testers. We also have systems analysts that we log defects and assign it to them so that they can access the defects module to validate and update the side of the defect. We also integrate Quality Center with JIRA. We have our third-party development happening, where they use JIRA and we use Quality Center, where we can log the defects in Quality Center then via the integration then send it to JIRA. When they update, we get information back on our side so that we are on the same page. For us, Quality Center is the single tool in our environment. Whatever the status of the defect is in Quality Center, that's the status. Whatever the status is of execution of test cases, that's what it is.

In terms of the required maintenance, I have one system administrator for all the products and they're responsible for Quality Center. They make sure when we plan upgrades to do the upgrades, user management, project creation, and integration with the other Micro Focus tools we use. 

Our adoption rate is about 85-90%. There will always be room to grow.

We don't have plans to increase usage. We have plans to increase other things around Quality Center like test coverage, automation, and all of those things, but not necessarily new licenses or additional licenses. We have a base of licenses in our environment. As we get major projects with more resources, we do a rental on additional licenses for a three or six-month period.

How are customer service and technical support?

I would rate their technical support a nine out of ten. 

Their support is quite good. There will always be room for improvement. I also know the local Micro Focus support in South Africa so it's easy for us to pick up the phone and phone the local support or the engineers in South Africa. The only room for improvement will be if you log a call and it's in a different time zone, sometimes there's a delay over three or four hours, but that's literally the only negative about it.

How was the initial setup?

Even within Pick n Pay it is straightforward to do an upgrade. First, uninstall then install the new product or the new version, and if you keep to the same database server, it will pick up all your information and all the projects and everything you have. I've also been involved in areas where we run it via the load balancer and if you follow the documentation, it's quite easy to set up.

An upgrade does not take more than two hours. The initial setup might be a bit longer, about four hours, depending on if you have access to the right database server, if you have all the correct admin rights on the database server, and things like that. If you follow the steps in the installation guide before you start with the install, and you get that right, or get your users set up correctly on the DBA side, it's not a problem. It can take three to four hours.

What about the implementation team?

We do the installation ourselves. I have a product administrator for all of the Micro Focus products in our environment who is doing all the administrative duties for us on all the Micro Focus products.

Regarding our implementation strategy, it becomes quite complex if you use other Micro Focus products as well. It's not as straightforward as just upgrading Quality Center. We use service virtualization and we use Mobile Center. For us, it's important that we follow the process to make sure that we're on the most recent releases of all products that can integrate. The integration portion of the Micro Focus documentation is quite important to us.

What was our ROI?

We've seen ROI plainly. We can do more projects. It's easier to do the maintenance. It might not be rands or dollars savings, but time-saving is definitely there.

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

From a pricing point of view, I believe it is an enterprise tool. If you are an enterprise organization and you're using SAP or Oracle for your ERP systems, for example, the cost around Quality Center is not that expensive. From a licensing and planning point of view, you should have a hybrid between licenses you own and depending on how busy you are at certain stages within projects, do additional rentals just for those periods if need be. That's what we do in our environment, we have a base of 15 licenses. If we have any major projects coming in where we know there are additional developers, we do a rental for licenses for the period of that project. We charge that project for the licenses for that rental.

We do have additional costs apart from standard licensing from our side. Pick n Pay outsources their hardware, so obviously we have costs for the hardware and backup for our hardware partners that do our hosting. We see this as a tier-one application in our environment. We have full disaster recovery capability. There some costs involved from that side.

What other advice do I have?

Depending on your environment, the strong point for me with all of the Micro Focus tools is that it supports multiple applications and multiple development languages. It's easy to use one for everything in your environment. If you have a look at automation, if you have SAP and you have mobile, you can use the same tools. It's the same with Quality Center. It doesn't matter what you want to test, you can use the same tool to support that testing. 

Make sure that you plan the detail correctly and plan it to the sense that you know where you want to end up. Otherwise, maintenance becomes a nightmare on your dispatchers.

I would rate Micro Focus ALM Quality Center a nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
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.
PG
Performance and Automation Testing Squad Lead at a financial services firm with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
Helps in streamlining our testing process because everyone is using the same standards and capabilities

Pros and Cons

  • "The test-case repository and linkage through to regression requirements will absolutely be a key component for us. We haven't got it yet, but when we've got an enterprise regression suite, that will be a key deliverable for them. We will be able to have all of the regression suite in one place, linked to the right requirements."
  • "There's room for improvement on the reporting side of things and the scheduling, in general, is a bit clunky."

What is our primary use case?

We use it for defect management and for test cases. We synchronize it with JIRA for the requirements and the defects side of things.

We're also using it for our UFT script repositories, but that is more than likely going to change, in the next couple of months, as we go across to GitLab. It's just simpler to have all the artifacts for a particular iteration in one place.

Quality Center is cloud-based with a local client.

How has it helped my organization?

The way Quality Center improves our organization is with the traceability and through standardardization. It's about having the test cases all in one place. That's very important for us. It will be even more important once we revive the regression suite in the coming months. It's extremely important to have one source of truth.

It definitely helps in standardizing our testing process and, if utilized properly, it will streamline it because everyone is using the same standards and capabilities. It has helped with that in the past and will in the future as well.

Quality Center also assists with risk-based testing. You can put risk ratings on test cases as you go, and if you do that you know which ones need to be run, for sure. It doesn't have very much smarts around it though, it's just a field that we fill out. It doesn't utilize AI, which some of the tools in the market are purporting they can utilize to determine which test cases need to be run. But I think it's very early days for that yet and I'm exceptionally skeptical about it.

What is most valuable?

The automated scripts give us management control.

Defects are widely used within our organization. 

We've had a little bit of a hiatus on the test-case side of things, because we decentralized the testing team, but that's about to be re-centralized. The test-case repository and linkage through to regression requirements will absolutely be a key component for us. We haven't got it yet, but when we've got an enterprise regression suite, that will be a key deliverable for them. We will be able to have all of the regression suite in one place, linked to the right requirements.

Also, its traceability and visibility features are good when it comes to managing multiple projects, which is how we've got it set up. The reporting was a little bit clunky to start with, but we've built some reporting out of it now as well, to give us a cross-portfolio view of those projects that are using ALM. Each project can do its own thing, to a certain degree. There are some standard fields that we don't bend on, so that we can get the correct reporting out.

There's no problem at all with its ability to handle a large number of projects and users in an enterprise environment. We only ever have up to 60 concurrent users, but the number of users we've got in the database is in excess of 250. We manage it reasonably well, that way. Project-wise, we've got about 40 to 50 projects in there.

The security features are good. They will be better once we get the single sign-on capability with ADFS on ALM 15. We're very keen to get that capability up. We're looking at the implementation process for single sign-on right now. It should be okay. It makes things a lot more convenient for us, particularly as we have a number of contracts users come in. When they go, we've got to manually remove them from ALM at the moment, because it's got its own authentication. Because it's in the cloud, anyone can get to it directly from anywhere. They don't have to come through our network to get to it. That is good in some regards. But it does give me some concerns when people have departed, or when organizations that we've been working with have finished up with it, because we have a separate swipe that we've got to do to remove any users who are no longer working with us.

What needs improvement?

There's room for improvement on the reporting side of things and the scheduling, in general, is a bit clunky. 

They can also improve on its interoperability with other tools. All tool sets need to evolve in that regard. They need to understand that you don't buy all one color of tool sets these days and that some tools do a job better than others, depending on what it is. If I've got an industry-strength configuration management tool and repository, like GitLab, I'll pull my stuff out of ALM and I'll interface with GitLab from ALM. That interoperability with other tools sets, the standardizing of interfaces, is an area to work on. All of the tools in the industry are the same. You get a new version of JIRA and it no longer works with the likes of ALM, or you get a new version of IBM UrbanCode Deploy and it doesn't work properly and you've got to do a configuration with GitHub or Artifactory or even ALM, for that matter.

The other thing that ALM could do well with is to move away from Internet Explorer. I believe they're doing that with version 15.

For how long have I used the solution?

I go back to Test Director days, Test Director 8. That was around 20 years ago.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability has been fine. If ever we do have problems we're straight on the phone to our customer success manager and he gets onto any issue that we've got, immediately. But it very rarely goes down.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We only use whatever our concurrent is. We run very lean at the bank, very lean. That goes with all of our tooling. We have a concurrent licensing model that is well under the maximum number of users. If we find that we haven't got enough licenses we adjust the time-out so that people are not holding onto licenses unduly.

With Quality Center, for user scalability all we do is get extra licenses. We've never hit any sort of limit on the size of the project.

We've got a number of admin users, a few site admin users; there's one per domain in our model at the moment. They are the super-users who look after everybody within their domain. Within projects, it's up to the different projects or squads to work out whether they need what we call TD admin users in there. There are also defect-owner users. We also have some analyst users and some tester users.

We'll be increasing usage because we've just kicked off our transformation program with a third-party. As a part of the agreement they are using it, so we'll be upping the number of users that we have. And by reestablishing the centralized testing thing, we'll also be ensuring that Quality Center or ALM is used as our tool of choice. We will reestablish the standards that somehow were dropped when we went to Agile.

How are customer service and technical support?

They coordinate it for us but I do have direct access to the tech support guys. Typically, if there's an issue, I'll get on the phone and notify our customer success manager. Either we will already have raised a ticket or he'll raise one for us. Then we'll work through anything that we need to do to get things fixed so we're up and running as quickly as possible. 

There have been some issues around getting any major problem that we've had resolved, although we've had very few major issues. It's just a matter of keeping at it until it's fixed. Having that CSM in place allows that to happen.

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

Before Quality Center the only thing we were using was JIRA. We interface with JIRA. Some teams want to use it for defect tracking. We keep JIRA and ALM in sync using the synchronizer tool that comes standard with it.

JIRA and ALM have different strengths. JIRA and Confluence do Agile planning and management well, and ALM does defect management and test case management and reporting well.

How was the initial setup?

The fact that we've got it in the cloud at the moment, as software as a service, enables us to keep up to date. If it's a back-end or a server-only change, it just gets done. That's the beauty of the arrangement we have with a SaaS or cloud-based version. 

We started using the cloud-based version about four years ago. The setup was very easy and very quick. I did the migration. We had to unload the databases on-premise and FTP them across to the cloud overnight. We did it project-by-project or by groups of projects. Each one of them had its own backup/transmit/reload. They then went through a series of validations and were up and running the next day.

I did it on a project-by-project basis because there was a lot of data that had to go across and be uploaded to the cloud. Once it was up there, I logged on, checked it, and then got the SMEs from the different projects to validate that everything they needed was there.

Having to package up and coordinate clients is, occasionally, difficult, but that's just a project management issue: scheduling things at the right time. Sometimes we have problems and we have to go in and individually blow away components for the product for the client. That's more because of our setup, our configuration on our network, than it is the tool set. We do that with most tools. Occasionally have to rebuild when we've had version upgrades, but not for everybody.

For maintenance there's only two of us, myself and one of the guys that works for me.

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

As an end-user, of course I'm going to say that it's too expensive and I want things cheaper, but don't we all?

Aside from the standard licensing fee there are no additional costs. It's set up with a good agreement that runs three-yearly.

What other advice do I have?

Do your homework on it to really understand how it works. I've worked at a number of different organizations that have had Quality Center, Test Director, and ALM. They have all been set up differently. I'm also guilty of having gone in as an external contractor and setting it up the way that I want it to run too. But if the time is taken to set it up properly, you will get strong value from it.

The biggest lesson I've learned from using Quality Center is that, when it's used well, it's an exceptionally powerful tool. When you use all the features of it, when you have things that are standardized and locked, it's a really handy tool in governance around testing and projects. But in an environment where you've got multiple external contractors or vendors coming in, where they all tend to bring their own way of doing things, it's good that it's flexible enough to accommodate that, but at the same time it leaves you with a bit of a mess to clean up afterwards.

It's really about making sure when you do implement it that you understand your process, you understand your workflows, you understand the standards that and the reporting that you want out of it, and you set it up accordingly. If somebody comes in and says, "Oh, I want to know what my defect aging is," you can say, "Well, here's the report that does that," if everything's filled out properly.

I've seen it set up really well in a couple of places, and it was really good to have it set up well because we could get the information out of it when we needed it and we could ensure that things were tested properly.

When it comes to connecting all related entities to reflect project status and progress, we have to do a little bit of tweaking, but we can customize it. We can always do better with the cross-project reporting. But the biggest issue we have is that we need to re-centralize testing to get the standards enforced. At the moment, since we've moved out and become very Agile, we've become very lax as well in being able to keep the likes of test cases — in particular regression suites — up to date. That is one of our reasons for reestablishing a centralized testing team. It's nothing to do with the product. It's just that everybody decided, "Hey, Agile's the way to go," and a lot of people with Agile thought, "Oh, we don't have the formality and the structure and standards around testing," which was not good.

At the moment we're in a bit of a state of flux because we've had the whole Agile movement start to hit us. Unfortunately, that meant that there was a decision to decentralized testing and put it out into the different Agile squads, which in turn meant that there was no standard way of doing things. Now that we're engaging in a transformation program, we need to re-establish that standard way of doing things, because we're working with third-party vendors. We're centralizing, ensuring that things are handed over in the format that we want, ensuring that the third-parties are utilizing ALM as the tool set for their test case repositories, and as the defect management tool as well. Being an industry-wide, and understood, standard tool, it's very easy for us to go to our partners and say, "You've got to use ALM because that's what we're using." We are still going to be Agile, but we'll be doing centralized testing.

I wouldn't say Quality Center has reduced the time required for testing. It's a tool. It supports our testing process. It gives the governance and standards around the testing that's done, but as a tool it doesn't reduce the time for testing. Something like automated testing will reduce the time for testing. However, by association, I suppose it might reduce testing time because it's where we execute our automated scripts from.

We haven't found that Micro Focus is still investing so much in Quality Center and releasing valuable features. They did do a big push to go towards Octane and we trialed that. Because we have multiple best-of-breed tools in the organization, Octane could plug-and-play with a lot of them, but then it became an overhead to be able to manage and maintain. 

With ALM in Australia at least, there's enough support and development going on. I know the APIs into ALM have improved, and they needed to because aspects were pretty clunky. Now that we've got a REST API that we can use, that's a lot better. So they're sort of keeping up.

I would rate Quality Center at about eight out of 10, but I have a testing background. I'm very stingy when it comes to rating things. I don't think I've ever rated anything to 10.

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.
Learn what your peers think about Micro Focus ALM Quality Center. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: October 2021.
542,721 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Shinu Thulaseedharan
Sr. Manager for Quality Assurance and Testing at a comms service provider with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 20
We can look at the status and map it to the requirements to see which of them have been completed end-to-end

Pros and Cons

  • "The best thing is that you can see your current status in real time... To see real-time updates, you just log in to ALM and you can see exactly what the progress is. You can also see if the plan for the day is being executed properly, and it's all tracked. From the management side, I find those features very valuable."
  • "ALM only works on Internet Explorer. It doesn't work on any other browser. In my opinion, Internet Explorer is generally a bit slower. I would like to see it work on Chrome or on other browsers."

What is our primary use case?

We use it for recording our requirements. We use it for recording our test cases and the data is done within the ALM itself. And, during execution, we use it to update services and to log defects.

How has it helped my organization?

The solution reduces testing time, although not in all cases. But it is capable and in some cases, like for web testing, where we are easily able to capture screenshots and videos within the ALM workflow itself, or the test execution steps, it really saves us time. Otherwise, the guys have to keep on capturing screenshots into a file. Here, they can upload  everything in one shot. In that aspect, we have seen some savings in execution and, while they are not that drastic, it does help.

When it comes to the test planning cycle, if I have my regression cases, they could be almost 40 percent of the cases and they are repeated. So instead of uploading them again, I can easily replicate them in ALM. That is one way I am able to save and I would estimate that saves around 25 to 30 percent. The other part is when it comes to the execution steps. The savings are not so drastic but they could be between 5 and 10 percent.

What is most valuable?

The best thing is that you can see your current status in real time. Our people are deployed mainly offshore, and we have some guys working onsite as well. We have close coordination of the teams using calls. To see real-time updates, you just log in to ALM and you can see exactly what the progress is. You can also see if the plan for the day is being executed properly, and it's all tracked. From the management side, I find those features very valuable.

The ability to connect all related entities and to reflect project status and progress is the main thing that, as a manager, you are able to see: progress in real time. If the guys are updating the status in real time, meaning that as soon as they finish execution they update the status, it is really helpful.

If you ask the testing guys what is most valuable, for them it's like a one-stop, central location for every project, where every artifact and everything else is recorded. It is a single point where you can store everything. It's very easy to track and escalate. The solution does a lot of things which will support you in your project delivery phase.

When it comes to managing multiple projects, as long as everybody is actually recording all the requirements in the Requirements module of the tool, and from there the test cases and test plans — if everybody is doing that — it is really helpful. When we look at the status, we can actually map it to the requirements and we can see which of the requirements have been completed end-to-end, what we're spending, and so on. However, one thing we see is that not everybody uses the Requirements module to log the requirements. For certain projects, people just start using ALM from the time they upload the test cases, during test planning. In such cases, I am not able to see all the information. But for the projects where ALM is being used end-to-end, it is really helpful. The tool itself is really good. It all depends on how you are using it.

In terms of the solution’s ability to handle a large number of projects and users in an enterprise environment, I am sure the solution is capable. Our current usage here is not so large. But I previously worked in companies where around 300 users were using ALM for everything. In that setting, it was a central location where we could see all the results in real time. Here, I handle around six or seven projects simultaneously. But I have seen people who are handling up to 30 or 35 projects simultaneously, all using ALM. I've seen other organizations where people use it completely, for all their projects. There may be different managers, but it is a single location where everything can be tracked. It is scalable and it is pretty user-friendly as well.

In ALM, when you start to execute something, you can record and capture screenshots and videos. Once the team was trained in those features, I could see that they started recording and that they were doing the execution. When they close the last test, the recording is attached automatically. The tool is capable and, again, it comes down to how people are using it. If they are using it in the right way, we are able to capture everything.

What needs improvement?

ALM only works on Internet Explorer. It doesn't work on any other browser. In my opinion, Internet Explorer is generally a bit slower. I would like to see it work on Chrome or on other browsers. We have other applications that work perfectly fine with Chrome. It is not a major problem, but browser compatibility is an issue. And if you're using a Mac, it doesn't work.

We have a digital platform and we have done a lot of automation using Selenium there. Those tools have the ability to work in Chrome. But I am not able to integrate ALM completely, end-to-end. For example, using the automation tools we have to initiate test execution from ALM and then take all the results and upload them back. So I'm not able to work end-to-end because of the browser compatibility issues.

The majority of our guys are working on Windows and they have IE. For manual execution, I've never seen a problem. But when it comes to automation, I have an issue.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using Micro Focus ALM Quality Center for about eight years. Our company has been around for almost 11 years. Out of that, for about eight years we've been using HP QC, now known as ALM. We've been using it continuously throughout that time.

I just recently returned to this team. When we started the testing phases here, I was leading the team. I moved out and I just joined it again three months ago. When I left, we were on version 11 so we must be on 12.55 now.

The solution is on the cloud, it is not on our premises.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is pretty stable. I don't think we have seen any issue. The availability is always 99.999 and it has never been down unless there is a planned outage. 

In the last two years, we have seen issues for two or three hours, but that is the maximum we have seen. 

When there is a planned outage they always notify us in advance. Otherwise, the application is always available. Our guys work in multiple shifts. They work throughout the day and they work at night as well and it's always available.

How are customer service and technical support?

If we request any kind of support, they are always there to help. They are very good.

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

Before ALM, we were only using Excel. But along with ALM right now, we also have some projects that are using JIRA, and there are some people who are using Confluence. The digital teams here are using JIRA.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was pretty straightforward. We had engineers come in and they gave us training and showed us what we would be doing. They were very supportive, from the customer onboarding perspective. They did a very good job. Initially, there was all this complexity. We didn't know how to manage it because it was very new to the team. They came and trained us very well. To put it simply, the onboarding process was amazing. We have monthly sessions with their team and we have continuous contact. It's pretty organized.

They started the planning two months ahead. Everything happened in a proper, planned way. That is something I really like about Micro Focus. The initial installation took almost two months. In part, that was because of internal problems. We were using Excel and some other tools. To migrate from there to ALM took some time. That included moving the data. We had to make sure that whatever data we had was not lost and that even the number of test cases was the same as what we had before.

Upgrades happen in a single day, or sometimes two to three days.

In terms of the implementation, it happened a long time ago. They first asked us for a timeline and they then held multiple sessions on the features and the abilities of the tool, with multiple teams over the course of two to three weeks. After that they came and deployed ALM itself and tested the compatibility with our machines, because we had some desktops and laptops. That took some time. Micro Focus gave us an installer that we had to push to all our machines. Once all the machines were updated with the installer, we started using it.

What was our ROI?

We have definitely seen return on our investment in Micro Focus. Imagine the amount of hours that our guys would be spending tracking stuff in Excel. If you look at the number of man-days that my team would have to spend on that and at the licensing costs, of course it is worth it. I'm very happy with it.

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

The pricing has been the same for the past few years. It is reasonable. It is not very high. Of course, the cheaper the better, from our point of view. But the tool and its quality are amazing, really good. And including the support their team is giving us, I think the price is justified. It's a fair price.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did not evaluate other tools at that time. My manager and I — we came from different organizations — had both been using HP. I was using HP QC 9.0 when I moved here. When we started off our testing stream, the only tool that came to mind was HP. In addition, HP was one of the vendors that was being used for testing other stuff in our company.

Even now, we are not looking at other tools. 

What other advice do I have?

It's all about the mindset. ALM has a lot of features. We, ourselves, are only using about 30 percent of the features. If you are expecting that when you start deploying ALM you'll be using everything it has, that's not the case. Of course the tool has all the features, but there are some customizations that can be done based on your needs, and the Micro Focus team will be able to help you with that. It's all about setting expectations and telling them exactly what you want.

Initially, we were not sure what we wanted to see. But after some time we understood that there are so many features. For example, the reporting part: ALM has automated reports but they require some things to be entered at first. If your team has the skill to set up your own stuff, that's good. If not, the Micro Focus team can support you. ALM can automate reports so that, at the end of the day, it sends out an email so your team doesn't actually have to prepare all that information and send it.

To make full use of ALM you have to invest some of your time. It has a lot of features. Most people will just use the basic stuff and they will be happy with it. But if you start exploring it, you will find it has a lot of capabilities. And they are all included in the licensing cost. Don't just go with the flow and keep doing what you're doing. Spend some time and ask ALM the right questions and they'll be able to help you. You will get more benefit out of the tool. That is one thing I have learned in using the solution.

Micro Focus is still investing in the product and releasing valuable features. We have been asked to upgrade our version so that means they are working on upgrading features and are fixing bugs. In previous versions, I was seeing that things were a bit slower. It took time to actually load. But now, my team is saying that it is fine.

In terms of security, ALM has controlled access. Every user has his own login and password. We restrict access. There is one admin on our team and he's the guy who controls who accesses our systems. Before we create a user ID for someone, they have to go through a review process. We need to understand which team he is working for and for how long he will need access. In that way, we keep things in control. As for uploading our data, I don't think anybody will be able to access it. It's pretty secure.

Right now we have 35 licenses for 35 concurrent users. But the number of actual users is around 400. It's being used by our testing guys as well as business people and even our senior management. If they want to see reports in real time, they log in and see them. From that perspective, it is really helping us.

We don't have many people involved in maintaining it. I don't have a dedicated person on our side to manage it. Micro Focus manages everything. I have one point of contact and she takes care of everything.

For me and for our organization, it's a really good product. I'm really happy with it. It's a 10 out of 10. It meets my needs completely.

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.
Ashish Yelkar
Managing Partner at Verve Square Technologies
Real User
Top 20
Helps us to create our requirement traceability matrix and maintain it in a dynamic way

Pros and Cons

  • "I love linking/associating the requirements to a test case. That's where I get to know my requirement coverage, which helps a lot at a practical level. So, we use the traceability and visibility features a lot. This helps us to understand if there are any requirements not linked to any test case, thus not getting tested at all. That missing link is always very visible, which helps us to create our requirement traceability matrix and maintain it in a dynamic way. Even with changing requirements, we can keep on changing or updating the tool."
  • "Sometimes I do run my queries from the admin login. However, if I want to reassess all my test cases, then I am still doing this in a manual manner. I write SQL queries, then fire them off. Therefore, a library of those SQL queries would help. If we could have a typical SQL query to change the parameters within test cases, then this is one aspect I can still think that could be included in ALM. Though they would need to be analyzed and used in a very knowledgeable way."

What is our primary use case?

We are using it for test management. We have distributed teams in three locations with one location in Portland, which is the newest, and also in India. We have a team of around 150 people (developers plus three testers). We are implementing an order migration legacy system to a new system based on AngularJS 5.0. We also have test automation being implemented on this account using Micro Focus UFT. 

Automation is triggered through ALM. We have the test scripts stored in ALM that are triggered through the execution dashboard. Also, the reports are available on the dashboard. 

We do defect management through ALM, which is the typical use case. The defects are raised in our different locations, then the collaboration between the development leads and testers happen through ALM.

We use the Test Plan module where we have test cases related to all our different releases up until now with a few current releases as well. We use the Test Lab tab to pull test cases from Test Plan and do executions accordingly. We have also created some smoke and sanity testing suites where we pull test cases, then execute them when required during the project phases.

How has it helped my organization?

Any user who accesses a project gets to know what is the latest status on a test case, from a test case writing or test design perspective as well as test execution perspective. Collaboration is very strong. The communication that the tool sends out along with the log which is maintained is locked in the history. This is for any change at the test case level or within any of the components of ALM. The history helps us to understand what went wrong or when has somebody made a change. Therefore, the history log is a very important feature.

From a collaboration perspective, I can send out emails directly from ALM that, at times, get triggered automatically. If you raise a defect, then it automatically triggers to a particular email ID that the defect has been logged in ALM. This helps to get immediate visibility or attention of the development team from a testing team's perspective.

Initially, we used to lose a lot of time in collaboration. If we do this in a very crude way through Microsoft Excel, then there would be a lot of issues related to version control. Like somebody might say, "I've fixed the defect," and the other guy would say, "It is still open." Now, across the team, we have one single source of truth because ALM helps the whole team to understand the exact status.

What is most valuable?

Ease of use is definitely one of the strongest points for ALM. It's a very user-friendly tool and the maturity of processes within ALM are amazing compared to other tools. Their in-built reporting does help with getting ready-made reports from the tool. 

The Test Plan and Test Lab setup helps us a lot when pulling test cases repeatedly from a different perspective. If I want to make a sanity pack, then I can pull test cases from that same library of test cases. I don't have to create them again or copy and paste them. 

I love linking/associating the requirements to a test case. That's where I get to know my requirement coverage, which helps a lot at a practical level. So, we use the traceability and visibility features a lot. This helps us to understand if there are any requirements not linked to any test case, thus not getting tested at all. That missing link is always very visible, which helps us to create our requirement traceability matrix and maintain it in a dynamic way. Even with changing requirements, we can keep on changing or updating the tool.

We use the dashboard and have created our own reports. The typical dashboard also helps us a lot to understand test execution progress and the percentage of open defects from a defect perspective. We use the defect aging reports a lot. This saves us lot of time and gives us the right input from the perspective of which defects are aging. Those need to be looked at again and possibly discussed in further detail in the defect triage call about what's the blocker to get them fixed and how we can work in a better way to avoid the defect aging in these manners. 

The vendor is still investing in the product and releasing valuable features. For example, there has been improvements in the overall folder structure. Initially, we just used to have Test Plans and Test Lab. Now, we have the Task Board.

What needs improvement?

Sometimes I do run my queries from the admin login. However, if I want to reassess all my test cases, then I am still doing this in a manual manner. I write SQL queries, then fire them off. Therefore, a library of those SQL queries would help. If we could have a typical SQL query to change the parameters within test cases, then this is one aspect I can still think that could be included in ALM. Though they would need to be analyzed and used in a very knowledgeable way.

For how long have I used the solution?

About four years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's very stable. We haven't had issues with any sort of stability issues, e.g., no downtime.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have around 4,000 test cases in ALM, so I don't think scalability is an issue.

We have around 150 users. The hierarchy of ALM users is:

  • The admin
  • Process leads, who are using it.
  • At the lowest level, there are data developers and data testers who access ALM.

70% of our people use ALM and the other 30% don't need to be on ALM.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is nice. At times, we have needed to wait. However, this is understandable for a few of the issues as they sometimes can be tricky. I would rate the support function as above average. 

The turnaround time varies with the issue, but they're decent enough. The average time is two days. They provide us local support.

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

I have always used different versions of ALM. I did not previously use a different solution before using ALM.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was pretty straightforward. The process was just about our customization, which we do from our end and is admin guided. This took us around a couple of weeks and wasn't cumbersome at all. ALM is a mature product. We could set up how we wanted to upload our test cases, then structure the different parameters or columns the way we wanted them. The process was quite streamlined.

What about the implementation team?

We did have some internal help, but we didn't have a full-time consultant. We didn't have any external help. We used a team of three people (part-time consultants).

What was our ROI?

We definitely feel that it has given us a huge advantage from a collaboration and time savings perspective.

It can reduce the wastage that happens in collaboration activities. The effort has definitely gone down. Effort and collaboration have been reduced by 60 percent.

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

It all comes down to how many people are going to access the tool. When teams go above 20, I think ALM is a better tool to use from a collaboration and streamlining perspective.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

At a process level, the maturity within ALM is at the highest level. Now, if I have run the same test case five times within Test Plan, it will gives me a status of that test case based on the last run, whether it passed, failed, or its situation. If I want to know right now from a functionality perspective what functionalities are working for me and which are not, then based on the immediate last run done directly through Test Plan, I can understand that. That's one of its strengths. This is not available in other tools, like TestLink and Jira (we are using both).

Jira has an advantage from agile perspective. For an agile project, it helps to have the dashboard in the way Jira is structured.That's where Jira is pretty useful. We also have three of the defect calls running different ways using Jira. There are a few things from a visual perspective where Jira poses some advantages over in ALM.

TestLink is pretty similar to ALM. It is not really drastically different. It's open source and doesn't have the kind of maturity which ALM has, like the BI page, the history log, or other functions that are present in ALM. It doesn't have that type of strength. However, since it's open source, at times a couple of our clients use it, but I use it very rarely within our projects.

What other advice do I have?

Security is driven by the different user login credentials that are created by the admin. This is pretty typical. In this aspect, all their tools are good.

For risk-based testing, I used to have a different version of ALM that gave me a confidence level. Currently, I don't think our company has bought the version where you implement risk-based testing. However, it does help me to get the required inputs from the tool. Then, I have my own way of going about risk based testing.

I have seen the Single Sign-On. It's nice, but we don't use it in our current project due to a few constraints and a few user experience related issues. Sometimes, people don't want to change and just want to do it the old way. That is why we stopped using it.

I would rate the solution as a nine (out of 10) to keep pushing them to include more features.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
AB
Test Specialist at a consultancy with self employed
Real User
Top 20
Empowers us to do more testing

Pros and Cons

  • "Within Quality Center, you have the dashboard where you can monitor your progress over different entities. You can build your own SQL query segments, and all that data is there in the system, then you can make a dashboard report."
  • "Requirements management could be improved as the use is very limited. E.g., they have always stated that, "You can monitor and create requirements," but it has its limitations. That's why companies will choose another requirements management solution and import data from that source system into Quality Center. Micro Focus has also invested in an adapter between Dimensions RM and ALM via Micro Focus Connect. However, I see room for improvements in this rather outdated tool. I feel what Micro Focus did is say, "Our strategy is not to improve these parts within the tool itself, but search for supported integrations within our own tool set." This has not been helpful."

What is our primary use case?

The primary use case is test management, e.g., test executions using UFT combined with Business Process Testing. We do also requirement traceability, where we pull requirements out of a source system, then we link test cases to those requirements in order to have a coverage matrix.

How has it helped my organization?

It empowers us to do more testing. Our testing is being done for customers. 

The solution enables us to conduct risk-based testing. We link this solution to requirements of a certain risk factor. Once it's covered at least one time, it will show us in a report that it has been covered. Most tests are running automatically with UFT, so the check is already there in the automation, and there's no impact to us.

What is most valuable?

The Test Plan feature is the most valuable because of the test execution.

Security is covered. HTTPS works well. There is also support for LDAP over SSL. Those are the most important security features.

Within Quality Center, you have the dashboard where you can monitor your progress over different entities. You can build your own SQL query segments, and all that data is there in the system, then you can make a dashboard report. That works fine.

What needs improvement?

Managing multiple projects is possible when you have the full ALM license. However, we have the Quality Center license, which can be managed poorly. This is because you cannot look or report across projects.

We don't use Single Sign-On because this is available from version. Therefore, we do not use it right now. Also, it needs to be tested and we haven't tested it yet. With test automation. If you have Single Sign-On and want to make use of another user, that can be challenging. It is good for normal users to use Single Sign-On. However, it's not really a must at the moment, though it is good that the solution finally supports SSO.

Making Quality Center available to connect to external tools is doable, but it takes some work. With our current version, it is not fit for external entities. Connecting to external entities is easier to work with and report in using the newer versions. However, if you really want to use other tools, I would suggest giving ALM Octane a try.

The defect management module has room for improvement. E.g., for Jira tickets in defect management, they could have a direct link with Jira. However, with Micro Focus Connect, you can set up a link between Jira and Quality Center. 

Requirements management could be improved as the use is very limited. E.g., they have always stated that, "You can monitor and create requirements," but it has its limitations. That's why companies will choose another requirements management solution and import data from that source system into Quality Center. Micro Focus has also invested in an adapter between Dimensions RM and ALM via Micro Focus Connect. However, I see room for improvements in this rather outdated tool. I feel what Micro Focus did is say, "Our strategy is not to improve these parts within the tool itself, but search for supported integrations within our own tool set." This has not been helpful. 

I want to see Atlassian as part of the ALM solution. ALM Quality Center is more from a waterfall approach where Atlassian has already evolved into more of the DevOps and agile part.

For how long have I used the solution?

I started using Quality Center ALM with version 9.2.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I just engaged with my new customer to do an upgrade. At the moment, it has been stable on all versions of Quality Center. However, I'm quite positive that will room for improvement will be needed shortly after we release the newest version of Quality Center.

Do not wait too long to upgrade. The longer you wait, the harder it gets to upgrade to the latest version with the newest features. Just like buying a car: You do not buy a car, then not go to service.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is scalable in terms of high availability when you add an additional node because it's licensed for ALM. For Quality Center, this makes it less scalable. However, this is the perception from the vendor that the Quality Center addition is not for big enterprise. It's for a corporation, but not for an enterprise. Normally it's for bigger companies: 2000-plus users with over 1000 projects and domains. Then, they need to scale up with additional nodes, which will make it scalable enough for ALM.

How are customer service and technical support?

It very much depends on the support engineer that you get. In the past, I've noticed that some really do not know the tool. Sometimes, I challenge first line of support or can come up with a solution faster than the support, but that's because I've also provided technical support for ALM in the past on the behalf of HPE. I know a bit more than the normal user.

Sometimes the support is very good, and sometimes it's a bit poor. E.g., if you go to the second or third of line support engineers, they really know the product. I've also worked with R&D in the past, and that goes beautifully. 

How was the initial setup?

The installation is quite straightforward. Then, the implementation is based on one project, so it cannot go wrong.  This is for a very quick start. You will need more skilled people in your projects for implementation if you want reporting, traceability between requirement tests and defects, and release management. 

What about the implementation team?

I always see ALM as an enterprise solution, so I don't go for the project implementation. You also need to maintain it. If one project has an issue, it may be very different in another project. There's also an issue when you have a user who is working multiple projects. E.g., where does the user have an issue? From a maintenance perspective, project implementation is not very handy so I always try to treat it as an enterprise solution, not as a project solution.

What was our ROI?

Testing time has decreased for manual execution because tests are being executed with UFT.

ROI is very difficult to say. If you don't test, you don't know how good or poor your quality is, but effective testing always costs money. However, it is very important for your return investment to know the value of your tests. What I've seen until now is that it's not being monitored that much. We have this tool because we need to test and prove the quality of the tests that we have been doing, but there will always be bugs and defects in production.

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

The solution has the ability to handle a large number of projects and users in an enterprise environment with the correct license.

Most vendors offer the same pricing, though some vendors offer a cheaper price for their cloud/SaaS solution versus their on-premise. However, cloud/SaaS solutions result in a loss of freedom. E.g., if you want to make a change, most of the time it needs to be validated by the vendor, then you're being charged an addition fee. Sometimes, even if you are rejected, you are charged because it's a risk to the entire environment.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

With IBM Rational Quality Manager, you need to stick to the rough process and first train your end user versus ALM Quality Center's basic features, which are very easy to understand.

What other advice do I have?

Make sure you have your build requirements and which features are important. Are you running projects for DevOps, agile, etc.? Also, make sure that you can evolve your tooling and not stay on the same tooling for years, knowing that your business users grow faster and have different needs.

Micro Focus does invest enough, but most investments are now going towards ALM Octane. I've seen that they are investing in adapters where you can say, "We're going to migrate from ALM.net to ALM Octane," if not entirely, then partially. There will always be projects in ALM.net, and they will keep maintaining ALM.net because there are many customers on it. Customers do need to realize that IT is changing and that you need to modernize as well.

I would rate this solution as an eight (out of 10), though I would rate it less for DevOp/agile.

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: SI.
Manoj Ray
Quality Lead at Vodafone
Real User
Top 20
Helps with our delivery, testing, and quality processing

Pros and Cons

  • "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."
  • "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."

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
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.
Sai Kiran
Sr. Architect at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 20
Speeds up our testing and facilitates consolidation of information for reporting

Pros and Cons

  • "With test execution, you have an option to create custom fields. It is also really user-friendly. With other tools, we only have restricted fields and we cannot customize or add new columns or fields that users can make use of while testing. ALM is very flexible for creating new fields. It is easy for users to understand the application."
  • "We cannot rearrange the Grid in the Test Lab. It is in alphabetical order right now. But sometimes a user will want to see, for example, the X column next to the B column. If they came out with that it would be useful for us. They are working on that, as we have raised that request with Micro Focus."

What is our primary use case?

We use it as a test management tool where our requirements and everything we need are entered into it and we manage the test cycles. When new products come out, the requirements are gathered and captured. Based on that, the test scripts or test cases are created and uploaded. Eventually, the functional analysts or testers run different test cycles, such as integration, user interface, and user acceptance test cycles. We log the defects with it as well. Based on the metrics, if a product qualifies, it is moved to the next cycle.

How has it helped my organization?

We have seen multiple improvements using this solution. One example is that one of our customers wanted to see the defect numbers in the same grid where test execution happens. We were able to provide that. Whenever a defect was raised for a particular test, the defect number updated automatically in an integrated, single view. That meant we could see the status of that step. If it failed, we could see that the defect number had been assigned to that particular step.

We also have a custom tool that we have created to disconnect a user. Sometimes, a user may lock the test scripts and go for a coffee. Usually, a system administrator would have to be there to disconnect that. But we created a solution where test managers or test leads have an option to use the username and kill the session so that other users can log in and start working. This is one  of the best-practices we have implemented so that the time involved in test execution will be reduced. There are a lot of dollar savings when executing each cycle.

Overall, it has absolutely reduced the time it takes to do testing. Initially it might be very difficult for the users to execute and then update the test script status and the defects. But after two or three days, they are used to the navigation and it can save a lot of time. If we were using Excel or doing things manually, they would need to store the details and pass them on via shared drives. That approach would also make consolidation very difficult and a person would have to collect data to create a report. ALM is an integrated tool from which we can get reports.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the Test Lab, when compared to any other tool.

With test execution, you have an option to create custom fields. It is also really user-friendly. With other tools, we only have restricted fields and we cannot customize or add new columns or fields that users can make use of while testing. ALM is very flexible for creating new fields. It is easy for users to understand the application.

It is also pretty easy when managing multiple projects. We can actually create the domains in the tool, and under the domains we can create a project. Based on that, we can manage things very well without any confusion for the users. They can log in based on the domains and select their respective projects. Most of the equivalent test management tools don't have that option.

The solution is also really secure. It will only open within our network. And in the next version it has access roles and a single sign-on feature where users don't need to log in physically with their usernames and passwords. It automatically takes the authentication and goes. That is a very good feature because we can log in to the laptop and it goes automatically, making it very secure. Because in our version, 12.55, we don't have SSO enabled, we are doing a PoC of version 15, which has this feature.

What needs improvement?

We cannot rearrange the Grid in the Test Lab. It is in alphabetical order right now. But sometimes a user will want to see, for example, the X column next to the B column. If they came out with that it would be useful for us. They are working on that, as we have raised that request with Micro Focus. They have not given any definite dates, as there are multiple requests from different companies, but they are working on it. We have 14 or 15 of our own columns. So every time they want to validate details of, say, SAP security or something along those lines, they need to drag to the right. They wouldn't need to do that if there were an option to reshuffle and save the view.

I would also like to see them provide a better reporting structure. They have a Business Views Microsoft Excel Add-in that appears as an additional tab in MS Excel. If they could improve that a little more, integrating it better with Excel, it would be very useful for all the stakeholders, helping them see the reports.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Micro Focus ALM Quality Center for the last six years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's very reliable. It is a mature application. It's very rare that there is a crash.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is very good. 

We use it for most of the projects in our organization, with the exception being small projects. Currently, there are no plans for increasing usage.

How are customer service and technical support?

Their technical support is very helpful. They provide support 24/7 and they have resolved whatever issues have come up, on time.

How was the initial setup?

I was not involved in the initial setup, but I have been here for six or seven releases, new versions, and their installations. It is a straightforward process. It is not that complex, but we have needed the assistance of Micro Focus at times.

We have dedicated staff for deployment and maintenance of this solution. There are seven of us in the company working with Quality Center. One is a technical admin leader who takes care of Quality Center, and another is a project leader. Under them are project support people who work in shifts, 24/7, and create projects and provide support for users' technical issues.

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

Pricing is not my area, but in general, what I've seen when reading articles is that it is costly. That is the reason most customers are moving to the other solutions, which are much cheaper. That is the opinion of people I have spoken to in other companies.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Quality Center is a mature test management tool, which is used across the industry and, for the Waterfall model, it is the best solution. JIRA is good for Agile testing. Micro Focus has released Octane, but it is costly compared to other solutions, so companies are not opting for it. JIRA has a low licensing cost.

What other advice do I have?

I've worked with multiple tools, when it comes to a Waterfall model of testing, and ALM is the best tool.

The solution enables us to conduct risk based testing but, as a test manager, that kind of testing is only done when there is not enough time for testing the entire solution. That is when we go through the requirements in the ALM Requirements module and see what the most important requirements are that should be tested. Based on that, we mark it as risk-based testing. We create a column and check it as "yes" or "no". Based on that information, it can be filtered and the same test cases will be handed to the Test Lab for testing. That means that the most critical functionality of the solution will be covered. The solution helps segregate, using the requirements, to test scripts.

Micro Focus is investing in the product. It is really good that they are investing in it and that they are releasing new releases. The newest release, currently, is 15, where there are multiple new features. It is useful for our users and, as a company, enterprise-wise, that they further improve the solution.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Don Ingerson
QA Automation Engineer at a consultancy with 1,001-5,000 employees
Consultant
ExpertTop 5
We can have multiple users execute tests independently on their own computers because the UFT scripts are stored online.

Pros and Cons

  • "Ability to customize modules, particularly Defect Tracking module on company specific needs"
  • "The BPT also known as Business Process Testing can sometimes be very time intensive and sometimes might not be very intuitive to someone who is not familiar with BPT."

What is our primary use case?

To store all tests including manual and automated tests along with the results of tests after they were executed. Tracking defects, scheduling test sets for automated UFT tests to run unattended from the Test Lab, storing the test cases, and also storing the test requirements in the Requirements Module. 

The Application Lifecycle Management Process with ALM includes the following phases

  • Release Specifications: Develop a release-cycle management plan to help you manage application releases and cycles efficiently.
  • Requirement Specifications: Define requirements to meet your business and testing needs.
  • Test Planning: Based on the project requirements, you can build test plans and design tests.
  • Test Execution: Create a subset of the tests in your project designed to achieve specific test goals. Execute scheduled tests to diagnose and resolve problems.
  • Defect Tracking: Submit defects and track their progress and status.

How has it helped my organization?

Multiple users can execute tests independently on their own computer because the UFT scripts are stored in ALM/Quality Center which is web based. All test cases are stored in one location (ALM) which makes it easier for users to access and maintain.

New users can quickly be added and set-up to have access to given projects in Quality Center in less than an hour.

The Defect Module can be customized to your department's needs. At a former company, we held regular meetings and used the Defect Module with a projector to go over the defects found during the previous week.

What is most valuable?

  • Ability to execute automated UFT scripts from Quality Center and store the results
  • Ability to customize modules, particularly Defect Tracking module on company specific needs
  • The user can export a lengthy test case with a lot of steps from Excel directly into Quality Center, which saves a lot of time. Conversely, a user can export a test case with all steps from Quality Center to Excel.
  • Users can save screen shots of defects and also perform manual testing by using Manual Runner that verifies whether each step passed or failed and save the results along with information such as the date/time executed and who the tester was that performed the manual test.

What needs improvement?

When a particular version of Quality Center has reached end of life, the customer is forced to upgrade to the newer version to be eligible to get technical support. The upgrade process can be time intensive and requires a lot of planning. Quality Center seems to originally designed for a Waterfall process. However, the newer versions of ALM are more adaptable to Agile testing methodology.

The BPT also known as Business Process Testing can sometimes be very time intensive and sometimes might not be very intuitive to someone who is not familiar with BPT. ALM/QC supports IE but does not support Chrome which a lot of users like/want to use.

History of Quality Center including other names and versions:

On September 1, 2017 the HPE testing tools officially became Micro Focus. It is too early to see how the transition to Micro Focus will change things. I am keeping an optimistic view that Micro Focus will continue to invest in R&D and place a priority on customer support. I believe a lot of long-time customers would like to see things run like they were back in the Mercury Interactive days, which was one of the most innovative software companies of its time. If Micro Focus develops the right strategy, they could become a dominant player in the software testing market.

It is beneficial for the reader to understand the history of Quality Center since it has gone through several name changes and versions, so I have listed the chronological events below:


  1. Mercury Interactive originally came out with TestDirector that included versions 1.52 to 8.0.

  2. Mercury renamed the product TestDirector to Quality Center in version 8.0.

  3. HP acquired Mercury and rebranded all Mercury products to HP. Therefore, Mercury Quality Center became HP Quality Center.

  4. HP released version 11.00 and renamed it to HP ALM (Application Lifecycle Management).

  5. In June 2016, HP released ALM Octane.

So essentially, the tool at one time or another has had the names TestDirector, Quality Center, ALM, and ALM Octane. Essentially, with each version and name change there has been added functionality.


For how long have I used the solution?

10 plus years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Sometimes when ALM is open and there is another browser open, Quality Center will crash.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No issues encountered, in fact, it's very straightforward to add users.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

9/10.

Technical Support:

9/10.

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

I have worked at companies that used open source tools and ALM/Quality Center. I have also worked at a company that simultaneously used both Quality Center and Rally.  Rally is also a good tool and seems to be developed more for the Agile methodology. However, when using UFT we always used it with ALM/Quality Center because we could store all of the run results from automated tests.

How was the initial setup?

The initial set-up required a lot of resources, such as the Oracle DBA, because Quality Center stores its information in tables in a database. You also have to plan and coordinate with System Analysts what servers will be used along with the architecture.

What about the implementation team?

N/A

What was our ROI?

Giving an ROI on a software product is a complicated task. I like to use the Space Shuttle as an analogy. From an economist's point of view, he or she might say the Space Shuttle program cost billions of dollars and did not see nearly that amount in hard dollars generated from resources/time saved in return. I believe NASA did get paid to put satellites into orbit via the Shuttle for private companies but it was less than the whole costs. On the other hand, a scientist could say the Space Shuttle program made many significant discoveries and also put into orbit the Hubble Telescope which discovered and took pictures of the Universe that was not possible from Earth. The Economist would just use a formula to calculate a number stating it is a bad ROI. The Scientist would say the Shuttle definitely added value by making new discoveries that advanced science so far that it cannot be measured in dollars and say it is a good ROI. My point here is that "what is the ROI" is a common question at companies and it can vary greatly on how a person approaches and perceives it.

With all this in mind, my answer is that Quality Center definitely adds value to an organization and over the long run has a positive ROI that will keep increasing over time primarily by saving time for users the more they use the functionality of all the modules. For example, using Quality Center to schedule automated test suites to run unattended increases ROI.


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

For licensing, find out the number of users who will be using it concurrently, and use that number as a starting point for the number of licenses to purchase. Quality Center is pricey, but cheaper is not always less expensive.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

No other options were evaluated.

What other advice do I have?

Write out and document all the steps and resources beforehand, and make sure everything is in place before implementing. Make sure you read the minimum requirements listed in installation instructions needed for all hardware (i.e. servers, etc.) and double-check it to ensure it is met.

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