Bug Tracker Blog by Corey Trager

Other comparisons of issue trackers

by Corey Trager 27. October 2007 23:35

I obsessively scour the web to see what other people write about BugTracker.NET. Pathetic of me, isn't it? I collected all the good quotes here. You'll have to find the bad quotes yourself.

It so happens that in the course of my searches I have found that other people have written about their search for the perfect issue tracking system, especially the perfect free issue tracking system. The rest of this page is just a series of links to those other sites. For each, I have listed what applications they looked at and which one they seemed to have liked the best.

I've listed these links in chronological order, the most recent first.  When you read these reviews, when you see a feature comparision of A versus B, keep in mind that these issue trackers are continuously evolving.  The feature set now could be different than at the time of the review. For example, I've recently added Subversion integration to BugTracker.NET, FogBugz has added an integrated Wiki..., etc.

A word on terminology. All of the systems here are "trackers".  That includes systems oriented toward customer support or the help desk, like HelpSpot, to sytems oriented to software defect tracking like Bugzilla.  The author of HelpSpot has some interesting thoughts about the overlap between help desk oriented software and bug tracking software. BugTracker.NET, by the way, despite the name "BugTracker", is used by many as a customer support system because of its excellent integration with email.   In fact, you can configure its name and the term "bug" to be whatever you want.


Have you done a hands-on comparison of two or more issue trackers? Please leave a comment telling us about your experience.


Ok, some links:

Oct, 2009 - The poster discusses what questions to ask when making a choice.  BugNET, BugTracker.NET, FogBugz, Jira, Trac, Unfuddle.  Likes FogBugz the best,  but BugTracker.NET best of the free ones.

Oct, 2008 - A couple people asking "What bug tracking software do you use?"  "What is your bug/task tracking tool?".   The ones mentioned the most were FogBugz  (The website Stackoverflow.com is associated with the creator of FogBugz), Trac, Jira, and Mantis.  BugTracker.NET and many others with their fans too:

May, 2008 - Redmine vs Trac discussion. 

May, 2008 - Redmine vs Trac.  No conclusion.

Mar, 2008 - Several posts comparing Trac and Redmine, with the author eventually switching to Redmine.

Mar, 2008 - Strong and contradictory opinions expressed here about BugTracker.NET, FogBugz, OnTime.
No winner, but some nice things are said about BugTracker.NET

Feb, 2008 - A long thread with many posts and opnions, with more of a big corporate slant.
One poster lists Census, Eventum, Jira, TestTrack.  Prefers Eventum.
Another poster lists Bugzilla, ClearQuest, Jira, and PVCS Tracker.  Prefers Jira.
Another lists Bugzilla, JTrac, TestTrack, and Trac. Prefers Trac.
Another lists Bugzilla, Jira, Trac.  Prefers Trac.
Another lists Bugzilla, ClearQuest, Jira, Team Track. Prefers ClearQuest.
Another lists Bugzilla, Jira, Mantis.  Prefers Bugzilla.
http://www.linkedin.com/answers...what is the best defect tracker?

Jan, 2008 - His company tried Jira, Mingle, Sourceforge, Trac.  Chose Jira.

Jan, 2008 - The poster looks at Mantis versus Flyspray.  Seems to prefer Flyspray.

Dec, 2007 - Researched BugTracker.NET, Roundup, Trac.  Chose BugTracker.NET.

Dec, 2007 - Looked just at hosted solutions.  He considered activeCollab, FogBugz, Lighthouse, Mingle, TargetProcess, Trac, Rally, Retrospectiva, Unfuddle.  Choose Unfuddle.  Another poster claims to have tried 20 apps, including Jira, and chose Redmine.

Dec, 2007 - Narrowed choices to BugNet, BugTracker.NET, Track+.  Leaning towards BugTracker.NET.

Dec, 2007 - Tried BugNet, FlySpray, Gemini, RT, Trac.  Chose Gemini.

Dec, 2007 - One poster tried BugTracker.NET, Bugzilla, OnTime, says BugTracker.NET is "simple yet effective", but prefers Bugzilla.

Dec, 2007 - Original poster tried BugTracker.NET, Bugzilla, FogBugz, and OnTime.  Leaning towards OnTime.

Nov, 2007 - Bug Genie, BugNet, BugTracker.NET, Bugzilla, FogBugz, Gemini, Mantis.  Likes Gemini.

Nov, 2007 - BugNET, BugTracker.NET, BugTrack (wow, confusing names, huh?), MS Issue Tracker Starter Kit.  Liked BugTracker.NET.

Sep, 2007 - Bugzilla, Flyspray, Mantis - Mantis.

Sep, 2007 - BugTracker.NET, FogBugz, Gemini, HelpDeskPro, HelpSpot, Liberum, Polar Help Desk, Zentrack. Picked Gemini for combined a bug tracking and help desk app.

Aug, 2007 - Bugzilla, Mantis, Trac.  Loved Trac, especially for the Subversion integration.   Bugtracker.NET now has good Subversion integration too! http://aliasaria.ca/blog/2007/08/02/source-code-revisioning-for-web-applications/

Aug, 2007 - Reviewed Bugzilla, Jira, Mantis.  Recommends Jira.

Jul, 2007 - FogBuz, Jira.  Picked FogBugz.

Jul, 2007 - Bugzilla, Eventum, Kayako, Mantis, RT. Picked Eventum.

Jun, 2007 - FogBugz, Jira.  Not sure who won, but an interesting head-to-head.

Apr, 2007 - Helpspot, Fogbugz, Jira, Mantis, Scarab, Trac. Picked FogBugz.

Apr, 2007 - A poster has used Bugtracker.NET, Bugzilla, Trac.  Liked Trac.

Feb, 2007 - One poster looked at Bugzilla, Mantis, Trac.  Picked Trac.

Feb, 2007 - Bugzilla, FogBugz, Jira, Trac. Liked FogBugz.

Feb, 2007 - One poster tried FogBugz, Jira, Mantis. Liked Jira.

Jan, 2007 - One poster looked at Eventum, FlySpray, FogBugz, Mantis. Picked FlySpray over FogBugz because FlySpray is open source.

Jan, 2007 - Easy Projects .NET, FogBugz, Gemini, HelpSpot, Jira, OnTime.  Picked Gemini.

Nov, 2006 - FogBugz, Jira, Trac. Picked Trac.

Nov 2006 - ActiveCollab, CodeTrack, Eventum, FlySpray, Mantis, Pest, phpBugTracker - Mantis "in the lead".

Oct 2006 - Jira, Roundup, Trac.  Picked Jira, even though this was python.org, the other two were python, and Jira is Java.

Oct, 2006 - Gemini, Jira, Trac - Picked Trac, I think.

Oct 2006 - Jira, Scarab, Trac, Xplanner - Liked Jira the best, picked Trac because it's free.

Sep 2006 - Apparently tried Bugzilla, Jira, FlySpray, FogBugz, Mantis, Roundup, Scarab, Trac and others. Didn't like any, so wrote his own, but said Trac was the least bad.

Aug, 2006 - Eventum, Jira, Mantis, TestTracPro, Trac.  Best fit: Jira.

Jul, 2006 - Dragnet, FogBugz, Gemini.  Picked Gemini.

Jul, 2006 - Eventum, Mantis, Roundup, RT, Trac.  Liked Trac.

May, 2006 - Bugzilla, Mantis. Picked Mantis.

May, 2006 - Clarify (hated it!), Dragnet, FogBugz, Gemini, Jira, Perfect Tracker.   Liked FogBugz and Jira the most.

May, 2006 - BugTracker.NET, Dragnet, FogBugz, Gemini, OnTime.   Liked Gemini and OnTime the most.

Mar, 2006 - This guy creatd a matrix of 32 web-based issue trackers by 15 attributes as part of his search for the right tool.  He ended up picking BugTracker.NET. Yes!

Jan, 2006 - Flyspray, Jira, Mantis, Trak. Picked Mantis.

Aug, 2005 - BugTracker.NET, BugZilla, FogBugz, Gemini. Picked BugTracker.NET

Jun, 2005 - Dragnet, FogBugz, Gemini. Liked FogBugz.

Feb, 2004 - BugTracker.NET, Mantis. Picked BugTracker.NET.





11/6/2007 4:39:16 PM #

Hi Corey, thanks a lot for putting this list together.  I am currently in the process of researching issue trackers for my development team, and this list was like finding gold.  


ewH |

11/11/2007 9:17:22 AM #

Like, dude, this is a fantastically great list of lists. However there is one thing that your site is screaming out for: screenshots.

I can't find them.

Like many others out there looking for the holiest of grails for their particular needs, we simply don't have the time nor resources to download, install and configure any issue tracker unless we get some 'feel' of what we are looking at.

Either a demo site or screenshots would be muchus gracias!!!

Anon |

11/13/2007 5:35:02 AM #

yeah i tried a few, trac, jira, fogbug and yours truly
- trac = commandline setup, i basically stopped evaluating there
- jira = came across too complex, too many options/features (we are dummies here)
- fogbugz = limited but simple to use (this is the one we choose in the end)
- bugtracker.net = don't want to offend but didn't look as nice as fogbugz or trac, sorry but first judgment (subconsciously) is always looks. spruce up the look and feel a bit and you will see a massive increase in downloads

bumperbox |

11/15/2007 3:40:10 PM #

bumperbox - About the looks, I agree with your point. I think that our reptilian brain reacts in a primordial way, and that afterwards we try to explain what it has already decided with a veneer of rationalization. That part I get.

It's how to change BugTracker.NET's looks that I don't get. Add more what? Change what? Get rid of what?

Corey Trager |

11/15/2007 3:42:15 PM #

bumperbox - The appearance of BugTracker.NET is easy to customize, by the way, as seen here:


Corey Trager |

12/14/2007 8:23:47 AM #

Hi Corey,

Thanks a lot for bringing out such an useful tool for bugs i.e."Bug Tracker".i am a "Quality Assurance analyst" and previously doing my testing by using Bugzilla but ur new Bug Tracker is far better with all its enhancements..
I have a query to ask is that how do i add "cc" when sending the bug reports.pls reply me uegently if possible.


Gloria Devi |

12/14/2007 2:57:56 PM #

Gloria found it...

Corey Trager |

3/27/2008 7:28:41 PM #


I imagine that what bumperbox is talking about in terms of the "look", he might be getting at the idea of "web 2.0 graphic design", which seems to be includes the following: lots of white/light colors, gradients, 3D/plastic/chrome/reflective design elements. Here are a few references for you:

or just do a Google search:


Heather Floyd |

4/25/2008 4:39:05 PM #

Thanks for the nice set of links! I would like to add some input and put some impressions that I received from using Scriptlogic's BridgeTrak http://scriptlogic.com/bridgetrak system. I won't be comparing the tool to some others leaving the opportunity for others since I don't like comparing something that can't be compared apples to apples. Personally I haven’t used the tool that came that close to provided functionality and easy of use combined with level of automation that I found in BridgeTrak so that it would make to sense comparing something that has found not match. Similarly you can't compare a behavior of a service in an isolated environment in Windows Vista and Windows XP since there's no service isolation in Session 0 in Windows XP. Talking about features I liked in Scriptlogic's tool I would select some that make the tool stand  and simply those I found to be useful for me. The first step you start with any application on Windows is installation. This step is a pretty small one and takes nothing more than 'double click and wait' if you wouldn't count the need to set a SQL database to be used by a tracking system. Advantages. SQL is definitely one of the them. You don't have to work with some proprietary database where you don't know what to  expect to get from there. You just get a plain robust SQL server engine and a lightweight control that may be used from every point depending on how you configure it. The tool ships in two flavors but I prefer deploying both the standalone and a web-version depending on the PC that I deploy it too. On my desktop I have deployed a standalone version since it provides more ease in management and on-demand control features like a nifty set of notification widgets on dashboard allowing to control what we have received from users, how many of user requests we've already handled, percentage, etc. On my laptop I use a web-version which I work with right from within the browser. This is very useful since there's no limit on which tool I can use to manage the ticket database. I also like the way I can add issues to the tracker system. There are both the fully automated and the semi-automated methods which I can use in parallel. For example I configure a robot that automatically converts user issues coming from users into tickets delivered and registered right within the issue database. I like  that the whole underlying process of issue management is fully transparent for the user and doesn’t require any input from him while allowing him to control the process at any time. I configured the process so that the user just need to mail the issue to a mail address monitored by a ticket conversion system. The ticket will then get handled by pre-configured rules defining who from our team will be responsible to handle a particular user request. There's no need to handle each user request manually trying to find who will be the right person for this issue. I just configured I once, set the rules and everything gets managed automatically which is controlled by an issue ticket autoescalation feature. If the user wants to see who was assigned to handle the ticket and the process development  he can control that through the web adding his comments and expanding the information about the issue that he provided the first time. There's also a nice protection from user mistakes. If the user mistakenly sends e-mail to one of us here at the team avoiding the recommendation to send the message to dedicated e-mail address, we can convert such issues automatically by selecting corresponding command from the Outlook plug-in interacting with the ticket tracking system. Tracking system is a tools' strength. I like how fast I can find any information that had ever been entered into the database. That saves from the significant amount of work that you have to do when you want to find out what you have on this type of issue. For example if you find out that there's some issue that is frequently experienced by a number of users you can transform a solution made for the issue to a knowledgebase  article. That all provides for a better integration with user so that you don't have to think about what the user wanted to say, what can cause the problem or how you can further help the user to solve the problem. I like integration with a remote management feature of Desktop Authority. If I don’t understand the problem from the description provided by the user or there's no way for me to solve the problem other that just visit the user I now prefer using remote management and solve the problem interactively without needing to spend the time on visiting the user. Yes, when you have that many modules that the tool is providing you may expect a big mess with authentication. But I wouldn't be using this Scriptlogic's tool if there was no integration with Active Directory. All the tools I use in our environment have a tight integration with Active Directory so that was one of the main reasons why I selected the tool.

Martin Lorenc |

5/14/2008 4:23:11 PM #

Is there an upload template available.  We have been tracking bugs manually on a spreadsheet, and would now like to upload them rather than re-key.  Thanks!

Andy |

5/14/2008 4:34:28 PM #

No, sorry.

Corey Trager |

5/23/2008 10:59:25 AM #

@Andy: if you can get your data into a tabular format in Excel, then it's an easy matter to suck all that into SQL Server by either using the SQL DTS mechanism, or by generating INSERT statements inside Excel off of your data - an example here:

Tian |

6/24/2008 3:16:28 PM #

I've been using Mantis for a long time for software development. If you configure the source control integration properly, it's very good for this and only this. It doesn't have any bonus features like wiki's, time tracking or project management charts and graphs. Also it uses "bug" terminology as opposed to "issue" terminology, this turned off some people when we were looking for something to log infrastructure issues.

We considered using Trac, when we had a quick play with it it didn't seem to have project hierarchy features. It seemed to be orientated towards a single project only. We also discovered Redmine, and this appears to do the whole shabang. This thing is Trac on steroids. It's packed full of features that will keep management, developers and the clients very happy. I'd never heard of it before, and there doesn't seem to be many reviews, but it's well worth a look.

Sam |

6/26/2008 6:12:52 PM #

Phew...what a list!!!  I agree with that linked article above by Ian Landsman about the *blur* between service desk software and bug tracker software.  I've used Bugzilla in the past...and liked it for traditional software bug tracking.  ...but my most recent career melds the line between help desk and software dev.  We've been using the <a href="http://www.webhelpdesk.com">Web Help Desk software</a> for some time, as a help desk solution and an issue tracking solution.

We really enjoy it!  It's crazy easy to implement and their USA based Tech Support is simply stellar.  I do hope this helps!


Paul Rutledge |

1/28/2009 7:26:51 PM #

I'm doing my engineering project on ISSUE TRACKER.
Could any of you provide me with the information about
1)What is a issue tracker?
2)Various issue trackers available?
3)How is tracking done?
4)How is an issue tracker priced?
i'd be very thankful if u provide me with the information.

sam |

2/10/2009 10:12:16 AM #

I want to download Eventum for Windows, but cannot find a download link.  I can only find .tar.gz file for download and am unable to open it.  Any ideas?

Christo |

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