Issue Tracking for Software Developers

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Issue Tracking for Software Developers

Developer productivity 05 Feb 2016

Issue trackers are an essential tool to software development projects. These tools are useful in tracking multiple issues throughout the life of the project. Issue trackers can also be used to assign responsibility for tasks when a decision needs to be made or work needs to be performed. Issues can be sent to team leads, project leads, task leads, developers, security personnel, testers, etc. for various stages throughout the development of a software project. These tools can also be used to allow users to submit issue tickets and feature or upgrade requests. We will explore a few issue tracker tools available and some of the features each one has to offer.


Mantis Bug Tracker is a great tool that makes collaboration between development team members and their clients easy and professional MantisBT is open source and provisions simple yet powerful issue tracking capabilities. MantisBT uses email communications to keep everyone informed of issue updates, resolutions, or comments. Administrators of the tool can set access control per project so that only privileged users have the ability to escalate an issue.

MantisBT is an easy to use easy to install tracker tool excellent for those who outsource their software development. Since it is open source you can customize it to fit your specific needs. This tool can be installed on multiple OS platforms including Windows, Mac, OS/2, and Linux. The requirements for this tool are either Windows, OS/2, OS X, Solaris, Unix, Linux, or others. MantisTB works with Apache and IIS for web servers and MySQL, MS SQL, PostgreSQL, and DB2 for database platforms.


Redmine is another popular software issue tracking solution. This is also open source and is more of a project management web application. Redmine was written using the Ruby on Rails framework and works with cross platforms and cross databases. Redmine offers flexible role based access control, a gantt chart and calendar, feeds and email notifications, a project wiki and forums, time tracking, custom fields, SCM integration, email issue creation, multiple LDAP authentication support, user self-registration, and Multilanguage support.

While Redmine may not be ideal for task management it is great for traditional or Agile methodologies, issue tracking, and reporting. It is also a good tool for team collaboration between developers and clients. Redmine’s wiki is useful in the event of developer turnover so that you do not lose your critical project information. You can also work issues through multiple workflows so that issues in software development projects can be managed effectively.


JIRA from Atlassian is another issue tracker that is popular among many software developers. This tracker helps capture and organize software issues, follow a team’s activity, and assign work to team members. While Jira itself is not open source, Atlassan integrates many open source components into it. JIRA offers hosted cloud price models ranging from $10 to $20 a month and supports anywhere from 10 to 2000 users which should be more than adequate for many software development projects.

JIRA has a user friendly interface and offers task tracking and project management along with software issue tracking. You can easily integrate this tool with other applications you are currently using.

While the three software issue tracking tools mentioned above are not the only three available they are some of the more popular and common ones. Before you decide on which tracker to use you can view or download demos and videos on each one to see which one offers some of the more desired features and capabilities depending on your specific software development needs.