Integrating HP Quality Center (or HP ALM/other Third Party tools) with IBM Rational Insight

I’ve had many people ask me about this integration and if it is possible, how it works, effort required to make it work and various other questions. IBM Rational Insight can integrate with IBM and Third-Party data sources in a variety of ways including REST APIs, ODBC and generic XML.

I have a detailed document that describes this integration on IBM’s

Is it possible? Yes.

How does it work? When working with HPQC or HPALM, you first need to decide how you will be integrating. I am not an HP expert and am not familiar with their [REST] APIs, which would be a more ideal approach. In my experience, I have helped others integrate HP with Insight via direct database access. The concept is simple, you gain read access to the HP repository with a valid user name and password. Once you have this, Insight can extract data from it.

While extracting HP data, it is a best practice to map that data to as much of the existing Insight data warehouse structure as possible.  It is also a best practice to review the contents of the data warehouse and ETL catalog beforehand so you are familiar with what already exists. Just focus on the areas that are important to you, not the entire structure. This will avoid alot of rework. For example, if your business need is to report on test data, then map the HP “Test” entity to the Insight “Test Case” entity, which contains similar columns such as ID, name, verdict, date info and more. If you are reporting on defects, then map the HP “Defect” artifact to the Insight “Request” entity.

Ofcourse, each organization will have their own custom attributes and terminology. You can customize the existing Insight artifacts or create new ones to accommodate this.

What is the effort required? This all depends on your business needs,  goals and skill level of the person implementing it. My suggestion is to take an iterative approach. Do not try to do too much too fast. You will likely not be successful. After defining the target business requirements (in the form of reports), start with one or two fundamental artifacts of your requirements, such as project and user info. Map only the columns that are already available in the Insight data warehouse. Ensure the ETL has completed successfully to the point where you can see HP data in Insight.

When that is done, move on to your “Test” record type, for example. Just like the previous artifacts, only map the columns that are already available in the Insight data warehouse. Again, ensure the ETL completes successfully.

Once that is done, you can go back and customize the Insight ETL catalog (using Cognos Data Manager) to incorporate your custom attributes into those three entities (project, user, test). Again, do not try to do too much too fast. If you have 20 custom attributes attached to your test artifact, start with about 3-5 to make sure you understand the process and are achieving the right results.

I hope that this helps folks understand the integration a bit better and gives them an overview of the process. See my link above for a more detailed technical explanation. Note that this approach applies to any third party tool that can provide direct database access or another supported integration point.

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