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This article is part of our Buyer's Guide: Application lifecycle management tools: A buyer's guide to ALM software

HP application lifecycle management: What you need to know

The HP application lifecycle management suite, HP ALM, offers on-premises or SaaS ALM tools to enterprises small and large.

The HP Application Lifecycle Management software suite, HP ALM, is an on-premises or software as a service (SaaS)...

suite that runs on Windows, Linux, Mac OS, Solaris, AIX and other operating systems. The suite uses Java, .net, Javascript and HTML5 programming languages. Sold under the HP Application Lifecycle Management category and also as part of HP's broader Application Delivery Management suite of products, HP ALM is designed for use by both large corporations and small- to medium-sized businesses. It is designed to be flexible and scalable in order to accommodate team sizes in many different industries.

The HP Application Lifecycle Management suite offers several components that facilitate traceability, communication and functionality. The on-premises version offers the full menu of ALM tools. The new SaaS version offers a Web client and a desktop client; however, the Web client contains only requirements and defect modules.

The HP Project Planning and Tracking component provides project planning and tracking so application development teams can define, track, measure and report on project milestones and key performance indicators. HP Requirements Definition and Management lets IT departments capture, manage and track requirements throughout the application development and testing cycle. Each team is given a single communal repository to communicate with each other and to work on requirements. HP Application Lifecycle Management software suite offers over 200 integrations including Eclipse and Microsoft VSTS integrated development environments, CollabNet's TeamForge, Tasktop Mylyn and other HP software such as HP Unified Functional Testing, HP Performance Center and HP LoadRunner, HP WebInspect and HP QAInspect. Additionally, HP offers pre-built integrations with requirements visualization tools, such as Blueprint Requirements Center and iRise Studio, HP Project and Portfolio Management via HP Quality Center and more. HP ALM also offers a set of APIs to allow integration with other third-party systems not covered by out-of-the-box integrations.

HP Business Process Testing framework software helps teams transition to an architected approach to automated testing. Using a repository of reusable test modules, users can record changes made during the testing phase and disseminate this information to multiple teams working at varying stages of testing to keep organizations up to date. HP Sprinter software for accelerated manual testing streamlines manual exploratory software testing and allows testers to produce accurate write-ups of bug reproduction and related issues. Sprinter captures user actions as steps in a formal test and uses data injection to cut down on manual repetition. Mirror testing aids in efficiency, and automated defect scanners work to maintain compliance.

HP Quality Center offers an additional way for users to work out issues that arise during the development cycle. It provides tools to aid in optimizing and streamlining testing and requirements management. The HP Quality Center also includes the HP Defect Module, the HP ALM Repository and HP Application Lifecycle Intelligence.

“Using a repository of reusable test modules, users can record changes made during the testing phase and disseminate this information to multiple teams working at varying stages of testing to keep organizations up to date.”

At every stage of the development cycle, HP ALM users have access to native communication features that include email notification, report and dashboard capabilities and in-house notifications. The HP application lifecycle management suite supports nine different spoken languages.

Available for purchase directly from HP or through one of HP's many partners, the ALM suite is licensed on either a named user or concurrent user basis. The same functionality is available to all users regardless of license type. Pricing for HP ALM is dependent on the offering chosen and the method of implementation, on-premises or SaaS, and whether the customer is a named user or a concurrent user. The SaaS offering limits the number of project instances, based on concurrent licenses. For example, if you have 100 licenses, you can have 200 projects. A free trial of HP ALM is available for 30 days. An unlimited time free trial (limited functionality) of the HP Quality Center is available for up to five named users. The HP ALM suite currently offers three other editions: QC Express (on-premises), QC Team (SaaS) and QC Enterprise (both on-premises and SaaS). The QC Community edition is a free, unlimited trial for up to five users.

Because of the multitude of possible product combinations and variations in their respective costs, HP recommends that prospective customers contact their sales department or an HP partner to discuss licensing and request a quote. Likewise, HP's support options and pricing vary depending on the products purchased and whether the product is on-premises or SaaS.

Next Steps

Understand ALM and all its components before making your buying decision

You know all about ALM, but which software is right for your organization?

Is your company's ALM strategy standardized? Should it be?

 

This was last published in September 2015

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What has your experience with the HP application lifecycle management software suite been like?
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Overall, our experience with the HP ALM software itself has been positive. We have had some issues with migrating some of our larger projects to newer versions, and have had to jump through some hoops and cross our fingers a time or two (especially for projects that must comply with SOX controls).
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You can read user reviews of HP ALM on IT Central Station. This user wrote that, "It's helped in formalizing and adding structure to what was up to that point in time a series of checklists that were not version controlled." but they noted that report generation needs to be simplified. You can read the full review here: http://www.itcentralstation.com/product_reviews/hp-alm-review-34920-by-qualityanalyst984
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Report generation needs to be improved as well. It’s almost like it was tacked on as an afterthought. It’s kludgy, plain and simple. We often went directly to the database to pull the reports we wanted, rather than working with ALM’s reporting.
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We’ve been using HP’s ALM for years now, and it does what it does well, despite the minor pain points created by the way the system forces us to do certain things. We are now starting to look at other options for our test management tool, with the primary reason being cost - our annual HP expenditures are just too high for the benefit that we get from the tools.
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