With application modernization seemingly on the minds of many organizations, HP in late April announced two tools to help manage the process: HP Service Test Management (STM) 10.5 and HP Functional Testing 10.0.

Layered on top of HP’s Quality Center, its platform for managing quality through the entire application life cycle, STM 10.5 gives users the ability to look at their new modern application models. Architecture has moved from monolithic and single-siloed to being very component-oriented, said Kelly Emo, HP’s director of application product marketing.

In STM’s graphical testing environment, testers can see all dependent components, potential changes and what touches everything else in order to see where risk points are. This enables testers to know what and where to test, and what the dependencies are before porting legacy code to another system.

“When you have all these moving parts, it’s easy to lose track of what’s dependent on what,” Emo said. “This helps to understand the ripple effect.”

Aside from STM, HP added two features to its Functional Testing automated testing tool. In order to create automated tests using the latest versions of Web 2.0 frameworks (such as AJAX, Dojo or Silverlight), HP added the new Web 2.0 Feature Pack. To extend its tool out to other development frameworks, HP also added the Extensibility Accelerator. These two additions come with the tool free of charge.

These announcements are in response to a Forrester Research study—commissioned by HP—that provided insight into why organizations are looking to modernize their applications. In a survey of 206 IT decision-makers, 53% responded that their applications are based on obsolete technology, followed by 51% who thought the apps no longer met business requirements and 41% who said their applications are unstable or difficult to maintain.

Forrester analyst Phil Murphy said he has seen the trend towards modernization move from a necessary evil to needing a modern process to keep portfolios clean. “Modernization is at the forefront of companies’ minds,” he said, and it’s becoming an ongoing thing rather than something that is dealt with later on, he added.

“These two products are examples of new capabilities we’re delivering to support that overall initiative in the context of life-cycle management,” Emo said. Both tools are available now, and STM starts at US$3,000 per concurrent user.