IT projects need a bug tracking (or issue tracking) system. Having a bug tracking system is extremely valuable in software development. They are used extensively by companies developing software products and applications.

There are lot of web-based bug tracking / project tracking tools. We tested the following tracking tools:

This test was a simple usability test and during testing the focus was on the following:

  • creating a new bug –  simple or not
  • new file upload – simple or not
  • uploading screenshot ability
  • tools for Windows, Mac, mobile devices
  • other (searching for tickets, comments…. )

1. Asana

Creating account is easy. Just add your email address. Asana will send an email with register confirmation link, just click on it. On registration page enter your name, password, add team members and your team name.
First step – create first project
Creating a new bug is very simple, just click on a project and in the header at the right side there is a drop down menu “New”, click on it and select “New task”. The ticket saving is automatically.

Asana

File upload is very simple, just click on project/ticket where you want to upload file, click on “Attach a file”. You can choose “Attach From Computer” or “Attach From Dropbox”
Mobile tools: There is only Asana mobile app for iPhone, for android there is no app, but you can use the mobile site from your Android’s browser(app.asana.com)
Search: search field is located at the left top corner and works quickly.
At the bottom there is the help bar with keyboard shortcuts.
Commenting: Adding comment is easy, too. Just open the ticket and scroll to the bottom and there is a comment field. Enter Your comment and click on Comment button.

2. Assembla

A 30 day trial account can be created. Just enter username, password, email address and select a Project name. If you want to create just a trial account select “I would like to enter my payment details later, or pay by check, bank wire or Paypal.”. Click on Start my trial.
After that select a starter template configuration(use Subversion Hosting with Integrated Tickets) and click on Continue to my space.

Assembla

Creating a new bug: Click on Tickets and under the Tickets title, there is a link “New Tickets”. Here You can define priority of ticket, can assign to team member, can select Milestone…
Only 1 attachment can be added when create a ticket. After when the ticket is created you can add more attachments. Just open the ticket, click on Attachments tab. There you can add more files(drag and drop worked ok, too), Google Docs or take a Screenshot with assembla tool.
Video tutorial on ticket creating and screenshot taking:
http://screencast.com/t/RnOvy1zT7UN7
Mobile tools: there is app for iPhone an d for Android, too
Search: search field is located at the right top corner under the username and works ok
Commenting: Adding comment is easy, too. Just open the ticket and scroll to the bottom and there is a comment field. Enter Your comment and click on Submit.

Assembla is very complex system, but after few hours of practice becomes very useful tool for project planning, project/bug tracking.

3. Jira

A 30 days free trial can be created. User can create 2 type of accounts: OnDemand – no installation or Download – runs on your own hardware. We tested the OnDemand version
On first page, you can add packets what you need in your project. Here you have to enter credit card information, email address, address to create the account.
To login to Yira, have to check your email address. In email they will send your username and password. The account creation takes about 5 minutes, after that have to wait to setup get finished.
Adding a ticket: just click on “Create Issue” button in header. Here you can specify many parameters, can configure fields, attachments can be added, too.

Jira

Video tutorial on ticket creating and screenshot taking:
http://screencast.com/t/Ua8sNtzac6
Filters can be set for issues, too
Commenting: open the ticket, click on Comment button and enter your comment.
Mobile support: iPhone, Android, Windows Phone

This is complex tool, designed for bigger projects.

4. Sifter

Creating a 14-day free trial account is simple, just enter your name, email address, username, password and project name. After that the account is created.

Sifter

Adding new project: Just click on “New Project” link and enter the project name, then select or create a new company. Click on “Create this Project”
Creating ticket/bug: Just click on New Issue link in header. Can drag and drop files or select from Computer. Can set the priority of ticket and can assign it to users.
When open a ticket you can add more files, leave a comment, change priority. When finished just click on Update Issue.

Sifter

Mobile tools: There is no mobile version for this tool
Search: search field is located at the right top corner and works ok
Commenting: Adding comment is easy, too. Just open the ticket and scroll to the bottom and there is a comment field. Enter Your comment and click on Update Issue.

This is a very fast and simple tool, not for bigger projects.

5. Lighthouse

Creating the free account is very simple, just enter your URL, email and password. After that you will get an activation email, just click on link and the account is ready.
Creating first project: Just enter name, description and save it
Creating a ticket: At the right side under the user information/avatar there is big button: “Create new ticket”.

Lighthouse

Adding files to ticket: it is simple and can add more files, just click on a green + sign and a new row will be displayed.
Commenting: just open the ticket and at the bottom there is a big comment field, enter the comment and click on Update the ticket.
Mobile support: supported android and iPhone, too

6. Gemini

Creating a trial account: just enter email address and your gemini space name. After that check your email to confirm the registration. After confirmation will get another email with log in details.
After the install completion you will be asked to enter account details.
Creating a ticket: in header at the right side there is a + sign. Click on it, enter project, type, title, description. Here you can specify the priority, severity, start date, due date, % of completion and can add attachments. At ticket creation can only add 1 attachment. After you can add more files to ticket, by opening the ticket and clicking on + sign beside the attachments.

Gemini

Mobile support: mobile platform not supported
Commenting: To add a comments, open the ticket and beside the Comments title click on + sign. Can easy add attachments in comments, too

This system is complex, but with a little practice can be learned. Good for bigger projects, has many options.

7. YouTrack

A 30 day trial account can be created to try this tool. Choose your URL, enter username, password, email address and click on Get started now.
You will receive a confirmation email, just complete the confirmation and your site will be shortly started.

YouTrack

First step: create a project, fill the required fields and click on create.
Creating a bug: Just click on “Create Issue”
Adding files: Files can be added at ticket creation and after, too. The tool can make screenshots.
Video tutorial on ticket creating and screenshot taking:
http://screencast.com/t/zgGqXMk8lq4q
Commenting: To add comment on ticket, just click on it. The comment field is visible, just enter the text, add fiels to comment and click on Add comment.
Mobile support: Full Issue View is specially optimized for mobile platform: iPhone, Android, Blackberry and Windows Mobile

The design can be better. This tool has many functions. After few hours, easy for use.

8. BugHerd

A 30 day trial account can be created. Just enter your email address and the online tool will be shortly. You will receive an onscreen tutorial to get started, what is very helpful if you see this tool for first time.
Creating a task(ticket): at the right top corner there is green button “add a new task”, click on it, enter description, assign it to your team member, select severity, add tags and click on “create task”

BugHerd

Adding files: adding file is possible when the ticket/task has been created. Click on ticket and at the right side the content of this ticket will be displayed. There is s section Attachments, there you can add your files to this ticket.
Commenting: just open the ticket and at the right side in section Activity write your comment and click on “post comment”
Categorization of tickets: there are three categories: Backlog, Todo, Doing, Done. Just drag and drop the ticket under the appropriate column.
Mobile support: there is no app for iPhone or Android

This tool is good designed, has many options.

Summary

Tracker New bug New file upload Screenshot taking ability Tools Repository support (included in install)
Asana Simple, few clicks, automatic saving Simple, upload from Computer or via dropbox account No Mobile app for iPhone,
Mobile site: app.asana.com
No
Assembla Simple, has many useful options Can upload files from Google Doc, too Yes, first need to create the ticket, after click on Attachments. Click on Take Screenshot. Mobile app for iPhone and Android Yes (Source/SVN, Source/Git, Source/p4, Source/Hg, GitHub, External Subversion )
Jira Simple, has many useful options Can add multiple files at ticket creation and after, too Yes, have to install first an addon(Bonfire – trial period 30 days) to browser and after that a side panel will be displayed iPhone, Android, Windows Mobile support Yes (GitHub, Bitbucket)
Sifter Simple, few clicks, good designed Can use drag and drop or upload selected files from computer No No mobile apps No
Lighthouse Simple, few clicks Can use drag and drop or upload selected files from computer No Supported Android and iPhone, too No
Gemini Simple, has many useful options Can upload files from computer No No mobile support Yes (Git, Mercurial, SVN)
YouTrack Simple, few clicks Can upload files, can take screenshot Yes, whole screen screenshot Supported platforms are: iPhone, Android, Blackberry, Windows Mobile Yes GitHub
BugHerd Simple, few clicks After when the ticket is created, files can be added from computer No No mobile support, has many other tools (Bug Herd scripts) Yes (GitHub, )

There is only 3 trackers with ability to take screenshots. This is a very important function in bug creating.
It was hard to decide which program would be the 1st, 2nd and on 3rd place.

On the 1st place is Assembla
PRO: simple ticket creating, good design, many options, good repository support
CONTRA: first have to create a ticket and after that can take screenshots, it is a little bit complicated in comparing with other two programs

On the 2nd place is Jira
PRO: simple ticket creating, many options, the screenshot can be edited
CONTRA: have to install addon (Bonfire) to get ability to take screenshots, screenshot without browser header, the side panel is used to take screenshot and reduces the screen

On the 3rd place is YouTrack
PRO: simple ticket creating, many options, whole screen screenshot
CONTRA: need to be redesigned to become more user friendly

    15 Responses to “Comparison of web-based bug tracking tools”

  1. A couple of comments from the point of view of our requirements — I am currently evaluating both Bugherd and Bonfire —will post a comment about Bonfire when I get a bit further through the process.

    1. Maybe it has been added only recently, but Bugherd does include screenshots.

    2. Bugherd also displays a FEEDBACK tab on the ‘guest user’ site, which allows the guest user to click on the part of the page that they want to report, or to send a general feedback comment about the site.

    Both useful options.

    Does this change the ranking of Bugherd in your listing?

  2. Richard Pike says:

    We would be very grateful if you could have a look at Webseam. We recently launched and already have some pretty happy clients.
    Webseam enables you to manage the review, update and approval process for web pages.

    Web developers just provide the url of the web site, whether live or on a test server. There is no need to send updates.

    Your clients (internal or external) can review the latest web pages at any stage, if they have issues they can log them directly on the pages (edit text, move item, change image, comment). They will be able to track any changes the web developer has made to the pages and either accept or reject those changes.

    From the developer’s side they will get notice of any issues raised and they will be able to make their own comments and status updates.

  3. Prashant Chambakara says:

    Really a nice article. Well compared all tools. Thanks for the share Szabolcs. When it has come to bug detecting tools, it has always been complicated which to use. Well this article can really help those with this issues. Taking into consideration I’ve also shared an article on listing major tools that are being used in a wide range. You can find my post here – http://blog.templatemonster.com/2014/03/14/top-10-bug-tracking-tools-of-2014/. Hope that might be useful somehow.

  4. Jerry says:

    Hi
    I really like this post, I use this list while comparing but choose one that is not in your list, mostly because it exist a test case management and the lowest price. Check this bug tracking system
    I liked the way it is doing screenshot 🙂
    you can add to your list as well
    Enjoy:)

  5. david l says:

    See this link for more bug tracking system and another comparison bug tracking system

  6. Aaron Evans says:

    I’m surprised that taking screenshots is such a high priority when file uploads is possible.

    But I understand that it can be a time saver. I’ll consider that when building a defect tracking app. Ideally with integration for third party tools for screenshots, screen recording (and audio) and snippets.

    • Built-in screenshot making is not the most important for a good issue tracker, but it is very welcome.
      It can save a lot of time, when the screenshot/screen recording is available direct from browser and testers can directly upload to the ticket, no need to save locally and upload after.
      Also it is very useful if the browser/OS data is imported automatically to the ticket as well.

  7. DebugMe says:

    Excellent post, really enjoyed it, thanks so much for sharing. One question: did you checked how these tools integrate with each other? I think it could prove to be pretty important when you choose a solution. Thanks!

    It’d be also great if you could take a look at our new bug tracking, feedback and project management tool, https://debugme.eu/ as well.

  8. Seamus says:

    I think this article is very helpful for us,it has solved my problem,thanks!

  9. tushar says:

    Hi, thank you for this post I agree with you that IT projects need a bug tracking (or issue tracking) system. Having a bug tracking system is extremely valuable in software development. very useful information

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