by January 5, 2011 0 comments



Across the globe, organizations are undergoing fundamental changes in the way they work, and need to take fast decisions across business processes. For instance, to launch a new product, process requests and service customers, update inventory, purchase raw materials, and to send and receive invoices. All this requires instant access to data, no matter what part of the globe, data center or workstation it has been stacked in. To remain competitive, you need an ‘instant-on’ enterprise that has quick access to relevant information, instant connectivity with different partners, mechanisms for immediate response to competition and changing requirements. Technology can help business leaders respond to new business needs. It can help automate business processes that an organization goes through each day, and provide the ability to scale resources based on requirements. It also lets you consolidate and optimize information coming from various sources, and analyze that information to draw pragmatic decisions.

There’s a growing desire for technology platforms that can eliminate roadblocks to information sharing and let business leaders focus on what they are meant to: running their businesses. CIOs already have application transformation as one of the priorities. A recent Forrester Consulting study shows that 69 percent of IT decision-makers have earmarked a quarter of their annual IT budgets for application modernization, while 30 percent will dedicate more than 50 percent. Other studies point that 68% of all app projects fail, either partially or completely, and that 25% of app defects are found by customers. So, development teams have quite a task at hand just to keep their app engines running.

How organizations benefit

We know a popular dairying company based out of New Zealand that sells products globally. It has automated most processes and relies heavily on a seamless information exchange across departments spread globally. It has 400+ apps actively running and the performance of each application is critical in determining how fast the company serves its customers. Whenever, an application under performs, the development team faces the challenge in getting down to the root of the issue. Most of their test processes are manual so simulating the ‘live’ environment takes a lot of time and effort. Similarly, a big retail chain in Italy depends on IT heavily to provide product information to its customers through online applications. They have to continuously monitor those apps for performance as any lag might turn away a loyal customer or prevent a prospect from turning into a regular customer. We can extrapolate these concerns to numerous other segments of industry, financial services for instance, that again depend heavily on IT to service customers. Most organizations are burdened by legacy apps, written on different platforms and across independent silos with little or no connectivity amongst them. They need a consolidated platform for information sharing, which is both technology and process agnostic. At the Software Universe 2010, HP unveiled a slew of technology platforms and applications that are meant to alleviate such issues. Here’s a quick peek.

Application Lifecycle Management 11

HP Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) 11 is a unified, technology and process-agnostic, scalable platform that enables developers to manage an application’s life cycle-from requirements management to quality, performance and release. It provides disparate teams typically working with different toolsets, with a common platform across the application delivery processes. These include enterprise architects, business analysts, developers, quality assurance professionals, security experts and production teams. ALM 11 automatically tracks activities and related KPIs across the application life cycle against the established milestones, and alerts key stakeholders of risks to the schedule. ALM is pre-integrated with all major IDEs allowing developers to view application requirements and defects directly from their working environment. It includes out-of-the-box integration with Visual Studio/TFS and Eclipse, which creates traceability between requirements, defects and source code. The ALM platform provides the foundation for HP Quality Center and Performance Center software. Quality Center 11.0 enables clients to gain predictability via real-time reporting of an application’s progress through delivery, and automate the testing process with tools like HP Sprinter. Performance Center 11.0 enables clients to: monitor application performance with detailed traceability of requirements and search for defects; increase collaboration with a single dashboard for monitoring application quality, performance and security across the life cycle; and gain visibility with a topology infrastructure view for the system under test. The test creation process is supported with TruClient technology, part of HP LoadRunner 11.0, which reduces effort in creating scripts, while testing an application’s performance. Another software, Unified Functional Testing 11 is an automated solution to reduce functional defects, for both GUI and non-GUI testing, for composite applications. The key technologies and tools within these software are discussed below.

TruClient technology

HP TruClient technology reduces application test cycles by simplifying the creation of scripts for performance testing. Although modern testing tools have simplified the process of capturing test scripts by recording a user’s interaction with an application, there is still a significant amount of programming required to make scripts usable. Integrating the script recording and editing process enables clients to customize tests as they record interactions with the application.

Moving the scripting process to the browser enables novice and non-technical users to participate in script creation. The user simply interacts with an application, and TruClient captures every step in the form of a script. By shortening the test cycle times, organizations are able to push applications to production faster, thereby reducing time to market. TruClient technology supports simple web as well as modern JavaScript-based applications.

Sprinter

As enterprises become agile, every 2-3 days you have to update applications. Also, for large companies, there are a minimum 20 apps under test at a given point. The scripts written by system implementors simulate 10,000 users logging in at the same time. HP Sprinter accelerates application deployment by automating the data set-up process for testing. This speeds manual testing efforts, including exploratory testing techniques often used in Agile development. However, exploratory testers often do not supply enough information for developers to recreate and correct the defects they discover. Accelerating manual testing enables customers to address this problem by recording the steps taken by an exploratory tester. Whenever a tester logs a defect, relevant information is immediately communicated to the developer who can follow the recorded steps and reproduce the defect to be fixed.

Agile Accelerator 4.0

HP Agile Accelerator 4.0 software manages Agile development projects with predefined workflows and configurations to enable IT teams to deliver complex and composite Web 2.0 applications. It is based on HP ALM 11 and Quality Center software and enables testers to reuse unit tests created by developers, which enhances collaboration and communication between quality assurance (QA) and development professionals. It also provides top management with greater visibility into complex and composite applications through comprehensive reports.

“To keep pace with the changing business scenario, organizations need to right-size their application portfolio, modernize critical applications, and re-invent their approach to delivery and the entire application lifecycle”.

  • Jonathan Rende, VP & GM – BTO Applications, HP

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