Bug Tracking Software:
Bug Tracking Software is use to automates the process of tracking and monitoring bugs, defects or any issue that can effect the efficiency of the product or process. Bugs are inevitable while developing a software. But when a bug is encountered, it is often associated with more issues that may be hiding somewhere in the code. Bug tracking software will help prevent generating more issues from one small issue. As it is very important for the software to be bug free from customer point of view, these software are very necessary for the organization.
An excel sheet can be used to record or track and emails to report or communicate the bugs. However, when the projects is huge, with increasing number of test cycles, the number of people involved in the project, it becomes important to have a much stronger process that will make the management of these issues simpler and consistent. This will help concentrating more on finding more issues in the AUT than managing the ones already found. Various bug tracking systems or defect management tools are available in the market to serve this purpose. You have to purchase and get the license to use many of these tools. But You can also find some open source bug tracking software solutions that are free to use and can meet your needs.
All these tools consist of certain common features. These include:
- The bug, module, severity, environment, screenshots, etc can be filled and reported at a time through the reporting module.
- After finding the bug you can assign it to one of the developer working on this to look in to the issue.
- Progressing can be done through the life cycle stages which is known as Workflow
- A track can be maintained by keeping the history of the bug, work log and mentioning comments for each
- Report in terms of graphs or charts can be send to the developer along with the main report
- Each bug that is found during testing cycles needs to be uniquely identifiable. Therefore, a bug tracking tool must be able to to create an ID, which can be used to store, retrieve and organize bug information.
These features are very essential and are absolutely necessary for any software that claims to be a bug tracking software.
Benefits Of Using A Bug Tracking System:
Using spreadsheets to report, track and communicate the bugs in the absence of a bug tracking software might be a good temporary solution for small sized teams and projects. But, this is not a sustainable method as spreadsheets has lots of challenges when you use them as your primary method of defect tracking and management. This include:
- Excel sheets with screenshot attachments are sometimes oversized resulting in bulky emails.
- Since there is no automatic alerting system, real time visibility into bug discovery and progress or status will be lacking.
- Work assignment issues will be there as the bug is not assigned to a particular person with what severity or priority.
- There will be lack of a central repository and this will make difficulty in finding a defect that was reported in the previous release or maybe a few releases behind.
- The process of collecting defect data from each team member, entering into an excel template, organizing it to show a pattern and finally plotting a chart or graph is time and labor intensive.
All of these can be simplified by using a bug tracking software. It offer a single point of contact for all your defects and provide real time updates. It also can provide collaboration with the team members, trace the defects back to the requirements and generate real time reports.