Compuware details quality management product

Software development processes also boosted by Parasoft, AutomatedQA

Compuware, Parasoft, and AutomatedQA this week plan to offer products to improve software development processes, with Compuware focused on quality assurance, Parasoft on SOA testing, and AutomatedQA on build and release management.

The Compuware Quality Management product, for managing quality processes, fills a gap between the company's QACenter software for test management and its CARS (Compuware Application Reliability Solution) package for "quality governance."

"About 20 percent of the market is ready for this quality governance solution that we have in CARS but the rest of the 80 percent of the market is really stuck at the test management [level]," said Mike Burba, Compuware marketing director for application delivery solutions. "It's a bridge too far to go to CARS," he said.

Quality Management has the capabilities of QACenter plus a Web-based portal and built-in management reports for viewing projects. Featured is a centralized dashboard for testing teams to monitor quality goals. Performance indicators are featured.

Also, Quality Management dashboards offer visibility into application quality from requirements to delivery, the company said. Business requirements are traced and effectiveness of testing projects is measured. A cross-project reporting capability helps determine effectiveness of quality processes over time.

A visual workflow enables organizations to implement quality processes consistently. Quality Management features Compuware's QualityPoint methodology for software quality assurance. The Quality Optimizer capability in Quality Management lets teams develop "what if" scenarios to balance risk, cost, and schedule.

CARS, meanwhile, helps users adopt a more mature quality practice that represents an end-to-end lifecycle approach to quality assurance, Burba said. It features capabilities such as requirements definition and management as well as code quality tools and testing.

Did Compuware really need a product between QACenter and CARS? An industry analyst, Thomas Murphy, research director at Gartner, said Quality Management fills a need for smaller enterprises (those with fewer than 10,000 employees).

"Whether it's product overkill or not, I guess what you could say is obviously that [this] shows CARS in and of itself may be too much for a lot of companies to bite off all at once and they need other ways to have entry into the market," Murphy said.

Compuware's Quality Management product ships on Tuesday. Compuware would not provide pricing information.

Parasoft SOAtest 5.0, meanwhile, is a collaborative test and analysis suite for Web services and SOA. It provides for testing of business processes and message-layer transactions, including testing of Web services, said Wayne Ariola, vice president of strategy and corporate development at Parasoft.

"What we're testing is the business scenarios that people are actually leveraging SOA to engage," Ariola said.

The product enforces design and development policies, promoting reuse and trust. Error prevention also is a function.

Version 5.0 adds three major capabilities: the ability to test through multiple layers of business applications; a streamlined environment for teams to enforce design and development policies, and the ability to define quality of service for load tests.

The multiple-layer testing capability allows monitoring of internal execution of Java applications while running use case scenarios and generating JUnit tests. This capability isolates problems and errors.

Parasoft's new team capability enables placement of policies and rules into a central repository, specifically the Parasoft Team Configuration Manager or BEA AquaLogic Enterprise Repository. These policies can be applied to services in development.

With the QoS function, users can define success metrics before testing and set performance thresholds.

Parasoft SOAtest 5.0 is available on Monday. Pricing is about US$50,000 for an enterprise edition, desktop licenses, and training for five persons.

AutomatedQA will unveil Automated Build Studio 3, a build and release management system. New features include a macro debugger and charts to analyze macro run statistics, AutomatedQA said. Key to the product is its capability of automating development processes.

The product integrates with AutomatedQA's performance profiler and memory debugger, AQtime, and also with the company's TestComplete 5 to provide an end-to-end platform for application quality assurance, AutomatedQA said.

Automated Build Studio 3 automates build processes ranging from the retrieving of files from a version control system to building installation packages, running automated tests, and deploying the latest software releases.

Priced at $349.99 and $2,999.99 for a site license, the product is available now.

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