HP ALM to Visual Studio Online – VSO Migration

HP ALM to Visual Studio Online - VSO Migration


A major provider of equipment breakdown insurance and related inspection services were using HP ALM to manage their Requirements, Tests and Defects. Based on several internal reasons, for instance, changes in their internal software development processes and policies made the organization decide to move from HP ALM to Microsoft VSO. All the accumulated data in HP ALM needed to be migrated to VSO. Post migration, the organization was not planning to use HP ALM, instead start using VSO for managing Requirements, Tests and Defects. The data residing under different folders and the organization of the hierarchical structure was expected to be preserved so that the users in VSO can quickly locate the records. With this data migration objective, the company approached Kovair for a suitable and cost-effective solution through a global reputable service provider.


The migration initiative presented the following challenges,

  • The primary requirement was the migration of the requirements, test cases organized in hierarchical test plan folders and sub folders, and defects.
  • All inter relationships were to be migrated; for example – Requirement Coverage, Test Coverage and Defect Coverage.
  • The volume of data to be migrated from HP ALM were in thousands of records and migrating these without automation was a mammoth task.
  • In HP ALM there were multiple Custom Test Plan Folders and Custom Sub Test Folders under which the HP ALM Tests were organized. In VSO however there exists a single Test Plan Folder and several Test Suite Folders containing the Test Cases along with the Test Steps organized as per the Area Path.
  • In HP ALM, Target Cycle is a specialized dependent drop down list type of fields where two information – Release and Versions specific to each release, are organized in a tree view structure within that field. This field was to be mapped to Iteration drop down field in VSO.
  • All Attachments associated with all HP ALM artifacts including Design Steps were to be migrated to VSO
  • Being cross vendor tools, one from HP and the other from Microsoft, there exists no out-of-the-box connectivity between these tools.
  • HP ALM and VSO have contrasting differences in the data organization for various artifacts.
  • Last but not the least, one of the biggest challenge was to run the entire migration directly in the production environment in one shot without any staging instance thereby having very little or no margin of errors in terms of data verification and validation.

All these challenges added up to the complexity of the data migration and the quality of migration of the data needed to be verified.


Kovair, in the first phase of migration started to work towards migrating the data of HP ALM to VSO Development instance. Understanding the data structure and reaching a consensus on the migration use case was the first step towards it. Kovair used its migration and Synchronisation Solution – Kovair QuickSync for migrating the data. QuickSync tool was installed in a server of this organization. Setting up the integration involved a negligible manual effort. This effort mainly consisted of mapping the Projects, Entities, and Fields between HP ALM and VSO. Once done, the rest of the migration was a swift automated process. The configurations were easy, since all Kovair tools have no coding involved and could be accomplished with simple mouse clicks. The migration took care of the most complex challenge – the contrasting data structure in the following ways:

  • The Requirements were migrated as Product Backlog Items into VSO.
  • The test related artifacts as maintained in a folder structure within HP were migrated to the corresponding test artifacts and similar folder structure of VSO.
  • The HP ALM Defects were migrated as Defects in VSO.
  • Apart from the artifacts, the corresponding attachments and the relationship links between the test and defects were also migrated.

Kovair QuickSync also facilitated the users to view the statistics of migration. The total number of successful and failed migration could be viewed from QuickSync. In case of failed migration, the detailed log of the objects and the reasons for failure were available from one of the built-in monitoring reports of QuickSync.

Business Values

  • Easy tool installation and quick initial setup.
  • Codeless configuration for mapping the HP ALM Projects, Entities and Fields to the VSO counterparts.
  • Successfully migrated thousands of records including Requirements, Tests and Defects to VSO within a week.
  • Easy monitoring capabilities having objective and subjective statistical view of the state of migration with reports and logs.
  • Retry mechanism for any unsuccessful migration.
  • Simple licensing based on the successful transactions across all configurations and all projects by any number of users.
  • 100% Migration with zero failure.

Kovair QuickSync guarantees all the aspects of data migration like Accuracy, Integrity, Consistency and completeness.

The Project Execution Overview

In the first phase of the migration project, Kovair team completed the necessary tool configurations such as creating connections, mapping projects, mapping users, mapping entities, creating business flows and installing windows service. A shakeout test was done with few records in order to validate the configuration and data integrity. Once done, the migration occurred automatically without the need of continuous review.

In the second phase of the project, team members of the customer organization were given a few hours of training on the various facets of the Kovair QuickSync tool and how to accomplish migration goals with it. Post training, the teams were able to manage the migration themselves using the QuickSync tool with a minimal assistance from Kovair.

The occasional errors occurred when data moved in incorrect format and mapping of field values were not supported in VSO. The trained team were able to ascertain the cause of errors with the monitoring mechanisms available in the Kovair QuickSync tool and took corrective measures as required. Finally, the migration was completed much to the satisfaction of the organization.