Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Eventum Issue/Bug Tracking System

I had been looking for an issue bug tracking system in my spare time...I had of course had previous encounters with several bug/issue tracking systems (BITS :-) ) but had found them to be either not very useful in terms of information gathered and reporting (e.g. several in-house built/adapted systems I've worked with) or overly complicated for simple bugs/issue reporting (e.g. Bugzilla). Do you really want to have your users go through the pain of a million selections to report a bug, especially when most of these selections do not make sense to a user of your software ? Do you instead use a system from which you can not extract information how you want it ? After some browsing around, I have bumped into Eventum a BITS from the MySQL AB technical support team. I have been surprised with what I have seen so far....Here is a list of things which impressed me:

  • Reporting format configurable per user role. You can hide those nasty fields from your end-users, but still allow these fields to be visible/manipulated by higher privileges users. Decision control to where it makes sense to be.
  • Built-in release planning. Bug resolution can be assigned to specific releases of your software giving you a nice planning tool synched with your BITS.
  • Integration with Source Control Management (SCM). Pretty cool that you can have your SCM synch with the BITS to have software check ins cross-referenced with bug/issues.
  • Reports. Loads of them....Pretty useful the majority of them.
  • Time tracking (a dear topic of mine...See TrackItEZ). The system allows for bug/issue fixing estimation, tracking of time spent and reporting on estimate deviation.
  • Pretty cool nice visuals on overall bug listings...Eye candy I know, but often a picture is worth more than a thousand words... ;-)
  • Definition *per project* of priority definitions for bugs/issues. You can not believe the amount of people complain about the kind of priorities BITS impose on you...Roll your own then....It is a fact that bugs/issues priorities definitions *should* be different depending on the kind of project you are working with (a web served application project is indeed different from a pure desktop applications, different worries, different types of issues).
  • CSS driven design...Yup...You are free to make it as ugly looking as you want... ;-)
  • Email bug/issue reporting: you get to configure email accounts to receive bugs/issues into the system. Nice.
  • It's open-source and free (GPL).
I will indeed be playing more with it but so far it looks like these guys got their stuff right....Bravo! I'll keep using it and see if I keep liking it as much as I have been so far....