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Bug Tracking Tools: Choosing the Best Tracking System

April 13, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 97

Bug tracking (a.k.a. defect tracking) is a crucial step in software testing; without it, many programs would still contain severe errors when they reached end users. Today, defect tracking is the best-known phase of software testing, as witnessed by the hundreds of tracking tools available online. If you need a tracking system, but you are unsure of which system to choose, following the tips below is a good way to begin the selection process:

Flexibility

If you need to track more than defects, choose a system that can accommodate your needs. Many companies need a system that tracks "issues" that do not result from errors in computer code, but can still cause problems for end users. If you use a system to track more types of problems than its fields are designed to track, the problems can be improperly resolved in terms of priority and severity.

History of Changes

You should choose a system that lets you create a history trail for each defect. In addition to recording changes in the priority, severity, and status of a defect, you should record the actions that are taken to resolve it. By recording information such as priority, severity, and status changes, you can maintain better control over how a defect is addressed. By recording the actions that are taken to resolve it, you can create a record that serves as a template for resolving similar defects in the future.

Customization

In some cases, a company does not need to customize a bug tracking system's preset data fields, but such instances are rare. The user typically tailors the fields to the unique demands for their particular tracking process. Examples of customization that are helpful in any type of tracking system are:

  • Ability or add and remove fields
  • Ability to change the terminology of fields and drop-down lists
  • Ability to modify field layouts
  • Ability to set fields as required or optional
  • Ability to establish field relationships
  • Ability to set different field views

Bug tracking tools that are highly customizable are useful for evolving tracking processes.

Reporting and Metrics

A system that generates detailed reports helps project managers address critical issues in a timely fashion, especially at meetings. A system that offers diverse metrics for defect classification, categorization, and status changes helps team members make informed decisions throughout the tracking process.

Security

The more levels of permission a system can offer, the more security it provides for the information generated during the tracking process. At the minimum, a system should offer the following levels of permissions:

  • Field level
  • Buglevel
  • Feature level
  • Project level

Permissions are set in one of two ways: by allowing certain fields to be editable by certain parties or by allowing certain fields to be viewable by certain parties.

Conclusion

Most software projects involve bug tracking, but different projects can require different bug tracking tools. Following the tips above is a good way to begin selecting a tracking system for your software projects. To learn which systems best suit your needs, contact a provider of web-based defect tracking software.

Choosing bug tracking tools that meet the bug tracking needs of a particular project is crucial to releasing software that operates as intended.

Source: EzineArticles
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