The software ecosystem and ALM
Software success is crucial to the success of your business. And so the software ecosystem needs to be effectively and proactively managed. This requires adoption of ALM which is the business of designing, building, testing, delivering, managing and maintaining software. Testing being a big part of this supply chain needs some special attention since that guides the path to software’s success.
Where is the TLM heading?
Testing has matured from a random click activity to a more organized science. It has a structure and a method to it— be it management of test cases, design, analysis or execution. Excels, Words and XMLs are suddenly becoming obsolete as the needs become more complex to manage and maintain. Adoption of cloud systems and virtualized infrastructure are forcing business to move beyond their ‘walls’ towards a virtual server world which changes the equations further.
And so with such a rapidly moving market, organizations are unable to respond effectively with legacy tools. So for state-of-the-art software delivery, there is a need for a state-of —the-art TLM and ALM tools. The application lifecycle paradigms are diverging from traditional to agile and scrum and the heterogeneous nature of this ALM and TLM market has a several varied tools from vendors leads to a fluid market and needs to be integrated seamlessly.
I got a chance to sit through an analyst briefing for our test management tool — QMetry and managed to gather some interesting data on morphing test lifecycle management industry and what it would take to be market leaders in this space.
Making the case for a solid test management tool
First, as I mentioned above, there are a million TLM tools that need to integrate with each other seamlessly. These disparate tools could be performing defect management, automation, requirements management, change management, prototyping/WI reframing management etc. Your TLM tool needs to be an open platform system tool that integrates seamlessly with this fluid ecosystem.
It would be nice if the test management solution provides an intelligent testing platform with add-ons for a vertical solution. For example, HIPAA and FDA compliance regulations in the health care vertical, or some other specifics for travel or banking industry or the mobile vertical.
Specific to mobile vertical, a TLM solution needs to build out platform capabilities which would help to market mobile apps and websites faster. It should test and monitor any mobile app or website — native, HTML5, or hybrid across multiple devices and platforms such as iOS, Android, Windows or test interactions from any part of the world.
A good TLM solution needs to offer solid reporting capabilities with out of box capabilities for metrics evaluation etc. There is an established need for query engine capabilities, archived audit trials, and custom field reporting as advanced functions to support advanced needs. A solid change management mechanism to house historical data and make way for new methodologies in agile and scrum is also required.
Hope this helps in your decision for choosing the right TLM tool for your business.