Tag Archives: ALM

ALM Next Gen named Octane

In my previous post “a brief look into ALM NG” I provided some details about the new technology for ALM that HPE had in beta.

On June 1st, 2016 Kelly Emo from HPE blogged about the new product. The official announcement from HPE got published here the same day.

The new name is “HPE ALM Octane“.

According to HPE availability of the product is as follows “HPE ALM Octane is available as a cloud-delivered service starting today. On-premise HPE ALM Octane installations will be available later in 2016. Current HPE ALM and HPE Quality Center enterprise customers on support are entitled to the new offering as part of their active support contract. “

Interestingly, it has been made available as part of a minor release of the existing HP ALM product a couple of days ago with release number 12.53.

The ALM 12.53 release notes state:

“We have expanded the ALM experience by introducing HPE ALM Octane, a separate platform that is tuned and designed for high-velocity, lean and Agile teams. ALM Octane integrates with both HPE Agile Manager and the traditional ALM .net platform, allowing teams to easily share assets and report across projects. For details, see Octane Help Center.”

HPE will provide more information about Octane on the upcoming Discover 2016 conference in Las Vegas June 7-9 2016.

A brief look into HPE’s NG ALM

On March 19 HPE announced the upcoming availability of its “Next Generation ALM” (NG ALM) product as a beta version. In a previous post I shortly described HPE’s intended direction to support bimodal IT with this offering.

Since then I had the chance to look up the beta version. In this post I describe some of my findings. The product has so many areas that I need to focus on some of the highlights. It is not the goal of this blog to provide a complete overview.

Be aware that the product is still in a state of flux, so features might have already changed by the time of this writing. Furthermore, it is safe to assume that the released product will look different (and this will definitely be the case for the product name).

According to HPE NG ALM targets the modern way of developing software products from the very beginning until delivery. This way the entire value stream for product generation is covered.

To support this NG ALM provides 5 entry points to the user: Dashboard, backlog, application modules, pipelines, and defects.

Product areasNotice that there is no “testing” entry; more about that later.

Currently NG ALM manages the following entities:

  • Themes
  • Features
  • Stories
  • Tests
  • Defects

For a given software product those entities are related to each other. NG ALM utilizes a couple of concepts to express these relationships: Hierarchies, relationships, and tagging.  I will describe more about those within the specific product area.

The dashboard provides aggregated information about various aspects of product generation. Individual widgets can be configured based on user needs. Similar to widgets available in HPE’s Agile Manager additional data is provided when hovering over the graphics as illustrated in the screenshot below.

DashboardNG ALM allows to perform detailed analysis of this data via drill down capabilities that are accessible directly from these graphs.

The backlog area contains various aspects to work on: Themes, Features, Stories, and Tests.

BacklogThemes and Features are organized hierarchically. Themes provide the highest level of organization. They represent large grained application areas that can be described by a set of individual features underneath them. Features will have stories attached that implement the feature and tests to validate the stories. Defects may be also located at the feature or story level. NG ALM utilizes freely definable tags to support efficient and effective work environments. They are optionally visible on the right side of the screen and can be turned on and off via simple clicks. Tagging and filtering is nicely grouped together and can be used in combination.

Backlog 2Stories will be tested thus having a relationship to test entities. During the life cycle of a software product tests will be conducted often. A user will have to create the relationship between the user story and test, NG ALM will automatically create relationships between tests and individual runs of those tests. For analysis purposes these relationships can be viewed at in a graphical manner.

RelationsThese graphs provide direct access to details of the displayed elements if desired.

The application module area allows to arrange tests in a way to support long term needs of the organization. Often this might be an architectural view of the product. But there might be other organizational aspects that are of interest. There is no longer a split into separate application modules of test design and test execution as in the current ALM product. Runs can be directly accessed from the tests. Tests can be assigned to multiple application modules.

App ModulesBesides manual tests NG ALM provides a new way into automated testing by utilizing the Gherkin framework. Gherkin is a business readable, Domain Specific Language (DSL) that lets you describe software behavior without detailing how that behavior is implemented.

ngbr7Gherkin became prominent in recent years in context with agile methods that favor a high degree of test automation.

Gherkin tests are handled like development artifacts and stored in a configuration management system. Each time a developer finishes coding an automated build can be triggered along with automated tests. This development approach results in fast-paced and high quality software production.

The defects area delivers pretty much what you would expect from it: Views into the defects of a software product from various use aspects. Modern filtering, tagging and grouping is supported within that module.

DefectsThe pipeline area brings it all together. It is a direct linkage into the build, test and deploy environment. NG ALM provides direct control of those build processes. Out of the box it provides management capabilities of the Jenkins environment.

ngbr9Configuration and customization

With NG ALM HPE provides a modern way to customize the workflow. No more VBA scripting as there is in the current ALM product. Phases and transitions can be added graphically as shown in the following screenshot:

Automatic assignment of tests to application areas can be configured using test assignment rules. Each time a new test matches such a description the test will be automatically assigned to the specified test area.


NG ALM provides an impressive new approach of HPE into the modern way of developing software. The product can be used with any modern browser which is a big advantage over the existing HPE ALM product. HPE also provides several integrations / synchronizations into its flagship products to allow immediate benefits for early adopters.

New key functionalities are the test automation framework Gherkin and the pipeline approach. They address the move into an agile way of developing software and managing the DevOps challenge.

The product is in a very early phase, therefore customers should expect quite some functionality additions. Specifically, I see the following areas that need to be addressed:

  • Functionality for agile development (e.g.: boards)
  • Functionality for traditional development
  • Integration into other HPE product offerings in the ALM domain
  • Migration for existing users of HPE ALM

Conceptually, there are questions too:

  • What will be the role of traditional requirements in this environment?
  • What are the relationships to business modeling and business process testing?

I will closely monitor how HPE is following up on those challenges and other feedback from the customer community. Stay tuned for more exciting news.

Update on June 1, 2016: The product is released and got the official name HPE ALM Octane.

Links to HPE sources about the new beta version:

HPE YouTube: ALM Beta Lifecycle Demonstration
HPE YouTube: Next Generation Application Lifecycle Management Beta Overview
Vivit webinar recording March 22: HPE ALM Beta

Next Generation ALM Beta

On March 19, 2016 HPE has posted two new videos on the YouTube channel of HPE Software about the upcoming beta phase of the product “Next Generation ALM”.

This product is a fully web based ALM solution that targets the enterprise environment. According to HPE it will scale to thousands of users supporting the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe).

It is a completely new developed product that addresses the bimodal challenges in IT departments. Bimodal IT as defined by Gartner “is the practice of managing two separate, coherent modes of IT delivery, one focused on stability and the other on agility. Mode 1 is traditional and sequential, emphasizing safety and accuracy. Mode 2 is exploratory and nonlinear, emphasizing agility and speed.” HPE currently addresses mode 1 with the existing HPE ALM solution. The “Next Gen ALM” targets mode 2.

On March 22 HPE provided a webinar to the Vivit community with the title: HPE ALM Beta

Within that seminar Vandan Nayak Product Manager from HPE announced the start of public beta for March 24, 2016.
The Website for registration is: https://saas.hpe.com/signup/try/alm-beta
The on premise availability for the public beta is scheduled for April 4, 2016.

HPE starts an interesting journey with the “Next Gen ALM” product approach. Watch out for more insights about HPE’s move towards the agile future at agileQC.net in the upcoming weeks.


HPE YouTube: ALM Beta Lifecycle Demonstration
HPE YouTube: Next Generation Application Lifecycle Management Beta Overview
Vivit Worldwide
Vivit webinar recording March 22: HPE ALM Beta
Gartner on Bimodal IT: Definition, In depth report

HP ALM Editions

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) provides five different editions of HP ALM / Quality Center as of December 2015:

  • HP ALM
  • HP Quality Center Enterprise
  • HP ALM Performance Center
  • HP Quality Center Express
  • HP Quality Center Community Edition

Availability of features depend on edition. A quick overview of features by edition is available at the Application Lifecycle Management Help Center: ALM Editions

The feature matrix there provides a comprehensive overview about the capabilities of the five editions. However, for companies newly interested in HP ALM, it still might be a challenge to find out which edition is the right one for them.

In case you need guidance feel free to contact us.

What’s new in HP ALM

HP has established a central online information repository with detailed information about HP ALM. It’s called “Application Lifecycle Management Help Center”. Once you access it via the URL: Go to HP ALM Help Center you will see the Help Center loaded with the latest release information (in this case 12.50)

Starting from this page you will find an excellent collection of information targeted at HP ALM end users and administrators. Moreover, you also get information about previous releases.


HP Agile Manager – impressions and outlook

In my first two blogs about HP Agile Manager (HP AM in the following) I provided some facts about the upcoming product.

This blog elaborates on impressions, use scenarios and outlook.

Let me start with the summary first. Wow, this is the type of product that was expected by many HP customers who work the agile way! It took HP quite some time to deliver a product on the agile premise. Now, agile practitioners can use the browser of their choice and are no longer stuck with the Internet Explorer, which is still required to run HP QC/ALM.

For IT departments in large organizations this product will be a big relief and cost saver, as they don’t have to care about installations and needed permissions any longer. No ActiveX components like in QC are required to run the UI. It simply runs anywhere without any download. I did state “will”, because currently the product isn’t delivered at all to IT organizations. The only way to get it is through a SaaS service from HP. While this is an excellent opportunity for companies who are allowed to store data outside of the company network, this is a killer argument for companies who aren’t allowed to do so. From my experience specifically European companies will have some issues here. And this is not just because of intellectual property stored elsewhere. It also has to do with the fact that HP SaaS is typically located in the US. Network latency issue often have an impact on service availability.

From a usability perspective HP AM is certainly great for young generation employees who are used to web interfaces. IT veterans still have their way to go learning new navigation aspects of such a web application.

For a “1.0 release” HP AM delivers a rich set of functionality for agile development. With its hierarchical concepts of themes, features, users stories and tasks large development projects and programs can utilize this product for agile development. And this is not a surprise, as the concepts for HP AM stem from one of HP’s internal development organization with a long experience in agile development. HP utilizes internally a lab prototype product which was presented at several events already. See last paragraph on blog New Opportunities for QM.

Therefore, customers have good reasons to assume, that this product is practice oriented and delivers value to agile development organizations. However, utilizing HP AM to its full potential may be a challenge for organizations just starting with agile. E.g. Estimation, planning and tracking features require corresponding practices at the organization level.

Looking at the competition, HP has to accept that in the second decade of agile development there are already market leaders established. With Rally Software and VersionOne among the most successful. So, how can HP win? Well, HP has a great software portfolio and specifically well established test management solutions. An integrated test management approach is critical for success in agile development. HP AM can hardly win as a standalone solution, but  tight integration with other HP offerings will transform HP AM into a killer app.

It will be interesting to see how fast HP is able to leverage other HP Software solutions.

HP announced already a synchronization tool between customers HP QC/ALM instances and the HP SaaS solution that will allow to synchronize data. However, it seems that data is only partially synchronized. Within the HP AM product Q&A customers already stated, that this is not what they expect. They want to have all data synchronized. Why? Well, there are several reasons. Customers who already have deployed QC/ALM often have build a lot of project management support processes around this tool infrastructure. Reporting, analytics and data warehouse applications are often well established. It is understandable, that they need to have all data in one place. This is specifically true for organizations who do hybrid development: Agile and non-agile.

Next week on Discover 2012 in Frankfurt existing HP Customers will have a chance to experience HP Agile Manager live. And there will be opportunities to exchange ideas and experiences with other practitioners. For example the Vivit TQA roundtable on agile development.

HP AM is a late start, but good start. Stay tuned.


HP Agile Manager Beta

HP Agile Manager – Public Beta

On October 17, 2012  HP announced public Beta for its upcoming product HP Agile Manager (referenced as HP AM in the following). The Beta program will run until end of November and is a continuation of the private Beta which started in summer 2012 with selected customers.

HP AM is a fully web based solution to plan and execute agile projects. This SaaS solution provides integration capabilities into build and development environments. Using HP AM agile development team members and manager have instant access to project progress and rich possibilities for planning and analytics within agile development programs.

HP AM represents a major step in HPs agile offerings within the application lifecycle management ecosystem. While HP QC already has enabling features for agile development since 2008 there is not a dedicated product available that focuses solely on agile development. As of today two add-on components are offered for agile development: The HP Agile Accelerator and Application Lifecycle Integration (ALI). The Agile Accelerator delivers a specific customization for QC Enterprise or ALM, so that agile teams can start working in QC right away. With ALI HP offers QC users an integration into development and build environments.

HP AM can be used alone, or in combination with other offerings. For the HP QC/ALM community it will be of specific interest to understand how HP leverages its existing environment in combination with the new offering.

In my next blog I will provide a closer look at the beta functionalities of HP AM.

Stay tuned.

Agile Support In HP Quality Center 11

On September 7, Raziel Tabib presented “New Features of HP Quality Center and Product Roadmap” in a Vivit Webcast. Raziel is a Sr. Product Manager in the HP ALM suite of products.

In this blog I review the webinar from an agile perspective. The complete Webinar along with Q&A is available as archived session for Vivit members. Note, that basic Vivit membership is free.


Raziel started the announcement with a big bang: The presentation content is no longer roadmap, but reality, “HP Quality Center 11 is available as of today”.

In this release HP sets the focus on the application lifecycle management (ALM) message. They even place an ALM product on the pricelist, “ALM 11.0”. It represents a suite of products that helps customers to manage their products along the entire lifecycle, e.g., Requirements Management, Development Management, Quality Management, Performance Management and Project Dashboard. This supports the agile perspective insofar as it provides a holistic view on all development activities.

One aspect of the holistic view is the integration into developer environments. QC 11 comes with an out-of-the-box integration into the eclipse IDE. Once a Sprint has started the developer can stay in his working environment – e.g. Eclipse IDE – and update user stories, tasks and defects. All changes will be reflected in HP QC. This integration provides a large potential to accept QC as an agile repository for the project. Overhead is minimized; no switching of tools (from developer perspective) once a Sprint has started.

Backlog management with QC 11 will be much more intuitive than before. The key to usability is a new feature named “custom ordering” in the requirements management module. With this long-awaited functionality it is now possible to drag a user story exactly to the position which represents its priority in the backlog. Prior versions of QC needed to use custom attributes and workflow programming in order to achieve that functionality.

A whole new set on reporting is available in Quality Center. From an agile perspective the possibility to integrate those reports into external web pages, like wiki-pages is the most interesting one. Now, teams can use their agile reporting environment of choice. QA managers can check-out their dashboards without the need to log into QC.


Manual testing is greatly enhanced by a new tool called “Sprinter” (any Scrum affiliation is purely coincidence J). Better screen usage, annotation possibilities, recording of test actions and parallel testing of multiple target systems summarize the new functionalities. Agile teams practicing “exploratory testing” will love that tool.

Side by side clients

Starting with HP QC 11 it is possible to have several client versions of QC on a single machine. While this isn’t an intrinsic agile feature it will contribute to a successful transition to agile development.

Agile teams can explore the newest HP QC 11 version with all of its features for agile teams. Still they can work with a different HP QC version in operation.

HP is taking the agile movement serious. Release after release they have added functionality to make life easier for agile teams. The only challenge for customers is that it is not that easy to see. Most of the features are just built-in enablers. With the exception of the agile accelerator experienced users are needed to turn these features into great agile solutions.

Agile ALM with HP and CollabNet

Gerald Heller

On June 15, 2010 CollabNet® announced a collaboration with HP that will provide customers with an end-to-end Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) solution that supports software application development from requirements definition, through development and testing, to release. The end-points of the integration are HP Quality Center and the CollabNet TeamForge™ platform.

While CollabNet® has a pretty general integration and synchronization framework, this solution is specifically interesting because of its agile context. The integration provides bi-directional synchronization of requirements, epics, user stories, defects, tests, and more.

I’m pretty impressed by the outcome. It allows developers, project leads and testers to stay in the environment they use most. For example, if a developer adds a new task to a user story in TeamForge/Eclipse, the task will also appear as a sub-requirement of a user story in HP Quality Center. As a result a tester, who works in Quality Center will have the same information at hand. All relevant data is synchronized between the two environments. Even comments are being synchronized.

This looks pretty cool to me. It will definitely be worthwhile to give it a try. There is quite some potential for increases in work efficiency.

There is a recorded demo from CollabNet®, which provides a good impression of the integration.