HP Updates Agile Tool Aimed at Easing App Testing Bottlenecks

HP Software has upgraded its Unified Functional Testing tool to incorporate testing into Agile development environments to end delays in the quality assurance process for apps.

Hewlett-Packard is upgrading its Unified Functional Testing tool to do quality assurance during the development process rather than just at the end. The company is also offering a new cloud service for developers to test their mobile apps on various operating systems.

The Unified Functional Testing (UFT) tool, version 11.5 of which was released Nov. 6, is designed to perform quality testing throughout the development process for mobile, social and Web-delivered applications rather than only at the end, which can be time-consuming. Such delays are a problem when there is increasing demand for the creation of new applications quickly, said Kelly Emo, director of enterprise software product marketing in the HP Software business unit.

In addition, HP Software introduced a new UFT feature called HP UFT Mobile, which is a cloud-based service for testing a new mobile application on various mobile operating systems, including Apple iOS, Google Android and Microsoft Windows Phone.

The UFT tool is incorporated into the Agile software development process in which teams of developers follow software requirements that have been defined for the app and writing code to meet those requirements. Doing QA testing during development catches glitches early and avoids a bottleneck in the process with a lengthy QA phase after the development process, said Emo.

“We’re enabling the functional testing tools to participate in the Agile lifecycle,” she said.

When testing is done during the development process, developers can see the effect of a particular change on parts of the application that have already been tested, she explained. The tool is called a “Unified” Functional Testing tool because it automates testing the same whether the work is being done for a mobile device app, on the graphical user interface (GUI), an application programming interface (API) or a back-office application. Other QA testing vendors offer tools for one or the other types of development, but HP unifies the testing experience across all those types, Emo said.

“Organizations are pushing their application teams to develop and deliver their apps faster and faster,” she said, citing demand for new mobile apps, and apps for Facebook and other social media sites. To speed up delivery time, some developers feel pressure to cut corners on QA and say they’ll fix glitches in production.

“That’s a losing battle because defects may stay hidden for a while, but when they get exposed in production, they’re going to have a significant impact,” Emo said.

HP has made a number of software acquisitions in recent years to build up its high-margin software division to offset declining margins from its PC business.

The HP UFT Mobile service lets developers see how an application may run or look differently on a Windows Phone, iPhone or Android device, Emo said, and will enable them to make changes in the app so it operates the same across all operating systems.