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Micro Focus ALM Quality Center Room for Improvement

Head of Testing at Pick n Pay

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.

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Performance and Automation Testing Squad Lead at a financial services firm with 5,001-10,000 employees

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.

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IT Quality and Architecture Senior Manager at a comms service provider with 10,001+ employees

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.

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Learn what your peers think about Micro Focus ALM Quality Center. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: January 2022.
564,599 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Managing Partner at Verve Square Technologies

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.

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Test Specialist at a consultancy with self employed

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.

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Quality Lead at Vodafone

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.

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Sr. Architect at a tech services company with 51-200 employees

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.

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QA Automation Engineer at a consultancy with 1,001-5,000 employees

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.

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Test Automation Eng Senior Analyst at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees

One drawback is that ALM only launches with the IE browser. It is not supporting the latest in Chrome. With advanced IE settings, advanced security settings, only if everything is enabled will ALM open. ALM will not launch any of the latest browsers, including Chrome. I'm not sure if this is true for the latest versions of ALM. I'm talking about the older versions. We are not using the latest version in this organization.

It should be launched for all of the latest browsers. If we could test with mobile, it would be better. We need to launch all the browsers to run the UFT scripts. There is a significant UFT mechanism that requires syncing with ALM to run with multiple browsers. 

I would also like to see API calls and AI-based algorithms to run things in an easier manner.

We have also have a minor issue, sometimes, where we are unable to launch the site. There is a back-end server and the allocation space is over what it can handle. We request the server team to clear the server.

Also, sometimes we need to write a query for downloading the execution app. That can be a little bit tricky. It would be better if there were no need to write it and we could simply download it.

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IS Director, ERP PTP Solution Architecture at a healthcare company with 10,001+ employees

It's really customizable, so I don't know if we're using it well enough, but with the way requirements are managed, there's no inherent workflow or statusing native to the application. Reviewed and not reviewed is the standard. I would like to see the ability to manage the requirements a little bit better.

There were multiple modules to the solution so the requirements can map to test scripts but it can't map to test steps. If you've got a process that's set up and you've got multiple test scripts that are in it, each script has to be linked to the requirement and the whole set can't be. If we're doing process-driven testing, it's more difficult to do it at the script level, which is what we're finding from a traceability perspective.

Having a way to connect requirements to test steps would be helpful.

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Senior SW Quality Manager at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees

While I'm using a lot of the business reports, these are very complicated.

It is hard to find the traceability from a defect to a requirement. Sometimes, it is very hard to find the evidence in an executed test case. While it's possible, it could be easier. Only these two things have to be improved: the tracking from a defect to requirement and the evidence of testing.

Quality Center's ability to connect all the different projects to reflect status and progress is quite complicated. We may develop something because there are so many projects. Right now, I have to do something which Quality Center is really not designed for: over reporting. This is a very big problem right now. We may develop some controls, but it is problem at the moment. I love Quality Center for individual projects to work with it. However, if you have a lot of projects for Quality Manager to do cross reporting on many projects, then it's almost impossible. It takes a lot of time. 

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Test Advisory, Management & Implementation at a energy/utilities company with 51-200 employees

Pricing could be improved as it's high-priced. I don't exactly know the pricing point, but previously, I know that it was really high so fewer people were able to use it for their projects. That's the only disadvantage I could think of.

One other thing: I'm not sure if Micro Focus ALM Quality Center has this feature, or other people could be using this feature currently, but if it can be connected to any automation tool then it can pass those automation test scripts, which internally it can reflect that requirement if it passed. If that feature is there, then it's good.

If that feature isn't available, what I would like to see right now is whether it can be done manually. You can say that manually, these test cases that are linked to the requirement have passed.

If this solution, on the other hand, can be connected to an automation tool, then it can update us automatically about the test script and whether there's a link between the test scripts and the requirement, then we can say: "Okay, this requirement ran automation test scripts and it passed, and that means coverage is good."

I don't know whether this feature is currently available. If it's there, good. If it isn't, then that would probably be one last item I would be looking for which I'd like to be integrated into the test management tool.

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Camera Software Engineer at L Soft Corp

In terms of places for improvement, Micro Focus is an expensive tool. We see nowadays that there are other products coming, and Micro Focus is more expensive and there are lots of license costs. Lots of companies are not taking it because of the cost.

It would be a good idea if they could deal with some user features and take a look at the cost. Because there is a lot of maintenance. People buy licenses and then every year they need to pay around 18% support charge, et cetera. It depends on the companies. Some rich companies buy it. Mid-level and smaller companies may have difficulties with this one.

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Consultant at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees

The uploading of test scripts can get a little cumbersome and that is a very sensitive task. They could improve on that a lot. It's really important that this gets better as I'm loading close to a thousand test scripts per cycle.

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Test Manager with 10,001+ employees

When it came to JIRA and Agile adoption, that was not really easy to do with ALM. I tried, but I was not able to do much on that. So for Agile, I've never used it and I'm not sure how good it is. There is room for improvement in the way it connects to and handles Agile projects. When I was trying to manage both Agile and projects with ALM, I had to pick up my defects and reinsert them in ALM. There was no integration that I was able to find for that, although that was about a year ago.

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Consultor de tecnologia - QA at a consultancy with 501-1,000 employees

In the world of agile, the solution needs to make testing better. They need to arrange their tests with a very high speed of tests. Quality Center is a little bit old in terms of approach. It needs to be modernized. I have to go through many cycles, et cetera, in order to register everything correctly. I need more flexibility to adapt to the new methodology of agile for Excel. That will require more speed. Currently, due to the relative slowness, takes a lot of time to use the tools very well. 

If the solution could create a lighter, more flexible tool with more adaptability to new methodologies such as agile, it would be great.

I was in contact with my support team here, and there is a new release of Quality Center for agile. That is called Quality Center Octane. However, my support team has not made it available to me yet. I was waiting to see the new version of Quality Center Octane, to see if it would have more flexibility in agile. 

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Global Lead at a manufacturing company with 10,001+ employees

We are looking for tools that offer quick automation for using a low-code, no-code, model testing, et cetera, which can reach more non-legacy technologies.

We are looking for more automation capabilities.

We would like end-to-end agile delivery, which is coming up. I can't comment on if it will properly suit us or offer the integration with other technologies, such as  Service Now or Azure Boards, et cetera. I've seen a few integration issues. It's my understanding that we have to go for third-party add-ons.

We are still evaluating. I don't have many answers yet however, it does look like we have to rely on third-party add-ons to get this integration done. We'd like to have more built-in capabilities. 

If they can bring in inbuilt APIs to connect to this, at least the standard technologies, like Service Now, Azure Boards, JTOC conference, et cetera, that'll be great. 

As we are behind a few versions, I don't know whether anything available is in the latest version in regards to business process testing, where you can sequence the steps and having a collaboration by notifications et cetera, that would be ideal.

We are working to get to the latest version to see what else may have been added or adjusted. 

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Software Engineer

ALM is a dated application, and I am researching to see what other solutions are available.

We would like to upgrade to be more modern.

If you want to extend it, they use ActiveX which was put into a browser to go to the internet, but it never had security built into it. It is what Microsoft Office is based on.

It hasn't kept up, while others have and are adding new features and tools.

I would like to be able to use free keyword searches, where you're not just limited to SQL queries.

The software gets leapfrogged because you make a lot of investment in building something. You're selling it for five years, and meanwhile, all of the other tools are improving. Another vendor comes along to make the same thing that took you three years to build, he built it in six months.

It's all easier to make. It's always a cycle. I just look around to see where we are at in that cycle with test management software.

I would like to be able to search easier, not just do SQL queries, being able to do free keyword searches on the data. That's valuable.

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Talent Acquisition Specialist at a computer software company with 10,001+ employees

The Agile methodology is now being used across all the organizations, but in this solution, we don't have a dashboard like Jira. In Jira, you can move your product backlogs from one space to another and see the progress, that is, whether a backlog is in the development stage or testing stage. Micro Focus ALM Quality Center does not have this feature. It is typically very straightforward. You just execute the test cases from it, and you just make them pass, fail, or whatever. They can also improve its integration with Jira.

The browser support needs to be improved in this because it supports only Internet Explorer as of now. It does not have support for Firefox, Chrome, Safari, or any other browser. 

There are also some performance issues in it. Let's say that you are doing the testing, and you found something and are logging the defect. When you try to attach several or multiple screenshots with the defect, it slows down, which is a very common problem people face.

I would like them to include a functionality where I am able to see the reports across all the projects. When you have multiple projects, being a manager, I would like to see the reports across all the projects. Currently, there is no single sign-on through which we can get all the information at one place. You need to log into it project-wise. If you have ten projects, you can't view the information in one dashboard.

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Sr. Solution Architect at a tech services company with 51-200 employees

It is pricey.

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Senior Specialist - Quality Engineer at a financial services firm with 201-500 employees

We are having a lot of problems with this solution. One example is that users are able to run test cases, but the permissions are managed by another group.

I don't have the ability to create test sets.

A lot of the testing steps are ad-hoc in nature where they have a lot of prerequisites, but they don't specify what the prerequisites are.

The organization that I am at is not very good in the sense that even finding test cases that need to be run is very difficult.

The UFT tests don't work very well and it seems to depend on things as simple as the screen resolution on a machine that I've moved to. Specifically, if I move to a screen with a different resolution then it throws things off.

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National Solutions Architect at a computer software company with 10,001+ employees

It can be quite clunky, and it can easily be configured badly, which I've seen in a couple of places. If it is configured badly, it can be very hard to use. It is not so easy to integrate with other products. I've not used Micro Focus in a proper CI/CD pipeline, and I haven't managed to get that working because that has not been my focus. So, I find it hard. I've often lost the information because it had committed badly. It doesn't commit very well sometimes, but that might have to do with the sites that I was working at and the way they had configured it.  

The feature that I would have liked to see is more integration into CI/CD pipeline and agile pipeline. It should have integration with third-party tools such as Jira, DevOps, and the cross-platform type of thing. The versions I've used are older, so these features may have already been included in the new versions.

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Sr. Manager - SAP Authorization & Complaince at a pharma/biotech company with 1,001-5,000 employees

HP-QC does not support Agile. It is designed for Waterfall. This is the number one issue that we're facing right now, which is why we want to look for another tool.

We're a pharmaceutical services company, so we require electronic signatures in a tool, but this functionality isn't available in HP-QC. We don't have 21 CFR, Part 11, electronic signatures, and we need compliant electronic signatures.

Some of the ALM tools can toggle between tabular format and document format for requirements, but the same feature is not available in this solution. There is also no concept of base-lining or versioning. It doesn't exist.

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Head of SAP/ SAP Solution Architect at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees

I frankly don't recommend Micro Focus solutions. 

The support is not good and the documentation is not consistent. I even opened the issue to the partner. With the support not being great, we faced some stressful situations with the customer. That's why I'm looking for another partner.

I'd like to see more artificial intelligence and machine learning features implemented in future releases.

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Director Software Quality Assurance at Inspired Testing

The pricing of the product could be improved.

The solution needs to offer support for Agile. Currently, ALM only supports Waterfall. Whereas ALM Octane is a product that Micro Focus has full for Agile projects. It's not really and apples to apples comparison between those two products, however, it shows that the company has an understanding of Agile and it would be nice if they could support it on both products.

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Tool Administrator at a non-profit with 10,001+ employees

Only Internet Explorer is supported. That is a big problem. They don't support Chrome and Firefox and so on.

The browser limitation is the biggest problem —  nobody wants to use IE in this world.

The browser issue is a big deal because it doesn't work on Mac. That's a game-changer, but now, I assume they have come up with a giant tool, ALM Octane.

It would be great if they brought the waterfall model with ALM Octane, or created a new interface as such. 

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Executive Vice President at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees

At this time, we don't feel that this solution has any value. We are communicating with Micro Focus to address this commission where we feel that it has more value added to it.

The integration needs improvement. It is not integrated with the rest of the ecosystem. It's a stand-alone tool right now used for testing and defects. We are considering and testing Octane because it seems to have more integration with the DevOps ecosystem.

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Presales Consultant at Oracle

The project tracking is a bit complex. It takes some time to maneuver around it. It would also help if you could export some of the reports generated from it e.g. the Master Plan.

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Test Solution Architect at a tech services company with 51-200 employees

The tools could be useful if we were utilizing them more effectively. There is not a standard way of using the tools and I think that if there was, we would benefit. The tools are also too complex.

If they could improve their BPT business components that would be good to include in the next release. The current one does not seem complete. It is not really user friendly and it is difficult to handle test speeds. Even though the product supports a range of configurations they are difficult to set up and we preferred a different configuration.

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Learn what your peers think about Micro Focus ALM Quality Center. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: January 2022.
564,599 professionals have used our research since 2012.