Take the 2-minute tour ×
Software Quality Assurance & Testing Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for software quality control experts, automation engineers, and software testers. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I'm trying to determine if I should spend some time working with a trial version of HP Quality Center. For a number of reasons, my time is very valuable to me right now both at work and in my personal life, so "Why not?" is an inadequate reason to even get started on downloading a trial version and getting things set up. Yes, even a couple of hours is difficult right now. I've looked at their website, but can't wade through all the marketing speak to even figure out what the product actually is, at least regarding what I care about.

Right now, I do primarily automated testing for a variety of products, and will be testing more and more applications and mentoring others in testing (mostly developers, possibly we'll hire some additional QA in the future) as time goes on. I am currently creating, using, and maintaining a home-grown test system that uses C# test fixtures and coded checks, and testcases that are stored in a SQL DB. I am currently doing very little UI testing, but will probably begin doing web UI testing increasingly in the future, and am currently planning on using Selenium or WatiN. The product is based on a mostly-.NET stack, with a few Open Source tools here and there. The company is all practicing some form of Agile development, mostly Scrum (with a few teams using 'Scrumlike' instead, IYKWIM).

I am trying to figure out what skill level of tester HP Quality Center is aimed at, whether or not I can write fixtures and reusable test code easily to use with it, and what it would do for me that would be better and easier than using a homegrown system. I am particularly concerned about whether or not it lacks flexibility, and especially interested in if it could save me time that I am currently investing in our own framework.

Is there anyone who has used this tool before who can give me some insight into it?

share|improve this question
add comment

7 Answers 7

up vote 10 down vote accepted

Who would be administering QC? If it's going to be you, I'd recommend you give it a miss for now. I don't think it's particularly suited to small teams, or Agile teams: it's aimed at large companies, with waterfall development methodologies, and pretty much the whole design is aimed at that - you might find yourself having to swim against the current a lot of the time, and I get the impression that's exactly what you want to avoid.

It's also very expensive in my experience - enough so that every place I've seen it used has had a very limited set of licences, thus rather spoiling the point of having an integrated bug tracker & test & requirements management system.

share|improve this answer
    
Thanks, that was my gut impression. –  Ethel Evans May 13 '11 at 22:50
    
This has been my experience as well. We're currently migrating away from it. –  Lyndon Vrooman May 14 '11 at 1:54
    
Agreed. Hate that tool. Adding/editing test cases in HP QC Test Plan is so slow that each team using it I heard of has developed home-made solution to import test cases from external source, e.g., Excel. –  dzieciou Nov 15 '13 at 20:51
add comment

HP Quality Centre is a product that has been around for ages. I haven't used the product in anger for a few years, but I don't think that it is particularly tied to any methodology.

HP's tools are generally pitched at the non-techical tester with record and playback and step-by-step test execution, especially now as WinRunner is now end of life.

As someone who has a lot of experience in the Microsoft and .net space, especially with WatiN, I would suggest that you might be better suited with Visual Studio Team System 2010 and Microsoft Test Manager, especially as you are probably already working with Visual Studio and already have licenses. These tools integrate directly with the unit test runners that are commonly used with c# code.

The other option, since you are already building your own tools is to invest the $$$ that you will need to spend on QC on hiring a person to develop your own in-house tools (yes it costs that much).

share|improve this answer
    
I wish I could accept two answers . . . this is also very helpful. –  Ethel Evans May 16 '11 at 17:34
add comment

At work we are using the HP QC. It is a very powerful tool but I would use it only for really big projects. I think that it is not suitable for small/media projects. The projects I am working has 17 teams and more than 160 people and this tool is a corporate decision and not the result of an analysis of which tools are available.

share|improve this answer
4  
The "tool is a corporate decision" pretty much ties in with my experience too. –  testerab May 14 '11 at 9:40
    
@testerab Same here. –  Mugen Jul 23 '11 at 14:49
add comment

If you're thinking about agile and selenium, forget about Quality Center. This is not going to fit your needs, to do that you would have to acquire other add-ons that costs more than QTP and QC together. If you need flexibility and agility go for Jira or Mingle, QC is a really closed system and makes use of ActiveX controls, nobody uses that anymore.

share|improve this answer
add comment

I worked with Test Director (QC predecessor) in more than one place as bug tracking tool, the price was so high that even a medium, profitable company couldn't (or didn't want to) buy more than few licenses and only the basic modules making the work very cumbersome. From my little experience it is very flexible, stable and easy to use by non code writers, and best of all give excellent integration between the requirements, testplan, tests and bugs.

share|improve this answer
add comment

I agree with the others that Quality Center is more suited to large (stale?) corporations which are perceived to be agile averse. One fundamental floor with QC is the licencing and its commitment to bums on seats.

You could have a look at some of the open source test tools like Cucumber (Cuke4nuke) & FitNesse. If you're not tackling the UI stuff just yet, these might as well be considered further down the line, but bear them in mind as they promote good agile practices (Cucumber especially).

The selenium stuff is great, but as with all record/playback automation, make sure your UI is relatively stable otherwise you'll have a high maintenance overhead.

If you are moving towards being more agile, defect tracking becomes less of an issue (excuse the pun) as bugs are often captured whilst the feature is being developed, not 6 months down the line. I don't see these as bugs, more work in progress.

We currently use Mingle (from Thoughtworks) for all our story planning & defect "management", but that's largely because we had Thoughtworks consultants on the project.

+1 for the JIRA vote, but also checkout Bugzilla

share|improve this answer
add comment

If you are short of time, then park it. We do successfully use QC in an agile team, but are limited to manual testing, and whilst the test plan lends itself to be used as a proper repository, setting it up in a way that matches your teams processes takes a really long time.

We have it as it was bought a long time ago when the company had a central test team working across multiple development teams on a shared system, but now we have split the testing team up and have multiple systems I wouldn't buy it again

I recently set up a new project, and to get it customised to work in a way that supports our process rather than changes it took me a few weeks solid

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.