Best bug tracking software in 2017

Yuriy 20/06/2017

We will consider the most popular as well as not wide known bug tracking systems in this article. You will know more about what bug tracker is, how to choose bug tracker you really need, and of course, the main advantages and weak points of the different bug tracking software.

How to choose bug tracker

The choice of the bug tracker has a direct impact on the efficiency of the development process. You will save a lot of money and time of your stuff if you choose the appropriate bug tracking software for your projects.

Having no experience with such systems, it is extremely difficult to choose the ones you exactly need. That is why, we will talk about the top bug tracking software, selected according to various criteria: free and commercial, pure bug tracking tools and integrated to test management systems. Some of them are more suitable for small-sized teams, another are preferable for big teams and projects.

Before starting the consideration of the best issue tracking software, let’s define the basic criteria that should be analyzed when choosing a bug tracker.

Firstly, let me remember you what bug tracker is.

We can define bug tracker as browser or desktop program designed to help software developers to take into account and monitor bugs found in programs, users’ wishes, and also to monitor the process of eliminating these bugs and features.

The main factors make an impact on your decision can be divided into two key parts: factors concerned with your company and factors concerned directly to the bug tracker.

Company specifics factors:

  • Team size. Take into account that not only testers and developers could be part of your team. Clients or beta-testers also could be your team members.
  • Team structure. The structure of your team can be the change from time to time depends on project stage, project purposes etc.
  • Type of developed software ( open source or closed source). You will need a really powerful public bug tracker if your product is an open sourced.
  • Workflow specifics. You will need the well-customized bug tracker for the big and long-termed projects and big teams.
  • Corporate requirements. Bug tracker features should meet the software testing rules formalized in your company.
  • Your technology. You will need the different levels of issues detail depends the on the technology used on your projects.

Bug tracking system characteristics:

  • Easy to install. You shouldn’t have any problem with its installation.
  • Ease to use and easy to learn. You will not spend a lot of time and efforts for effective using the bug tracking software.
  • Price. There are some popular free bug trackers, but as a rule, they have some limitations in the functionality. We will discuss them a little later.
  • Speed. Time is money. So, appropriate bug tracker should be fast.
  • Useful insights. Well-customized reports and illustrated analytics really help to manage the bugs.
  • Ability to support a large number of projects. Naturally, that you should have an ability to work on the different project simultaneously in the same bug tracker.
  • User-friendly interface. UI should be understandable and promote the higher work efficiency.
  • Powerful and simple workflow. You should have no problem with activities like review, assignment, prioritization, resolving the bug.
  • Search by bug tracker. Search by various parameters should be quick and easy.
  • The maximum size of attachments should be enough to attached screenshots or video files with the bug.
  • You should have the ability to easily import and export data from and to the system.
  • The bug tracker should be integrated with the most popular test management tools (TestRail, Jira, PractiTest etc.) and CVS (GitHub, GitLab etc.)
  • Bug tracking tool should support fields and form customizations.
  • Mail notifications should be sent.
  • Multi-language support. You will really ned it, especially if your team consists of persons from different regions.

It was not the complete list of factors which have an impact on your decision. Sure, you will probably have your own additional reason to choose particular bug tracking tool.

Free bug tracking software

We will start our review from the simplest and free bug trackers.

MantisBT

mantis

 

MantisBT is probably the most popular and often used bug tracking software. Simplicity and convenience are its main distinguishing features.

Mantis is a web application, so you will need a web server (Apache, IIS, etc.) and a MySQL database to install. It is implemented in PHP.

Advantages and features:

  • Easy to install.
  • Simple user experience.
  • No limit on the number of users, issues, or projects.
  • It works really fast. All basic actions are performed for the minimal number of clicks and minimal time period.
  • Supports the main platforms: Windows, Linux, Mac, Solaris, AS400/i5, etc.
  • Multi-DBMS Support: MySQL, MS SQL, PostgreSQL, Oracle (experimental), DB2 (in progress).
  • High level of customization.
  • Powerful and thoughtful filtration system.
  • Easily understandable bug review.
  • 68 localizations.
  • E-mail notifications.
  • Time Tracking.
  • Multifunctional mobile version (iPhone, Android, and Windows Phone).
  • Plugins that significantly enhance the use of MantisBT.
  • Export to CSV, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word.
  • Source Control Integration (GIT, SVN, and CVS).

Some weak points:

  •  Only one screenshot can be attached during the bug report creation process. You can attach another one to the already created bug report.
  • UI is not attractive.
  • There is no option of generating a progress report.
  • There is no option to track stuff automatically.

Bugzilla

bugzilla

Bugzilla is one of the most recognized free big tracking tools. It is have been used by thousand of clients for almost 20 years. It is written in Perl.

Advantages and features:

  • Advanced searching options.
  • The wide range of formats for the bug list.
  • Duplicate bug detection
  • Time tracking
  • A lot of add-on for various browsers, email clients, and project management tools.
  • Informative reports.
  • A very clear and well thought-out protocol for solving errors.
  • “Watch” other users option.
  • Moving bugs between installations
  • 11 localizations.
  • Multiple database engines support.
  • Informative training materials.

Some weak points:

  • UI is unattractive, outdated, and inefficient.
  • Bug navigation complexity.
  • Less of customization.
  • It works slowly.

Trac

trac_logo

Trac is not only bug tracking software. It also can be defined as an issue tracking and general code development projects platform. Trac is the superior version of wiki, so you can use the experience of all of its customers.

Advantages and features:

Multiple platform support: Linux, Unix, Mac OS X, Windows, etc.

  • Cross-referenced hyperlinks between the database of registered bugs, version control system and wiki pages.
  • Monitoring and management issue progress.
  • Users management options.
  • Code highlighting and file comparison.
  • A large number of plugins.

Some weak points:

  • Multiple projects cannot be handled.
  • Limited functionality if you don’t use all its plugins.
  • Complex installation.

Redmine

redmine

Redmine is also not the pure bug tracking system. You can also use it as test management tool. Redmine is implemented in Ruby on Rails. You can run it on Unix, Linux, macOS, and Windows. Redmine is compatible with MySQL, PostgreSQL, Microsoft SQL, and SQLite.

Advantages and features:

  • Power functionality.
  • A wide range of users roles.
  • High level of customization.
  • Issue creation via email
  • 34 different languages support
  • Time tracking
  • Wiki and forum per project
  • SCM integration (SVN, CVS, Git, Mercurial, Bazaar and Darcs)
  • Lots of plugins

Some weak points:

  • It is difficult to navigate for new users.
  • There is no ability to manage access rights at the different levels (task fields, user etc.).
  • It is impossible to transfer the task to another team member, noting that the task should be performed by him/her, but leaving yourself an observation of the task.
  • There are no logical task chains. You can not specify that a task should start after the previous one have been done.

WebIssues

webissues

WebIssues is a comprehensive open source tool for issue tracking and team collaboration. It is written in PHP and runs on Windows, Linux, OS X, and OS/2. WebIssues is compatible with MySQL, PostgreSQL, and SQL Server.

Advantages and features:

  • Easy installation and using
  • Multiple users can work simultaneously on the same issue.
  • Issue creation via email.
  • High level of the customization.
  • Informative reports, which could be exported tin HTML and PDF documents.
  • Export issues to CSV files.
  • The comprehensive history of changes support.
  • High level of the permission control.

Some weak points:

  • No mobile version.
  • No hierarchical issues ordering.
  • No integration with CVS.

Request Tracker

request tracker

Request Tracker is the open source bug and ticket tracking system. It is written in Perl by Best Practical Solutions. Request Tracker is a web app, which works with any modern browser, including many popular mobile devices. It can be run on Unix-like or Linux operating system and Mac OS X. Required databases are: MySQL, PostgreSQL,  MariaDB, and Oracle.

Advantages and features:

  • Custom tracking workflows.
  • Email integration.
  • Command line interface.
  • 25+ localizations.
  • Multiple search options.
  • Knowledge base.
  • Clearly delineated rights and permissions.
  • Time tracking and task priority.
  • Custom dashboards with key ticket information.
  • REST API for integrations.

Some weak points:

  • Request Tracker doesn’t work with Windows OS.
  • Complex to install and upgrade.
  • Outdated design.

 

Commercial bug tracking software with free versions

Here we will consider popular commercial issue tracking tools, that also have a free version, not limited in time of using.

YouTrack

youtrack

YouTrack is a well-known bug tracking tool offered by JetBrains as a cloud-based service or a standalone server.

It is the product focused on programmers and development team. High level of localization made it popular around the world.

Advantages and features:

  • Well-customized tool.
  • Intelligent search.
  • Scrum and Kanban boards.
  • Export to CSV.
  • Time management
  • Special commands for quickly changing several tasks at once.
  • 17 types of reports.
  • Special tags for grouping issues.
  • Creating issues via e-mail.
  • Logical linking of the tasks.
  • Wiki mode.

Some weak points:

  • Support is not sufficient even in the paid versions.
  • No milestone tracking.
  • No subtask and forms.
  • Projects have public status in a free version.

Price:

  • free for 10 Users (Cloud version).
  • $20-1 000 per month; special offers for 2000+ users.

PivotalTracker

PivotalTracker

Pivotal is for projects developed under Agile methodologies, has a free version and is written in Ruby on Rails.

Advantages and features:

  • Easy setup.
  • Scrum-friendly tool.
  • Advanced UI.
  • You can totally control over your projects via absolute visibility.
  • Clear and effective lines of communications.
  • Streamlined workflows.
  • Real-time collaboration
  • Ability to log in with Google Apps or Google Account.
  • Well visually represented analytics.
  • Integration with CVS.
  • Sharing results via Google Docs.
  • Multifunctional mobile version.

Some weak points:

  • You can manage only 2 projects in the free version (Maximum team size – 3 person).
  • Complex to learn.
  • Info on the history of a project is not enough.

Price:

  • free for 3 Users.
  • $12.50-250 per month.

Zoho Issue Tracker

ZOHO

Zoho Issue Tracker is the integral module for the Zoho Projects software. It is the cloud-based end-to-end system, which allows to report bugs, manage workflows and correct defects.

Advantages and features:

  • Flexible workflow
  • Different issues categories.
  • Custom bug management cycles.
  • Detailed reports.
  • Flexible filtration system: severity, category etc.
  • Multifunctional mobile app.
  • Intuitive interface.
  • User statistics viewability.
  • The free version is not limited by users.
  • Integration with Bitbucket and GitHub.

Some weak points:

  • Problems with the support customers from different time zones.
  • Additional fee for Zoho Reports.
  • Complex to learn.

Price:

  • free for 1 project, 10 MB Storage limitation.
  • $25-80 per month.

 

The Bug Genie

bug_genie

The Bug Genie is a complete test management and issue tracking tool. It could be a good solution for those teams who need a centralized platform for managing their issues and independent projects. The Bug Genie is developed in PHP.

Advantages and features:

  • Simple and fast bug recording.
  • Powerful dashboard panels, which classify your project roadmap
  • Sophisticated wiki platform.
  • Ability to add any number of the custom field.
  • Agile projects support.
  • Configurable UI.
  • Live training ability.

Some weak points:

  • You can manage only 1 project in the free version.
  • No mobile version.
  • No file versioning

Price:

  • free for 10 Users.
  • €10-299 per month.

 

Lean Testing

Lean Testing seems to be the cost-effective solution for teams, which needs a little more than really powerful bug tracking software.

Advantages and features:

  • Powerful bug tracker.
  • Intuitive test case management tool.
  • In-app bug reporting ability.
  • Browser extensions ( Chrome, Safari, Firefox) let report bugs directly from browser.
  • Ability to manage the beta testing campaigns.
  • Different types of users permissions.
  • Export to XLS / CSV
  • Smart integrations with GitHub, Bitbucket, and Slack.
  • Informative charts and reports.
  • User-friendly interface.

Some weak points:

  • Customization is not sufficient.
  • Additional features are paid.
  • No ability to import files.

Price: basic version is free, but you have pay to many additional options: advanced permissions management – $10/month; integrations with GitHub – $5/month; сustom statuses and bug types – $5/month etc.

 

Unfuddle

unfuddle

Try to use Unfuddle, if you like tools looked like Trello. Actually, among its merits is not only the UI. Unfuddle has the set of different tools to help you in your software testing process.

Advantages and features:

  • Classification tasks and issues options.
  • Different ways for the tasks viewability.
  • Personal task reports.
  • No personal projects limitations.
  • Powerful task & issue management.
  • Ability to create as many projects as you need.
  • Personal support.
  • First-class Git hosting
  • Android and iOS apps support.
  • Time tracking.

Some weak points:

  • No Kanban board.
  • No task dependencies.
  • Less of documentations.

Price:

  • Personal projects are totally free.
  • $19 per month (upper to 5 people) – $499 per month (upper to 50 people).
  • +$3/per person (over to 50 people).

 

Fully commercial bug tracking software

Atlassian JIRA

JIRA

There is no doubt, JIRA is the most well-recognized brand not only for issue tracking. Companies and institutions like Microsoft, LG, BBC, Nokia, Boeing, European Parliament, Harvard and Stanford Universities use JIRA as project management tool.

Almost any kind of issue can be tracked in JIRA.  It supports agile projects. JIRA has a lot of add-ons that make this tool more powerful than others.

Advantages and features:

  • High level of customization.
  • Simple and convenient interface.
  • It could be run anywhere.
  • Cross-browser and cross-platform tool.
  • Easy and deep integration with other popular tools.
  • Unique features available only in JIRA.
  • Kanban board.
  • Cloud Storage.
  • Set of features for Agile testing.
  • The wide range of add-ons.
  • Tracking staff performance.
  • High level of security.

Some weak points:

  • Complex setup process.
  • You need a lot of time to learn how to use JIRA effectively.
  • It is not cheap for small teams.
  • Jira could be too complicated for small teams.
  • Mobile version is not so powerful.

Price:

  • Cloud version: $10 per month (up to 10 users) – $1 500 (2 000+ users).
  • Server: $10 (up to 10 users) – $36 000 (10 000+ users).
  • Data Center: $12 000 per year (up to 500 users) – $450 000 (50 000+ users).

Free trial period: 7 days.

Here you can find more info about JIRA.

 

EasyQA

EasyQA bug tracker

EasyQA bug tracker is the powerful integral part of the EasyQA test management system. It is the one place, where you have an ability to catch, record and manage your issues, tasks, and crashes.

Advantages and features:

  • Agile testing support.
  • Well-customized kanban board.
  • Import and export issues.
  • Different types of the issues cards.
  • Time tracking.
  • Integration with main CVS and test management systems: GitHub, GitLab, YouTrack, JIRA, Redmine, and Pivotal Tracker.
  • Powerful mobile version.
  • In-app bug reporting.
  • Server Log Error Handler.
  • Crash reporting options
  • Multifunctional SDK both for iOS and Android.
  • Build distribution
  • Well-illustrated and informative reports.
  • A wide range of the test and project management options.
  • High-level support
  • Cost effective
  • Time saving
  • User-friendly interface
  • Independence and cross-platforming

Some weak points:

  • EasyQA SDK is compatible only with Android and iOS

Price:

  • $10 month/per user, special offers for 500+ users (cloud version).
  • $120 year/per user.
  • special offers for 50+ users (standalone version).

Free trial period: 30 days.

FogBugz

FogBugz

FogBugz is the popular on-line tool developed by the FogCreek Software. Like many other tools from our review, it is more than just bug tracking software. You can also use it as customer relationship manager, discussion forum or for the evidence-based scheduling.

Advantages and features:

  • Quick and easy test case creation.
  • Bulk issue editing.
  • Powerful searching options.
  • Integrated wiki mode.
  • Smart scheduling.
  • Advanced customization.
  • It is compatible not only with Android and iOS, but also with Blackberry.
  • Integration with main CVS and test management systems: GitHub, Jira etc.
  • Powerful Add-ons: Agile, Time Tracking, Wiki, and Dev Hub.
  • Well-illustrated and informative reports.
  • Full audit log.

Some weak points:

  • No keyboard shortcuts.
  • No API available.
  • Low level of the localization.
  • Price.

Price:

  • $20-$1200 per month (monthly plan), $18-$1080 per month (yearly plan).
  • special offer for 500+ users.
  • add-ons (Wiki, Time Tracking) – $9 per month.

Free trial period: 7 days.

Axosoft

axosoft

Axosoft is a good choice for Scrum teams. Its developers say that Axosoft is “like JIRA, only better”. Anyway this is really powerful and multifunctional issue tracking software.

Advantages and features:

  • Inbuilt task manager.
  • Interactive kanban board for the issues statuses and progress visualization.
  • Scrum burndown charts.
  • Advanced sprint planning features.
  • Built-in or custom workflows.
  • Daily scrum mode.
  • Integrations with GitHub, GitLab, Visual Studio, Zendesk etc.
  • Multifunctional mobile version.
  • Wiki mode.
  • Free non-profit, academic or student account.

Some weak points:

  • UI needs to be improved.
  • Burdensome setup.
  • CSS doesn’t always load properly.

Price:

  • Hosted version: $25-$3 500 per month (monthly plan), $20,83-$2 916,67 per month (yearly plan).
  • Installed version: one-time payment – $250 per user (not less than 5 users).

Free trial period: 7 days.

 

Assembla

assembla-logo

Assembla is the cloud-based tool includes task board, file repository, and wiki database used to support the agile process and bug tracking.

Advantages and features:

  • Task and bug management.
  • Unlimited repositories of SVN and Git.
  • Backlog manager.
  • Kanban board.
  • Files and code sharing.
  • Customized reports.
  • Export reports to CSV or XML.
  • Client tools support.
  • Time tracking.
  • Wiki instruments.
  • Integration with popular tools and services: GitHub, Dropbox, Zendesk etc.

Some weak points:

  • No project priority.
  • No filtering options.
  • No tasks delegating.
  • No ticket statuses.

Price:

  • Monthly plan: $7,50 per user/month (up to 10 users) – $4,98 (up to 200 users).
  • Yearly plan: $6,25 per user/month (up to 10 users) – $4,15 (up to 200 users).
  • Special offers for 200+ users.

Free trial period: 7 days.

 

So, now you know a little more about bug tracking software. Hope, you will use this knowledge in your work. Of course, this is not complete list ob the best issue tracking tools. Maybe, you know other useful bug trackers. Please, share your opinions and experience in the comments below.