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Testhouse’s point of view for people planning for Micro Focus Quality Center or Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) Migration & Upgrade

Testhouse’s point of view for people planning for Micro Focus Quality Center or Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) Migration & Upgrade

10th Oct, 2019

If you are planning to migrate or upgrade Micro Focus Quality Center or ALM (Application Lifecycle Management), the steps below with effective planning will help you succeed.


In the recent past, we upgraded a few large & older versions of Quality Center by following the below best practices during each migration.


Preparation & Planning – Prior and effective preparation will help mitigate any foreseen risks.


Preparation phase checklist –

  • Confirm the current QC version & client’s expectation to migrate. A direct upgrade to the latest version from an old version is not possible
  • Check if there is a need for a change of OS or DB. Current infrastructure such as Windows OS or DB version may no longer be supported
  • Verify if the client has an active service agreement. Every client is assigned a SAID – Service Agreement Identifier that allows the customer to upgrade to the latest versions
  • Check File system (Repository) & DB size where the project metadata is stored
  • Check if any non-HP products such as TFS or other products are integrated (QTP/UFT)
  • Check if SMTP (Emails) or AD/LDAP is integrated
  • Examine the level of customization implemented in the existing instance
  • Check for any extensions
  • Check for built-in versioning control for requirements, test cases etc.,
  • Plan for downtime. The downtime depends on the number of projects, DB & File repository size.
  • Plan for Testing environment
  • Prepare a complete back-up of QC Projects, Schema & File system.



We do not recommend upgrading on the same server. The best practice is to do the upgrade on a new server. The upgrade steps are defined below based on the assumption that you are familiar with back-up & restore of Quality Center assets.


The steps would differ a bit depending on the type of upgrade you choose to perform.


If you prefer a new Database for New ALM or new instance of the previous database server, follow the steps below.


Note: The database user must have the same permissions as the user installing ALM.


  • Install QC by creating a new schema
  • Copy the DB (each project will have LDF & MDF files. You can point it to the new DB server)
  • Copy the file repository
  • Edit dbid.xml file to make necessary changes (change parameters such as DB_NAME, DB_USER_PASS, DBSERVER_NAME, DB_CONNSTR_FORMAT, PHYSICAL_DIRECTORY)


Note: New location in PHYSICAL_DIRECTORY must contain a backslash (\) at the end of the path)

  • Login to site admin & click on “Restore” project
  • Once the restore is successful, click “Upgrade.”

If you were to face any issues, use QC verify and repair process check utilities.


Note: You may need to run additional SP queries depending on the configuration of the current instances. For example, you may have to choose “SQL Authentication” or “Windows Authentication” on an older server.


ALM can connect to the Microsoft SQL Server by using the SQL authentication or Windows authentication.


For each method, a different user would own the tables of a project:

  • SQL Authentication. Table owner is the user td.
  • Windows Authentication. Table owner is the user dbo (a user mapped to the operating system user that runs the ALM server).


To fix table ownership manually –


SQL Authentication: Run the below query to make td the table owner:


EXEC sp_changeobjectowner ‘<table name>’, ‘td’


Windows Authentication: Run the below query to make dbo the table owner:


EXEC sp_changeobjectowner ‘td.<table name>’, ‘dbo’


Note: All projects can be upgraded under a DOMAIN. The detailed steps are available in the install guide of Quality Center. Check the status of migration in site admin.


Note:  If you try to restore a project that has a QC version control enabled and if the entities are not checked-in, the upgrade process may fail.



  • Login to QC for a particular project. Verify few test entities such as requirements, test cases, defects & linked entities. Compare these on both old & new QC instances.
  • In our case, there were no USERS details tables (email id, phone number, etc.). We used a utility from QC support portal to export USERS table from old instance & imported it into a new QC instance.
  • If email notification is required, configure SMTP settings in site admin.
  • To use LDAP/AD configure it in the site admin
  • Export “Site configurations” from the old instance to create any additional SITE parameters



A project restore or upgrade could fail for various reasons. We would recommend you to conduct a detailed log analysis to understand the root cause. A google search wouldn’t help much.


The logs are available for both QC & SA. The locations are available under the default location. The path could vary depending on the QC instance.


C:\ProgramData\HP\ALM\log. Or C:\ProgramData\Micro Focus\ALM\log (The ProgramData is hidden by default).


For additional help, refer the QC install guide – Appendix section – Upgrade Preparation Troubleshooting.


If you are still stuck in the process and find no other debug options get in touch with a QC support team. Log a service ticket and they should be able to assist you. Do not expect support engineers to upgrade your projects. They would be able to support if there are any known issues or had faced similar issues earlier and have a knowledge base article.

About the author

Shivaram | Director - Digital & Cloud Quality Assurance Services

The author is experienced in Application Lifecycle Management (ALM), Performance Engineering & Application Security and has executed high volume load tests using HP LoadRunner, Microsoft Visual Studio & JMeter for various applications across domains.