QC/ALM: Great Product, but understand your needs before choosing licensing
December 11, 2015

QC/ALM: Great Product, but understand your needs before choosing licensing

Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with Quality Center (formerly HP Quality Center)

We used HP QC/ALM primarily in the QA Department, although the business analysts and project managers leveraged information that was generated out of QC/ALM. We were still able to use all of the different modules though, as QA added all requirements to the Requirements Module.

As Royal Caribbean is a very large company with many verticals running simultaneously, it provided QA leads, managers, project managers and business stakeholders a one stop shop in understanding the progress being made of any of the projects happening that were in the QA cycle. Less time was used generating manual reports in spreadsheets and disseminating them via email by implementing the Dashboard module and making the dashboards available to all stakeholders so that they could at any time, at a glance, understand the status of any given project in QA.
  • One of the most important aspects of QA/ALM is the total trace-ability that it can perform: Test Case to Requirement, Requirement to Release, Cycle to Release. May products try to to this and in some cases accomplish it, but its usually at the standard level; Test Script to Requirement. They don't trace back to specific releases, or cycles within that release.
  • Multiple variations on a single test script: At RCL you don't just test a function one time. You need to test it multiple times to take into consideration different brands, locations and agency types. QC allows the user to write a single scripts, but add in variations that will, when imported into the Test Lab, creates multiple versions of that script that needs to be run, with each having its own variation and results, while only having to maintain a single when requirements or functions change.
  • Reporting is very flexible and allows the user to query just about anything they need to, which is very important when generating the dashboards for stakeholders. Different Stakeholders want to see different things, and this platform allows that to be done much easier the with spreadsheets of other products that are available in the marketplace.
  • Licenses: The license structure can be very confusing and very expensive if you don't understand your usage needs. They are also not very flexible so take extra time upfront understanding your needs as you will be stuck with that for the next year.
  • Support: I have used QC in some form or fashion since it was owned by Mercury, and over time the call in support has gotten worse and harder to use. 1st, the skill level of the different support specialists varies greatly. You may have to call back a few times before you get someone who really understand the problem and can assist you. It was not like this when it was still Mercury. Also, because the support is tied to your licenses again it makes it difficult to get help quickly, unless you want to spend LOTS of money. Again when it was Mercury I could call in, give them my company specifics and start getting support right away.
  • The biggest ROI I have seen is in the integration between the business analysts and their requirements and the QA teams and their process of writing their test cases/scripts. The testing framework is automatically generated based on the requirements and can be expanded upon easily. This allows for easy trace-ability, especially when requirements change and test scripts need to be identified for modification.
  • Once configured properly, it cuts down on many manual processes that are usually done by hand in spreadsheets.
Many of these products do similar things but not as comprehensibly and as well as HP QC. Most of the tools dig to the first layer of usability but stop there, where HP QC takes it much deeper. An example is with TFS Test Manager. They have similar functions, and organize the testing libraries, but the flexibility of HP QC in how I want to set it up, for multiple projects across multiple time frames allows me to pull metrics that the other platforms can't.
In small IT shops, the cost greatly outweighs the benefits. The same is to be said at a very large shop. A mid-sized company seems to be the sweet sport of HP QA/ALM.

Micro Focus ALM / Quality Center Feature Ratings

Using Quality Center (formerly HP Quality Center)

50 - QA, BA, PM and Project Stakeholders
2 - Skills:
  • DBAs
  • SQL Knowlage
  • General UI look and feel
  • General UI Usability
  • Requirements Entered and testing cases structure is generated off of those requirements.
  • Test Scripts can be traced to a requirement, cycle and/or a release.
  • A single test script can have multiple versions.
  • A single test script can have multiple variations with, yet be maintained within the single script, not 4 times for each variation.
  • None at this time
  • We tend to force our agile projects into the waterfall structure in HP QC, so we could be better at how we setup a repository to take into account its agile nature.