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Micro Focus ALM Octane OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Micro Focus ALM Octane is #4 ranked solution in top Enterprise Agile Planning Tools and #6 ranked solution in top Application Lifecycle Management Suites. IT Central Station users give Micro Focus ALM Octane an average rating of 8 out of 10. Micro Focus ALM Octane is most commonly compared to Jira:Micro Focus ALM Octane vs Jira. Micro Focus ALM Octane is popular among the large enterprise segment, accounting for 90% of users researching this solution on IT Central Station. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a computer software company, accounting for 33% of all views.
What is Micro Focus ALM Octane?

Micro Focus ALM Octane helps organizations implement a “quality everywhere” approach and improve Agile and DevOps development and testing processes to improve the flow of work across the software delivery value stream. You can tightly align quality efforts from development to release, employ a broad range of tests anchored by automation, and continuously monitor and improve for increased throughput. Micro Focus fosters an open approach so that quality is visible, traceable, and continuously improved. By synchronizing quality and testing with Agile and DevOps processes, risks are mitigated early in the software delivery value stream – speeding the way for faster delivery and improved customer satisfaction.

ALM Octane facilitates a tailored and scalable approach for large enterprises. You can deploy your way and minimize infrastructure needs with deployment options spanning on-premises, SaaS, and public cloud (Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure Marketplaces). Similarly, various licensing options can tailor the features to meet specific needs with support for thousands of concurrent users in geographically disperse locations.

Micro Focus ALM Octane is also known as Micro Focus Octane.

Micro Focus ALM Octane Buyer's Guide

Download the Micro Focus ALM Octane Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: November 2021

Micro Focus ALM Octane Customers

Orange, Airbus, Haufe Group, Kellogg's, Claro, Bon Secours, World Wide Technology

Micro Focus ALM Octane Video

Pricing Advice

What users are saying about Micro Focus ALM Octane pricing:
  • "The comparison is always with Jira, so the pricing of Octane is a bit on the higher side. But if you look at what you have to add to Jira, on the plug-in side, to have the same abilities you have with Octane, you're more or less even, or even ahead with Octane."
  • "Microsoft is a big challenge for Micro Focus when it comes to pricing because they are much cheaper. But it definitely depends on the complexity of the environment. If it has multiple technologies, at that point, looking at other options and Microsoft would be a feasible approach."
  • "Going forward, I think we will want to explore adding more licenses."
  • "The solution has reduced our testing costs."

Micro Focus ALM Octane Reviews

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BJ
Process Owner E/E Test Management at a transportation company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 20
Reporting engine, widgets, and dashboards are a huge plus, and powerful REST interface means we can interact with other tools

Pros and Cons

  • "The key feature is the usability. It is fast to learn and easy to use. It's very intuitive to work with. Most of the important functions are available via a few clicks, compared to other tools where I have to open a sub-menu and then a sub-menu and another sub-menu, and then press a button."
  • "The elements in filtering need to be improved, meaning the number of filters I can use in widgets or in the grid views in parallel. There's a limitation which bothers a lot of our users. Filtering in text, or having a complex filter is limited. In a given field, for example, I can use a filter only once. I cannot say, 'Include the values 1, 2, and 3, and exclude value 17.' This is not possible but we have requested it often."

What is our primary use case?

We are using ALM Octane for electronic component testing and validation. We have a few departments where they are developing their software and using JIRA projects and exchanging results with Octane. 

About 80 percent of the users are not in software development itself, but are in software testing. The software is developed by external companies and we are just doing the integration testing. We are putting the components together from five different suppliers, and then doing the integration testing. Is the software working in real life, together, from the different control units of different vendors? It is a staged process. We check if things are working in the different parts of the system, like the engine components, drive train, navigation, and infotainment systems. If things are working in those different areas, we put everything together and test it in a complete car.

As a result, we have lots of test cases. We have automated tests and a test automation tool that is controlling complete car-wrecks and the like. So it's not only a mouse pointer on a screen. It's controlling robots opening and closing doors, for example. 

Our main focus is efficient planning of tests. We cannot run all the tests we have every single week, because lots of the stuff has different variants for Europe and the U.S. and China. So we have to have very sophisticated test planning. A lot of attributes are needed for this and for all the runs, whether manual or automated. We have what we call a very large problem management process to work on the defects with the 100-plus suppliers that are delivering different control units and, therefore, software packages.

How has it helped my organization?

We use Octane's Backlog and Team Backlog capabilities a lot. For example, we use them for errors that occur in software that we are not developing ourselves, where we are just doing the integration testing. In such cases we are using user stories to order teams to test a certain number of test suites or test cases. We can use it straight away, out-of-the-box, without breaking or adding something to the tool. Using Team Backlogs means our teams can use all the features that come with Octane, for our benefit, without doing anything else. In the past, if you compare it to the old ALM solution, lots of teams had to store their tests and results in ALM.Net and use JIRA as a parallel system. They were manually copying and pasting links into both tools to control their workloads. Users were used to working with user stories as a work order, and that is now integrated in one tool, which is a huge benefit.

It has also reduced our testing costs. I don't have the numbers, but we're speeding up a lot. Just the waiting time we had with the old ALM when logging in was about one minute. If you multiply this by 5,000 users who are logging in on a single day you can calculate very large savings, very fast.

What is most valuable?

The key feature is the usability. It is fast to learn and easy to use. It's very intuitive to work with. Most of the important functions are available via a few clicks, compared to other tools where I have to open a sub-menu and then a sub-menu and another sub-menu, and then press a button.

The native support for Waterfall, Hybrid, and Agile software development at enterprise scale was one of the reasons why we changed to Octane. In the development process we're creating the requirement specifications which are then handed out to a supplier, including Bosch, Continental, Alpine, etc. They then develop control units with software and we have to link our tests against those requirements to check if everything is implemented. This is a very important task. It's required by law. For example, for autonomous driving, we have to prove that the car is not, by default, running into trees. We are proving that by test cases that are passed. While that is still Waterfall, it's not Agile, we are using the Agile methodologies more and more to control our workload. For example, we are using a user story in test management to order teams to test a certain number of test cases.

In terms of integrations to proprietary, third-party, and open-source tools out-of-the-box, it has a very powerful REST interface. We can interact with other tools. Micro Focus also offers synchronization tools, Micro Focus Connect Core, which has out-of-the-box interfaces to industry standards tools. For everything else, you can use the powerful REST interface, which is both good and bad. It's good for creating an interface but sometimes our engineers use the REST interface to do things they should not do. But that's because engineers are always doing fancy stuff.

What needs improvement?

The elements in filtering need to be improved, meaning the number of filters I can use in widgets or in the grid views in parallel. There's a limitation which bothers a lot of our users. Filtering in text, or having a complex filter is limited. In a given field, for example, I can use a filter only once. I cannot say, "Include the values 1, 2, and 3, and exclude value 17." This is not possible but we have requested it often.

And in general, widgets should be more flexible and more sophisticated, with the ability to layer two different widgets. There is also room for improvement in the amount of test cases which are available for certain filter conditions and a given widget, versus what was worked off already.

Also, when it comes to getting reports out of it, and maybe this is a little bit specific to the automotive industry, there are certain requirements by law where we have to export the test results for the final software delivery and create PDF reports which are stored for 15 or 20 years. Creating reports in PDF, or PowerPoint which then become PDF at the end of the day, is something which could be improved a lot. We're working on it with Micro Focus in every single release as new features are added.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using ALM Octane on a production scale since the middle of 2018. We started digging into the different tools about one and a half years prior. At that point our idea was to change from ALM to whatever other tool. We decided to go with Octane in early or mid 2017.

We are trying to use the latest and greatest version. We are now updating to 15.0.60, the so-called "Beatles" release, because of one technical issue that we solved together with Micro Focus. But in two to three months we will be on the latest and greatest "Depeche Mode" version which will be 15.1.40.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's stable, out-of-the-box, with very few errors. And if we get an error message, very often it's because of the complex rules we have implemented, ourselves, in Octane. But in general, the usage of Octane is very good, the quality is very high, with very few errors and bugs, and with high reliability even on a large scale. We are close to being the largest Octane instance for Micro Focus.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is pretty good. We did some load tests in advance, before making the decision, pro or con, on Octane. With Octane we are in a very good position. We expected to have some 5,000 users by the end of 2019/beginning of 2020 working on Octane. I believe it can go up to 2,000 users working in parallel. We hope to be powerful enough, with the architecture and everything else we set up, to meet users' expectations of performance.

We are involved in further step-by-step expansion of our use of Octane. For this year, we are planning to extend the native Octane usage of test automation, the DevOps module. We are introducing it and maybe we will be able to replace some home-grown and other tools and to integrate them into Octane to have the benefit of Octane. It would be helpful to have everything in one place for the monitoring and reporting possibilities. Our processes and needs are changing from time to time, and this is always reflected in the test management tool.

How are customer service and technical support?

I'm very proud of the opportunity that Micro Focus offered to our team, to be something of a design partner. We have a very strong relationship with R&D and are able to discuss user wishes and our needs directly with them. They listen very carefully and try to deliver solutions for our problems and enhancement requests. It is amazing to see how fast and how stably things come together, even if some users are complaining because their single feature request has been open for two years. But that's because we have more important ones. It's an awesome relationship.

You also have to take into consideration that Octane has become an industry standard. Lots of different companies are using it. From that point of view, you get to know how complex the work is for Micro Focus, and how valuable a good relationship is. I'm very thankful for being part of this kind of working together and improving the tool.

And it has often turned out that our requests and wishes have had a huge benefit for other customers.

The benefit of this design partnership, which is unique, is a plus for us. We are able to influence the tool and get features, especially within the timeline that we need them. That's one of the biggest advantages.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We knew we needed to go with Octane for a couple of reasons. From the business side, there were some requests which ALM could not cover, in terms of data storage, etc. Since we have so many test cases, and given how versioning and base-lining work in ALM, it would require so much storage that we were not using the versioning in ALM. This was one of the biggest pain points from an ISO perspective in terms of testing. Also, operation maintenance was hard. We were running the biggest ALM.NET instance in the world, according to Micro Focus. We had the most users, the most data, and the most complex VBA workflow code in a single instance of ALM. This needed to be migrated smoothly to Octane.

In addition, Internet Explorer, which is not the finest tool, was removed from our company's IT at the beginning of 2020. There were a lot of smaller reasons which lead to the need to change to a different tool, to a more flexible tool, to a more powerful tool. For example, the Autonomous Driving guys were going to be adding tons of test cases and automated tests, which would cause ALM, in the configuration we were in, to crash in the future. That was clear, and it was clear to our management as well. We only had a small time window to change to a different system.

How was the initial setup?

For us, it was a very complex setup. It was not only setting up a server, installing Octane, and doing configurations. Our plan was to have a shared Workspace concept with six or seven Workspaces. We did have a major challenge in doing all the configuration stuff, defining methods and processes. We also had to connect at least ten major tools or databases, which are synchronizing information into Octane, or which are used for the special methods of test planning and test automation; pulling information from Octane and running them on our test benches in semi-automated cars.

That was a very complex process.  There were some small problems and some bigger problems but we found solutions for all of them.

Because we have some 70 to 80 suppliers that are part of an automated defects exchange, our development, our testers, are reporting defects and those defects are exchanged with those 70 to 80 suppliers. So it's a very complex situation we are in.

Of course, users have to learn different things compared to ALM.Net, the old version of the tool. But we're getting good feedback from the users that as soon as they are used to the idea that they have to use a different tool, they are learning how to use it very fast.  There are fewer obstacles in the tool, in this regard, compared to others. Even if you're a JIRA user, you have to overcome that, "I have to use a different tool" issue. There are people who are doing this very easily and with a smile, while some are just trying to stick to the known tools. But that's the change process.

For deployment and maintenance of the tool, there was a major team of experienced IT guys and process guys from our side, about 25 people, supported by about 60 other people just for the special processes of the different development departments. We call them "key users." They are collecting information and reporting it to the core team. For maintenance, it's a team of six people who are implementing changes requested by the core team. Depending on the workload, on average, maintenance is done by three people. There were numerous software developers working on the interface tools, perhaps some 30 IT guys working on the different tools we needed to launch with Octane.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

I was not part of the cost negotiations. But the purchasing guys confirmed that Micro Focus offered the best pricing to us.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We started analyzing which tool we should use for the future a few years ago, and we started digging into Octane very early. 

Options we considered included JIRA, which is used by a lot of small teams. There is a standard toolchain around but with the amount of data and information we need to run, JIRA was very easy to strike from the list. We dug into IBM and PTC Integrity. We looked into ALM Octane vs codeBeamer ALM from Intland. We did some comparisons but ended up with Octane.

With JIRA and the toolchain, you cannot run a business like ours, doing car development, using a lot of plugins to get the needed functionality in one tool. You have so many small companies providing those plugins. What if the company providing one of the tools or plugins you're using collapses or doesn't support a new JIRA version? So this was not an option.

PTC is also using different tools to support the full functionality of requirements, test cases, team management, the backlogs, tests and defects, and so on.

codeBeamer was on the short-list and was the biggest competitor to Octane. But from our perspective, Octane did much better in performance. Octane is not able to do as many relations between the data objects as codeBeamer, but performance was the key factor for us. When you compare Octane to codeBeamer ALM, the UX concept is very good. What's also very important is to have good capabilities for getting reports about the system out of Octane in real time. The reporting engine, the widgets, and the dashboards are a huge plus.

This is still an area where we have lots of feature requests at Micro Focus to enhance things even further. We would like it to be more flexible for the users. We have lots of user-defined fields and lists so users are requesting more capabilities for enhancing this area or would like the possibility of filtering their work items.

We were setting the foundation for the next eight to ten years. We had to have that in mind, as well as the increase in data, the increase in users, the increase in data objects and rules, and the complexity of development which is divided into different pieces. To cover all this in one single tool led us to Octane. Cost and license fees were also a big issue. The two solutions, codeBeamer and Octane, weren't that far apart but, here as well, Octane was first.

What other advice do I have?

Do a quick scan of tools in the market and dig into your needs. Especially for a project with a lot of users with different styles of working together, Octane is the best tool because of the shared space/Workspace concept. Management is able to get a total overview of all the projects or workspaces and the teams are able to operate in their particular styles. That would be my advice.

For small teams, there might be different solutions that are cheaper, JIRA for example, and tools that are more flexible. But if you need to run bigger businesses, Octane is the best because it's replacing a whole toolchain.

The solution can provide a single platform for all automated testing but it's a little different for us because of our strong dependency on hardware, like robots, for automation. We need to have a robot that presses a button, for example, for real end-to-end testing. It depends on the types of errors you're working with. ALM Octane is integrated and fully supporting every task. But on some levels, because of our special needs, we have to work with third-party tools and we then use Octane as a single point of truth for all the results.

Integration of ALM Octane with your CI server is possible and we are working on that so that we can use the features of Octane and connect it to our different departments and solutions. The idea is to try to streamline things and make Octane the central tool for those use cases. Although it's possible already to do this, we have to use some workarounds because of our tools and the way we use the solution. It takes time until the central tools are supporting various processes and, in the meantime, people develop their own processes and their own little tools and they want to stick to their working solution and not start all over again. This is going on in different departments and different areas of the company. So if you then try to integrate all this in a single tool, at the end of the day, you are taking away their "toys" and their "babies" that they invented. So it's a work in progress. But it's possible and it is on our agenda for this year.

The solution hasn't reduced manual testing time in our organization yet, since we are just starting with the integration of our test automation and Octane to create a workflow and process where everything is integrated. This is something we are working on. The first step was to replace the old ALM for a certain number of user groups. We now have more than 7,200 users working in Octane, and we have more than 1,000 concurrent users working in it. It takes time to develop this. But the goal for this year is to integrate it and to use it more and more efficiently. And then it will definitely reduce automated and manual work.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
Agne Gecevice
Release Manager at a comms service provider with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
By supporting agile, it reduces complexity and the need to manage multiple tools

Pros and Cons

  • "There are a lot of predefined reports. We can attach additional reports for users, like who worked on what defect and when, as well as what is the status of the release compared to the previous release. It is really endless. All the data is really linked together. Then, if all the data is linked together, there is an option to prepare reports out of it. We are very impressed with its reporting capabilities."
  • "They don't support all IDEs yet. We have Visual Studio code, which is not supported, and loved by our developers. This integration is missing. We also had to do our own in-house integration with the Confluence. That is also something that they could add."

What is our primary use case?

ALM Octane is used to manage our software delivery. Currently, we are running the hybrid mode. We use traditional waterfall delivery as well as agile. 

  • For waterfall delivery, it is managed completely. Then, we have our requirements and our test cases to cover those requirements as well as the defects. 
  • For agile, we currently have only one team. So, all team activity happens in ALM Octane. Their backlog is broken down into user stories tasks, then covered by the test coverage.

We have installed it on a Windows Server on our systems.

How has it helped my organization?

ALM Octane natively supports waterfall, hybrid, and agile software development perfectly at an enterprise scale. 

  1. If you look at the Requirement module, then we see all the defects and test cases related to waterfall. 
  2. If we look at the Backlog module, we see what the agile team works on. 
  3. If you want to see it at the component level, then imagine that we have a CRM system where a release project of waterfall makes a delivery and the agile team also makes a delivery on that component. 
  4. We come to the Quality module, where if you select that component, then both streams would be represented there. 
  5. If you select in the Quality module components, then we could see that, "Okay, this is linked to the defects from this source and that source. These are test cases covering that." 

This was one of the key aspects of why we took ALM Octane. 

With ALM Octane supporting agile, this reduces complexity and the need to manage multiple tools. We are still working on some automation that would further make us more efficient. So, we are building in-house tools to reduce the manual work.

Our user experience has been greatly improved.

In the current organizational structure, our development teams and testing teams are separate. With this transformation, I think the collaboration will increase, and we are on our way to put these teams closer.

We are very much moving towards DevOps in certain parts of the application. We are starting to develop these microservices and running a proof of concept where we want to integrate our Jenkins pipeline, which builds and deploys the application into Octane. For example, if there is a defect in the content, then what defects are being deployed through this pipeline? Octane really supports DevOps with the Pipeline module using the comment information in the items, along with integration from the IDEs. So, once our PoC is done, then we will utilize the DevOps features.

What is most valuable?

Currently, we have our hybrid delivery model, where waterfall still is a big part. So, if I look at ALM Octane from the module perspective, we are utilizing this requirement module. We took our day-to-day, grouping them by releases. Our requirements are stored in Confluence and ALM Octane. So, our project managers draw their requirements in Confluence, then we have a synchronization where requirements are brought into ALM Octane. Therefore, from the module perspective, the most valuable feature would be the Requirements module. 

We utilize dashboards for all their reporting capabilities to see where our software is from a quality point of view: test progress, defect trends, and so on. 

We are big fans of the Pipeline module, where we have our automated tests running on Jenkins and our pipeline is integrated into ALM Octane. 

Octane provides multiple plugins and integration with IDEs, so developers don't even need to log into ALM Octane, for certain scenarios. They only need to install the plugin into their development environment, i.e., Eclipse, Visual Studio, or IntelliJ. Then, they can sync their work items to this IDE where they can easily see what defects or user story is assigned to them. They can work directly from there by adding comments, changing the status, or even committing the code. This also applies to the pipeline for Jenkins. 

There are a lot of predefined reports. We can attach additional reports for users, like who worked on what defect and when, as well as what is the status of the release compared to the previous release. It is really endless. All the data is really linked together. Then, if all the data is linked together, there is an option to prepare reports out of it. We are very impressed with its reporting capabilities.

They provide all data integration. So if you have an edge use case, which you cannot do with what the tool provides, then you can set your data through all the protocols and even prepare it for the reports. I think they are very strong in this area.

On a team level, it is really good. We have received only positive feedback from our teams. It is visual, so there are different ways for teams to see their backlog. If they wish, it can be viewed like a list and a board, where you can look at the content per screen, release, or for the whole backlog.

The tool is very intuitive. However, it is still new, so you still need to learn and explore it, but that is a standard thing. Initially, we did receive some questions from teams, "How do I do this?" and, "How do I do that?" However, in very recent times, since it has been up and running, teams have enjoyed the fast, modern, new platform.

For the PoC, we have ALM Octane integrating with our CI server for continuous integration and delivery. We have it integrated with Jenkins. We haven't integrated our other server yet. We are still exploring the solution.

What needs improvement?

ALM Octane is working to soon provide comment information, so we would really be able to see what piece of code was committed for a user story or feature. We are really looking forward to this, because it's going to give us a bit more traceability and transparency.

They don't support all IDEs yet. We have Visual Studio code, which is not supported, and loved by our developers. This integration is missing. We also had to do our own in-house integration with the Confluence. That is also something that they could add. 

There are small things, like hiding different columns when it comes to the board. Currently, whatever workflow items you have defined in the board, you can collapse them, but a collapse line still appears. These small things would make a difference.

In certain areas, ALM Octane has a limitation how many items can be displayed. So, if I group something, then I'm limited to the number of items which I can see. Also, if I want to export in Excel, there is a limitation onis lines. I know it's 5000. Maybe the number is quite high, but if they could improve on those limits, that would be good.

For how long have I used the solution?

We did a migration around Midsummer. That was about six months ago.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is very stable. With our current setup, we haven't seen any performance issues.

Very little maintenance is needed. No one does it full-time. We have five people who have the admin rights, then two people who act as a backup but don't really do anything.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is scalable. We can add additional nodes without a lot of effort, if it is required. There is an option to scale from a license point of view. From a hardware point of view, we can also add multiple nodes to support additional loads.

We have about 1,000 users. 

How are customer service and technical support?

We have an excellent guy who helped us with the whole migration project. We have already built a good relationship with him, so much that we don't always go through the official channels. He still takes our questions via email if we need the clarification on certain things. Additionally, the official Micro Focus support channels are also good. We raised a couple of incidents, which were addressed by the team. 

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

In the past, we had ALM Quality Center to manage our waterfall deliveries. Once the company took the decision to do the transformation to agile, we needed a tool that could support both waterfall and agile, but not compromise functionality. This was a key factor why we took on ALM Octane. We knew that the transition to agile would not happen overnight and that we might be in the hybrid model for a while, which is the exact reason why we took on ALM Octane.

It is very much integratable. This was a piece that was critical for us because ALM Quality Center was used by our company for more than 10 years, and it was very easy to integrate. Before we could migrate to ALM Octane, we needed the integration to be in place for a new tool. There are different ways to integrate, through the REST API, plugins, or the MF Connect tool, which also comes with ALM Octane.

Because we were coming from a very old Quality Center version, we have become more efficient because the work can be done faster.

How was the initial setup?

The deployment was straightforward. The documentation clearly states the requirements regarding what hardware is required. Additionally, all the installation and deployment guides are good.

The deployment went through phases. First, we installed the system, which was pretty fast. After that, we migrated all the data from Quality Center, which was an additional task.

The upgrade was super fast. We were so impressed. We ran a test first, but after that, it took maybe 90 minutes altogether. That includes the backup of systems. Before the upgrade, we backed up our Elasticsearch because ALM Octane comes with Elasticsearch, and in our case, it runs on Unix machines. So, we backed up Elasticsearch, the data repository for all the attachments, etc., then took a snapshot of the database and the Windows machine, which was the longest part. Some of the snapshots, we did in advance, and some of the snapshots we did just prior to the upgrade. 

We did two upgrades at once because we missed the previous one. The upgrade to 15.1.20 took about 10 minutes, then we did some checks and everything was working fine. We then did the further upgrade to 15.1.40, which was another 10 minutes. 

What about the implementation team?

One person with a bit of hardware knowledge can do the deployment. Because we did a migration project, we had a team of four from release management, but this wasn't our full-time task.

We also had support from Micro Focus.

What was our ROI?

The testing team has said that can work more efficiently and that the setup of the testing at the beginning of the release is faster.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We already had Jira in-house, but its testing capabilities were insufficient and not scalable enough for our needs.

What other advice do I have?

Define the process which fits your organization best. Explore the features in the test management and test execution area, then define the process that is best for you because there are a lot of options. Also, when you do create your data, make sure that you connect it to the right items. Because once you put the correct data into the tool, then you can build strong reports. However, the reports are only as strong as the data behind them.

MF Connect, which is a separate tool from Micro Focus, provides additional data synchronization. With MF Connect, you can synchronize ALM Octane with Excel, Jira, and other tools. We use it for synchronization with Jira. Then, if this doesn't support your needs, there is also the REST API. We use that quite a lot as well. Through the REST API, we connect with things in different solutions.

While our manual testing time has been reduced, it is necessarily true because of ALM Octane. It is more due to a bigger initiative where we have automated our test cases. ALM Octane supports our automation initiative. With the pipelines, we can execute test cases through Jenkins, then the analytics in the pipelines give us a trend to see. For example, are certain test cases constantly failing? Or, do we have a problematic area where we need to strengthen the automated test focus?

ALM Octane would give us information on what exactly went into which release and what exactly needs to be rolled out. For all our test cases that need to be executed for the release, or on the release night, we would hold information within ALM Octane.

We are planning to increase usage in the future. Currently, our other agile teams use Jira. The goal is that if we do not migrate those teams to Jira, then we should at least integrate both those tools together. We would then manage all the agile work within ALM Octane. Also, our organization recently got acquired by another organization, so we are in the process of merging two companies. Therefore, there potentially will be a lot of additional users going forward.

I would rate it as a nine (out of 10).

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
Learn what your peers think about Micro Focus ALM Octane. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: November 2021.
552,305 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Stefan Berchtold
Release Management and Testing Manager at a comms service provider with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
Enables us to produce standardized reports, on a project basis, with one click

Pros and Cons

  • "On the user side, what I like a lot is the reporting capabilities. There's no tool, to my knowledge, that gets anywhere close to Octane at the moment when it comes to the reporting capabilities. I can do everything with the reporting. There's nothing missing. I have all the options. I can create graphs, including graphs of several types and looks."
  • "Updating items, sorting, bulk updates—these things could have a bit more flexibility, but it's still possible to do them."

What is our primary use case?

Our use cases are test management, defect management, and release management. We also do quality management and we have started to put our Agile journey on it. That is something we started at the end of last year. We're putting more and more on it. We're doing Agile delivery and Waterfall delivery with it.

How has it helped my organization?

It provides us with a single platform for automated testing. We've integrated our automation testing with Jenkins to the pipeline module—parts of it, at least—and the other part is connected through the API. It makes the test you're executing very visible. It also enables you to centralize. When we report on a project basis, we're able to do it in one click for a given project. The graphs are standard for all the projects. You just click and you always have the same set of reports, tailored to that project. It fetches the data from that project. I don't need to click five times to find my report. I just click to the next project and my report is there with all the needed information in one view. 

That's what my release manager also loves about it. He doesn't have to click 10 links or 10 drop-downs to get a report. It really has it all together in one view. If we have a release we report it on a project basis, and we can also report on an overall release basis. The overall reports are also done with one click.

In addition, we use the solution’s Backlog and Team Backlog capabilities and the team is very much working together there, from the developers to the testers to the product managers. They're all working together in one space or one Backlog to deliver the functionalities or the features. This is a good thing.

Octane has also reduced manual testing time. We integrated a big part of the regression sets into the pipeline. There's room for much more. We've only scratched the surface.

And using it, we have been able to streamline a lot on the business side. We have business testing or acceptance testing, and for them it's less complicated and there is less effort needed to get their stuff done. It has reduced the cycle times which, in the end, reduces cost.

What is most valuable?

On the user side, what I like a lot is the reporting capabilities. There's no tool, to my knowledge, that gets anywhere close to Octane at the moment when it comes to the reporting capabilities. I can do everything with the reporting. There's nothing missing. I have all the options. I can create graphs, including graphs of several types and looks.

Octane provides out-of-the-box integrations to proprietary, third-party, and open source tools. The integrations are of high quality because we were easily able to integrate Jira with an additional tool. That connector tool is out-of-the-box and it's very easy to handle. We also integrated one of our in-house developed applications that has a rollout tool. The person responsible did it in one or two days with API connections. It was very easy for him. In addition, we integrated Confluence with Octane, using a self-developed script that is also based on the APIs. For people who know APIs it's very easy. 

Octane's Agile support at the team level is pretty good because it's very visible. The sorting and filtering are very advanced, which is something I miss on Jira.

What needs improvement?

There aren't major things that need improvement. It's more detailed things, minor tweaks and improvements. For example, updating items, sorting, bulk updates—these things could have a bit more flexibility, but it's still possible to do them. 

Also, for training, the proposed graphs in the dashboards could have some more explanation about what they're doing because not everyone is using the same metrics. This is more a training or knowledge thing, not a lack in the tool, and I already addressed it with my Micro Focus contact.

They improved some of the things I had on my list in the newest version. I haven't dug through the newest version fully yet.

For how long have I used the solution?

We started to evaluate Micro Focus ALM Octane at the end of 2019. We did the kickoff in January of 2020 to plan all the migrations to it. We came from ALM QC.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's very stable. We had one issue that was due to a faulty, outdated script that overloaded the system somehow. Apart from that, Octane is as stable as it gets. We haven't had any downtime apart from that outdated script.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is very good. Depending on the severity of your ticket, the feedback is almost immediate. And we can collaborate with them, show screens and share logs, and they come back with a solution. It has been a positive experience.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Our previous solution, ALM QC, was outdated. Our company started our Agile journey and we needed to be able to support that journey and the Waterfall journey as well. Octane offered this hybrid model which was the clear selling point for it.

The native support for Waterfall and Agile software development was very important in our decision to go with the solution because we knew that Waterfall and Agile will co-exist for quite some time, and the tool had to be able to manage both in parallel. Also, for the future, it will still support what we want. If the shift goes more to Agile and less to Waterfall, the tool still has to support both of the methodologies.

How was the initial setup?

Because we came from ALM QC, and that tool was in use for quite some time, there were a lot of user-defined things and customization. Initially what we had to do was a cleanup on the QC side: what we wanted to take over and what we didn't want to take over. We really cleaned out stuff that wasn't needed anymore. That took one or two months. 

The actual installation of Octane was very quick and straightforward. The customization and configuration of Octane took about two months. That was because we were very new to the application. If I set up a workspace now, it's much faster.

We have 1,100 users and their roles are really across the company. We have project managers, developers, testers, release managers, and test managers. We also have business users and product managers on the Agile side. Any role you could think of is using it, apart from the C-level.

What I like a lot about Octane is that it's very easy to handle from an admin point of view. The maintenance is very low compared with ALM QC where it took several hours or days, even, to set it up and upgrade it. Those processes are very easy with Octane.

What was our ROI?

I compare it, still, with ALM QC, and there's definitely a return on investment on it. I see this leveraging more in the future.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The comparison is always with Jira, so the pricing of Octane is a bit on the higher side. But if you look at what you have to add to Jira, on the plug-in side, to have the same abilities you have with Octane, you're more or less even, or even ahead with Octane.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We only looked at Jira. We had some concerns about its reporting capabilities and its task management capabilities, as well as managing Waterfall and Agile in parallel.

What other advice do I have?

You definitely need to prepare well, if you're going to implement it. Do a proper analysis of where you're coming from and what is still needed and what is not needed, and really kick out stuff that isn't needed anymore. It will make the whole migration to Octane easier when you have less historical data in it.

I see that our users like to add things and try new things because it's built in an open manner. When you add Python scripts and use the API connection, you have a lot of flexibility for doing certain things. I see some developers who like it and who like to experiment with how to work better on their side.

We have started a PoC on integrating the solution with our CI server for continuous integration and delivery. The CI/CD is working and we're fine-tuning it now. I hope it will give us a one-click approach where we can even execute the pipeline from the GUI, which will make it easy to use. My vision is that we have all the pipelines integrated in Octane and that we can trigger them from there to speed things up and have them visible for developers and for testers. This would also be a way they could collaborate more. We're not there yet. 

It has the potential to reduce integration costs by building a streamlined application delivery pipeline that is connected to all IDE, CI, and SCCM tools.

Octane can also provide a single, global ALM platform that supports all our Agile and Waterfall needs. We don't have all our Agile in yet, but it can. That's the vision: that we have them all in one tool. We're not there yet, but I see glimpses of hope. It has the potential to improve the quality and the speed. The potential is there.

It still has upside coming. Things are being developed. We are in the preferred partner program, so we see also the new features that are coming, which will facilitate daily work.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor. The reviewer's company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
NK
AGM, Delivery Excellence at a comms service provider with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Provides end-to-end traceability and good milestone visibility

Pros and Cons

  • "Its end-to-end traceability is one of the big advantages. Most of our agile projects work in a closed team structure. We are seeing what is the flow, where we are, and what is the project milestone. So, it provides end-to-end traceability and good visibility of project milestones."
  • "The cluster architecture that we implemented was server to server communication: Octane application to Elasticsearch and Elasticsearch to another Elasticsearch service. Recently, we found this is a security gap. The Octane application is interacting with Elasticsearch server, but that was missing from the requirements and prerequisites in the setup. The Micro Focus team has not given advice on how to implement authentication-based communication between Octane to Elasticsearch, and we found it as a gap later, then our security team asked us to fix that gap. So, there was a lot of time spent on rework."

What is our primary use case?

We are using it for agile projects. Our company projects run using Agile models, so we use all the important modules of Octane, like Backlog, Epics, Feature, and user story in Tasks. We are also using the Product Backlog and Team Backlog modules as well as the Quality modules under quality, test and defects. This is primarily for agile and are all the modules and dashboards that we use. 

Another use is for waterfall projects. To some extent, we are using the requirement documents and Quality modules for our waterfall projects.

We just started analyzing and using a module called Pipelines Analysis. We are trying to integrate our Jenkins with Octane to start using it. This is in the initial stages.

After taking input from the Micro Focus sales team, deployment team, installation team, and professional services team, we are using Octane to its full capabilities, except for with the Pipeline Analysis and dashboards. We still need to focus more on dashboards, because Octane does support plenty of dashboards. We want to start using those in a big way along with the Pipeline Analysis. We are already using all the other modules in a big way. We started configuring dashboards for agile, waterfall, and various built-in widgets, but this is also in the initial stages. We need to explore more the dashboards and Pipeline Analysis, which is where we are seeking support from Micro Focus.

It is purely for project milestone progress, project environment, project development, project execution, software development, and software execution. Then, we are using it mainly for holding and maintaining the repository of Product Backlog, Epics, Features, testing test cases, system integration testing, and user acceptance testing. That is the scope that we have defined.

What is most valuable?

Its end-to-end traceability is one of the big advantages. Most of our agile projects work in a closed team structure. We are seeing what is the flow, where we are, and what is the project milestone. So, it provides end-to-end traceability and good visibility of project milestones. 

In real-time statistics, anyone can go and configure it easily. The user interface is very user-friendly. 

We built a status dashboard within Octane by adding some additional user defined fields (UDFs) that use real-time status about how much a project progressed, how much testing is done, and how much testing is left. Then, project management can help with visibility of the progress for every project within Octane.

What needs improvement?

The cluster architecture that we implemented was server to server communication: Octane application to Elasticsearch and Elasticsearch to another Elasticsearch service. Recently, we found this is a security gap. The Octane application is interacting with Elasticsearch server, but that was missing from the requirements and prerequisites in the setup. The Micro Focus team has not given advice on how to implement authentication-based communication between Octane to Elasticsearch, and we found it as a gap later, then our security team asked us to fix that gap. So, there was a lot of time spent on rework. They should have helped us with a clear requirement. This requirement has slipped from the initial requirements and drafting during the installation, causing additional rework for us after installation. This means my admin team and I have to work to fix that gap. I already gave this feedback to my customer success manager, "Security related prerequisites and requirements should be thoroughly explained to the client." Hopefully, they can apply this and avoid future rework.

For the requirement document, the module should provide multiple templates to be prepared, or customized quickly, and be reusable.

For the Pipeline Analysis, job or application grouping has to support Jenkins job grouping, because we have thousands of jobs running. Unfortunately, we are unable to group those by using multiple filters. They could help us with these features in upcoming releases in the next six months. That would be great because many testing and production jobs for Jenkins users need filters and grouping.

For how long have I used the solution?

We started using the tool in the last four to five months. Now, all our users are using Micro Focus ALM Octane.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

For the last four months since we have been using it in a big way, we have not seen any downtime or surprises from the stability from an availability point of view. 

We have dedicated administrators who handle support for Octane and other tools.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is scalable. We do need to explore it more to determine its support for a scalable framework. 

How are customer service and technical support?

We are in touch with them. Their support is very good. We are constantly communicating with our customer success manager, who is helping us with a lot of queries. He is trying to resolve them. He brings in his R&D team to sort out our issues, which is good. We are getting good support, but there are a few product limitations that we have highlighted. We have asked them with help fixing those limitations by providing alternative solutions.

The requirement document has to be more flexible for the features, user interface, modules, and capabilities. It needs more advanced features, like copy paste of the various templates. It should have an inbuilt capability to build and design any template with reusable capability.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We moved from ALM Quality Center to Octane. We mainly switched because we have more than 50 percent of our projects running on an agile model, and ALM Quality Center doesn't support agile. 

We wanted to have interim projects for traceability and milestone visibility. We also wanted to have a tool where my team could write scenarios for user stories and those user stories would be available in a single tool. So, Octane is a better tool for the future.

Octane supports DevOps integration tools.

How was the initial setup?

The actual Octane installation is straightforward, but it was a complex process for us because it is a cluster architecture. We have two Octane applications, three Elasticsearch, two databases, and seven to nine servers. While complex, we are not experiencing any issues so far. 

It was a nine week activity where we did the initial setup. The process was complex. We found issues while doing the integration between Jenkins and the DevOps and automation tools. 

When we started the integration with the other tools, like Jenkins, Selenium, or UFT, and tried to automate things or integrate with Jira, then it took more time because of the compatibility issues. It may not be working as expected and my automation framework may be different as well as Octane may not support my automation framework. My automation framework may be using Selenium, so I have to change my automation framework to ensure that it works with Octane. These things have to be in front of the client in advance to work out and give advanced information about compatibility issues of the automation framework and compatibility with the Octane, so an evaluation can be done during the due diligence on the first week of the kickoff meetings. Then, we can save time during the implementation.

What about the implementation team?

The Micro Focus team should be providing more end-to-end view during the installation and user acceptance testing. They should provide more knowledge on the usage of the tools and various important capabilities, e.g., how do we use that? That is the missing part of the Professional Services. We had to go over it again by raising many queries and tickets. Therefore, the knowledge transfer of capabilities has to be given more focus during the installation.

Integration with other tools, compatibility, and frameworks has to be thoroughly checked by the Micro Focus team in conjunction with the client team for faster integration and to avoid surprises during the implementation.

For deployment, I was involved as a manager and there were two more guys from my admin team, who looked after the tools. There was one person from Micro Focus Professional Services along with a Micro Focus project manager. There were two team members actively involved throughout the project to open firewalls, do the setup, install, and troubleshoot. There was also one more guy for automation purposes when we were working on the automation integration for Selenium and UFT, and he worked for two to three weeks of time. Overall, three people worked for eight weeks.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We are not using this solution for operations. We are using the Octane tool for purely project solution delivery. For operations, we use Remedy tools, not Octane.

Jira has its own limitations, so we thought Octane would be better.

What other advice do I have?

Our testers and manager do conduct risk-based testing implicitly, but we don't call it that. We apply it unconsciously and do it on the fly. We upload 100 or 200 test cases, depending on the timeline, and prioritize them. At the end of the day, we execute 70 or 80 of them and roll out the project. Eventually, all the functionalities are covered and no defects slip to production.

Currently, Octane's support for single sign-on is implemented separately, so we are not using it. Maybe in future we will use it.

We are ready to explore a couple of the solution's capabilities. I would have given a nine out of 10 had I explored those capabilities and been satisfied with them, but I am unable to do that. However, I can give the overall tool after the installation with support an eight out of 10.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
AD
Founder, Managing Director at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 20
Defect management, being able to relate defects and testing to the initial user requirements, is key for our clients

Pros and Cons

  • "The defect management gives us full-fledged capabilities for handling defects, including capturing the details of the defects and even screenshotting the defect cases. The defect management is comprehensive."
  • "Security and security management, meaning the integration of the security, could be enhanced. We know about Fortify, but it would be better to have security features in the original Octane platform without the need for another solution or another application."

What is our primary use case?

One use case was for development life cycle management for a pool of developers using it in an Oracle and .NET development environment.

How has it helped my organization?

One of the benefits is the integration with different platforms. Having the defect management, and being able to relate defects and testing to the initial user requirements—having this complete life cycle—is one of the major advantages with Octane. It's the "life cycle" way of thinking that the solution provides. That is a very important component of Agile and DevOps. Octane integrates with your CI server for continuous integration and delivery. This "life cycle" approach gives us end-to-end visibility.

It also provides a single platform for all automated testing and that definitely helped facilitate the testing, the test scenarios, and collaboration between the test team and the development team. Having both together on a single platform allows us to ease the integration between the different teams. One of the major things we talk about regarding Agile, and one of the major components we talk about regarding DevOps, is this seamless integration between the teams.

In addition, it gives you a single, global ALM platform that supports all your Agile and Waterfall needs. One of the big challenges for DevOps is the adoption of a tool among the teams. The fact that the tool facilitates and supports this definitely helps the adoption.

ALM Octane also reduced testing costs overall. It's hard to say exactly how much, but I would estimate by 20 percent. It also definitely reduced integration costs by building a streamlined application delivery pipeline connecting to all IDE, CI, and SCCM tools. In this case the integration costs were reduced by 20 to 30 percent. Finally, it helped to produce releases faster, again by about 20 percent.

What is most valuable?

The valuable features start from the defect management in the life cycle and go into the part for versioning control.

The defect management gives us full-fledged capabilities for handling defects, including capturing the details of the defects and even screenshotting the defect cases. The defect management is comprehensive. 

Also the integration capabilities with other development platforms we were using was helpful. The out-of-the box integrations are definitely a big part of making Octane comprehensive when it comes to DevOps quality management. It is full of features and gives us flexibility to provide the needed integrations with different platforms.

The solution natively supports Waterfall, Hybrid, and Agile software development at enterprise scale. That's very important because there is a big shift going on from the Waterfall environment into Agile in DevOps. Having a tool that can give us both practices was important.

In addition, Octane's Agile support is good at both the team and the portfolio levels. It has dedicated capabilities for Agile and is very flexible and comprehensive in these two areas.

What needs improvement?

Security and security management, meaning the integration of the security, could be enhanced. We know about Fortify, but it would be better to have security features in the original Octane platform without the need for another solution or another application.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been implementing solutions with Micro Focus ALM Octane since 2016.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

From the stability perspective it's okay.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We did not stress-test it to see what it would be like in a mega environment. Usually we deployed it in a medium-sized environment, with 20 to 30 developers, and the scalability was okay.

How are customer service and technical support?

I would rate technical support for the solution at six out of 10. Usually there is a lack of connection among the teams for handing over support cases. You often need to do or redo some work whenever support cases are opened. If it is handed over to a new engineer, you need to start doing things over from the very beginning. You have to explain things again.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup of Octane was straightforward. Because you are talking about development and software developers, it's not like a normal tool for business users. It was not complicated for people to get along with the tool and use it and integrate it.

Usually, deployment takes, on average, a maximum of two months. The deployment plan definitely depends on what the current technologies are, the integrations needed, and on what types of development environments and what types of IDEs are involved. It also depends on whether there are other systems and tools available already.

Just one person is required for deployment and maintenance of the solution. Rather than a developer, that person would be an administrator for the system.

What was our ROI?

The benefits I've mentioned can be reflected as monetary benefits, which I would estimate at 35 percent annually.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Microsoft is a big challenge for Micro Focus when it comes to pricing because they are much cheaper. But it definitely depends on the complexity of the environment. If it has multiple technologies, at that point, looking at other options and Microsoft would be a feasible approach.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We work with Microsoft TFS. We also use JIRA, but I don't consider JIRA a competing component, rather we integrate it. One of the pros of TFS is definitely its integration and supportability if you are a Microsoft development environment, using .NET and the like. There's a lot of seamless integration there. Also, from a pricing perspective, usually Microsoft can provide you with very cheap packaging options. Those are the two main pros for Microsoft TFS.

What other advice do I have?

Dedicate someone for the administration. Often companies assign a developer to take care of it but this is not the proper approach. Someone needs to have responsibility for the administration. Also the process when using the solution should be a consultative approach. First look at your process and your development life cycle and then reflect it in the tool. Also, be clear about the integration points before starting the implementation so that the technical requirement and scope, etc., are clear.

Regarding reducing manual testing time, this didn't happen in the extreme because we were already automating most of the environments. There was a lot of automated testing. But it helped in facilitating the "life cycle" approach, especially if the environment already had Microsoft TFS. You integrate it and put it on top and you gain big benefits.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
Wilheminah Ngqola
QA Specialist at Vodacom
Real User
Top 20
Combines everything into a single platform so someone doesn't have to look at many systems

Pros and Cons

  • "The solution natively supports Agile-Waterfall hybrid software development at an enterprise scale. This is very important to us. Because even though the company wishes to go Agile, we still have projects which follow a Waterfall methodology. In order for us to accommodate both, we needed some sort of hybrid system. Because if we are using a fully Agile system, then the reporting might not be correctly extracted."
  • "The reporting needs to be improved and allow for customization. I want to build my own widgets, but I don't want to use the ones already in the system. I want to build mine from scratch."

What is our primary use case?

We are only using the Quality testing module of Octane to test newly developed mobile solutions or changes. For example, if someone wants to deploy a new promotion of a cheap bundle for 1 GB of 50 ram. Once that goes through the project management and comes to us, we use mostly these three Octane modules: Backlog, Quality, and Pipelines. 

How has it helped my organization?

My team has benefited a lot from this solution. Sometimes it can be a massive, gigantic project where it's a migration from one system to another. Because we already have the requirements and the test kit setup on the system, it is easy for us to run regression.

The solution natively supports Agile-Waterfall hybrid software development at an enterprise scale. This is very important to us. Because even though the company wishes to go Agile, we still have projects which follow a Waterfall methodology. In order for us to accommodate both, we needed some sort of hybrid system. Because if we are using a fully Agile system, then the reporting might not be correctly extracted.

At the end of the day, teams are able to collaborate because we are working on one thing. One person can do their part of the job, then another person picks from there and carries on. So, it runs as a smooth process.

Even though there are other people who are not using the system, if we would give them access to the project management, then they would be able to trace where we are at any point in time.

What is most valuable?

I like that most tests are usable. I can parameterize, then use that test and pass a new value.

Its ability to handle a large number of projects is very good. I can just cross-reference and reuse what was existing before, instead of moving from one browser or application to another.

Octane's ability to connect all related entities to reflect project status and progress is great because even our team who runs external tests from Jenkins that the reporting is centralized. Because it was run from within Octane, the results come back into Octane. However, since I am not using those external systems, I only get results whether the test passed or failed.

The solution provides us with a single platform for all automated testing. It combines everything so someone doesn't have to look into many systems to be able to check this or that. They only have to log into one system to check for a particular requirement.

Backlog is like a library of our tests. It contains the features linked to the tests, so you can see which project or feature that you are working on. It is all in one place and everyone who needs it has access to it.

What needs improvement?

The reporting needs to be improved and allow for customization. I want to build my own widgets, but I don't want to use the ones already in the system. I want to build mine from scratch.

From the database point of view along with how we see the reporting, they use old data. Also, there are sometimes limitations due to their license restrictions. If we want to share our tests with other teams, extracting different tests out of the system, those tests come out as a script where the content will be something like a binary format type of text.

For how long have I used the solution?

We started using Octane from February 2020. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I do not know whether it is because we used an existing server, but sometimes the solution would be slow. Nowadays, it's much better because not as many people are logging into the system. However, I find it slow. When you capture a requirement or test (and it throws out an error), then when you refresh and find that it has created a duplicate. For some people who don't understand it, Octane can create a lot of useless information on the system.

My team does just minor maintenance of the solution.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The extensiveness of integrations into the DevOps ecosystem in the 15.1.20 version to support scalability has been very applicable to our business. We have integrated the solution with Jenkins, which was user-friendly. We also integrated Octane with Qlik Sense and QlikView for people for whom we do not want to give access to the system but want to have them viewing our reports. Therefore, I think the scalability is very wide. 

On my team, there are 18 users who are testers. Overall, there are 20 licenses.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have used the technical support, and they are very good. 

There was a time that the server firewall was enabled, so we could not access the system from our side. Since we were working from home and connecting remotely, no one was able to establish regular shipping. Eventually, the IT person and our team went through everything. They checked the server settings and pinpointed the problem. 

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We did an upgrade of our ALM from Quality Center.

What was our ROI?

Our team is saving time on testing by using Octane. Something that would take five days to do, now it takes one day.

The solution has helped us to produce releases 40 percent faster. 

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Going forward, I think we will want to explore adding more licenses.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We have used more of a requirement-driven tool, where it will help you to identify which requirement already exists. Then, you don't capture duplicates and it directs you to the project that is linked to that particular requirement. 

We also use Jira at a high level for projects.

What other advice do I have?

We don't use the security features of this solution yet, but it is something that my boss wants us to tap into.

Systems and technologies are evolving as well as methodologies.

I would rate this solution as a nine out of 10.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
GeorgNauerz
Managing Partner at Georg Nauerz Consulting
Real User
Top 20
Makes team collaboration between IT and non-IT users easier with more transparency

Pros and Cons

  • "The user experience is a lot better than any tool that I have used before. Overall, it is great. It has a smooth interface, which is very user-friendly. It makes it easier to work together and have more transparency and customization, which is very good."
  • "It could use just some small improvements. I would like additional features, like planning features, user story mapping, or connection to collaboration tools."

How has it helped my organization?

Its user experience made us a lot happier than using other tools, making it easier for non-IT teams to work together with IT teams.

Octane provides us with a single platform for all automated testing. Our test management is a lot more transparent and successful because it includes the team (the non-IT user and the developers). We are more streamlined and running a lot faster. The single platform for all automated testing has 100 percent affected collaboration between development and testing teams because everything is all in one place.

Octane integrates with your CI server for continuous integration and delivery. This makes us go faster, providing overall transparency during stages or phases.

The solution provides a single, global ALM platform that supports all our agile and waterfall needs. This has improved the overall quality of our DevOps by a lot.

What is most valuable?

The user experience is a lot better than any tool that I have used before. Overall, it is great. It has a smooth interface, which is very user-friendly. It makes it easier to work together and have more transparency and customization, which is very good. There are a lot of features where you can add fields, input individual fields, and input rules, like templated rule-based interaction between entities. 

The Backlog management is really interesting, because it is all in one place. You don't have a feature here and a feature there, instead you have the Backlog and testing using different backup items, like user storage features and tasks, all in one place. In addition, we are able to write documents, which we can transfer to backup items. Then, we can test them in the same solution without switching tools, or even switching from one part of the tool to another part, because it is all in one place.

We use the solution’s Backlog and Team Backlog capabilities. They make our DevOps processes easier through transparency and asset collaboration.

What needs improvement?

It could use just some small improvements. I would like additional features, like planning features, user story mapping, or connection to collaboration tools. 

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using it for two years in a client company. We have also used it for several of our teams as well as IT related product development.

We have used it now for two years, but only in the last six to 12 months have we really been going all in.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is perfect. We haven't had any issues.

We are not using the most recent version. There are two more updates, and we are already thinking about updating to the newest version.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is excellent. I don't think there is a limit.

We use it quite extensively. We have about 30 teams working on it with approximately 10 projects, and we are definitely expanding.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is really good. I would rate their support as a nine out of 10, as there is always room for improvement.

We do use the community that is offered. This is a very good point for identifying issues in terms of how we can use additional features.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We switched from Jira. The main reasons that we switched to Octane:

  1. Provides a single tool.
  2. A lot smoother user experience.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was absolutely perfect and very easy. It was fast getting into the work. We were up and running in a very short amount of time. We switched from one tool to another in days, which is very good. 

What about the implementation team?

We did it ourselves. Just a couple of people were involved in the deployment.

What was our ROI?

Octane has reduced manual testing time in our organization.

The solution has reduced our testing costs.

It has reduced integration costs by building a streamlined application delivery pipeline connecting to all IDE, CI, and SCCM tools.

The solution has helped us to produce releases faster. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did not really evaluate other options. We were introduced to Octane and found it to be a good idea.

What other advice do I have?

Micro Focus ALM Octane natively supports waterfall, hybrid, and agile software development at an enterprise scale. There is no difference based on whatever path that you are trying to follow. You have work, and if you do it in cycles and iterations, that's fine. If you don't, that is fine too.

The solution provides out-of-the-box integrations to proprietary, third-party, and open source tools. However, we are not using DevOps integration right now.

I would rate this solution as a nine out of 10. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
JD
IT Manager at a government with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 5
If you want to integrate your business requirements with your testing and defect management tracking, it works well

Pros and Cons

  • "It's more streamlined because we have it all under one umbrella. And once the business requirements and rules have been created, we can do test cases and apply them to the business rules."
  • "It would help us if ALM Octane got FedRAMP-certified, so our government departments could use the cloud solution. That way our external consultants could access it. We've created a URL to get to it, but if it were FedRAMP-certified and service and had support in the continental United States, that would be better."

What is our primary use case?

I work for a state government in the United States. So our business constituents have departments that use it. And we have analysts who build business cases in the ALM Octane for specific tasks or specific projects that we're working on. We create business rules for each project in ALM Octane. Then, when the developers finish coding and we're getting ready to test, we use ALM Octane again to test against the business rules we created. So that way, we know we're meeting our business objectives, our customer's requests, and what they want to be changed in our system.

How has it helped my organization?

It's more streamlined because we have it all under one umbrella. And once the business requirements and rules have been created, we can do test cases and apply them to the business rules. So we're able to make sure that the developers' code is tested thoroughly to meet the needs of the business.

What needs improvement?

It would help us if ALM Octane got FedRAMP-certified, so our government departments could use the cloud solution. That way our external consultants could access it. We've created a URL to get to it, but if it were FedRAMP-certified and service and had support in the continental United States, that would be better. In the government space, we need organizations or companies to be FedRAMP-certified, and the system must reside in the continental United States. The Micro Focus help desk and their environment are not located in the continental United States, so they do not meet the state's criteria for us to be on the cloud. I understand that the company is working on some FedRAMP certifications and is looking to do that because they cannot put all of their government customers in their cloud environment. It's not a technology issue. It's a security issue.

For how long have I used the solution?

So we've been using Micro Focus for almost four years now, but we just recently migrated to Octane back in July of this year.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

ALM Octane is very scalable. We have a great server team that we use to increase its space or size. We handle it internally, but it works great. 

How are customer service and support?

We have worked with Micro Focus support, and they're very good. I'd say 9 or 10 out of 10. They're always available. And if they don't know how to fix an issue, they know to talk to. It may not be the person you're talking to or the person they've referred them to, but they know somebody who could help. So they know how to escalate within their organization.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

So before July, we were using IBM DOORS Next Generation for business requirements.  Then we decided to consolidate the business requirements, testing, and defect management into one system, and Octane provided that solution for us. So we were able to decommission IBM DOORS Next Generation for business requirements after our July implementation to ALM Octane.

We looked at Micro Focus ALM minus the Octane solution about two years before they decided to go with DOORS Next Generation. And they selected DOORS Next Generation, but IBM's integration with Micro Focus wasn't very mature. So it required a lot of manual tinkering to get the two systems to talk together. Finally, after some analysis about how much time was being spent, staffing resources, etc., we just went with ALM Octane.

How was the initial setup?

Setting up ALM Octane is straightforward because we were already using Micro Focus ALM for testing. We were implementing it in the business requirements area. That was four years ago, so I can't remember exactly how long it took, but it was a few months. I'd say maybe two to three months. We did it on our own with Micro Focus guiding us. And Micro Focus had a statewide user base at the time. Other departments were using it, so we were able to share what everyone was doing. I have two FTEs. One is in charge of the business requirements module, and the other oversees the test testing and defect management.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

I think the cost of ALM Octane is comparable to other solutions. It's actually a little less than DOORS Next Generation, but I don't have the numbers in front of me.

What other advice do I have?

I rate MicroFocus ALM Octane eight out of 10. It's a great product. If you want to integrate your business requirements with your testing and defect-management tracking, it works beautifully.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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