Software development can often be compared to insanity.
A project will often start auspiciously enough when a company decides that it needs a new application or should streamline legacy software. The creative development phase can be a great way to showcase talent in a company, but soon enough, the real difficulty of the process rears its head: finding and tracking bugs.
Suddenly, a company finds itself with rooms of programmers, all doing the same things again and again – and always with the same result – more bugs. Each one must be found and squashed before a program is ready to be deployed on company computers, and this can be not only a time and resource-intensive process, but can lead to the burnout of software developers and IT techs alike.
Thankfully, a number of services have sprung up to assist companies in managing and tracking their bugs, as well as the solutions needed to resolve them. Many fee-based options exist, but there are also several that are free and maintained by a community of developers that businesses can take advantage of in order to help complete their software projects.
Bugzilla is server software that is designed to help companies manage their software development by tracking and recording bugs or defects in code. Maintained by the Mozilla community, Bugzilla is under active development and has a number of features that are typically found in for-pay solutions. Companies can track bugs and code changes, review patches, and manage QA, all for free.
Mantis is also free tracking software that is Web-based and written in PHP. It will work with MySQL, MS SQL, and PostgreSQL. The Mantis BT will work with databases and a Webserver and has been installed on everything from Windows to Linux and OS/2, and it can be run with almost any Web browser. Released under the GNU Public License, Mantis is under constant development, with version 1.3.0 currently in the works.
Redmine uses a Ruby on Rails framework which is both cross-platform and cross-database. With per project wikis and forums along with time tracking and email issue creation, this open source bug tracker offers companies a host of options to improve their software.
While all of these bug trackers can be run as a Web application from a company’s local server, it can be worthwhile for a company to consider a bug tracker VPS or shared hosting solution. By using a hosted Mantis VPS or Bugzilla VPS running on a dedicated VM in another location, a company can not only make sure that local resources remain free to be used effectively, but that bug tracking software isn’t compromised by the program it is being used to track.
This can happen if upgrades are being made to a legacy O/S as an example, or if a company is making significant changes to wide-ranging systems that they use. If local performance is being compromised by the work being done, even a web-based bug tracker may not be able to keep up with the demands of developers in order to ensure that defects are properly tracked and remedied.
A hosted VPS environment, SaaS option or shared hosting environment can provide a company with the separation it needs for a bug tracker to be able to do its job and not become a source of problems itself. By ensuring resources are available for any bug tracking system, a company can ensure that it is able to not only do its job, but provide the most up-to-date information for programmers and IT techs.