Helix ALM by Perforce vs HP ALM by Micro Focus
Since HP ALM/Quality Center was acquired by Micro Focus, users have been outgrowing its functionality. While HP upgraded many of its solutions to be more compatible with Agile and to support automation, ALM/Quality Center was left behind. What was once considered a best-in-class solution is becoming more obsolete by the day, having no resources allocated to development and limited support for customers.
Today, there are better ALM options available. Solutions like Helix ALM support test automation, integrate with common tools like Jira, and are compatible with Agile and hybrid methodology - and they cost less than HP ALM.
Switching to a new ALM tool can bring up many concerns. If you switch tools, will you lose data? How long will development be disrupted? You want to be certain the move will be seamless and worth the effort. Let’s review some of the most important considerations for change.
Why Seek out HP ALM Alternatives?
Sometimes with aging software, the mentality is to just leave it alone if you can make do. But you wouldn’t spend money on a new solution that doesn’t meet your needs; why continue spending it on an old one that doesn’t? The three most compelling reasons to find an alternative to the HP ALM tool are cost, job security, and simplified migration.
A floating license for ALM/Quality Center is a whopping $10,000 (1:3 users.) This is astronomically higher than comparable ALM solutions. Most other tools on the market offer more value at a fraction of that cost.
Speed of Innovation
As we’ll explain more below, ALM/Quality Center does not play well with other solutions. The limits on integration literally make it impossible for you to adopt modern DevOps tools that will allow your team and company to keep up with competitors.
Perhaps the hardest part of switching tools is the potential to lose data and productivity. But Helix ALM is one solution that can migrate all of your data out of ALM/Quality Center so you don’t have to start over.
HP ALM vs. Jira
It’s worth noting that if you’re trying to solve problems using Jira, you cannot fully replace ALM/Quality Center with Jira, as they only overlap for issues management. And if your team wants to use Jira (as many do,) it’s still in your best interest to choose an ALM solution that fully integrates with Jira so you can maintain the full traceability that is lost to incompatibility between Jira and Quality Center.
Helix ALM vs ALM HP Quality Center: Feature Review
Cost and migration concerns are only relevant if your replacement solution is robust enough for your needs. Helix ALM is a market leader for requirements management, but can it really replace ALM/Quality Center? Here is a quick comparison of capabilities most important to DevOps teams.
|CAPABILITY||ALM/QUALITY CENTER||HELIX ALM|
|TEST MANAGEMENT||Cannot support test automation; integrations are restricted to applications within the HP Software Suite.||Test management is agnostic to the type of testing.|
|WORKFLOW COMPATIBILITY||Users must adapt to the structure within Micro Focus, which was built for Waterfall teams.||High configurability enables teams to keep their known workflows, including hybrid Agile.|
OPEN AND INTEGRATED
|Does not fully communicate with third-party tools.|
Supports leading tools in the market for Agile, test automation, and CI/CD.
|ENTERPRISE-READY||Security and authentication functionality is restricted to Windows and IE and does not fully support REST API.|
Perforce serves some of the world’s largest and most regulated enterprises, like bioMérieux.
|ONBOARDING AND USABILITY||The tool is not intuitive or easy to onboard, and requires professional services customization.||Designed to allow immediate onboarding with minimal disruption.|
|TRACEABILITY||Good traceability as long as you’re working in other HP tools. Cannot absorb data outside of these activities, however, creating gaps where automated testing and other integrations are used.|
Integrates with many tools, and provides end-to-end traceability across the board regardless of tools used in the stack. Audit reports are comprehensive, simplifying compliance needs.
You can also download a PDF of the comparison.
Now we can review each of these points in more depth to understand why they matter.
An ALM tool lets you plan, track, and test functional requirements to maximize coverage and identify issues early in the cycle. The test management functionality should allow you to optimize testing by supporting all testing types running in the DevOps environment. For example, many teams want to be able to manage tests that are running through the CI/CD pipeline using Jenkins.
Without an open and integrated test management tool in your ALM solution, you have to either limit the type of testing you’re doing — which will eventually leave you in the dark ages as far as efficiency is concerned — or you have to find an additional tool that does support the testing you want to do, and hope that integrates with your ALM platform.
HP ALM/Quality Center only integrates successfully with UFT, BSM, and other HP tools, so it does not support automated testing.
Helix ALM is able to manage test cases regardless of the type of testing performed and application used.
The bottom line: Unlike ALM/Quality Center, Helix ALM supports manual and automated testing to continuously improve product quality and accelerate delivery.
While Waterfall is still used by some development teams — especially in regulated industries — a hybrid Waterfall/Agile approach is important to strike the balance between efficiency and compliance. Teams need to have the flexibility to introduce new tools and processes to work the way that is best for them — without disrupting development or losing the ability to easily prove compliance.
HP ALM/Quality Center locks users into Waterfall, impeding Agile workflows within the tool. The potential for efficiency is limited, and even where workarounds may be possible, they can compromise DevOps teams' ability to maintain compliance due to the lack of integrations that are necessary for end-to-end traceability.
Helix ALM is arguably the most configurable ALM solution on the market, designed to work for any development methodology and still maintain compliance through integrations with popular DevOps tools. Configurability and integration capabilities are innate, so disruption to processes is minimal and traceability is holistic.
The bottom line: ALM/Quality Center restricts teams’ ability to adopt modern hybrid development methodologies, severely limiting development efficiency.
Open and Integrated
DevOps teams continue to add tools to their tech stack to remain innovative. It is therefore paramount to use lifecycle management tools that are open and integrated; your solution should not interfere with your future growth and ability to adopt modern technologies.
HP ALM/Quality Center’s integrations are pretty limited to the HP Software Suite. The third-party integrations that are available are very unstable.
Helix ALM supports leading tools in market for Agile, test automation, and CI/CD. It is also fully “RESTful” (REST API). While there are some limitations to existing integration options, product development is constantly evolving to be more inclusive of the tools commonly used by DevOps.
The bottom line: You cannot depend on ALM/Quality Center to integrate with many existing and most future DevOps tools; Helix ALM integrates with most common dev tools and continues to grow in compatibility.
To even be considered a useful enterprise tool, it has to check boxes for performance, stability, scale, security, and more. Enterprise companies cannot risk compromises around security and quality; their reputation depends on these things. They also have no tolerance for poor product and customer support — if something goes wrong, it affects a lot of people, so issues need to be addressed immediately.
HP ALM/Quality Center has limited support for modern enterprise tools. Security and authentication functionality is restricted to Windows and IE and it does not fully support REST API.
Helix ALM is part of Perforce, which serves some of the world’s largest and most regulated enterprises.
The bottom line: Enterprises cannot depend on ALM/Quality Center to release products quickly with the confidence and high quality Perforce tools provide.
Onboarding and Usability
It’s painful enough to adopt a new solution, so when onboarding is difficult and unintuitive, it can be very disruptive to productivity — for a long time. If the tool itself is meant to increase efficiency, visibility and cross-team collaboration, then learning the tool should be easy enough to gain these benefits right away.
HP ALM/Quality Center is not intuitive or easy to onboard, and requires professional services customization. Data import and export tends to be clunky, and the Operational Data Store is limited.
Helix ALM has ready-made project templates and pre-configured reports/dashboards to help users adapt quickly. It also comes with a free 30-day trial.
The bottom line: ALM/Quality Center is painful to learn; Helix ALM allows immediate onboarding with almost no blockers.
Traceability and testing requirement coverage are essential to successful lifecycle management — especially when safety is a concern and people’s lives are at stake. It is paramount when proving compliance. End-to-end traceability should cover everything from requirements management to test cases/test runs to issues, providing the right linking and impact analysis to reduce risk and optimize alignment.
HP ALM/Quality Center does have good traceability with other HP tools but does not capture automated testing or other activities across development that aren’t supported, which is important for compliance.
Helix ALM is known for its end-to-end traceability across the board regardless of tools used in the stack, capturing everything that goes into the workflow, which allows for comprehensive audit reporting.
The bottom line: Test automation is the future of DevOps, but is not the future of ALM/Quality Center. If you want to accelerate development using Jenkins or other popular DevOps tools, you cannot get full traceability using ALM/Quality Center. Helix ALM is often specifically chosen for its automated end-to-end traceability, especially in regulated industries.
Helix ALM: Your Alternative to HP Quality Center
You don’t need to be stuck paying an outrageous price for an outdated tool that restricts your ability to modernize your development. Helix ALM is affordable, intuitive, easy to onboard, easy to use, and integrates with tools you’re already using. Its migration capabilities will make the transition easy, so you can painlessly increase efficiency, visibility, and cross-team collaboration. Try it out for free today.