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Bug Tracking Points to Consider

By Seapine Software
Posted Monday, December 6, 2004

A bug tracking system is central to a successful quality control process. The strategic importance of the purchase becomes clear when you consider the impact the data can have on your enterprise. Here are a few points to consider when selecting your bug tracking solution.

1. Not all bug tracking solutions are alike.

Some bug tracking solutions trap you in a Web-only interface with its limitations and performance issues. TestTrack Pro gives you the choice of a true Windows client and a Web-browser client. Most bug tracking solutions limit you to one server operating system - Windows. TestTrack Pro gives you the additional choices of Linux, Solaris, and Mac OS X. Some bug tracking solutions don't scale well past a dozen users or a few thousand defects. TestTrack Pro scales easily to handle any team size.

When selecting a bug tracking solution, make sure you are getting all of the features you need at a competitive price. TestTrack Pro is the solution--offering the best mix of features, architecture, support, and scalability.

2. Not all bug tracking vendors are alike.

Anybody with a little database experience and a copy of MS Access can build and market a basic bug tracking solution. Designing a feature-complete solution requires years of effort and customer feedback. Seapine Software has been developing and delivering bug tracking solutions since 1995 on multiple operating systems across a wide range of industries. Seapine backs its solution with a variety of services and outstanding customer support. When selecting your bug tracking vendor, ask yourself "What is their track record? Will this company be around to help me next year or even next month?"

When considering your bug tracking vendor, ask "How long does it take to talk to someone in support?" Does the company even offer telephone support or are you limited to email support? Do they answer their email in a timely fashion or does it go into the email black hole?

3. Does your bug tracking solution scale well?

Many solutions are based on MS Access databases or other database technologies that require you to upgrade the database back end as your company grows. TestTrack Pro is based on a fast, industry-standard database engine that easily scales to handle hundreds of users in multiple geographic locations. Make sure you are not going through the process of finding a new bug tracking solution as your company grows.

4. "Open source" does not mean "no cost."

There is a misconception that if something is free, there is no cost and you automatically save by choosing it as your tool. As the saying goes, "There is no free lunch." What is the catch? Hidden costs! Hidden costs include such things as the hours needed to compile, setup, customize, and maintain the solution. Many open source solutions require the person administering the solution be familiar with, if not an expert in, scripting and one or more programming languages or meta languages. There are additional costs in upgrading which are further increased if you have modified the source code. For most development teams, the cost of the open source effort quickly exceeds the cost of purchasing and deploying TestTrack Pro.

5. Developing your own solution is not free.

Many database products on the market today can help you build a solution from scratch. The problem is you are performing a custom software development effort that includes all of the costs you currently incur and are able to bill when developing solutions you sell to your customers. Seapine Software has a team of software engineers and quality assurance personnel working full time on improving TestTrack Pro. With an in-house solution, like an open source solution, the cost of developing your own solution quickly exceeds the cost of purchasing and deploying TestTrack Pro.

6. Bug tracking should be easy to install, use, and maintain.

Your bug tracking solution is supposed to save you time. It should not take days or even hours to install a bug tracking solution. The software should also work out of the box with minimal customization. You should be able to customize it as you are using it. And, you should not have to dedicate a person to maintain it.

Make sure the product you select saves you time, improves your process, and allows clear communication of the issues to all team members. Ease-of-use is a REAL benefit of TestTrack Pro. Seapine Software delivers a solution that is easy to install, easy to use, easy to maintain, without compromising features.

About the Author
Established in 1995, Seapine Software has emerged into a proven leader in providing advanced cross-platform software life-cycle management solutions. Backed by market-leading technical support, a rapidly growing community of customers in over 52 countries, an unmatched combination of flexibility, and speed and ease of use, there isn't a better choice than Seapine.


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