One of the hardest and most time consuming part of any project is the volume of testing and bug fixing required to get the app, software or website squeaky clean.
If you're actively involved in any development project, you need to ensure you've got bug and issue tracking setup so you can find and fix problems amongst a huge codebase. Keeping on top of issue reporting has always been one of the most demanding things in projects we've undertaken, and over the years we've come up with a selection of apps that are ideal for us.
Not convinced you need to have bug and issue tracking in your project? Not only does incorporating bug and issue tracking in your workflow ultimately result in a better end product, but it gives you a chance to allow your clients or a select private beta group to rigorously test and grill every aspect of your application in ways that you'd probably never even imagine or things you may overlook when developing.
We've put together a list of applications that'll help speed up your development process whilst managing all outstanding bugs and issues. All the applications can be used by a single developer or incorporated into a larger team situation, and some of the apps will handle the majority of the project management for you!
We're kicking off the list with this handy project and task management app. Asana is free to use and allows you, and your team to create projects, tasks, tags, comments, and much more!
Asana has an iOS and Android app that instantly gives you updates on changes to tasks, work assigned to you and what everybody else is up to in your team. You're able to assign tasks to individuals and break a large tasks down into subsequent smaller tasks that can be assigned to different people.
Got a client who keeps sending you email bug reports? You can add guest collaborators that can create new tasks into sections you give them permissions too. As soon as they add one, your main feed and list will automatically update.
Asana's main package is free and gives you unlimited teams of up to 15 members, unlimited projects and tasks. The only paid plans are where you want to have a much larger team.
BugHerd provides a simple way to capture your clients feedback, resolve any issues, track bugs and manage your projects. BugHerd integrates directly on your website allowing users to report issues by simply pointing and clicking on your website, gathering some information on the issue and turning them into reports on its platform. This app is particularly useful as it allows you to visualise your bug reports immediately by capturing the client screen and browser information (for those joyful cross-browser testing tasks).
BugHerd is easy to setup and you can get reporting bugs almost instantly. It comes with a handy selection of browser extensions that'll automatically attach screenshots to every issue, with other features including direct links, inline tagging, file attachments, full selector data and real-time discussions.
Prices start from $29 a month up to $999 for the unlimited plan.
Jira is an agile development team-based issue tracker that allows you to plan the development of your application, assign tasks to your users and keep track of current issues and bugs.
Jira, part of the Atlassian suite is ideal if you're already using BitBucket, Bamboo, Confluence or any of the other Atlassian software products as they all have direct integration into one another. Even if you're not using BitBucket, you can link your source code repository (through Git or Subversion) so that commits can be associated to a bug or development task.
Built into Jira are the tools that allow you to prioritise and plan our proposed features for your application. This allows you to work out the more important tasks and assign them to your users. You can also add a 'Feedback' option to your website which allows users or guests post new issues directly into the Jira timeline.
Prices start from $10 a month up to $1000 a month for their maximum 2000 users plan.
Mantis is a free-to-use open-source issue tracker for teams. Developed in PHP and supported on Linux, Windows and Mac OS X you can setup your own copy of Mantis away from everything else. Mantis provides you with project management, issue tracking, email notification updates on new issues, fixes or client comments on them. You can setup permissions on a per-project basis and assign users different roles customising the workflow to suit individual requirements!
Mantis supports a multi-project setup, issue change history, export to CSV, source control integration through Git and Subversion, time tracking, public or private news, instant chat, a wiki and much more! As Mantis is all self-hosted, there is absolutely no limit on the number of users, issues or projects, with the added ability to extend functionality through the use of web hooks and plugins.
Snowy Evening is an issue tracking application that aims to be powerful enough for developers, but simple enough for clients to use, engage and keep in the loop over project changes. It provides direct integration to GitHub and jsFiddle, with a simple and minimalist to use user interface.
The main dashboard overview gives you a summary of every open project you're part of, letting you quickly switch between different projects and keep on top of all of the outstanding issues. Snowy has a clever little 'smart search' feature that helps you find and track your more urgent issues, and, using the history function, you can see an entire issue's history from the moment it was issued. Snowy handles all the details and aspects of managing and find issues effortlessly and comes with a complete API that allows you to track all errors from within your own applications.
Pivotal Tracker is an agile project management tool that encourages the use of modular programming, splitting the main tasks up into much smaller less-significant stories (as its agile after all!). The stories are assigned points which help determine the stories complexity and its priority amongst other tasks.
Whilst acting as a project management, you can easily use it to track issues and bugs, creating a simple story for each fix required. Pivotal has a thorough API, web hooks and more than 100 add-ons to help incorporate Pivotal Tracker into your current development process.
Pivotal Tracker has a large amount of statistical analysis and charts produced reflect historical trends and help you spot project bottlenecks, allowing you to constantly manage scope and focus on what's essential. Using the stories points, Pivotal calculates a velocity based on the current workload being completed and the complexity of the tasks.
Prices start from $7 a month up to $175 a month for their pro version.
Other Free Platforms
Here are some other free bug tracking apps to checkout:
- Bugify (though if you want to lift restrictions, it's a one-off payment of $59)
- Lighthouse (restrictions apply)
Other Paid Platforms
Here are some other paid bug tracking apps to checkout:
There is of course a massive list of other issue reporting and tracking platforms out there - if you've got one you're particularly fond of, leave a comment below and we'll test and update the list!