Bug Tracking Software
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What is bug tracking software?
Bug tracking software is a component of that records problems (bugs) discovered during software development and after release. In addition to standalone bug tracking products, bug tracking is sometimes included as a feature in , , or products.
Also called defect or issue tracking, bug tracking software stores data about bugs as they are discovered. Common data points recorded include descriptions of error behavior, details on how to replicate the bug, and a timeline of when the bug was first reported Some software allows for bug detection automation where duplicates of a known bug are automatically discovered and entered into the database.
Bug tracking software varies in that some are designed for internal use and others are designed for feedback from end-users of the product. When used internally, bug tracking software is generally utilized by development, product, and quality assurance (QA) teams. When used externally, customer service teams or customers themselves can submit reports of bugs for the development team to address. Some bug tracking software specializes in tracking bugs in mobile applications while others focus on web-based applications.
Bug tracking software features
- Alert system
- Error log management, log summary, search and filter
- Custom workflow and fields
- Dependency management and work sequencing
- Collaboration tools, Kanban board, private messaging, commenting
- Search tool for bug location in the application log
- Multi-format bug list / read-out (e.g. .csv, Excel file)
- Ticket management, ticket emailing
- Automated duplicate bug detection
- Crash analytics
- Time tracking
- Automated/scheduled reports
- App performance monitoring
Bug tracking software comparison
When considering which bug tracking software fits your needs, consider the following:
- Setup Time: There are many free/open-source bug tracking tools (e.g. and ) that are customizable. While a free tool might be the best for your budget, customizing an open-source product to your needs will take significant time. Consider whether the customization that this time investment will take is necessary for your use case.
- Intended use-case: Some bug tracking tools are built for web-based applications, some for mobile applications, others for both. Ensure that the product you are considering is flexible enough to accommodate all of your needs.
- Other features: Many companies will offer bug tracking as a feature of a larger workflow, product management or application lifestyle management package. Make sure you’re not paying for more than you need if you already have a satisfactory workflow management system.
There are many free and open-source bug tracking software options available, for example, and , though these tools often require significant time to set up and customize. Most open-source options are bare-bones and require significant customization to meet each organization’s needs. Support options are generally more robust on paid options, but many free options have peer forums.
Several vendors that offer paid products also offer a free version of their software. However, these versions are not typically as customizable as open-source solutions but do not require the time investment to get the program up and running. Paid plans are offered on a subscription basis. Basic plans usually start around $50-$150 a month, with more advanced subscriptions starting around $250/month.