Integrating CLM with HP Quality Center

A deep dive into the Rational Adapter for HP ALM use cases

This article presents the integrations and use cases supported by the Rational Adapter for HP ALM. It is intended for teams using HP Quality Center for quality management and one or more Rational applications for requirements management, change management, or both. The adapter provides traceability and collaboration across the boundaries of these individual tools. This helps teams to bring quality software to market quickly.

Robin Y Bobbitt (ryehle@us.ibm.com), Senior Software Engineer, Rational Git and HP Adapter Development Lead, IBM

Photo of Robin Y BobbittRobin Yehle Bobbitt is a Senior Software Engineer at IBM. She is the development lead for the Rational adapters for Git and HP. Previously, she was a component lead on the Rational Team Concert Enterprise Extensions development team and a member of Jazz Jumpstart.



14 January 2014

Software development is a complex process that involves many practitioners and stakeholders in varying roles. Each practitioner is required to use their own tools to complete their work. The need for collaboration across these tools, and traceability across software lifecycle artifacts, is well understood. The IBM® Rational® solution for Collaborative Lifecycle Management (CLM) is designed for this purpose. However, while an organization may see the value that the CLM solution brings, they may already be heavily invested in other third-party application lifecycle management products. Often organizations want to use one or more of the CLM applications, and also continue to leverage their third-party tools. The IBM® Rational® Lifecycle Integration Adapters helps these organizations to communicate, collaborate, and establish lifecycle traceability across the boundaries of their heterogeneous tools.

The Rational Lifecycle Integration Adapters Standard Edition provides integrations through Open Services for Lifecycle Collaboration (OSLC)-based linked data. OSLC is an open community and a set of specifications for integrating software applications. Through OSLC, data can stay in its respective tool, but still be viewed, linked, and created in the context of another tool by using rich hovers and delegated dialogs. The Rational Lifecycle Integration Adapters Standard Edition provides such integrations for HP Quality Center, Atlassian JIRA, and Git.

The Rational Adapter for HP ALM is designed for teams that use HP Quality Center for testing and work with analysts using IBM® Rational® Requirements Composer, development teams using IBM® Rational® Team Concert,™ or both. With the adapter, you can establish and follow links between resources in CLM and HP. In addition, you can reconcile your requirement collections with HP Quality Center test folders to generate linked HP Quality Center test cases automatically based on requirement content. You can link HP test artifacts and defects with Rational Team Concert work items, allowing you to plan your testing from a development plan and track your fixes for failed HP test cases. Your changes sets in Rational Team Concert can be linked to defects in HP Quality Center.

This article explores each of these HP adapter use cases in detail and shows how practitioners can gain insight into the application lifecycle, regardless of their primary tools.

Note: This article references Rational Requirements Composer, but the information also applies to IBM® Rational® DOORS® Next Generation.

How to integrate Rational requirements management applications with HP Quality Center

Delegated dialogs

OSLC uses delegated dialogs for resource creation and selection. In this scenario, the requirements management application asks the HP adapter to provide a dialog for test plan creation. When you click OK, the HP adapter creates the test plan and returns the URL of the new plan to the requirements management application.

In the first scenario, your organization's requirements analysts use a Rational requirements management application, and your test team uses HP Quality Center. A requirements collection for the release is ready for use by the test team.

As the test lead, you first create and link an HP test plan directly from the requirements collection, using a Validated By link type. In the delegated dialog the adapter provides, specify a new test plan name and select a parent folder, as shown in Figure 1. Choosing OK creates the test plan in HP and links it with the requirements collection. Alternatively, if the test plan already exists, you can link the test plan and the requirements collection either from the requirements management collection or the adapter view of the test plan.

Dialog accepts Title field and HP parent folder

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With the requirements collection and test plan associated, you can reconcile the two containers to determine which requirements in the collection don't have associated test cases in the plan. You can filter the requirements by status, as shown in Figure 2, and each requirement can be expanded to see a preview of the contents. Select any number of the requirements to generate and link HP test cases automatically.

Requirements with no test case are presented

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Each generated HP test case is created with the title and primary text from the requirement. The primary text is added to the Description field of the HP test case. From the adapter view of the test case, you can click to other requirements management artifacts, as well as web links. Embedded requirements management artifacts are not preserved. The requirement and HP test case now have a bi-directional Validated By/Validates link.

To open the complete requirement in a separate browser window, double-click the validatesRequirement.url attachment in the HP test case. The attachment description contains the ID and title of the requirement, and the link type (validatesRequirement). Additionally, the HP test case has an attachment called oslclinks.xml, which contains the link type, ID, title, and full URI for all artifacts linked from the test case. See Figure 3.

Test case attachments capture OSLC links

Notice the three highlighted toolbar buttons added to the test case window in Figure 3. Sample workflow code provided with the adapter supports these buttons. The buttons launch the associated change management application dashboard, requirements management application dashboard, and adapter view of the current HP artifact. Conversely, the Launch HP ALM link in the adapter view of the test case opens the test case in HP Quality Center, as shown in Figure 4.

Adapter view of test case with launch HP option

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As the analysts add more requirements to the collection, you can perform subsequent reconciles on the HP test folder to discover the new requirements and generate validating test cases in HP. You and other stakeholders can also use the Test Cases Validating Requirements gadget in your CLM dashboard to review test coverage of the collection, as shown in Figure 5.

Dashboard gadget shows test coverage

The analysts can use various capabilities in the requirements management application to verify that all requirements have coverage. For example, they can create a traceability view for the collection to show the Validated By links for all artifacts. Analysts can also choose to generate a document-style report for the collection to review the test coverage.

Validated By column shows HP test cases

Use suspect links to update HP test cases

With the suspect traceability feature of the requirements management application, you can review the potential impact of changes to linked artifacts. You can, for example, create a suspicion profile in requirements management that watches the Validated By link type, so that changes to a requirement put linked HP test cases in a suspicious state (see Resources for a video demo).

As your test team fleshes out detailed test steps in HP, the analysts might need to change the requirements to address customer feedback. You can use a Suspect Test Cases gadget on your CLM dashboard to determine quickly if some of your team's test cases are affected by the changes to the requirements. In addition, suspect icons are available throughout the adapter views so you can identify whether an artifact is suspect. See Figure 7.

Dashboard gadget shows suspect test cases

From the Reconcile page of the adapter, you can compare the content of the suspect test cases with the updated content of the requirements, as shown in Figure 8. You can choose which requirements have relevant changes and push the updated content to the HP test cases. Suspicion is automatically cleared as part of the update. For those suspect test cases that you don't want to update, you can clear the suspicion indicator from the adapter view of each test case. Subsequent changes to the requirements put the test cases in a suspicious state again.

Suspect test cases with update preview

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You have now seen how the HP adapter helps you to generate HP test cases from Rational requirements, verify coverage of all requirements, and update test cases when requirements change. Note that you can also manually link individual requirements with new or existing test cases in HP, and all references to requirement collections in this discussion also apply to requirement modules.

Use linked HP requirements for native end-to-end traceability

Now, suppose your test team wants to have a more complete view of the end-to-end traceability from requirements to test cases to failing defects and doesn't want to leave HP to do this. Another option available to your team through the HP adapter is to create a requirements folder in HP and reconcile it with the requirements collection in the requirements management application to generate stub requirements in HP. You can then generate the HP test cases from the stub HP requirements and use native HP capabilities for end-to-end traceability and test coverage verification. The HP test cases can also be linked manually to the Rational requirements to capture test coverage in CLM.

As test lead, you link a new or existing HP requirements folder with the requirements collection using a References link type. Just as you did in the previous scenario, reconcile to select the requirements for which you want to create linked stub requirements in HP.

Each HP requirement is created with the title, description, and primary text from the Rational requirement. The primary text is added to the Rich Text field of the HP requirement. Links to other requirements management artifacts, as well as web links, are preserved in the Rich Text field. Embedded requirements management artifacts are not preserved. The Rational requirement now has a References link to the HP requirement, and the HP requirement has an attachment called original.url that, when double-clicked, launches the Rational requirement in a separate browser window. The attachment description contains the ID and title of the Rational requirement, as well as the link type (references).

From the new stub HP requirements, you use the HP Convert to Tests feature to generate test cases in HP, which are automatically linked to the stub HP requirements. As new requirements are added to the collection, you perform subsequent reconciles on your requirement folder to discover the new Rational requirements and generate the new stub requirements in HP. You can leverage views, graphs, and reports in HP to verify the Direct Cover Status of the requirements, as shown in Figure 9.

Direct Cover Status indicates missing test cases

If you create an HP Favorite to show all requirements without test coverage, the requirements analysts and other stakeholders can add an HP Favorite gadget to their CLM dashboard to view any gaps in coverage. This is shown in Figure 10.

CLM dashboard gadget indicates missing test cases

As the analysts update the Rational requirements with late-breaking information, you again leverage suspect linking to review the changes and update the stub HP requirements in batch. You can configure Alert Rules in your HP project to add alerts to all HP test cases that might require updating as a result of the changes in the stub requirements.

As testing is completed, with the stub requirements in HP, you view the testing status of each requirement and any defects indirectly linked to the requirement as a result of the testing. You can create HP Favorites so analysts and other stakeholders can view which requirements have test cases that are, for example, Failed, Blocked, or Not Covered in their CLM dashboard, as shown in Figure 11.

Test status by requirement in HP

You have now seen how the HP adapter helps you generate stub HP requirements from requirements management application requirements and keep the HP requirements updated to reflect changes in the Rational requirements. Analysts can use CLM dashboard gadgets to gain visibility to testing status in HP, while the test team leverages native HP capabilities for end-to-end traceability and status.


Integrate Rational change management applications with HP Quality Center

Assume now that your development organization is not using a requirements management tool, and you want to plan your test cases from the planned stories in your Rational change management application provided by Rational Team Concert. Or, perhaps the team is using requirements management, but you want to link your test cases to change management stories as well as requirements. A development plan for the iteration is ready for use by the test team. With the HP adapter, you can link change management artifacts to new and existing HP test resources.

As test lead, you navigate to the change management development plan and link the plan to a new or existing test plan in HP, using the Tested by Test Plan link. You can hover over the link to see a preview of the test plan, which shows a link back to the development plan, as shown in Figure 12. These previews are provided by the adapter throughout the described scenarios when you hover over a displayed link to an HP adapter resource.

Hover includes a link to the development plan

Next, you can link individual stories and epics to new or existing test cases in HP, using the Tested by Test Case link. From the Traceability view, you can see which stories are not yet tested by a test case. You can hover over any of the test case links to see a preview of the test case in HP, including a link back to the development story.

Manage defects and fixes with the HP adapter

The HP adapter supports processes for creating defects and associating fixes. In the first scenario, your test team opens their defects in HP. The development team, working primarily in the change management application, needs a way to view and interact with the defects.

As the development lead, you can use an Unassigned Defects gadget in your CLM dashboard to discover the new, unassigned defects. Alternatively, you can use a Favorite Defects gadget to leverage any filtering you might want to set up in HP, such as defect status or detected on date. You can click a defect in the gadget to open it in the adapter, then link it to the associated change management story using the Affects Plan Item link. You can then click the Launch HP ALM link to open the defect in HP. From HP, you can assign the defect to one of your developers.

As the developer, you check your My Defects gadget provided by the adapter in your CLM dashboard and see an HP defect assigned to you. You open the defect in the adapter to review the details of the issue. You fix the problem in your Rational Team Concert Eclipse client, check in your changes, associate them with the HP defect, and deliver the fix. When you refresh the defect in the adapter, you can see your associated change sets, as shown in Figure 13.

HP defect with change management change sets

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As the development lead, you can instead open a new change management task for the developer to use for the fix. You can use the adapter to create the task directly from the HP defect, prefilled with the contents of the defect. The two artifacts are linked for traceability.

Lastly, your test team can open defects directly in the change management application. The tester can open the failed test run in the adapter and create a defect prefilled with the failed test run information, as shown in Figure 14. The change management defect and HP test run are linked for traceability. The tester can also create a defect prefilled from a test instance.

Prefill with HP test run ID, name, and details

Integrate with Rational ClearQuest

Similar to the Rational Team Concert integration, you can link IBM® Rational® ClearQuest® change requests such as defects or enhancements with HP test resources and defects. You can create the links from either product. You can create HP test cases from the ClearQuest web client, and you can create ClearQuest defects that are prefilled from the adapter view of the HP test resources and defects.


Conclusion

The Rational Adapter for HP ALM supports a variety of linkages between CLM applications and the HP Quality Center. Additional capabilities help the test team to generate HP test cases from requirements and easily keep the test plan current with the relevant requirements collection. You can configure dashboard gadgets provided by the adapter to view data from HP and CLM in one place. In summary, the HP adapter links your data, and you choose the process that best allows you to develop software across your heterogeneous set of tools.

Resources

Learn

Get products and technologies

  • Download and evaluate the Rational Lifecycle Integration Adapters that you need, either the Standard Edition or adapters for HP ALM, Git, or JIRA.
  • Download the Rational Requirements Composer free trial.
  • Download Rational Team Concert from Jazz.net and try it free on up to 10 developers for as long as you want (requires registration). If you'd prefer, you can try it in the sandbox instead, without installing it on your own system.
  • Evaluate IBM software in the way that suits you best: Download it for a trial, try it online, use it in a cloud environment.

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