Sunday, July 29, 2012

Building A Bug Tracking Database

Whenever you're working with new software, and especially if you're working in development, you're bound to encounter bugs. A good bug tracking system is essential. You might choose to employ standardised bug tracking software, or you might prefer to build a bug tracking database geared to your specific needs.

Building a bug tracking database is essentially quite simple. All you need is a record of what the bug was, what it did, how it occurred, and how severe the problems it caused were. The tricky bit is setting up a bug tracking report system which will make sure everyone contributing to the bug tracking database interprets this in the same way. The safest way is to provide a bug tracking form which use simple language and leaves space for additional comments. Encourage contributors to provide extra information, especially if they're not sure of the exact cause of the bug. Bug tracking is most efficient when you can use your bug tracking database to compare these reports side by side and determine common factors. Make sure each report includes its contributor's name so that you have somebody to contact to clear up any uncertainties.

Establishing the severity of problems when bug tracking is more important than it might seem, because this is what enables you to set priorities within your bug tracking and solutions development scheme. Bug tracking alone is of limited use unless you're able to build a practical schedule for tackling the problems at hand. Naturally, a good bug tracking database will also keep a record of the times and dates when bugs occurred so that you can determine when solutions have worked or when other system changes have led to their disappearance. It's helpful to keep a note, alongside your bug tracking database, detailing when new pieces of software were added to the system.

Building a bug tracking database from scratch might sound like hard work, but it's often the best way to ensure an efficient bug tracking process which suits the people you have to work with. After all, if it's going to be done, it's worth making sure that it's done effectively.

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