Yesterday I attended a sales speech by some HP representative willing to sell HP quality center to us.We've been dealing with tools issue for a very long time in joost. Last year we settled on Aptest - to deal with our test cases, test reports and so on. When we bough the product we should have done two things :
- make sure we understood how to use it
- spend some time training to use it
We did not do that and tried to use it but eventually we failed.
So getting back at the presentation from HP- it was nicely done , they had actually tried to understand what my company does. So as most tools that deal with quality, defects etc ..., the first thing QC does is deal with requirements. Requirements is something that has never really been formalized here. I then realized that we should have involve product management into our tools, and change a bit the way our company works.Maybe our use of those tools would have been broader and better if the complete chain would have been involved : PM, developers and QA. But doing this is a big cultural change and would not happen overnight anyway.
So the first bad news about HP QC is that you need to use Internet Explorer from Microsoft to use it - it appears - but not really clear - that you can also use a client to access the application. Unfortunately the client seems to be written in .net, so exist Mac OS support and Linux support. Our company almost does not use IE, we would also need support for our developers working on Linux and Mac OS X. So while this might sound weird to some of you , it makes sense for most of HP's customers. Big Corporation - like some I've worked at (BNP, Societe Generale) maintain their desktops and they are IE only companies (some of them still deployed IE 5.5 back in 2006). So form a market and business perspective it makes sens for HP not to support anything else then IE.
The product is based on the following work flow (roughly) Requirements -> Test case -> test scripts -> execution -> reports and defects. So writing test case seems easy even If i did not really like the interface - which really looks complicated but that main impression might comes from my lack of use of the tool more than anywhere else. Most of the scripting is based on record/replay, and you can easily edit add and change a the way the scripts works. There is nothing much new here that I have not seen in other tools , like Grinder, OpenSta. It is just nicely integrated and playing with parameter is just easy , a few field and a keywords and you can easily with the same script/scenario test things like :
- too short password
- password with non ASCII characters
- etc ....
Running the scripts is easy - it populates results automatically. We where also shown how to run those test cases manually, which is a bit cumbersome but way better than anything we've been doing here with our use of csv files and confluence pages, because you stay focus on testing itself.
Then the discussion drifted on load testing and performance testing where HP QC integrates with loadrunner
- and you can reuse your functional test in those load/perf tests.
The product is able to do some testing on flex based flash objects - I really find that interesting. The good news is some of that flex support is provided by adobe itself. The bad news is dev need to switch to flex and they also need to plug a special agent - but it works really nicely and as more and more websites are using flash , it's really a great feature to have.
In the end I liked the presentation which was really honest - but I personally think that the product does not meet our needs for the following reasons :
- you can only test web based application
- you can test Windows application with the proper extension (ie winrunner)
- you can't do multi-browser automated testing as only IE is supported
The product is really aimed at HPs traditional customers who are big large corporations that control internal applications and eb application. For a startup it would make sense to use the product when it breaks even, or just after that, but the product would need to be way more open.