What is Bug Tracking Software?
Bug Tracking Software is a component of Application Lifecycle Management that records bugs discovered during software development. Alternately known as Defect Tracking, bug tracking software provides a record of bugs that have been discovered and facts known about them. This record of facts includes such useful details like the time the bug was reported, a description of error behavior, and how to reproduce it. Members of the software development team can track bugs, and sometimes app users may as well. System administrators can configure permissions, change bug status, or delete bugs.
In addition, bug-tracking systems may track suggested improvements which are not strictly bugs (e.g. app performance). A backlog of bugs and improvement requests provide useful guidance to product managers planning future releases.
Bug Tracking Software Features & Capabilities:
The advantages of using a bug tracking system are:
Alert system or feed for bug info delivery
Error log management, log summary, search and filter
Custom workflow and fields
Dependency management and work sequencing
Collaboration tools, Kanban board, private messaging
In-page feedback, visual feedback, real-time communication
Task management, assignment, and delegation
Search tool for bug location in the application log
Multi-format bug list / read-out (e.g. .csv, Excel file)
Ticket management, ticket emailing
Duplicate bug report detecting (append report to prior bug)
Time tracking (e.g. predict how long bug will take to fix)
Track effectiveness of testers (find rate per tester)
Track effectiveness of development team in fixing bugs
Triage bugs by app feature, finding problematic or buggiest place
Calculate sprint estimations based on bug density
Build list items for regression testing
Basic but popular bug tracking software is available free. Free editions may include access to forums or peer assistance for support. Paid editions may include more sophisticated support. Advanced bug tracking tools are available on paid plans, often after a free trial (14 or 30 day). Paid plans support larger teams and higher volume of testing activities and logging. They might include advanced testing and tasking, more storage and archiving, and more security (e.g. identity federation).