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HP updates lifecycle development suite for faster testing

HP's Application Lifecycle Management software comes with a new interface and enhanced testing tools

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Hewlett-Packard has updated its Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) suite to accommodate the ever-quickening pace of today's software programming teams.

"A lot of agile teams are writing code so fast that they lose the ability to test early. At first, with a lot of small, incremental, changes, they may not see the effect of hidden defects or technical debt building up," said Kelly Emo, HP director of software product marketing. "If you can get developers to get a very fast load test to run against, you will have speed and software that is really solid."

The newly released ALM 12 suite uses a number of cloud, automation and virtualization technologies to speed this process of development.

At the center of the ALM portfolio is HP's product -- also called ALM -- for managing the development and testing of a team-built software program.

With ALM 12, a new interface has been added to the ALM software itself. The section for defining requirements has been revamped so it appears like Microsoft Word, allowing users to write requirements in a comfortable environment. Individual terms in a document, however, can be linked to specific business requirements, allowing full traceability of requirements through the lifecycle process.

Other components in ALM suite have been updated as well.

HP LoadRunner 12 has been expanded to test loads against Amazon Web Services (AWS).

LoadRunner tests application performance with simulated workloads, detailing how well each component, such as the database or application server, is performing. HP acquired the software when it purchased Mercury Interactive in 2006.

With LoadRunner 12, an organization that has an application that runs partially, or entirely in AWS, can run a test load against that application to see how it runs in production. HP plans to add tests for additional cloud services in future releases, including its own HP Cloud services.

HP has also expanded its tool for manual testing, called Sprinter. The new Sprinter can be used to test mobile clients. Sprinter offers a guide to talk through each step in a testing process as well as a place to annotate issues that might arise at each interval. Now, Sprinter can walk through apps written in Android and iOS devices.

HP has also added the ability to collect offline test results for mobile applications built on HP Anywhere, its platform for creating and managing mobile enterprise apps. This feature is particularly suited for testing devices that are not always connected to a network, such as those used in factory. The results of the tests can be relayed back to the HP ALM.

HP's software for simulating service components, HP Service Virtualization, has been updated as well. This software models a third-party service provider, such as the Federal Express, so the mockup of the service can be incorporated into a system wide test, without actually calling the service itself.

HP Service Virtualization version 3.5 adds a number of new protocols that can be tested against, including those from SAP. It also adds in a realistic assessment of how much latency the network adds in to performance. "Your simulated application will appear exactly as it would on a network," Emo said. "Jitter and latency could really change the way your application behaves."

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com



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