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Jolts 2007: Bug and Defect Tracking

Jolt Winner

TestTrack Studio

Louie Hollmeyer, VP of Marketing; Paula Rome, Director of Product Management; and Kevin Stewart, VP of Sales

TestTrack Studio is a comprehensive defect and test-case tracking suite that combines the years of Seapine's product development into an outstanding software-testing workflow package. The list of features is staggering. Literally thousands of test cases can be constructed, managed, and executed both individually as well as grouped, with test results displayed in various charts, graphs, and custom filtered details. Issue tracking can be accessed via both a Windows-based Visual Studio add-in as well as a cross-platform web interface. Teams can be assigned to work on specific test collections and notified of issues via visual interface indicators as well as e-mail notification.

TestTrack Studio is also interoperable with numerous commercial source-control repositories such as Microsoft Visual SourceSafe, Perforce, and Borland StarTeam as well as CVS, and features a SOAP-based SDK that can extend its messages to other applications employed within a company's software lifecycle tools portfolio. Studio can also be customized for specific issue and test workflow events, states, and transitions. Security and access controls manage users and groups, and can be authenticated through ActiveDirectory and LDAP servers. Audit trail logging for granular events (e.g., state changes and user login activity) and test case outcomes are stored for issues and repeatable process invocation. Files and screenshots can be appended to a test case for additional data collection and analysis needs.

One particular feature in the product that is rarely found (or if it is, only as an expensive add-on) in other defect-tracking products is Seapine's SoloBug and SoloSubmit customer support mechanisms that allows customers to notify the developers by e-mail messages or web submissions regarding application issues that may have been encountered. This company notification practice is becoming more widespread in both commercial and open-source applications and is unquestionably a good software lifecycle practice to employ.

--Mike Riley

Productivity Award

Atlassian Software Systems

JIRA is a web-based project-management tool for small-to-mid size software development projects. . .one that I personally use every day, both in my day job and in the open-source projects I contribute to. At its core, JIRA manages software bugs and issues -- but it does much more. It manages the relationships between issues; provides a finely grained security model to distinguish different kinds of user roles; manages product releases to tie issues with releases generate polished release notes; and enables general workflow management for each issue. For most small-to-mid sized software projects, it is possible to use JIRA to track everything in the project. There is no need for a separate project management tool. JIRA is the dream tool for software project managers!

However, JIRA does have limitations: Being a Java EE application, JIRA runs on any server hardware or operating system, but that also means you cannot run JIRA from a low-cost shared PHP/CGI hosting account. And as a project-management tool, its pure web-based UI is limiting when you need to manage calendar events or update multiple issues in a batch. But overall, it is an innovative and well-polished product.

--Michael Yuan

Productivity Award

OnTime 2007

Two years ago, OnTime 2004 captured the Productivity Award in the Defect Tracking Tools category. The newest version, OnTime 2007, captures a Productivity Award again but goes well beyond bug tracking to include powerful incident tracking and process automation tools in a well-integrated package. An outstanding feature is its support for both a standard Windows client and a responsive, web-based AJAX alternative. What's more, OnTime 2007 integrates very well right inside Microsoft Visual Studio 2005.

OnTime doesn't skimp when it comes to tools for visualizing your projects' status. There are numerous reports and charts and the ability to customize them. OnTime 2007's improved security setup and its ability to send e-mail alerts on any number of conditions important to monitoring your project's heath, are welcomed improvements, too. All in all, OnTime remains a solid choice for a managing a growing range of development tasks.

--Robert A. DelRossi

Productivity Award

Software Planner Professional
SoftwarePlanner.aspPragmatic Software

The hardworking people at Pragmatic Software approach specifications, deliverables, test-case traceability, and defect tracking in a very Agile way. By doing so, they created an affordable, web-based Software Development LifeCycle (SDLC) tool that is easy to install, configure, and organize new and/or existing software projects in a straightforward, agile manner. All the essential elements of a solid requirements/test/bug-tracking system such as role assignments with group security, e-mail notifications, and project reporting are present and can be quickly accessed via an uncluttered, intuitive user interface. The system's generated graphical reports supply quick visual assessments of track status. Posting and sharing related documents instill the same simplicity objective via Software Planner Professional's ability to upload/download documents in bulk via its drag-and-drop front end. The product is also flexible enough to use its tracking structure toward list management and the construction and maintenance of project knowledge bases.

--Mike Riley

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