Move to DevOps for More Speed, Agility, and Flexibility
Through a history of acquisitions, the application landscape for this leading Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) organization was very complex and customized. As a global organization, the company needs to comply with consumer manufacturing regulations around the world, as the Global Test Manager explains: “We are in a hugely competitive industry, and time to market is everything. If rules and regulations change in one of our operating countries, we have to respond quickly. We wanted to change our traditional, waterfall-based, development method to introduce much more speed, agility, and flexibility into our application lifecycle. At the same time we are aware that not every application/project demands a DevOps/Agile approach, and so we looked for a solution that could support a hybrid development model.”
The team had been using Micro Focus ALM/ Quality Center (ALM/QC) for a number of years. It had supported them through a complex SAP integration, after which Micro Focus UFT One was deployed for ongoing automated regression testing and Micro Focus BPT for business process testing. This ensured business-critical SAP functions were thoroughly tested every month to support business change releases. ALM/QC managed 275 end-to-end test scenarios and over 3,100 test scripts. However, test management needs were changing and the organization wanted to bring business and IT roles much closer together. “We felt our test factory and development teams were disconnected. There was also still a manual effort involved in triggering the automated tests, which prevented us from implementing full ‘lights out’ testing, without any human intervention. Finally, ALM/QC had some limitations as it is not designed as a DevOps/ Agile solution,” says the Global Test Manager.
Increasing Test Automation and Reuse
After being introduced to Micro Focus ALM Octane, the organization felt that the Micro Focus ‘Run and Transform’ concept would allow them to build on their existing framework, while enhancing it with a DevOps offering. ALM Octane has extensive integration capabilities and this was helpful, with JIRA in use as requirements management solution, and Jenkins being considered as Continuous Integration server to support a DevOps toolchain. ALM Octane is a complete SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) solution in line with the organization’s vision.
The Global Test Manager on the ALM Octane implementation process: “We looked at alternative DevOps-oriented test solutions, but we have always appreciated the support we receive from Micro Focus. Our local contacts are helpful and knowledgeable, and any issues we encounter receive the right level of attention. The ALM Octane interface was familiar to our users, and after some Micro Focus-led training for our test factory staff and business unit users, we picked it up quickly.” One Business Process Manager comments: “ALM Octane is very simple to use and get started with. The user experience is completely intuitive.” All data and existing test scripts were migrated from ALM/QC to ALM Octane. Although ALM Octane is now used as test management solution for all DevOps projects, ALM/QC continues to trigger UFT One automated tests.
The level of test automation introduced by this change depends on the projects. The team really notices the value of ALM Octane in regular tests, as part of the agile bi-weekly sprint release cycle. These are nearly fully automated, with a high level of test reuse, improving productivity over time. The use of ALM Octane has streamlined processes, and clearly shows history and linkage for requests and defects through dashboards and charts. “Our global product owners are the link between our business and IT teams. They leverage ALM Octane for a high level view of the application lifecycle and use this data for their daily stand-up meetings and planning sessions,” comments the Global Test Manager.
Improved Collaboration and Application Quality among Distributed Teams
ALM Octane is deployed to a number of geographically distributed development and testing teams. Having a single interface and source of truth promotes transparency and supports teamwork and collaboration across different time zones. The Business Process Manager says: “We haven’t even started using the advanced ALM Octane capabilities and are already seeing more collaboration and information sharing between our team members.” ALM Octane has led to an easier adoption of Quality Assurance (QA) practices within teams, resulting in fewer defects causing issues in production, with higher quality applications being released.
With sometimes more than 200 people from the business involved in user acceptance testing, trust in the process is everything, according to the Global Test Manager: “With ALM Octane we have gained more confidence from the business. It is easy to use, integrates seamlessly with our Single Sign-on solution, and it’s compatible with a wide range of platforms and browsers. We have received really positive feedback, including ‘ALM Octane is the new brain’ which is music to our ears.”
He concludes: “We currently use the ALM Octane CI/CD and defect modules, but are aware that there are many more capabilities for us to explore. Work closely with Micro Focus we will leverage Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) to further streamline our application development lifecycle. We often get approached by other vendors, but we don’t see any reason to move away from Micro Focus – we receive great value.”