IT users review 6 software test management tools

Developers use test management tools — from vendors such as HPE, Microsoft and IBM — to manage their software quality-assurance programs. We’ve asked QA managers to identify the best and worst features of six leading suites.

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Software teams use test management tools to plan and track the quality assurance (QA) process — whether the tests are manual or automated — and then manage projects to eliminate the software defects uncovered by the tests.

Six of the top test management solutions, according to enterprise users in the IT Central Station community, are HPE Application Lifecycle Management (ALM), Tosca Testsuite, SmartBear TestComplete, Microsoft Team Foundation Server (TFS), HPE Quality Center (QC) and IBM Rational Performance Tester.

But what do enterprises really think about these tools? Here, users identify some of their favorite features, but also give the vendors a little tough love.

Editor’s note: These reviews of select test management tools come from the IT Central Station community. They are the opinions of the users and are based on their own experiences.


Valuable features

First of all, the product works. ALM is traditionally more of a waterfall application, but it does allow you to collect your requirements, your test cases, and even execute test cases automatically from ALM, which is great. Everyone is trying to do DevOps or Agile these days, so it's a good product.
— QATestMgr417, IT QA Test Manager at a hospitality company
We use ALM in our QA department and it provides a way for us to show our work as a repository for test cases. We're able to show what we do on a daily basis. It's very easy to use and has worked well for us.
Stephanie B., QA Software Management at a healthcare company
It gives us a solution where we can keep everything centralized, like our test scripts, test data and projects. It doesn't matter who is creating the project -- everybody can access and execute it. Both our onsite and offshore teams working from different locations are able to benefit from this solution. That's the beauty of it.
— SaMahmud, Senior Performance Engineer, IT Quality Center of Excellence, at an international airline

Room for improvement

The project tracking is a bit complex. It takes some time to maneuver around it. It would also help if you could export some of the reports generated from it, such as the Master Plan.
 Caroline G., Regional Head of QA at Tezza Business Solutions Ltd.
Tighter integration between ALM and UFT [Unified Functional Testing], especially from a reporting perspective. We currently run into reporting issues.
— Gordon H., QA Technical Lead at a consumer goods company
Premium support is great, but before that when we just had general support, it was not all that great. We had issues trying to get support to call us back on tickets as well with turnaround time on resolution.
— Bruce C., Senior Systems Engineer at a financial services firm

You can read more HPE ALM reviews on IT Central Station.

Tosca Testsuite

Valuable features

Easier to maintain than any other tool in the class, fast turnaround, ease of integration with third-party tools.
— Manish K., Test Analyst at an insurance company
Tosca Testsuite is a model-based automation tool and it doesn't require an explicit framework, unlike other automation tools.
— Bhavana R., Software Engineer Associate at a tech vendor
This solution allows you to create an entire automated framework, where it allows you to easily manage everything in one place. It's given us the ability to do automated tests, which has made some things a lot quicker.
— Amy J., QA Manager at an insurance company

Room for improvement

The only thing I am not happy about is … that we don’t have a good way to control licenses. Sometimes people are using licenses at their desk and when they go home, they still have the license. There is no good way to control this.
— Megan M., QA Manager at a financial services firm
I personally feel like the pricing is a little bit on the high end.
— Raghuram R., Associate Project Manager at a tech vendor
It would be great if there are more video tutorials on the vendor's support website, at least for commonly used functions.
— Vaibhav., IT Analyst at a tech consulting company

You can read more Tosca Testsuite reviews on IT Central Station.

SmartBear TestComplete

Valuable features

Good test coverage through automation, and provides unique solutions to the most of automation challenges (e.g. comparison of images).
— Deva V., Test Automation Lead/Consultant at a tech services company
Test results logs help in finding precisely the issue where test failed. Tests can be recorded in keyword-driven or screen-capture modes on some screens.
— Sudha G., Systems Engineer at a tech services company
The Object Spy has surpassed any other ‘spy’ tools I have ever used. It allows me to input parameters without having to write a quick Visual Basic script. Diving deep into object trees can be a breeze with the search function.
— Ryan W., QA Automation Development Engineer at a manufacturing company

Room for improvement

A major part of the product that needs improvement is the licenser. This piece of the application [has installation] issues that require manual, command-line modifications to correct. While this doesn’t occur with all installations, it has been a frequent problem for me.
— Shawn C., QA Automation Engineer at a software R&D company
Better stability, as TestComplete sometimes crashes when attempting to delete over 10 logs. Support for the latest versions of DevExpress could also be improved. I’d also like a more comfortable XML editor (like in Notepad++).
— Alexander S., QA Automation Engineer at a software R&D company
Objects Mapping [needs improvement] for applications built on domains/platforms such as Sliverlight and Citrix.
— Azeddin M., Systems Test Manager at a transportation company

You can read more SmartBear TestComplete reviews on IT Central Station.

Microsoft TFS

Valuable features

In our company, we develop software applications. With TFS we can manage the whole application lifecycle with a single product, and it is visible for all the team members.
— Raúl A., Head of Department Projects at a tech services company
Reduced cost of software implementation and testing processes by automation. Streamlined the software development process so that we could deliver high-quality software in short time to the market.
— Chaminda C., Software Architect at a tech services company

Room for improvement

History view outlining edits by user would be a nice addition.
— Roger C., Lead SharePoint Developer at a legal firm
TFS administration tools need to be more controlled and easier to use.
— Ali F., Technical Manager at a tech services company

You can read more Microsoft TFS reviews on IT Central Station.


Valuable features

It allows us to track test cases that we create. For all of our applications that we test, we build our test cases, load them into Quality Center, and track our defects, all inside of Quality Center. It allows us to be able to gather metrics based on the applications that we test.
— Wanda M., Senior QA Analyst at a communication service provider
Quality Center has helped my organization in monitoring the testing process and improving productivity. The test execution and monitoring feature in Quality Center is one of the most advanced features available in the industry.
— Amit S., Manager at an outsourcing company
For manual test cases, we need to write test cases each time, and if any update or change request comes, we need to then go to each test case and update, which is very time-consuming. With BPT [business process testing], we can update it in less time. After a refresh, it automatically updates the whole test set, which is over 100 test cases.
— Gourav D., Senior Consultant at a tech services company

Room for improvement

This is a great test management tool, but it is very expensive. The price needs to be [more] affordable; it’s high-priced when compared to other test management tools with similar functionalities.
— Sudha G., Systems Engineer at a tech services company
It doesn’t support Apple machines or any browsers other than IE. This is a big problem if the development team working on defects usees Apple machines, which is very common.
— Amira B., Test Manager at a tech services company
As a standalone QA tool it meets the needs adequately, but it really needs combining with other solutions, such as Agile Manager, to get the best full lifecycle solution.
— Derek W., Technical Test Analyst at an insurance company

You can read more HPE QC reviews on IT Central Station.

IBM Rational Performance Tester

Valuable features

It offers a good variety of reports to identify the presence and cause of performance bottlenecks. The reports provide the response time breakdown at the method level, which can be used to identify the cause of the bottleneck by identifying slow performance classes, methods and individual lines of application source code.
— Shruti S., Projects Associate at a tech services company
It helps the testers quickly and efficiently record tests and set up schedules (test suites). The Rational Quality Manager adapter for Rational Performance Tester allows testers to manage, schedule, and execute their Rational Performance Tester assets from Rational Quality Manager.
— Mike R., Rational Tools Administrator at a tech services company

Room for improvement

I’d like to see a better way of detecting why certain scripts are not playing back as recorded. I also need the app to tell us at a higher level what went wrong.
— QATestLead904, QA Software Testing Lead at a government agency
Customer service is not bad, but many times they [responded to an issue saying] the product ‘works as designed,’ and in my honest opinion they were not correct.
— Amaury Q., Solutions Architect at a tech services company

You can read more IBM Rational Performance Tester reviews on IT Central Station.

This story, "IT users review 6 software test management tools" was originally published by CIO.

Copyright © 2016 IDG Communications, Inc.

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