Tuesday, August 05, 2008

What's wrong with HP Quality Center?

This entry is rant so you might just want to skip it.

HP Quality Center (formerly Mercury) is a, how so amusingly called, web-based test management tool. You will find a lot of marketing information if you ask Google, most of which is irrelevant and may only have 1-800 number for support; because they know when you are looking for it on web, you are in trouble and no one can help you. Unfortunately, I've to spend a good amount of time on this tool these days and it inspired me a great deal to write my inexpressible ovation for this tool here.

As a programmer, HP Quality center is one of the worst and most annoying tools you may have to work with (some may compare it with Lotus notes though).

This tool is implemented as a giant Active X; Apparently, they didn't want to make it web-based but when sales team threatened their developers, they some how adjusted their extra-thick client to web by (evil) means of Active-X(TM) technology. It only takes one or two more minutes to load than my Eclipse instance does, in Intra-net i.e.. It works only on lame Internet Explorer, in a sense that makes it 70% less web based. To add to the insult of using this tool, you have no option but use god-forsaken IE6 (or 7 if you are slightly lucky).


HP Quality center crashes at will, each crash is designed scientifically so that you waste a few hours to get back to normal work before it crashes again. For example, I add attachment to a defect; next, I go and try to add comment on it and it crashes - right on time. I open new IE window; browse it and wait for it to load, log-in again (this special web based tool doesn't have feature to remember your password in an enterprise-wide SSO environment). After recalling what I was doing last, I go to the defect where it crashed and try to add comment again; only to discover that it still thinks I'm working on it. 'The object is locked by user: [my userid]'. You will praise arcane brilliance imbued in this tool because these problems disappears randomly once it pisses you off - it knows when.

Some more praise on it's resource utilization, so one can't wonder why it is rightfully web-based. HP Quality Center uses ~120mb of your core if you have no defects in your view. This amazing tool can make your wish to see memory usage on crack come true, have 50-40 defects in your view and see the difference.

This is only the tip of the iceberg but gives you bigger picture and idea why companies make more money in support, there's always room for new version, patch, hotfix etc. Why in the world people pay for such crap? there are ton of free alternatives which are hundred times better and are totally free. And the other day someone was complaining about open-source tool usability...

40 comments:

Rick North said...

I couldn't agree more! We are currently using this app and you've hit it spot on! Especially the part about thinking that the file is still in use after a crash.

Keshav Ram Narla said...

Using this app is suffering from my sins. God save our kind from HP Quality Center.

Jerry Tieng said...

Could you please recommend a good alternative the covers requirements management, testing, etc..? Thank you.

Nirav Thaker said...

Try Bugzilla, Jira and many others

http://java-source.net/open-source/issue-trackers

Dodot63 said...

I cannot agree more, and here we have to use it every day. The problem is such tools are generally chosen by non-IT people who will never have to use it afterwards.

And you didn't talk about the INSTALLATION phase, which also makes this "web app" so pleasant...

Brendan said...

Nirav, I think you are mistaking Quality Center for an issue tracking system (that's only a feature of it). Most places will not use QC for issue tracking, only TC creation and management. As you said, Bugzilla, Jira are better for that.

Mugen said...

I think this tool is used probably because it has a lot of reporting capabilities (so that managers can track how much WORK is done, how much WORK is remaining, and force us all the more to do more and more WORK) - have just started using it and man it is somewhat annoying.

Thomas said...

It is actually working very well on my Linux Workstation connected to Citrix. All I need is to follow/edit/create defects. So I am not using too much advanced features. It just prints a warning message at login: "A call to an OS function failed". Must be the Windows' random crash library because it does not explode too often...

Stealth said...

You are Right.. This is big S**king application i have ever come across. I think this application has been made by some School going oversmart kid learning Web services!

@Brenden . This TC creation is uselss. This cant even automate anything properly and to remove an automation from a 20 steps TC, it says 'wooohoo - i wont delete ur script' and atlast ending up deleting the Tc and creating it all over again.

@Thomas. for extensive users testers/developers. this just is another piece of crap.

@Mugen.. Well said. Its EVIL's friendly and tats y its still out there giving a devil smile at Devs like what "all time useless","all time browsing","all time blaming","all time wanting" managers do..

Z said...

A great tool I worked with in the past is QPack by Orcanos. It manages requirements, testing and defects.

From what I saw in their website - there is a free edition available (for up to 5 users), try it out.


Jeff

dannyacuna said...

What's your answer to when a new user tries to install the client for the first time, after the list of progress bars finish he gets a message saying that the components were not downloaded successfully due to "Failed to open file for writing"? I'm looking to an alternative to throwing my laptop out of the 10th floor window.

keshavnarla said...

@dannyacuna

The first time you install, the progress bars on your client (IE) appear to be stuck, you will have to refresh the browser for the installation to continue

Michal said...

Good article.
There is in fact a standalone version of the client - so called QC Explorer, which you can install as an add in.
However it is just IE independend version with the same bugs and for unknown reason even more resource demanding.
Login screen (before logging in) occupies 90 MB RAM. Once logged in it takes 140-150MB and after some time of work it stays at some 200 MB.

I think HP should really work on the client to bring some serious interface for work.

It would be really great to have (preferrably a compatible) alternative.
I think that reporting can be done quite good also with other tools.

Unfortunatelly, we are also doing QTP stuff which makes switch even more difficult.
Or are there any alternatives to that too (QTP comaptible)?

Jennifer Bedell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hinling said...

I second, third, and fourth your comment about HPQC. How can people write such piece of crap still earn that much money!

Here's my rant about it:

http://nolemontreeandprodtarget.blogspot.com/2010/07/hp-qc-is-such-piece-of-crap.html

Liah Clark said...

New users need to be logged in with an admin account, since QC needs to write to the registry on first install.

wilsonmar said...

My analysis of Quality Center vs. other tools is at http://www.wilsonmar.com/quality_center.htm

Anonymous said...

this Object locking stuff just happened to me now! I wonder what wrong I did, nothing really..

Dayanand Kamble said...

Good Article.. Your viewers are increasing.. Market your blog buddy..

Anonymous said...

Hi Nirav,

i am new to HPQC 11 but i have to implement SSO using this software which i think is not possible in this software ?? what do you think ???
and if we do import LDAP user and HP Protect Tool Service Manager can be implemented for using its functionality SSO and integrate it with HPQC 11 ???

i think it is for laptop only and if available for desktop then not available for Server 2003 any alternate to implement SSO on HPQC 11.. .

Hope for your reply

Thanks in Advance,
-Mohsin

Anonymous said...

OMG - I have just spat the dummy so many times over this piece of crap - I am a tester and have found more of my time is involved doing rubbish in this thing than actually testing - go figure - a tool to help us manage our time eats all of it up - what a total piece of trash and I am on my knees HOPING for the day that my company sees the light and lets us get back to our REAL job... Thanks for allowing me to find a rant - I thought I was the only one pointing out the crappy appy!!!

Anonymous said...

I totally agree... worst tool I have ever used. It crashes 2-3 times a day, and automatically refreshes (loosing all your changes) all the time. Terrible, really.

Anonymous said...

OMG - QC is a piece of hairy crap. I've been a software/embedded tester for almost 10 years, and I just cringe any time someone mentions continuing the service agreement. In my company, it's a sunk cost and management doesn't want to do anything else, so we just keep shoveling money into this POS. Productivity continues to decline and quality actually gets worse because it's just too cumbersome to get good data. If this is your only option for test management, you're screwed. Almost anything is better than QC.

Anonymous said...

I really really detest this product.. it makes my life a misery on a daily basis

BluJ said...

I am so !@#$ sick of this mamoth waste of crap. I have to support it because it integrates with one of our products. It is a dinosaur, terribly implemented and just plain annoying. It crashes, it doesn't always work in the users IE 8 instance. Try VersionOne. It works well for a full agile solution. Bugzilla aint too bad either.

Anonymous said...

Quality Center sucks!

Anonymous said...

I have just tried it and I can say it is the worst tracking system ever!
Unfortunately I have no choice but to use it....it gives me the stomacache every time I open a ticket...

Anonymous said...

Absofreakinglutely. I hate HP's Quality Center. Worst tool ever. I have to completely reinstall it every single day in order to launch it. This is in line with their overall quality approach at HP. <semiRelatedRant rantText=" About a year ago, I purchased their top-of-the-line custom-built laptop (i7, 8gig, 1tb, etc - if you're reading this years from now, that will sound like a joke!). In the first year, it's been sent in to them three times, and one time even came back with physical damage. They still haven't fixed the issue which is something to do with static build up in the power system that causes the soft controls (volume, bass, wireless) to automatically turn off and on. Net result, I paid over $2000 for a computer that I can't even use. I will never buy another HP product - printers included -- this stupid software is just yet another nail in HP's coffin....I'd say rest in peace, but I'd rather tell them to rot in H-E-double hockey sticks." />

Martin said...

I have to agree. HP Quality Center is the worst product out there, and like you say, need not even have been web-based! I have been trying to get QCExplorer working in Wine, because I don't want to have to run Windows just for this stupid app, and unfortunately, it is not working (install went fine though).
HP generally has had a good track record of support for Linux, if you look at their printers, but they made a huge mistake when they bought out Mercury.

Ashish Narmen said...

I am amused, when a lot of people tell me that it is an industry standard tool.

Anonymous said...

Totally agree... HP Quality Center is anything but quality!

Anonymous said...

I am stuck with this thing now. Supposedly, it only supports ActiveState Python 2.5. Of course, Python 3.2 is now out, and Python 3.3 is in beta. Work on the 2.x branch stopped 2 years ago. It is impossible (well impossible for free) to now find ActiveState 2.5 Python.

How are we expected to automate with a tool that forces you to use a specific language? For this type of 'tool' to be usefull, it needs to be language independant.

Anonymous said...

Every time you want to fill a bug in QC, you need to report a QC bug.

Anonymous said...

Please contact your HP QC Administrator, most of the described errors in here are either missing configurations or bugs that were already fixed.

Lock time for an object is a setting they could adjust to a few minutes or simply turn off.

I would agree on the IE limitations though.

Regards,

Anonymous said...

QC v10

Here is why it sucks:

Only works in IE “the least used browser available”
To be more specific (IE7 - IE8)
Plugins only work with the 32 bit version of office
You must run your browser in protected mode
QC downloads a crap load of active X files on users local
Uses tons of memory, bloated with tons of useless features
QTP uses VB script with a horrible weak IDE
Randomly crashes from time to time

Anonymous said...

Quality center is a steaming pile of crap. Anything in here takes four time as long as it would in another tool, and to top it all of it is built like a Russian piece of crap car.

Anonymous said...

HP needs to take this tool to the trash where it belongs.

Anonymous said...

We are required to use this app to track defects. I don't think there is a single thing to recommend it. We had senior managers running around screaming once because it raised a red flag with 100% of defects unresolved ... turned out there was 1 defect remaining which was not fixed the day it was raised. It crashes each night with "Recursive state change request" error. The process to fix a bug is tedious: ie, three steps - Fix, Deploy, Retest. Each step requires filling in several pointless fields, eg, Version has nothing in the dropdown but the "Versions" header item yet this must still be selected. The user interface is clunky and awful.

Anonymous said...

I forgot to mention it is unable to do Windows authentication.

Anonymous said...

Just a quick November 2014 update:

Most of the annoying bugs mentioned above confirmed to exist in QC ALM 11.52 today.

Thanks A LOT HP !