Introduction to Micro Focus ALM Synchronizer, formerly known as HP ALM Synchronizer:
Micro Focus ALM Synchronizer is a relatively new term for most people, and many questions arise when we first encounter this term. When we come across a new term, our typical response is to search on Google to find more information. However, the search results for Micro Focus ALM Synchronizer are quite limited. Only a few installation guides, images, and descriptive details are available.
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To fully understand this tool, we need a tutorial or article written in simpler language, especially for those who are new to Micro Focus ALM Synchronizer. That’s why I am sharing this topic with all of you. I consider myself fortunate to have the opportunity to work with this tool and gain a deep understanding of it.
This article provides a comprehensive overview of the role, importance, and functionality of the Micro Focus ALM tool. It also includes a download link and step-by-step instructions for your convenience. If you are new to this tool, this article will serve as your guide.
What You Will Learn:
Micro Focus ALM Synchronizer is a valuable and convenient tool for companies where developers use Defect Management tools like TFS (Team Foundation Server), while testers/QA use other tools like QC/ALM (Quality Centre/Application Lifecycle Management).
Let’s dive deeper into its functionality!
Micro Focus ALM Synchronizer is a Defect Management Tool that allows smooth flow of defect management between developers and testers. Handling defects is an important task in testing, and having a tool that ensures seamless defect management across the company is crucial.
Now, let’s answer the question – what does Micro Focus ALM Synchronizer do and how does it work?
To find the answer, let’s follow the tutorial below.
Role of This Tool
This tool facilitates the synchronization of data between Micro Focus ALM and other endpoints. In this tutorial, we will consider Micro Focus ALM and TFS as two endpoints.
The diagram below illustrates the synchronization between the two endpoints:
‘Micro Focus ALM/QC’ is a tool used by testers/QA to manage defect-related information. ‘TFS’ is used by developers for managing defect-related information.
When testers make changes to defects in QC, it is important for developers to stay updated on these changes. This tool solves the communication gap between developers and QC/ALM in organizations that primarily use TFS or similar tools for defect management.
You can download the Micro Focus ALM Synchronizer Client and Server from the Micro Focus website. Before downloading, make sure to check the versions of the two endpoints.
Example: If the versions of Micro Focus ALM and TFS are 12.2, download the 12.2 Synchronizer Client on the local machine where the synchronizer will run.
Prior to downloading the client, you need to register for a Micro Focus Passport and sign in to access the software and installation guide documentation.
Here is the registration link: Download Link
Register on the Micro Focus official site, create an account, and then log in to download the software based on your needs.
If you need any assistance with the installation guide and documentation, refer to the help menu of the tool.
Need of This Tool
After getting an overview of this tool, let’s explore why the need for Micro Focus ALM Synchronizer arose and what it actually does.
Let’s take a look at the answers:
#1) Integration: This tool facilitates integration between TFS and QC/ALM, enabling better coordination between the testing and development teams.
#2) Synchronization of QC Defects with TFS Bugs: When a tester logs a defect in QC, all relevant information is mapped directly into TFS. This allows developers to stay updated on new defects and their details.
#3) Error Handling Support: Synchronizers provide error handling mechanisms to quickly address and rectify errors. The Advanced tab allows specific group email addresses to be notified about errors.
In my past experience, I was responsible for identifying and rectifying errors in my firm. This required training and knowledge to handle different types of errors.
#4) Defect Management: With the help of this tool, defect management becomes easier by matching/syncing fields in QC Defect IDs with corresponding TFS IDs (e.g., priority, defect description, etc.).
Here is a screenshot of the tool interface:
In the above screenshot, you can see the various tabs and links on the left-hand side. We will explore these links in the next section.
Links to ALM Synchronizer
In the context of Synchronizer, links store information about the endpoints and define which entities are included in the synchronization and how the synchronization is performed.
Key points to note:
- There are typically two links, named for organizational convenience.
- For better understanding, we can name them Link1 and Link2.
- In ALM/QC (endpoint1), defects are referred to as ‘Bugs’, while in TFS (endpoint2), they are called ‘Tasks’.
- All related information, such as general information, connection details, field mapping, and scheduling, must be updated for both links.
- Links must be enabled to run the synchronizer.
- Right-clicking on a link allows you to run the synchronizer by selecting the appropriate option (Incremental, Full, or Integrity Check).
These are the basics of working with links in this tool.
Tabs of This Tool
Let’s briefly explain each tab to provide a better understanding of their purpose:
#1) General Tab: This tab displays general information about both endpoints, including endpoint names, types, synchronization run details, and reports of success, failure, and errors.
#2) Connectivity Tab: This tab contains connection details such as usernames, passwords, and allows you to check the connectivity between the endpoints.
#3) Scheduling Tab: This tab provides information about the scheduled synchronizer runs for each link, including timings for both endpoints.
#4) Filters Tab: This tab allows you to set filters for data synchronization by specifying queries for each link.
#5) Events Tab: This tab defines rules for record creation, updates, and deletions in both endpoints.
#6) Field Mapping Tab: This tab is crucial as it specifies the mapping of fields between the endpoints. It allows bidirectional or unidirectional mapping depending on specific needs.
#7) Advanced Tab: This tab provides advanced features for error handling and notification.
Next, let’s understand how the Synchronizer actually works!
Working of Micro Focus ALM Synchronizer
Here’s how the Synchronizer works:
- Users define input and output criteria during the synchronization process. Inputs can be provided from either endpoint, and synchronization is performed based on these settings and mappings.
- For every selected defect in QC, a matching work item is created in TFS, and vice versa. This ensures that all changes in defects are synchronized between the endpoints.
- Updated defects in QC are also updated in the corresponding work items in TFS.
- Enumerated values such as severity and priority are synchronized between defects.
- Attachments are synchronized between TFS and QC.
Now, let’s explore the possible errors that can occur when working with Micro Focus ALM Synchronizer and their resolutions.
Errors while Working with this tool
When multiple people work in a collaborative environment, the chances of errors occurring increase. However, it’s important to address and rectify errors as soon as possible. Here are some common error types:
#1) Wrong Value Entered:
In the process of working on a QC defect, someone may enter the description incorrectly or with unnecessary spaces or symbols. To rectify this, check the defect history in QC to identify who worked on it and inform the concerned person to update it correctly. It’s recommended to let the concerned person handle the update. Once the update is done, run the synchronizer and check the report for any issues.
#2) Document Issue:
Attachments to defects may have incorrect size or format, resulting in FAILED/UPDATE/DELETE ATTACHMENTS errors. To resolve this, inform the concerned person to upload the documents in the expected size and format.
#3) Blank Value in Mandatory Fields:
Leaving mandatory fields blank will trigger an error. To resolve this, ensure the concerned person updates the fields correctly and run the synchronizer to check the results.
Now, let’s discuss the types of Micro Focus ALM Synchronizer!
Types of Micro Focus ALM Synchronizer
Micro Focus ALM Synchronizer offers different types of synchronizers to meet specific requirements. These synchronizers can be scheduled to run at specific times to ensure proper synchronization of updated and newly created records. The types of synchronizers are as follows:
#1) Incremental Synchronizer
The Incremental Synchronizer runs when changes or increments are made. It identifies records created or modified since the previous synchronization task and performs synchronization based on the defined settings and mappings.
#2) Full Synchronizer
The Full Synchronizer performs a full comparison of records in each endpoint. It provides information about records that are not synchronized in an Incremental run. Consequently, all records are synchronized when the Full Synchronizer runs.
#3) Integrity Check
The Integrity Check is different from the other types of synchronizers. It is executed when creating a new link or modifying an existing link. The Integrity Check should be handled with accuracy, as a failure in this check disables the link and prevents synchronization.
In summary, Micro Focus ALM Synchronizer is a tool that simplifies defect management between developers and testers. By configuring the endpoints and their related fields, scheduling regular synchronizer runs, and checking the detailed reports, efficient defect management can be achieved. This tool promotes transparency and cooperation between developers and testers.
Those who have worked with this tool understand its importance. I am excited and grateful to have had the opportunity to gain knowledge and hands-on experience with this advanced tool.
About the author: This post is written by Varsha G., a member of the STH team.
If you have tried this tool, please share your experiences in the comments section below.