IT Policies

Five ticketing systems for developers

The right app can make a big difference when it comes to tracking bugs, integrating with other systems, and working through development tasks.

There is a wealth of good help desk applications on the market, but software developers have special needs when it comes to tracking bugs. For developers, bug tickets need to be joined to the rest of the development workflow, and integrations with a host of other tools (development environments, source control managers, and so on) are quite important. As a result, the kinds of tools that are suitable for a help desk don't do a good job of helping developers with the tickets they work with. Here are five applications specialized for the ticketing needs of developers.

Note: This list is also available as a photo gallery.

1: FogBugz

FogBugz (Figure A) has several intelligent features for getting bugs worked out and development tasks completed. One of the most interesting ones is "evidence-based estimating," in which the inaccuracy of previous estimates is used to tweak current estimates to try to make them closer to reality. It also has integrations with source control systems. FogBugz easily integrates with Mercurial through Fog Creek's Kiln product.

Figure A

FogBugz

2: MantisBT

If you are looking for a mature, open source bug tracker, MantisBT (Figure B) is a popular choice. It has a number of unique features, such as mobile apps for Android, iOS, and Windows Phone and the ability to Tweet tickets in. It supports CVS, SVN, and git, and it provides a SOAP API for you to write your own integrations in as well. Also fairly unusual is that it supports a wide variety of database back ends.

Figure B

MantisBT

3: Trac

Another open source choice is Trac (Figure C). Like some of the others, it integrates with source control (git, Mercurial, and various common DVCSs). But it also adds a wiki. Trac has a limited feature set by design, and as a result it is easy to use and get accustomed to. If you are looking for a "just the basics" toolset with a simple workflow, Trac is a good choice.

Figure C

Trac

4: Jira

Jira (Figure D) is a Web-based bug and issue tracker that provides some nice visualizations of the workflow to resolve problems. It integrates into a number of source code systems, too. It also offers a lot of keyboard shortcuts, which will make it comfortable for many developers. Jira is available on demand in the cloud or on-premise.

Figure D

Jira

5: Team Foundation Server

While the help desk and ticketing functionality built into Team Foundation Server (Figure E) does not particularly stand out, its integrations are hard to ignore. With the tight connection between Visual Studio, source code management, reporting, and the tickets, it is easy for developers and managers alike to relate bugs and user problems to the activities of the development team.

Figure E

Team Foundation Server

Other choices?

Do you have a favorite ticketing system that didn't make this list? Share your recommendations with fellow developers.

About

Justin James is the Lead Architect for Conigent.

13 comments
umbertoeklat
umbertoeklat

You forgot to mention this. Have used Trac before & currently MantisBT. OTRS is highly configurable, stable/reliable, etc. We are using it from Helpdesk to bugtracker to approvals (just to name a few). It's a very good OSS. And I forgot to mention that it has one of the best ITSM features.

grafman
grafman

Redmine is awesome and has a rich set of plugins. It's extensible and has lots of great integration and workflow features. I love the simple wiki, and the fact that it does mercurial really well. There are some very nice agile plugins for it too. On the down side you have to test the plugins you want before deploying them. Some don't work as expected and some have huge performance problems. It's really difficult to install on Redhat lineage systems like CentOS if you choose to do it yourself. On debian variants you can install it with aptitude or synaptic and then a little bit of apache configuration and some rails config tweaks to get it rolling. Out of the box it's great.

oleg.chunikhin
oleg.chunikhin

Yes, I am a Redmite fan too. It is easily configurable, FLOSS, supports multiple projects, very flexible - you can configure workflow and access control scheme to your liking, and it has several mobile apps for iOS and Android. There is also an extension for agile/scrum suport, which looks rather mature (I have not tried it yet though), and a mobile theme (have not tried it yet too).

corrigang
corrigang

Also a Redmine fan; works well, reliable, can edit a main ticket body after initial insertion, nice wiki formatting in tickets, Mercurial integration, not overly complicated but lets you get good oversight over complicated processes.

keving
keving

Redmine actually does everything that each of these solutions does: solid ticketing system, mature open-source code base, svn, wiki, and additional project management tools.

fantazmabhz
fantazmabhz

I'm using REDMINE. It has everything I need since bug tracking to project management

Duke E Love
Duke E Love

I was using Trac but I have started using Redmine. I really don't need all the bells and whistles of Trac. I find it to be a better all in one project management solution for development.

adimauro
adimauro

Using YouTrack, and I really like it. Especially since it integrates well with Team City, which I am also using. Yes, I'm a fan of JetBrains software, in general. Can't even remember how to use Visual Studio anymore without ReSharper.

geoff.schardein
geoff.schardein

Very eclectic mix, not sure why TestTrack Pro would not be listed as well , being one of the market leading tools.

will
will

Assembla.com

BALTHOR
BALTHOR

I see that the Win Builder site is the only clue we have to writing an OS.

bkieler
bkieler

SourceGear Vault has bug tracking along with their source code control in their Vault Professional product. They also integrate with FogCreek FogBugz and Axosoft Ontime.