This is a screenshot from a website promoting a bug tracker called "Projistics". It's a chart that compares the features of FogBugz, BugTracker.NET, Jira, and Bugzilla to Projistics. I'm excited and honored that the folks at Projistics consider my BugTracker.NET to be in the same league as the excellent FogBugz and Jira trackers and the venerable Bugzilla tracker.
Naturally, Projistics created a chart that just happens to show the home team as beating the competition in every category. It's marketing baloney, but, hey, if I were working at Projistics, I would would be cheering on the sales and marketing people - otherwise where is the money going to come from to pay me? I would have been happy to help the marketing folks create the chart. I wouldn't have any moral/ethical scruples against creating a chart with a bias for the home team.
It also doesn't bother me that the chart has errors. Contrary to the chart, BugTracker.NET does support "Bulk Modification". And, depending on how you define "Rules based Notification", BugTracker.NET supports that too. I don't know what "Active Data Source Fields" means. If you google the term, the only hit is the Projistics website, where it says, "Active data source fields added allowing user to link different BugTracker instances within and across projects". What? Whatever. And what could "Watch Unread Bugs" mean? Do they just mean the read/unread feature of an email client?
Below are two more screenshots of comparision charts, the first from Wikipedia and the second from a guy named Michael Flanakin who put the chart together when he was searching for a tracker. These comparision charts are from neutral parties - nobody is trying to sell anything. It's interesting that the selection of points to compare is quite different in each of the three charts. There are a few features that show up as points of comparision on two of these three charts, but none that appear on all three. So, even a neutral chart created by somebody with no agenda is going to be idiosyncratic.
I've been thinking of creating a chart too. My chart would reflect the criteria that would be important to me in a tracker:
- Cost (The commercial trackers Jira and Gemini are free for some organizations). Free is better.
- Open source. Open is better..
- Web-based or desktop. Web-based is easier to support.
- Implementation language and back end (like the Wikipedia chart). I've worked with php, java, and mySql, but my .NET and SQL Server skills are fresher, so .NET is better for ME.
- Ability to conduct an email back and forth within the tracker. If the tracker doesn't support this, then what ends up happening is that there is one story in the tracker and another story in email outside of the tracker. FogBugz and BugTracker.NET support this. Who else?
- Ability to capture screenshots and post them easily. You'll get better bug reports if you make it easier for your bug reporters.
This might shock you, but the only bug tracker that gets a green check mark for all of these points of comparision is.... BugTracker.NET.
Here's another list of comparison points - potentially important to you - where BugTracker.NET would get a red X for each one, at least for now:
- LDAP authentication.
- Bug logging by anonymous users.
- User self-registration.
- RSS (I'm embarrassed to say, I'm not even sure what this means) .
- Hosted solution (as far as I know - I'm not providing a hosted solution but maybe somebody else is?).
- IDE integration, Visual Studio, Eclpse/Mylyn.
- Time Tracking.
So, what would your comparision chart look like?
From Wikipedia's article on issue trackers:
From Michael Flanakin's comparison of web-based issue trackers: