Top-4 Bug tracking systems or how QA to how to track errors

Any tester – be that a solo tester in an organization, a freelancer, or an entire software testing company – strives to make the most of the time at work.

This becomes all the more challenging as the number of tasks, projects, and customers increases. How does one systematize information about all tasks and bugs for time tracking purposes (in terms of so-called man-hours)? How does one see the big picture to set the right priorities?

Without a doubt, one solution would be to let developers handle such organizational tasks on their own. And yet this would be a short-lived solution that would last no more than a day or until it transpires that your vision is not entirely aligned with that of your development team. And you are likely to have a different vision more often than not, which is why this approach is obviously not the most far-sighted of all. There is a whole number of off-the-shelf solutions that testers and developers can rely on in project management. They are called bug tracking systems, or bug trackers for short.

The work of both a junior and senior QA engineer is nowadays unimaginable without a bug tracker. A bug tracker is indispensable when it comes to implementing a proper testing process. But how do you choose the one and only one that will be with you day in and day out and that you can plan your future with? We are still talking about a bug tracker here. Long story short, we have prepared a brief overview based on our own experience and popularity ratings of various solutions to help you save the time you would otherwise spend looking for the perfect bug tracker in a market overflowing with similar solutions. We highlight their key features and round off our review with a comparison table that helped us systematize the different bug trackers and choose the one that best suits our needs.


Key features:
  • Extensive server end implementation capabilities 
  • Integration with multiple VCS tools 
  • Integration with GitHub and Bitbucket 
Jira is one of the most popular bug trackers developed by Atlassian Software Systems. This bug tracker has a solid track record in projects of various caliber. It offers a wide selection of server end implementation capabilities. It can be deployed using many relational database management systems: DB2, MySQL, SQL Server, to name just a few. Jira can be integrated with a large number of version control systems, such as CVS, ClearCase, Subversion, and others. An undisputed advantage of this bug tracker is that it can be integrated with GitHub and Bitbucket, which greatly simplifies the development process.


Key features:

  • 100% freeware bug tracker 
  • Intuitive user interface 
  • Gantt chart scheduling capability 
Redmine is a freeware web application for bug tracking and project management. The Redmine bug tracker is almost as popular as Jira on account of its open-source nature and its cross-platform support and user-friendly interface. The application interface is available in the form of an actual web interface and applications for iOS (iRedmine), Windows Phone (Redmine To Go), and Android (RedminePM), as well as other user interface varieties. A distinctive feature of Redmine is that it lets you plan and track tasks using the Gantt chart toolkit, which simplifies task planning and project management many times over.

We cannot help mentioning that we use Redmine ourselves. On top of being freeware, it runs without snags and we can't think of any particular shortcomings over the 3 years that we have been using it.


Key features: 

  • Detailed reports 
  • Customizable notifications 
  • Screenshot capture capability 
Bontq is a very simple but convenient web application for project management and bug tracking developed by a company of the same name. Just like Redmine, Bontq is a cross-platform application that supports various operating systems. This bug tracker also has many useful features, such as the ability to generate detailed reports on tasks set and completed. Customizable Bontq notifications keep you up to date on bugs found or fixed and help you respond promptly to all changes in the development process so as to better manage your project. A distinctive feature of the Bontq bug tracker is a built-in functionality that lets you quickly capture screenshots and videos via a Java client, which is very useful when it comes to creating bug reports.


Key features:
  • Cost estimation and accounting 
  • Advanced task finder 
  • Automatic duplicates search 
Developed by JetBrains, YouTrack is one of the most advanced bug tracking systems on the market. YouTrack can be integrated with numerous CVS tools as well as GitHub and Bitbucket, which makes it very user-friendly. YouTrack is also valuable owing to a number of unique features that are helpful in the day-to-day tasks of the project. One of them is a development cost estimation and accounting tool, while an advanced task finder and automatic duplicates search functionality used in bug report generation greatly simplify project workflows for QA engineers.

This concludes our review, which covers the most popular products, albeit far from all of them. Our list of bug trackers is not exhaustive. To give you more detailed information about other bug tracking systems and their features and, more importantly, let you compare their functionality, here's a link to a more detailed bug tracking systems comparison table that helped us create this review.

We hope you will choose a bug tracker that best suits your needs.


Author: Anastasia Filatova, QA Engineer, ROI4CIO

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