Ask WTF: bug tracking?

  • Been tasked with evaluating issue tracking software for our organization. Unfortunately, there are a number of catches, and I've not found something that fits (or would fit without significant modification). I was wondering what everyone typically used for issue tracking? I've looked at FogBugz, Bugzilla, BugNET, Bug Genie, Mantis, Gemini, and BugTracker.NET. Our requirements:

    - Backend should be capable of running on MS SQL Server. The boss seems to be afraid of MySQL.

    - Frontend platform is generally unimportant; working on Windows is a plus.

    - Need a relatively simple strategy for tracking the same issue in multiple active branches (I've seen cloning, a "subproject" approach, parent-child relationships are nice, etc)

    - Source control integration would be nice (we're using VSS) but is not mandatory. Most bugs will be manually maintained by the dev team. 

    - Would be nice if it didn't cost an arm and a leg. 

    What I found: 

    BugTracker.NET: no first-class "version" data point. (what?) maybe not a showstopper, but not terribly encouraging. no obvious way to quickly relate bugs to multiple branches or even clone a bug into another related bug.

    BugNET: no bug cloning, but this was closer to what we need.

    Mantis: MS SQL support was pretty spotty; lots of failed queries, though I suppose this is to be expected.

    Bug Genie: No MS SQL support (but this was a damn near perfect package for us otherwise). DB-independence coming next release, but no solid timeframe on when that will be, and the SVN tree for it currently looks pretty dodgy. I get the feeling that php/mssql

    Bugzilla: Can't do MS SQL. Lots of annoying dependencies; Perl on Windows still feels like something of a joke. I personally like the Bugzilla folks and think it's a nice product, but it may be overkill for us.

    FogBugz: Had a native VSS integration (granted, this involved parsing the journal files by hand for a related "BugzID" comment; entering comments at all seems to be a major allergy of the dev team). Generally clean interface and we could get the dev team licenses for under a grand and host it ourself. Didn't see a way to clone an issue or track it in multiple versions.

    Gemini: Seems to be the most feature-complete and cleanest, with everything on my list except VSS integration, which, as I said, isn't a showstopper. Free 5-seat license.

    I'm leaning heavily toward Gemini unless I hear someone here really despises it, but really, any comments on any of them (or any others) are greatly appreciated.

  • I'm the author of BugTracker.NET, which, readers, is free and open source.   Through working on it I have become nosy about other bug trackers.  Gemini might be the best fit.  If you are satisfied, call it a day, but if not, then two more you might want to consider are OnTime and Jira which both work on SQL Server.  I don't know if they fit your criteria, but they might, and both have their fans (as does Gemini).

     About BugTracker.NET itself, you can add whatever custom fields you want very easily, including version found, version fixed, etc.  You are right that you can't clone one bug into another, but there is a "save/use preset" feature that lets you save a half dozen fields from one bug and use them in another.    You can create relationships between bugs.   It has terrific Subversion integration.

    Just for folks in your situation, I've put together a page of links to postings on the web like yours, people who have written a comparison of issue trackers



  • There's a bad link in the comment above to the comparison of issue trackers, so I've corrected it in this post.

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