Delivering Applications Rapidly to Users
Orange Labs manages not just software development projects, such as web, mobile and back-end office applications, but also the delivery of hardware and telecommunications components, such as routers, set-top boxes, and a variety of Internet of Things (IoT). In a varied environment like this, different development methodologies are in play, like Verification and Validation (V-model), Agile, and DevOps. Although the overall strategy is to move globally towards a full DevOps model, different methodologies will always need to be supported.
Ensuring this flexibility was the main challenge, when Yann Helleboid, Testing Community Manager for Orange Labs, looked for a product quality management solution to incorporate automated testing across all IT projects: “We have been long-term users of the Micro Focus testing solutions, and were excited to be involved in the beta program for Micro Focus ALM Octane. We needed a solution to improve collaboration between our development and testing teams. Our developers and testers typically work with Mac and Linux, whereas our product owners are in a Windows environment. It was important our new testing solution could support both.”
Offering Choice and Flexibility with ALM Octane
The variety of projects, covering the whole of Orange, demands an entirely flexible testing approach to manage testing mobile applications, IoT devices, telecommunications network components, application monitoring solutions, back-end office applications, and many more. With over 600 test projects, each containing several test elements in one workspace, and 3,000 users, it was important to Orange Labs that the new solution gave users options to work in the most effective manner for their team, as Helleboid explains: “Offering choice to our users is a real mind-set change and part of our digital transformation. We don’t want to dictate a particular tool or methodology to our users. ALM Octane gave us the openness we were looking for. Through its APIs it is easily extensible into different eco systems. It is also fully loaded with features that provide many options to work in different ways. ALM Octane test workspace owners are set up as administrators so that they can decide what modules to use, configure their workspace to their liking, design workflows, and add users to their workspace for enhanced collaboration. Everything is managed from an automated self-service portal, so there is no time lost in a central team managing authorization processes.”
During a period of two years, all existing testing projects were migrated into ALM Octane, while any new test projects were initiated in ALM Octane from the start. The use of ALM Octane is not mandatory, though it is recommended as a global test solution standard. However, the ease of accessibility from any machine, OS, or browser, and the additional flexibility it delivers, has seen ALM Octane adoption grow steadily. Test project owners are encouraged to explore all the different ALM Octane functionalities and share their experience with other projects. This collaborative feedback loop gives users a great experience, and the mouth-to-mouth advertising has expanded ALM Octane usage with the company.
Enhanced Collaboration and Easy Upgrades
The ALM Octane IDE plug-ins mean that developers and testers can now collaborate in the same workspace for much more efficient test project management. As a global organization, Orange Labs operates a continuous integration, testing, and delivery process that includes many components. A key part of this, ALM Octane integrates with tools such as Jenkins, GitLab, and Robot Framework, through its REST API technology. ALM Octane manages test projects across all development methodologies, even when development and testing within the same project follows different principles.
Helleboid comments on the upgrade process: “One of the big advantages of our ALM Octane adoption has been the ease of upgrade. This process could take weeks in the past, but with ALM Octane we upgrade every 3–4 months, and it is completed in just two hours, given us instant access to new features.”
Meeting Digital Transformation Objectives with ALM Octane
Helleboid adds: “ALM Octane supports our digital transformation objectives by addressing various challenges. We’re producing releases faster and having a single platform for all automated testing makes for easier management and better collaboration between the development and testing teams.”
He concludes: “I feel we made a great decision in joining the ALM Octane Beta program, as a continuation of the long-standing partnership we have with Micro Focus. As the solution matured, we were able to influence the roadmap so that it is perfectly suited to our particular environment. Our special partnership with Micro Focus has gone from strength to strength since, and together we meet the objective of giving our users a test management solution that works for everyone.”