Micro Focus has revamped its venerable line of LoadRunner testing tools as part of an effort to both unify code bases and provide tighter integration with third-party application performance management (APM) tools from AppDynamics, a unit of Cisco Systems.
Vicky Giavelli, director of product management for performance engineering at Micro Focus, said Micro Focus in now in the first stages of unifying the code base of instances of LoadRunner that run on-premises and the cloud to enable DevOps teams to more flexibly test applications regardless of where they are deployed.
DevOps teams can already share licenses across LoadRunner products and rapidly scale up or down based on seasonal or ad hoc demands, she noted.
As testing continues to shift left, Giavelli said, Micro Focus continues to invest in aligning the LoadRunner family of application testing tools with multiple DevOps platforms. LoadRunner tools currently support more than 50 application protocols and technologies and more than 52 scripting technologies in addition to providing integrations with open source continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) tools and data visualization platforms such as Grafana and InfluxDB.
The alliance with AppDynamics extends that strategy by making it easier for DevOps teams that employ LoadRunner to consume and share data with users of one of the most widely employed APM platforms, she noted.
Giavelli said Micro Focus continues to enhance the user experience of a testing platform that has been widely employed now for a quarter-century. While competition has increased considerably during that time, the LoadRunner family of tools has maintained its base among application testers, she said, while extending its appeal to developers, who increasingly are taking responsibility for testing as part of an integrated set of DevOps processes.
Of course, it’s still not clear how far left toward developers application testing might shift. While the consensus might be that more testing on the part of developers is good, application testers may provide a more unbiased opinion about how well an application accomplishes the ultimate business goal.
Regardless of the role of testing within the organization, the one thing that everyone agrees on is it should be easier to generate meaningful tests that reflect real-world use. No matter who does the testing, the goal is to not have to roll back an application once it is deployed in a production environment. As applications become more complex, Micro Focus continues to invest in machine learning algorithms and other forms to advanced analytics to identify potential issues sooner than later, noted Giavelli.
It’s too early to say how the battle between application testing vendors will play out in the months ahead. The one thing that is certain is that in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, application testing has never been more critical. More organizations than ever are building digital business applications to make it easier to engage with their customers, at a time when many of them might not be returning to an office anytime soon. The issue, of course, is that not many of their end users will be especially tolerant of issues such as a mobile computing application that doesn’t live up to expectations the first time it’s deployed.