In GetApp's Solution Spotlight series, we explain which software is at the top of Google's search engine results and how each can meet your specific needs. To identify the systems featured here, we entered the term "bug tracking software" in Google during the week of March 20 in an incognito window with the location set to the U.S. The first five solutions on Google's results, including those listed in the carousel, are described here in alphabetical order.
There are anywhere from 15 to 50 bugs in every 1,000 lines of code, according to Steve McConnell, software developer and author of popular coding handbook "Code Complete."
Software applications are built on several thousands of lines of code. Without a dedicated system to capture and fix all the bugs that are lurking within, you risk launching a product that is full of glitches and consequently losing customers, along with your foothold in the market.
Software bugs delay launches, increase downtime, affect productivity, and damage customer trust. They may also have a direct financial impact on your business; software bugs, glitches, and security loopholes cost $1.1 trillion worldwide in 2016.
If you've already started Googling "bug tracking software," you've discovered that there is a range of products that offer bug tracking capabilities, from project management and issue tracking software to stand-alone bug tracking tools.
If you fail to choose the right software platform, you risk alienating team members from using it or choosing a system that is incompatible with other key software tools.
In this article, we're simplifying the online research process for you by providing a snapshot view as well as comparisons of the top five products listed on Google's search engine results pages (SERPs) for the search term "bug tracking software."
Caption: Track bugs that are similar to those identified previously using the "find similar issues" tab in Bugzilla (Source: wiki.mozilla.org)
Bugzilla is a free and open source server-based bug tracking tool designed to improve product quality and accountability in software development. You must have programming language Perl installed on your server to use this application.
Key capabilities offered by Bugzilla include:
Bug lists can be viewed or exported in different formats, including HTML, iCalendar, Atom, CSV, and XML.
Automatic detection of duplicate bugs, based on a summary of previously reported bugs.
Time tracking to estimate and monitor the work hours required to fix different bugs.
Advanced reporting features to track changes, such as bug status or number of bugs, in a product. You can also export reports as spreadsheets.
Custom fields to capture and search data unique to your organization.
Sanity check to identify anomalies in the database.
Bugzilla also offers templates that help you customize your installation without the need to code in Perl. You can leverage Bugzilla's add-ons and other extensions to improve the functionality of your installation.
Bugzilla is free and open source. The source code is freely available for download.
There are both free and paid support options.
Free support: Discussion forums help Bugzilla users and administrators share information and seek help.
Paid support: Bugzilla provides a list of third-party consultants that offer troubleshooting assistance for Bugzilla for a fee that varies based on the provider.
To read about cloud-based alternatives to Bugzilla, check out GetApp's directory of bug tracking software. Filter products by features, read user reviews, and more.
Caption: The interface for creating issues in JIRA (Source: atlassian.com)
JIRA is a cloud-based project and issue tracking solution for software development teams. In addition to offering agile project management features, the application also helps users find, record, and track bugs in software development.
Key capabilities offered by JIRA include:
Ticket creation with relevant details about bugs, such as description, severity level, version, and screenshots.
Drag-and-drop tools to rank and prioritize bugs based on the urgency of the issue and the team's workload.
Workflow tools for transitioning issues, which trigger notifications to automatically inform the next reviewer.
A single view of all bugs and issues in the product backlog so developers can prioritize the resolution process.
Capture for JIRA add-on, which highlights bugs while you're using the software and not just during the testing phase.
Integration with distributed version control systems (DVCSs) and source code management tools, such as Bitbucket.
JIRA is an agile software development tool that helps teams plan, track, release, and report on the entire software development process, including capturing bugs and other issues.
JIRA's API supports integration with third-party tools for collaboration and source code management. You can also import bug lists from other issue tracking solutions, including Mantis, Bugzilla, Trac, and Redmine.
JIRA offers the following pricing plans, based on the number of users:
Up to 10 users: Priced at a flat fee of $10 per month; annual subscription is $100.
11 to 100 users: Priced at $7 per user per month; annual subscription costs vary based on the number of users, ranging from $1,050 (for 11 to 15 users) to $7,000 (for 51 to 100 users).
Over 100 users: The price per user per month decreases as the number of users increases. JIRA offers a pricing calculator to estimate your costs.
JIRA also offers a free seven-day trial.
To compare JIRA with other cloud-based bug tracking software on features, pricing, and support options, visit GetApp's JIRA alternatives page.
Caption: MantisBT interface that shows unassigned and resolved bugs along with the timeline (Source: getapp.com)
Mantis Bug Tracker, commonly known as MantisBT, is free and open source web-based bug tracking software. MantisBT helps users track software defects, and it can also be configured to work as an issue tracking system and/or project management tool.
Key capabilities offered offered by MantisBT include:
Email notifications to keep team members and clients updated on bugs, issue resolution, and other relevant matters.
Access controls that can be adjusted on a per-project basis to ensure confidentiality and security.
Customizable fields, workflows, and notifications.
Ability to tag multiple people on a project to invite them to view and work on issues.
Export reports and files as CSV, Excel, or Word documents.
Prebuilt and customizable filters to identify issues that are unassigned, assigned to a particular employee, or monitored by a specific team lead.
MantisBT's Redirect plug-in automatically detects when users are on a mobile browser and redirects them to its mobile interface, MantisTouch, which is compatible with Android, iOS, and Windows platforms. A single MantisTouch license is associated with each MantisBT instance.
The platform is built on PHP and supports Linux, Windows, and Mac OS. It is compatible with Chrome, IE 10+, Firefox, Safari, and Opera.
MantisBT's source code is available for free download, and users can build on it to meet their individual needs.
The following are the support options available for MantisBT:
Free support: Online discussion forums; documentation support for administrators, developers, and translators; wiki support pages; and a page to report any app issues are free for all users.
Paid support: Third-party services are available for hosting the application, troubleshooting issues, and customizing features.
To look at alternatives and compare Mantis Bug Tracker with other similar software, visit GetApp's MantisBT alternatives page.
Caption: A list of all similar cases in FogBugz (Source: help.fogcreek.com)
Bug tracking software platform FogBugz was reinvented in late 2017 with a new UI and some additional features. The new product, Manuscript, is an integrated cloud-based project management and bug and issue tracking software.
Key capabilities offered by Manuscript include:
Crash reporting feature for prioritization of bugs, tracking of errors, in-app customer feedback, and exceptions.
Integrated help desk that captures bug reports, inquiries, and requests and automatically queues them up.
Version control and peer code review, which help users track bugs as well as manage the resolution process.
Kanban and sprint boards for assigning and sharing tasks between people and teams.
Collaboration tools that help users share technical specs and design docs across teams.
Drag-and-drop interface for quickly reassigning tasks and dividing complex issues into subtasks.
Manuscript lets users send error or bug reports directly from an app. The software also captures bug reports sent by users via email or web forms.
Manuscript offers both a cloud subscription (SaaS) pricing model and on-premise installation pricing.
Cloud-based: Starts at $75 per month for five users. There is a 10 percent discount when billed for the entire year, a 15 percent discount with a two-year commitment, and a 17.5 percent discount with a three-year commitment. The price increases with the number of users; pricing plans are for number of users in multiples of five.
On-premise: Pricing available on request.
To compare and look at alternatives to Manuscript based on features and support options, check out GetApp's FogBugz alternatives page.
Caption: List view of all issues reported and closed in Zoho Projects (Source: zoho.com)
Zoho Projects is cloud-based project management software that helps users track projects to completion with capabilities such as timesheets and reporting.
Zoho Projects' IssueTracker module allows you to submit, track, and fix bugs. The IssueTracker module is also available as a stand-alone bug tracking tool, Zoho BugTracker.
Key bug and issue tracking capabilities offered by Zoho Projects include:
Defined business rules to organize issues and classify bugs based on severity, priority, type, module, and person responsible for resolving it.
Email notifications to alert users about developments in the issue tracking life cycle.
A consolidated view of all issues reported by a user, the issues assigned to different employees, as well as the total number of bugs that need to be fixed.
Custom workflow patterns to define individual workflows for issue resolution.
Link a bug with other bugs and create dependencies ("duplicate of," "depends on," "related to," etc.) to track and close them using the Link Bugs tab.
Allow managers and admins to configure the status of an issue within its life cycle, rename bugs, and delete issues.
Zoho Projects' IssueTracker provides a Kanban view where the entire team can view bugs as cards arranged into columns based on status.
This tool also provides a view of all milestones related to a bug to track the progress of different projects. The Zoho Projects Feed provides real-time updates of all bug activities and records the work hours of developers in a timesheet.
Zoho Projects is available in 17 languages and is US/EU Safe Harbor compliant.
Zoho Projects offers the following pricing plans:
Free: For up to five users and two projects. Attach files up to 10MB.
Standard: $20 per month when billed annually; for up to 15 users and 10 projects. Attach files up to 5GB.
Express: $40 per month when billed annually; for up to 25 users and unlimited projects. Attach files up to 20GB. Additional users $2 per user per month.
Premium: $85 per month when billed annually; for up to 25 users and unlimited projects. Attach files up to 100GB. Additional users $3 per user per month.
Enterprise: $125 per month when billed annually; for up to 25 users and unlimited projects. Attach files up to 120GB. Additional users $4 per user per month.
Zoho Projects offers a 15-day free trial and allows you to upgrade or downgrade the plans anytime.
If you want to check out other software solutions similar to Zoho Projects, visit GetApp's Zoho Projects alternatives page.
If you want more information before you make your final decision, check out some of GetApp’s resources that will help you choose the right bug tracking software for your business.
View a comprehensive side-by-side comparison of JIRA, FogBugz, MantisBT, and Zoho Projects on GetApp.
Read user reviews of bug tracking software on GetApp.
Learn about other bug tracking software solutions on GetApp's bug tracking software directory.