Micro Focus ALM Quality Center Tool Tutorial (7 In-depth Tutorials)

HP Quality Center / ALM is now changed to Micro Focus Quality Center / ALM but still, the content on the page is valid on the new Micro Focus domain and tools as well.

We are starting the HP Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) Quality Center (QC) tutorial series. This will be a complete online training in 7 in-depth tutorials.

We have listed all HP ALM tutorials on this page for your convenience.

Micro Focus ALM Quality Center Tool Tutorial

List of All HP ALM Quality Center Tutorials

This first tutorial will give you a complete overview of the tool along with simple examples and concerned screenshots for your easy and better understanding of the tool. 

We recommend that you follow these tutorials sequentially. Once you are done with reading, I’m sure that you won’t need any other training to start using this tool on your projects.

Tutorial #1: Introduction to HP ALM (QC) Tool

HP ALM software is designed to manage the various phases of the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) right from requirements gathering to testing.

Earlier, it was known as HP Quality Center (QC). HP QC acts as a Test Management tool while HP ALM acts as a Project Management Tool. HP QC is named as HP ALM from version 11.0. I am sure that this tutorial will really be a guide to those who are new to this tool.


The list given below explains the various advantages of using this tool:

  • Easy to understand and easy to use.
  • Provides integration with external tools such as HP UFT for automation testing and HP Load Runner for Performance Testing.
  • Visibility of the project status to all stakeholders of the project.
  • Reduces risk associated with managing several artifacts of the project at various phases.
  • Reduces cost and time.
  • Flexibility of usage.


Given below is the list of features provided by this tool:

  • Release Management: To achieve traceability between test cases to release.
  • Requirement Management: To ensure if the test cases cover all the specified requirements or not.
  • Test case Management: To maintain the version history of the changes done to test cases and act as a central repository for all the test cases of an application.
  • Test Execution Management: To track multiple instances of test case runs and to ensure the credibility of the testing effort.
  • Defect Management: To ensure that the major defects uncovered are visible to all major stakeholders of the project and to make sure that the defects follow a specified life cycle till closure.
  • Report Management: To ensure that reports and graphs are generated to keep track of the project’s health.

QC Versus ALM

HP Application Lifecycle Management tool provides the core functionality of HP Quality Center along with the following features:

  • Project Planning and Tracking: This tool allows users to create KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) using ALM data and tracks them against project milestones.
  • Defect Sharing: This tool provides the ability to share defects across multiple projects.
  • Project Reporting: This tool provides customized project reporting across multiple projects using pre-defined templates.
  • Integration with Third-party tools: This tool provides integration with third-party tools such as HP LoadRunner, HP Unified Functional Testing, and REST API.

HP ALM Version History

HP QC was earlier known as Test Director, which was a product of Mercury Interactive. Later, Test Director was acquired by HP and the product was named HP Quality Center.

HP Quality Center was named as HP Application Lifecycle Management from version 11.0.

The table below explains the version history:


1Test DirectorV1.52 to v8.0

2Quality Center

V8.0 to v10.0

3Application Lifecycle Management

V11.0 to v11.5x

HP ALM Architecture

The below diagram explains a high-level view of the architecture.

ALM Architecture

Given below is the list of components:

#1) HP ALM Client

HP Application Lifecycle Management tool uses Java Enterprise Edition (J2EE) technology and Oracle or MS SQL server at the backend. HP ALM Client is the browser using which a user can access this tool.

When a user tries to access ALM using its URL, HP ALM client components will be downloaded to the user’s local machine that helps the users to interact with HP ALM Server. A load balancer is also used to cater to multiple requests from users at the same time.

#2) Application Server

Application Server is the ALM Server that a user interacts with. The application server uses Java Database Connectivity (JDBC) to cater to user requests.

#3) Database Server

Database server includes the following sub-components:

  • ALM Database server
  • Site Administration database server

ALM database server stores all the project-related information such as project reports, project users, etc. Site Administration database server stores all the information related to the domain, users, and projects.

HP ALM Editions

This tool is available in four different editions, which include:

  • HP ALM
  • HP ALM Essentials
  • HP Quality Center Enterprise Edition
  • HP ALM Performance Center Edition

HP ALM is the main product with all available ALM features. HP ALM essentials edition provides basic features to users such as requirements, Test Plans, and defects. HP QC Enterprise edition is for users who want to integrate ALM with HP Unified Functional Testing to drive automation scripts through ALM.

HP ALM Performance Center edition is used for users who want to integrate HP ALM with HP LoadRunner for driver performance tests through ALM.

Import Test Cases From Excel to HP ALM

The creation of test cases directly on this tool is a time-consuming process. Hence importing test cases from Excel to this tool can be done using an Excel Add-in.

HP ALM Excel Add-in Installation

Given below is a list of steps that indicate how to download and install Excel add-in:

#1) Download the HP ALM Excel add-in from here. The web page will open up.

ALM Excel AddIn HomePage

#2) Click on the ‘GET IT’ button. Download this add-in based on the ALM version installed.

ALM Excel AddIn HomePage

#3) A ZIP file will be downloaded. Extract the contents of the ZIP file to a file folder.

HP ALM Excel Add

#4) Double click on the ‘ALM_Excel_Addin_Setup.exe’ file. An Installation Wizard opens up.

Installation Screen

#5) Click on the ‘Next’ button, and the below screen will appear.

Extraction Screen

#6) The below screen will appear once the extraction is complete.

ALM Excel Extract Screem

#7) Click on the ‘Next’ button and once the installation is complete, the below screen will appear.

Installation Complete Screen

#8) Click on the Finish button, and the below screen will appear. Click on the Finish button on the Install Shield Wizard.

Installation Completed Screen

Steps to Import Test Cases to HP ALM

Given below are the sample test cases that are to be imported from Excel to this tool:

ALM Excel AddIn Install

#1) Open the excel and verify the display of the tab ‘HPE ALM Upload Add-in’.

HPE ALM Upload Add-in

#2) Click on the Login button.

APE ALM Login screen

#3) Provide the authentication details and login into ALM. The ‘Open’ and ‘Mapping’ options must be enabled once the login is successful.

HP ALM Home Screen

#4) We need to map the columns of our excel sheet with the corresponding fields on ALM. To achieve this, Click on ‘Mapping’. The screen below will appear.

Field Mapping

#5) Select the option ‘Tests’ from the drop-down. If you have an existing mapping file, you can select the ‘Open’ button and import the file. Also, there is a feature named ‘Automap’ that automatically maps the columns on the excel to the fields on ALM.

#6) A window appears below mapping, in which you need to provide the column alphabet of the excel with the corresponding fields on the ALM tool.

Mapping Window

#7) Once the mapping is complete, click on the ‘Validate’ button. The message saying “Validation has passed” will appear. Finally, click on the “Upload to ALM” tab.

Defect Lifecycle in HP ALM

A defect is raised when there is a deviation between the actual result and the expected result. The Defect lifecycle defines the phases through which a defect has to go through during its lifetime.

The number of phases and the phase description differs from organization to organization and from project to project.

In general, a Defect in the ALM tool will go through the following phases.

Defect Life cycle

#1) New: A defect will be in New status when a defect is raised and submitted. This is the default status for every defect initially on HP ALM.

#2) Open: A defect will be in open status when a developer has reviewed the defect and starts working on it if it is a valid defect.

#3) Rejected: A defect will be in Rejected status when a developer considers the defect to be invalid.

#4) Deferred: If the defect is a valid defect, but the fix is not delivered in the current release, a defect will be postponed to future releases using the status Deferred.

#5) Fixed: Once the developer has fixed the defect and assigned the defect back to the Quality Assurance Personnel, then it will have Fixed status.

#6) Retest: Once the fix is deployed, the Tester has to start retesting the defect.

#7) Reopen: If the retest has failed, a tester has to reopen the defect and assign the defect back to the developer.

#8) Closed: If the defect fix is delivered and is working as expected, then the tester needs to close the defect using the status ‘Closed’.

Filter, Find and Replace Functionality in This Tool

Filter Functionality

Filter on HP ALM is used to filter the data based on each of the fields displayed. The filter is available on Requirements, Test Plan, Test Lab, and Defects modules.

For Example,

Filter criteria on the Test Lab module will appear as shown below.

Filter Test Sets

Select a field and apply the filter conditions below. Logical operators such as AND, OR etc. can be used during filtering.

Select Filter Condition

Find Functionality

Find functionality is used to search for a specific item. Items can be requirements, test cases, test sets, folders, or subfolders. It is available in Releases, Requirements, Test Plans, Test labs, and Defects modules.

For Example,

Below is a representation of how the find dialog box appears.

Edit Screen

Click on the Find option. The Find dialog box appears there, using which the user can enter a search term and find the required item.

The image below represents the search results screen displayed.

Dialog Box

Replace Functionality

The Replace functionality allows the user to find a specific item and replace it with a new value. Replace functionality is available on Releases, Requirements, Test Plans, Test Lab, and Defects modules.

The below image is the representation of how the replace window looks like.

Replace Screen

Click on the Replace All option, enter an item to be replaced, and click on the ‘Replace’ button.

The below window will appear once the replace operation is successful.

Replace All Screen

Email Functionality

Send Email functionality is available on all the modules of this tool. Users can access the send email functionality by clicking on the ‘Email’ icon.

Email functionality Screen

Below is a snapshot of how the send email dialog box will look like:

Email Screen

Users can customize the content of an email to be sent based on their requirements.

To: Users can enter two or more email addresses separated by a semicolon.

CC: Users can enter two or more email addresses separated by a semicolon.

Subject: The Subject field is auto-populated in the tool based on the selected item. However, users can customize it as per their requirements.


Users can include the following items in the email:

  • Attachments
  • History
  • Test Coverage
  • Traced Requirements

Additional Comments: Users can enter any additional comments if required using this field.

Here is an earlier version of this Tutorial:

HP Quality Center Introduction

Hp Quality Center Tutorials

This tutorial covers the HP ALM Quality Center introduction, installation of ALM, and understanding of different components.

Introduction to HP Application Lifecycle Management/Quality Center:

HP ALM formerly known as Quality Center is a Test Management tool to manage the entire Quality Assurance and testing process for an organization. Before being called HP Quality center, it used to be Mercury Test Director.

In my experience, I have come across very few projects (Manual and Automation) that did not use Quality Center software. It is a very simple tool to use and is extremely user-friendly. Even if you have never used it before, chances are that you will be able to figure it out in a really short time.

However, there is a lot of difference between being able to navigate through the tool and being able to exploit its potential to benefit your project.

So here is a tutorial to easily learn Quality Center capabilities and use them successfully.

Download HP ALM/QC Trial (Now Micro Focus Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) software): The current latest HP ALM version is 12.

=> Here is a detailed tutorial on HP ALM Quality center download and installation.

It is a little tricky to install it on your local machine. But you will be able to do so if you have a compatible machine and understand the components ALM has.

Briefly, given below are the components:

  • A server
  • A client
  • Database

Each component has a certain version that is compatible with ALM. For system requirements, please refer to this page: ALM System Requirements

Why is ALM/QC Used?

ALM helps to make project management, from requirements to deployment easier. It increases predictability and creates a framework to manage projects from a central repository.

With ALM you will be able to:

  • Define and maintain requirements and tests.
  • Create Tests
  • Organize tests into logical subsets
  • Schedule tests and execute them
  • Collect results and analyze the data
  • Create, monitor, and analyze defects
  • Share defects across projects
  • Track the progress of a project
  • Collect metrics
  • Share asset libraries across projects
  • Integrate ALM with HP testing tools and other third-party tools for a complete automation experience.

Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) flow:

HP Quality Center

How to Start ALM

Step #1: To start ALM type the address HTTP://<ALM Platform Server Name>[<:Port number>]/qcbin

Step #2: Click “Application Lifecycle Management” in the window below.

 HP Quality Center

Step #3: Enter the username and password. The “Authenticate” button gets activated. Click on it. The Domain and Project fields get activated. Depending on your login credentials, you have access to certain projects. (This information is set up by your ALM Admin).

HP Quality Center

Step #4: Choose the Domain and Project as required and click “Login”. Once you are logged in, the ALM window opens up and displays the module in which you were working last.

The domain is nothing but a logical division of departments for your organization. Example: Banking, Retail, Health Care, etc.

Projects are different teams working within the domain. For example, in a Retail project, they could be working on the front-end store Point of sale app or the back-end inventory module.

The Domain and Project information is set up by the ALM Admin.

HP Quality Center

Step #5: The user domain, Project, and user information are displayed in the upper right-hand corner. Also, note the sidebar. It contains the components from the ALM flow.

  • Dashboard
  • Management
  • Requirements
  • Testing
  • Defects

ALM is all about these components and we will learn what each one is for.  Even though Dashboard is the first in the list, we will discuss it last in our series, simply because it is an overall monitoring feature and it will be more practical to see the data that we actually create.


We hope that this tutorial would have given you a great insight into the HP Application Lifecycle Management tool.

HP ALM is one of the most widely used tools among testers. The simplicity and ease of using this tool make it the ideal choice for many organizations worldwide.

This tool can be used in two ways either as a desktop application or on a cloud. As desktop application requires a tedious process of download and installation of HP ALM on local machines, an on-premise cloud is generally preferred for business purposes.

In the next tutorial #2, we will cover the HP Quality center installation. Later, we will continue HP ALM QC training by taking an example of the Gmail application. This session will cover what this tool can do for your project and how best you can manage all your testing-related activities in one place.

Are you aware of any other interesting facts about this tool apart from the ones mentioned above? Feel free to share your thoughts.

Recommended Reading

101 thoughts on “Micro Focus ALM Quality Center Tool Tutorial (7 In-depth Tutorials)”

  1. knowledgeable post. content is good


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