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HP updates ALM portfolio with cloud-based and mobile-testing tools

18 Mar 2014
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HP has released a new version of its Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) portfolio with enhancements designed to speed application delivery while maintaining quality, including support for cloud-based testing and a greater focus on mobile apps.

Available from today, the updated ALM portfolio includes ALM 12, HP Quality Center Enterprise 12, HP Performance Center 12, HP LoadRunner 12, HP Unified Functional Testing 12, HP Sprinter for mobile and HP Business Process Testing 12.

The new releases are all about giving organisations the ability to deliver applications at greater speed, HP's business development director for application delivery management Toby Marsden told V3.

"We're providing customers with the ability to deliver high-performance applications with unprecedented velocity and uncompromising quality – if you increase the speed of delivery it shouldn't see an impact on the quality of the application, because the end user is more and more important," Marsden said.

The updated portfolio is expected to be used in developing a broad range of applications, from big SAP and PeopleSoft implementations to web apps, e-commerce apps and modern mobile applications, both for internal and external customer use, he added.

One of the key new capabilities is support for cloud-based testing in LoadRunner 12 and Performance Center 12. Customers can use these tools to hook directly into Amazon Web Services (AWS) and provision an environment to carry out performance testing, according to Marsden.

"As you think about the whole dynamic of agile development and projects moving faster, you've got less time to plan for things, to ask your IT department for infrastructure for testing. Now, at the click of a button, you can provision your test environment in the cloud," he said.

HP is planning to extend support to other cloud platforms such as Windows Azure in future.

On the mobile side, HP is adding a number of new capabilities including the ability to run manual testing on mobile devices in the cloud. Central to this is HP Sprinter for mobile, which allows customers to test applications and capture defects.

"You can hook into a cloud environment that has loads of phones provisioned in it, and you can carry out manual tests against those applications, exploratory testing those devices," Marsden said.

Meanwhile, HP is in the process of acquiring partner Shunra, which provides network virtualisation application testing, and this will be offered to customers as part of HP's ALM offering, according to Marsden.

This will enable customers to simulate the end-to-end effects on latency and response times of clients accessing data over different networks such as 3G and 4G, and across the backhaul between data centres.

"So you don't need infrastructure in place in the early stages of development any more – we can do it all on this simulated environment," he said.

HP said it is also extending its continuous testing capabilities, in order to capture defects as early as possible in the development lifecycle in HP Quality Center Enterprise and HP ALM, while HP Unified Functional Testing allows users to interface into open source continuous testing environments and test everything in one place.

"Even if your app isn't fully built yet, you can test the interaction at the API [application program interface] level and service level rather than at the GUI [graphical user interface] level, where a lot of functional testing has traditionally been done," Marsden said.

The user interface for all the tools has been overhauled, with customers able to run off multiple client environments including Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer (IE) or Firefox, while previous releases focused largely on IE compatibility.

HP also said it is now offering flexible delivery with the updated portfolio, enabling customers to start small and grow at their own pace, with on-premise or software-as-a-service (SaaS) deployment.

On the licensing side, most of the tools will be offered under concurrent or per-user licenses. Some are licensed on a per-server model, but customers will not have to purchase all of the components of the overarching ALM portfolio, Marsden said.

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Daniel Robinson

Daniel Robinson is technology editor at V3, and has been working as a technology journalist for over two decades. Dan has served on a number of publications including PC Direct and enterprise news publication IT Week. Areas of coverage include desktops, laptops, smartphones, enterprise mobility, storage, networks, servers, microprocessors, virtualisation and cloud computing.

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