Friday, September 21, 2007

Integrating Mercury Testing Tools with IBM Rational ClearQuest defects (and/or IBM Rational RequisitePro requirements)

Many organizations use Mercury “testing tools” for Quality Assurance.  It is also common for organizations to use IBM Rational ClearQuest for defect tracking, and IBM Rational RequisitePro for requirements management.  As development processes mature, organizations eventually seek a way to achieve traceability between testing and the rest of their processes and artifacts (defects, enhancement requests, requirements, source code, and design artifacts).  This discussion will examine two options available for establishing and maintaining traceability between test implementation tools and IBM Rational ClearQuest and RequisitePro via a test management tool.

To understand the available options, it is necessary to first categorize Mercury’s “testing tools” by function: test management (TestDirector or QualityCenter), versus test implementation (QuickTest Professional, WinRunner, LoadRunner). The IBM Rational equivalents for test managemet are "standalone" Test Manager, or ClearQuest Test Manager (CQTM) which is part of Rational ClearQuest 7.0. For test implementation, the IBM Rational equivalents are: Rational Functional Tester, Rational Manual Tester, Rational Performance Tester, Rational Tester for SOA Quality, and (legacy) Rational Robot.

There are two options for bridging Mercury test implementation tools with the rest of the development process, and the choice between the two hinges on whether Mercury is used for test management. However, for organizations which utilize a mixed-vendor test implementation toolset and require official, validated and supported integrations between tools, there may be only one feasible choice.

Option 1: If an organization must use QualityCenter or TestDirector for test management, the only option is to use Mercury-provided synchronizers between test management and external tools.

Other tools (non-testing) Integration Test Management Integration Test Implementation
ClearQuest Mercury, Synchronizer QualityCenter or TestDirector Mercury, out-of-the-box QuickTest Pro, WinRunner, LoadRunner
RequisitePro Mercury, Synchronizer

Pro’s Con’s
Mature test management software Synchronization takes time, involves duplication of data; works for some companies, doesn’t work for others; breaks customized ClearQuest form behaviors; breaks UCM (Unified Change Management)
Free, tight integration between test management and test implementation Initial purchase and subsequent maintenance and support of test management tool is expensive
  Non-existent or unsupported integrations with IBM Rational test implementation tools.

Option 2:  The organization uses IBM Rational ClearQuest Test Manager (CQTM) for test management.

Other tools (non-testing) Integration Test Management Integration Test Implementation
ClearQuest None necessary ClearQuest TestManager(CQTM) Ring-Zero Test Adapters QuickTest Pro, WinRunner, LoadRunner
RequisitePro Rational, out-of-the-box

Pro’s Con’s
Free, tight integration between test management and RequisitePro requirements.  Free, ultra-tight integration between test management and ClearQuest defects, enhancements.  No synchronization is necessary. Less-mature test management software
Test management software is free, since it is built into ClearQuest. Expense of third-party (Ring-Zero Software) test adapters.
Free integration between test management and IBM Rational test implementation tools.  

Some organizations which have already made investments in Mercury test management software may consider migrating to ClearQuest Test Manager (CQTM).  In general, migration consists of exporting the hierarchy of test assets (test plan, test cases, test scripts) from the Mercury database and importing them into CQTM.  The level of effort necessary for migration may differ, depending on which particular Mercury test management tool features being used.  For example, if TestDirector is being used for requirements management, additional software (RequisitePro) and migration effort may be required.  However, the benefit of the additional need outweighs the costs: RequisitePro is useful for requirements at all stages in the development process, while TestDirector’s requirements management capability is confined to testing.

Learn more about the tools mentioned in this article:

IBM Rational Functional Tester
IBM Rational Manual Tester
IBM Rational Performance Tester
IBM Rational Tester for SOA
IBM Rational Robot
IBM Rational ClearQuest TestManager
HP Mercury QualityCenter
HP Mercury WinRunner
HP Mercury QuickTest Professional
Ring-Zero Test Adapters