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New HP Application Lifecycle Product Combines Quality And Performance Management

Hewlett-Packard has taken two of its application management platforms, HP Quality Center and HP Performance Center, and united them in an effort to provide organizations with a single, automated product for developing, testing, delivering and monitoring their applications.

HP Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) 11 is designed to support those involved in the applications delivery process, such as business analysts requesting new software, developers, quality analysts and system administrators. According to HP, the product integrates with a variety of development tools and enables the automation of workflow processes within and across applications teams. It combines new versions of HP Quality Center, a suite for managing application quality and application testing, and HP Performance Center, a suite for testing and optimizing application performance. Both suites include updates and new functionality.

Two years in the making, the platform was designed with the idea that building software is a team sport, not an isolated set of activities, according to Mark Sarbiewski, vice president of products with HP's software division. Each product within HP ALM 11 has a discrete function, but all the work and associated data created and managed with the products feeds into a single repository, enabling organizations to create workflow processes and best practices that can be shared across the enterprise.

In addition to unveiling an overall, unified solution, HP has added updated versions of products and introduced new products. For example, there is a new version of HP's LoadRunner, an automated performance and load testing product designed to help organizations test system behavior and performance while generating actual load. HP has added TruClient to LoadRunner for streamlining the scripting process to reduce testing time and shorten release cycles, particularly for Web 2.0 apps created with AJAX. With TruClient, novice and non-technical users can participate in script creation, and when the user interacts with an application, TruClient captures every step in the form of a script.

HP has added a new product call Sprinter, aimed at functional testing. Typically, when building new software, someone has to sit in front of it and start banging away, says Sarbiewski. Sprinter automatically displays steps that should be followed during that manual testing and captures all the steps taken. Sprinter includes a capability called mirror testing that enables users to test one machine and then automatically perform that same testing sequence on other machines, even those with different operating systems and browser apps. If an error occurs on any of the machines, that error is flagged and the tester will be alerted.

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