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bug tracking tools

Detect to Correct: 9 Bug Tracking Tools for Smooth Workflow

Reading time: 9 minutes

This is a guest article by tech writer Mary Hampton

Finding bugs in the software development process is critical. Without doing so, it is impossible to imagine the normal operation of the finished application.

The process of finding bugs, analyzing their cause, and solving the problem is a laborious task that can take a lot of time. Today, the market has an abundance of different bug search systems, and it is difficult to distinguish one from another and understand which option is better.

In this article, we will cover the systems that are widely used and define how to choose a tool for your project.

What is Bug Tracking?

Essentially, bug tracking is the process of finding, identifying, and fixing bugs and other problems using the software. This can be compared with the police work: First, you find the attacker in the wake, then put him in jail.

Only instead of an attacker, we are looking for that part of the code that prevents your application from working normally. This may sound like fun, but you need to quickly and efficiently solve the issue to provide your client with the best app.

Where to Start?

There are two options for creating a bug tracking workflow.

  • External reporting. After you have created the application, you can find out from the user focus group what exactly is working incorrectly and where to start repairing.
  • Internal reporting. Before you release a complete application or a piece of software, you have to run internal testing. During this process, QAs and developers will examine each piece of code and find existing bugs and inaccuracies.

How Should a Bug Report Be Written?

Before starting to use the bug tracking system, it is important to understand what should be included in the report and how such a piece should look.

If you own a car, having the engine fail immediately after you pick up the vehicle from the mechanic is frustrating. A similar feeling applies to facing bugs in any software or system.

Consequently, you need to quickly and correctly deal with bugs in the application. This implies that you have all the necessary information for fast and efficient work. The more you understand, the faster you can identify, diagnose, and deal with any trouble.

A quality bug search system can do many things for you. Due to successful conduct, certain flexibility will appear in your work. The system itself will establish the priorities of bugs based on how severe their consequences are. You should consider the following:

  • What makes a bug. Here you can use the screenshot and workflow. When the recording is made, try to make date markers so that you don’t correct something that someone on your team has already fixed.
  • Set priorities. If a particular bug may lead to something severe like a fire in the office or destruction of all the data, you should deal with it first. Here comes the prioritization of bugs.

It is crucial to understand how the bug is reproduced. You should provide the maximum amount of information on this topic, for example, the version of the application or a browser used.

One of the most accessible and understandable ways to track bugs is with the good old excel table. Make a list of existing bugs with a short description of each, and fix them one at a time.

Although this process is relatively straightforward, you can get tired and lose pace pretty quickly. Most likely, you will need the appropriate tool to detect bugs. Using it, you and your team will be able to save a large number of hours that would go into the routine processes.

But, how to choose the right tool for your project? This article was written for this! Let’s look at the best options.

Bugzilla

This is one of the most effective solutions in software development. Bugzilla is an open-source product from Mozilla. With it, you can find various errors and bugs efficiently. This tool provides a variety of functions, such as the following:

  • Lists of bugs (several types of formats);
  • Reporting;
  • Advanced search engine;
  • Detection and duplication of bugs in automatic mode;
  • Email bug reporting;
  • Reliable security;
  • Advanced Query Tool;
  • Convenient database structure.

This tool is used by such famous companies as RedHat, Facebook, NASA, Apache, and many others.

To put it simply, with it, you’ll get everything you are looking for in bug tracking software. The design could have been a bit easier on the eye, but it doesn’t really matter in the end, if you value practicality over aesthetics. If you’re looking for a budget version of a functional bug tracking app – this is it.

The last stable version came out almost a year ago and it is probably about time for some updates. However, fancy features aside – Bugzilla does its job well. By getting to know even the most essential parts of its toolset, you save yourself an insane amount of time and effort.

Trac

This tool is web-based, written in Python, and open-source. What do you need to know about Trac? This is an EdgewallSoftware product and is an advanced version of the wiki.

Trac is a convenient system that helps find errors and detect bugs in software development. One of its strengths is a minimalist approach to work and support for various platforms, including Windows, Mac OS, Unix, and Linux. Here’s what you get using Trac:

  • History logging;
  • Link building;
  • Advanced reporting system;
  • Integration with wiki, files, and bugs;
  • and many more functions!

Much like the previous tool, this one is open-source, meaning you are free to use it without making any extra investments.

But Trac is not just a bug-tracker. It’s actually a full-fledged project management software. Thus, its features go well above and beyond anything you would expect from a generic bug-tracking system.

Trac design and functionality are relatively simple, easy to get the hang of, and very helpful and efficient at the same time.

From the most basic features that help you organize the development to helpful little additions like the in-built wiki, this one is an excellent choice if you are looking for a flexible open-source project management system to base your development on.

Redmine

This is a free tool for finding and debugging bugs, which is available with open source code. Typically, it is used for web-based software.

The Redmine creation used the Ruby on Rails framework so that you can take advantage of the support of several databases and platforms.

In addition, Redmine can be integrated with SCM (SourceCodeManagement) systems. What opportunities does Redmine offer? Here are a few:

  • Multi-language support;
  • Document and file management;
  • A convenient bug detection system;
  • Categorization of problems and bugs;
  • Ability to work on multiple projects simultaneously;
  • Calendar and charts for the convenient representation of the status of the project.

Another free and open-source bug tracking system, this one comes with its own flavor. Similar to competitors, it offers extensive functionality when it comes to simultaneous management of multiple projects, organizing the bug tracking and fixing efforts of your development team.

Redmine shares a fair amount of parallels with Trac. So if you are familiar with one of them, it should be pretty easy to move your project to the other option should the need arise.

Flexible and customizable role-based access control and helpful visualization tools like Gantt charts will ensure your work is as efficient as it can be.

Jira

In fact, this tool was developed for incident management but found application in bug tracking. It is based on J2EE and provides a simple approach to finding and managing errors.

Jira has a wide range of advantages, the main being integration with various development environments. Here are a few features working with Jira provides:

  • Processing records;
  • Mobile integration;
  • Flawless workflow;
  • Suitability for multiple projects (including Agile ones)

Moving from free, open-source software to Jira, you can see the drastic improvement in technical support, functionality, and overall aesthetics.

Spending your hard-earned money on a bug tracking system will give you access to tons of extra features like in-built database and automatically generated performance graphs. These might not be absolutely necessary but will surely improve the experience.

If you are still on the fence about whether to use Jira, there is a free 7-day trial period on both standard and premium packs. After that, you’ll have to decide if it’s worth a ten bucks monthly subscription fee.

Mantis

This one is another free source tool. Mantis is written using the PHP framework and supports databases such as PostgreSQL, MySQL, MsSQL. After working with it, you will definitely note its simplicity and thoughtful approach.

You can use both the web version of the application and the mobile one. Mantis has been widely used by medium and small businesses. Among the advantages it provides, we list the following:

  • Reasonable price;
  • Charts creation;
  • Advanced search with filters;
  • RSS and Roadmaps;
  • Source code integration;
  • Mobile support;
  • Time tracker;
  • Unlimited number of users;
  • Usable chat.

MantisBT fills the role of paid software alternative very well. The interface might not look as nice and crisp as Jira’s, but it’s all up to personal preference. If the latter doesn’t suit your needs for any reason, Mantis can cover everything Jira might lack.

Mantis developers are asking for your money for a good reason. They clearly took their job very seriously, and the bug-tracker packs include every basic thing you’d expect plus tons of more. One of the handiest features is a customizable notification system that will help you keep your hand on the pulse of any project.

Kualitee

This tool also deserves a place on this list of the best bug tracking management systems.

You can use the bug detection function as the only Kualitee function, or continue with its testing capabilities after detecting a bug.

The dashboard lets you keep abreast of the project. This is possible thanks to trend analysis for closed and open bugs. In addition, you can evaluate the priorities of each bug and check its status.

You can use Kualitee to communicate within the team, effectively create reports, test cases, and more. This can be applied for test cycles and distributing tasks among team members. This greatly simplifies the testing process. Here are some other benefits Kualitee can provide you with:

  • Compilation of bug reports;
  • Ability to work individually or as a team;
  • Third-party integration;
  • Request scheduling.

Kualitee’s overall functionality and powerful integration with various other bug-tracking systems like Jenkins, Bitbucket, Selenium, Jira, Redmine, and many more ensure you will be able to manage the quality of your product most efficiently.

While it can be used as a standalone piece of software, Kualitee will probably serve you best in cooperation with other systems. It has plenty of features to offer in order to close the gaps in your bug-tracker of choice.

Micro Focus ALM

It’s hard to call the bug tracking tools’ list complete without mentioning Micro Focus. This tool is a useful testing solution with an impeccable bug search system.

This system provides practical, simple, and convenient solutions. Consider what benefits Micro Focus ALM can provide you with:

  • Agile projects support;
  • One of the lowest prices on the market;
  • Supported by most browsers.

Micro Focus Application Lifecycle Management is somewhat less known when it comes to bug-tracking software. Nonetheless, don’t let its lack of popularity deceive you.

This set of software tools will get you through all stages of development from the design stages to operational readiness. The tools available will allow your quality control team to work quickly and efficiently.

You’ll be able to plan, define, measure, and track your development progress using milestones and various key performance indicators. One of the cheapest products on the market, this app is really worth the investment.

IBM Rational ClearQuest

This tool is a web application that supports bug detection and is a client-server. As an additional feature, you can consider the possibility of integrating it with other tools. Other benefits of IBM Rational ClearQuest are:

  • Custom end-to-end bug tracking system;
  • Convenient management;
  • Ability to work with various databases.

IBM has always been at the very forefront of technology. It’s no surprise their software is a major contender for the title of top dog in the bug tracker market. While it might not be there just yet, you can be sure the developers will do everything in their power to get as close as humanly possible.

One of the coolest features that makes it stand out is the insane flexibility no other paid piece of software has.

Using a system of FlexPoints, you can tailor the app to the needs of your project, picking and choosing the bits and pieces you need and leaving all the excess behind. This is extremely handy when you really need a fitting toolset for a reasonable price.

FogBugz

This bug tracking system is also web-based. When working with FogBugz, bugs are defined as cases.

Thanks to this, you can list, create, and work with such cases. Information about the project can be compiled into a separate schedule. That means, when working with FogBugz, you can track your progress easily. The following benefits should also be noted:

  • Easy to use;
  • Has everything needed to find bugs;
  • Possesses the ability to create wikis.

FogBugz is listed last but is certainly not least. While the advertising campaign is trying just a bit too hard to put it a step above its competitors, the software itself doesn’t really need it. The app is easy to use, highly customizable, and aesthetically pleasing.

Besides all the usual features bug trackers traditionally pack, there is the one that helps the system automatically estimate your development progress.

Being able to translate the tasks you have planned roughly into work hours is pretty neat as well. It’s a real treasure if you want the maximum level of personalized control over any project.

Wrapping Up

In this article, we examined why you need to look for bugs, why this process is essential, and why you should choose additional tools. We have selected nine different ones.

Among them, you can find what is suitable for large, medium, and small businesses. Before selecting a tool, remember that you should understand what you expect from a tracking system to choose reasonably.

Consider the cost of use, the presence of certain functions. If you don’t need built-in report creation, then why pay for it and the system that has it? In this list, you can definitely find what is suitable for your project!


authorMary Hampton is a former psychology student currently getting a degree in journalism in NYC. She works as a freelance writer for EssayPro and has a sheer interest in IT, cybersecurity, and human social development.

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