Web Development optimize

Review: Bugzilla tracking application

Bugzilla is for any company that needs to keep track of bugs for projects. It's relatively easy to install Mozilla Public License and is free.

Bugs are an inevitable part of so many areas of business. And for anyone that has dealt with these nasty bugs, you know that keeping track of them (and the progression of their squashing) can be a real pain. That is why bug reporting and tracking software was created. And in the world of bug tracking software, one of the premier tools is Bugzilla, which was developed by the Mozilla foundation to track bugs in their products. It was released under the Mozilla Public License, so it's free to use. And in this case, you get so much more than what you paid for. But is Bugzilla the right tool for you? Let's find out.

Requirements

  • Database (MySQL, PostgreSQL, or Oracle)
  • Web server (Apache or IIS - running CGI)
  • Perl version 5 or better
  • Assorted Perl modules
  • Web browser
  • MTA or SMTP server
  • Additional information
  • TechRepublic Photo Gallery

Who's it for?

Bugzilla is for any company (any size company) that needs to keep track of bugs for projects. It's relatively easy to install and maintain and the cost does not keep it out of reach when strapped to a tighter budget.

What problem does it solve?

Bugzilla solves the singular problem of tracking bugs for bugs and defects in software. It does this with an easy to use Web interface that can be accessed from any modern browser.

Standout features

  • Advanced search
  • Email notifications
  • Bug lists can be viewed in multiple formats
  • Reporting and charting
  • File bugs via email
  • Time tracking
  • Request system
  • Users can track (or watch) other users
  • Secure system
  • Custom fields and workflow
  • Unicode support

What's wrong?

The only complaint many administrators will find is that, for non-Linux/UNIX administrators, the installation can be a bit confusing. And if you are tempted to install Bugzilla from Synaptic (or another such tool), don't. Install Bugzilla from source or you will have nothing but problems.

Competitive products

Bottom line for business

If you are looking for the best of the best of the open source bug tracking tools (and the best of the best even among proprietary tools), look no further than Bugzilla. Once installed, Bugzilla will do everything you need to keep your bugs tracked and your developers happy.

User rating

Have you encountered or used Bugzilla? If so, what do you think? Rate your experience and compare the results to what other TechRepublic members think. Give your own personal review in the TechRepublic Community Forums or let us know if you think we left anything out in our review.

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About

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.

6 comments
Justin James
Justin James

... I found it to be woefully lacking in functionality. It felt one step above a spreadsheet on a shared drive. This was a number of years ago, and potentially it has improved since then. All of the QA people I've talked to dislike it, and prefer Mantis (as far as open source applications go), or a variety of closed source solutions. Again, maybe things have changed since I last tried Bugzilla, but there was nothing to recommend my giving it another shot the last time I tried it. J.Ja

Xephire
Xephire

Tried to install it in our Windows only environment (Win2003/IIS6). Got all the steps done up to the login screen where I get a 404 error. Waiting for our IIS specialist to get back from holiday to see if he can find the error.

rajan
rajan

Hi, We have been using Bugzilla for defect tracking for over 3 years now. We were using version 2.x.x. till 2007 and the upgraded to version 3.2.2 in 2009. The application is installed on a system running Windows 2003 server. We find Bugzilla to be very good. Setting up and configuring Bugzilla on a Windows system can be a bit painful. However, if you have all the necessary software ready and follow the installation instructions to the T, the install can be easy. However, once set up and configured, Bugzilla is rock solid and can run for years on end without any issues. May be the reports could do better in Bugzilla. Report generation can be confusing. However, custom reports may be generated using appropriate reporting tools by accessing the back end database used by Bugzilla. The bottom line is that if you are looking for a decent Defect tracking system for your organization, which is easy to use and does not cost a bomb ( in fact this is one is absolutely free) then look no further than Bugzilla. Thanks and Regards Rajendran Menon Kott Software Solutions.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

How do you track bugs? What applications and tools do you use?

devZing
devZing

You can skip the server config stuff altogether if you use a hosted Bugzilla such as the one provided by devZing (http://devZing.com)

rajan
rajan

Hi, Why don't you try using Apache ? It can co-exisit with IIS in the same server. Thanks