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

We are starting HP Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) Quality Center (QC) tutorial series. This will be a complete online training in 7 in-depth tutorials. Note – HPE ALM is now Micro Focus Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) software.l

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

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. 

It’s recommended you follow these tutorials sequentially. I’m sure, once you are done with reading, you won’t need any other training to start using this tool on your projects.

What You Will Learn:

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

HP ALM is a software that is designed to manage the various phases of 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.

Advantages of using this tool

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

Features

The following are the list of features provided by this tool:

QC Versus ALM

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

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 as HP Quality Center.

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

The below table explains the version history:

S.No



NameVersion
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.

The following are 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 multiple requests from the 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 the user requests.

#3) Database Server:

Database server includes the following sub-components:

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 is the main product with all available ALM features. HP ALM essentials edition provides the basic features to the users such as requirements, test plan, and defects. HP QC Enterprise edition is for the 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 the users who want to integrate HP ALM with HP LoadRunner to driver performance tests through ALM.

Import Test cases from Excel to HP ALM

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 are the list of steps that indicate how to download and install Excel add-in:

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

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

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

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

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

#6) Once the extraction is complete, the below screen will appear.

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

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

Import Test Cases From Excel to HP ALM

Below are the sample test cases that are to be imported from an Excel to this tool:

(Note: Click on below image for an enlarged view)

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

#2) Click on the Login button.

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

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



#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 ‘Auto map’ that automatically maps the columns on the excel to the fields on ALM.

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

#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. 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 ALM tool will go through the following phases.

#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 the 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, 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.

Example:

Filter criteria on Test Lab module will appear as below.

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

Find Functionality

Find functionality is used to search for a specific item. Item can be a requirement, test case, test set, a folder or a subfolder. It is available in Releases, Requirements, Test Plan, Test Lab and Defects modules.

Example:

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

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

Below image represents the search results screen displayed.

Replace Functionality

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

Below image is the representation of how the replace window looks like.

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

The below window appears once the replace operation is successful.

Email Functionality

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

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

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

Include: Users can include the following items in the email:

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

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Here is the earlier version of this Tutorial:

HP Quality Center Introduction

This tutorial covers HP ALM Quality Center introduction, installing ALM, and understanding different components.

Introduction to HP Application Lifecycle Management/Quality Center:

HP ALM formerly known as Quality Center is a Test Management tool to manage 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, extremely user-friendly. Even if you have never used it before, chances are you will be able to figure out how to 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, the following are the components:

Each component has a certain version that is compatible with ALM.

For system requirement please refer to the page: HP ALM System Requirements

Why is ALM/QC used?

ALM helps 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:

  1. Define and maintain requirements and tests.
  2. Create Tests
  3. Organize tests into logical subsets
  4. Schedule tests and execute them
  5. Collect results and analyze the data
  6. Create, monitor and analyze defects
  7. Share defects across projects
  8. Track progress of a project
  9. Collect metrics
  10. Share asset libraries across projects
  11. Integrate ALM with HP testing tools other third party tools for a complete automation experience.

Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) flow:

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 below window.

 

Step #3: Enter the username and password. “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 by your ALM Admin). (Click on image to enlarge)

Step #4: Choose the Domain and Project as required and click “Login”. Once you are logged in, 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 the 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 by the ALM Admin.

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

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.

Conclusion

I hope that this tutorial would have given you a great insight of 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 next tutorial #2, we will cover HP Quality center installation. Later, we will continue HP ALM QC training by taking an example of 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 other interesting facts about this tool apart from the ones mentioned above? Feel free to share your thoughts.