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HP Performance Center 9.5 and the suite life

HP’s addition of some hefty features to its new HP Performance Center 9.5 release, announced today, is further evidence that HP has done the right things with the acquired Mercury software testing line, according to Theresa Lanowitz, founder of analyst firm voke inc.

“Mercury found a good home in HP,” Lanowitz told me yesterday. “Being on the later release numbers of HP Performance Center and Quality Center speaks to the longevity that these tools have on the market.”

Rather than just focus on the HP release in our conversation, Lanowitz discussed the key trends that it signifies, and that’s what this post covers. That said, here are some of the basics about the announcement:

  • HP Performance Center release 9.5, an updated suite of performance testing software, is available now as a product or through HP Software as a Service, the latter approach being a conduit toward creating a consolidated quality management program.
  • HP LoadRunner load testing software is now part of Performance Center, enabling checking application performance against business requirements during the testing cycle.
  • HP today also updated its Application Lifecycle Management services, bring more features that help IT organizations create Centers of Excellence (CoE) to increase the quality of applications.

With this release, HP continues tearing down the walls between development, QA, IT operations and business analysts,” Lanowitz said. She continued:

HP is giving people ways to work together via dashboards, that sort of thing, that allow the lifecycle to not be linear — to not be just about development. It’s about transforming the lifecycle to take on all of these aspects and make sure these barriers are broken down between all the parts of the IT and business organizations.

Lanowitz sees people using Performance Center today to prioritize the apps that they have to build out as an enterprise IT organization and centralize their efforts to make sure they’re using all their skills and resources correctly. Lanowitz expects to see fewer software projects using department-centric methodologies and a blend of best-of-breed tools.

“The economic climate and complexity of projects is creating more interest in standardizing on one set of tools that can be used across the project and, mostly likely, enterprise,” Lanowitz said.

The new HP Performance Center 9.5 release -– as well as the strong and continued work by IBM on its Rational line and Microsoft on Visual Studio — shows the maturity of the movement away from point software development products and the sticking power of the trend toward wall-less and business-centric application lifecycle management processes.

Each acquired company had a sweet spot where they lived, Lanowitz said. For instance, Mercury was focused on the testing side, and HP has extended from there to operations-centric tools. Rational was more focused on developers, and IBM has expanded to include testers, IT operations managers and more.

In Lanowitz’s view, global lifecycle solutions help businesses build productive, efficient software application organizations whose projects fulfill business needs, Lanowitz said. They open the door to automating more processes and tearing down productivity-breaking walls between software, IT and business departments.

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