HP adds cloud, mobile to app lifecycle tools

HP ALM screenshotHP is targeting development for cloud and mobile environments with its latest Application Lifecycle Management portfolio members, seeking to bring easier and faster testing and greater integration with popular development environments to its software quality assurance tools.

Cloud and mobile, hand-in-hand, are shaping much of current IT thinking, and that’s no different in application development, said Kelly Emo, director of marketing for HP Software.

“The market is presenting us a huge opportunity to balance velocity and quality,” Emo said. “There’s so much pressure on application developers from consumers, from competitors and from the market to release at agile speed, to release new features monthly and even multiple times a month.”

Emo said that by 2020, many developers expect to be releasing new features “a couple of times a week, and this is changing how they define, develop, and build applications.”

With the new release, the company is turning to the cloud to add brute force to its performance testing capabilities. While developers have long been able to use the cloud to set up multiple test sites around the world and co-ordinate peak performance tests, the new release of ALM automates the process, allowing users to define accounts for cloud services, define parameters, and start testing.

“This used to be days or even weeks of manual configuration for those who wanted to provision a large scale cloud test environment,” Emo said.

The ability to offer cloud-based testing will be a significant boost for the company’s channel, Emo suggested, giving customers the opportunity to much more quickly simulate major load events (such as a holiday rush at retail) by tasking the cloud with hammering the would-be application. Emo suggested that partners consider packaging up performance testing in the services they offer customers, making it even easier for customers to thoroughly load test by offering cloud-based testing as a managed service.

Mobile lifecycle management and mobile testing are other areas that Emo cites as significant channel opportunities.

The company continues to offer the option of a hosted hardware lab to help developers stay on top of the ever-growing number of device formats and platforms to which compliance must be ensured. And it’s now adding a hardware appliance with support for up to six cradles for those that want to do some device testing – say of key corporate-approved devices – in-house. Through the company’s recently-announced acquisition of network virtualization vendor Shunra, it is also adding the ability to do more realistic simulation of 2G/3G/LTE mobile network connection performance for applications.

The company has also enhanced integration with popular development environments, particularly when it comes to testing of nightly builds of applications. In addition to the usual stress tests on such in-process software, HP now supports regression and performance testing on nightly builds, a move Emo said will help developers identify potential challenges earlier in the testing process.

HP’s new application lifecycle management tools are available now for on-premise customers, with a hosted version of its testing tools slated to launch within a month. The company has previously offered “as a Service” versions of its app management tools, but they have frequently debuted well after the on-premise versions have already become mainstream. Emo quips that the company is trying to reflect the kind of agile development most developers are seeking.

The company sells through a variety of partners, including its global system integrators and local VARs through distribution.