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ALM 12: Offering the agility of a sportster with the ride and dependability of “beamer”

Michael-Deady ‎03-24-2014 04:38 PM - edited ‎09-18-2015 03:51 PM

What does change really mean? Most people believe that it means to make or become something better? Thus, the phrase “change is good.” The true definition of change is “the act or instance of making or becoming different.” Within that definition is the key to why we believe the change is good, which is making a difference. In this article, I hope to show how ALM 12 will make a difference by making your job that much easier.


Over the next set of articles, we will go into depth about the features, functions and best practices for the Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) suite of tools. I will also discuss tips and tricks for the suite, which is also known as the “APP 12release” which includes ALM, Unified Functional Testing (UFT), Sprinter, LoadRunner, Performance Center, etc.). This release is focused around four key areas for me: methodologies, integration, performance, and flexibility. These are crucial because most IT environments have been coping with disruptive forces such as mobility, streamlined development processes, shrinking budgets, and most of all an accelerated feedback loop which AKA social media.


In the past IT typically worked in a vacuum only answering to a few stakeholders or business partners. This was always a tenuous process but that was the price of doing business—I called this the ying and yang factor of IT development doing business. With this process, we always had to weigh cost and time which would ultimately equal the quality of the system or application. Between the business, development, and operations there always seemed to be some type of false partition that represented some type of quality gate for most IT organizations.


Fast forward to today, IT organizations aren’t getting smaller. Instead they are getting more automated and integrated. When there is an interruption to a business or development process such as technology, situational, and/or strategically change—IT organizations need to have built-in flexibility and the power to adapt to the market.


ALM 12 luxury and power


I’ve been working with the ALM suite of tools since Test Director 7.6, which was the first web-based requirements/test management tool on the market. Back then, the flexibility of the tool and its ability to communicate information efficiently and effectively was worth its weight in gold. As the tool matured so did technology. Test Director eased the labor associated with things that used to be manually intensive such as writing test cases developing requirements and executing tests. However gathering information into tools required a significant amount of knowledge transfer from one group to another.


This took teams a great amount of time to cross train and/or mentor other teams within the IT process on their tools of choice. Other teams could extract crucial data or just bypass the process altogether and use email or some other type of written communications to get your point across. In the case of ALM 12, we see more integration with tools such as eclipse, Jenkins, Hudson and a slew of others. This integration results in an increased flow of information to speed up development and testing, and cut down on the amount of cross training.


A great example of this advancement is that a developer no longer has to login to ALM to update a defect; they merely have to open eclipse (development tool) and update a requirement, link code, or open or close a defect through the eclipse. ALM 12 can convey that information to the business owners, analysts, testers and/or operations. In addition, a tester can link automated test to a specific requirement and every time that piece of code is tested ALM will automatically execute tests linked to those requirements.


While some of this functionality is currently in ALM 11.5, it is handled with more efficiency in ALM 12. Once you pop the hood you’ll see things like new web UI interface, and key integration with Agile Manager. Sit behind the wheel to see the easily customizable reports generator that gives you the drag-and-drop capabilities to create customized reporting is enough to take ALM 12 for a test drive.


ALM 12 agility and flexibility


Most IT departments out there are currently using multiple strategies or methodologies.  This is typically reflected in the number of tools that IT organization has to support. In the case of ALM 12, its integration with Agile Manager (AGM) gives the client capability to use traditional processes such as waterfall, iterative as well as the agile methodologies which allows you to customize any type of methodology you choose. As your IT departments mature and incorporate things like dev.-ops, continuous integration, and agile or even lean development processes, ALM 12 can help with those transitions. The suite will help with migrations from a traditional waterfall project into AGM or by integrating tools like Jenkins to allow your development to leverage the lab management capabilities of ALM 12 for continuous integration.


Taking ALM 12 Test drive


I would recommend if you have a development instance of ALM/QC or you can spare a few VMs I recommend downloading ALM 12 and looking at some of the new features like the web.UI. Make sure you take a look under the hood look at the new reporting capabilities, increased performance, enhanced lab management, and enhancements to Sprinter and much more.


Let me know if you have any questions about ALM 12 once you download it. Feel free to reach out to me in the comments section below or on Twitter at @Wh4tsup_doc. 





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About the Author


Michael Deady is a Pr. Consultant & Solution Architect for Teksystems, center on quality, aimed at client's satisfaction, and long-term success. Perceived by clients, peers, and supervisors as a leader with the proven ability to lead development and quality assurance teams through software-development life cycle phases, to ensure quality of new products. He specializes in software development, testing, and security. He also loves science fiction movies and anything to do with Texas.

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