What issue tracking tool do you use?

So, I am tasked with finding a new issue tracking tool, that captures all the necessary information, but is easy to use so that we can give clients access to log their issues instead of going round in circles of emails, trying to explain issues and asking for all the relevant information.

We used to use Jira for tracking our bugs, alongside storing requirements, user stories, change requests, etc. We are moving away from using Jira now and I wondered what were the best issue tracking tools out there.

What do you use and why do you find it useful?
I appreciate any answers you have time to give.
Thanks :slight_smile:

What is pushing you away from Jira? That knowledge would be helpful in recommending alternatives.

We use Jira and as much as I might grip about it it does do the job. Albeit slowly. (I have a tally of every UX bug it has, e.g. slow to load, three clicks to get to sprint page etc.)

If you’re handling customer/client requests with a client facing page then many support desk solutions exist (OTRS, zendesk, redmine etc.) but these are more built around how a support team organise their issues and tend to not have the bells and whistles that Jira or Pivotal have for handling issues.

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We currently use Jira and previously we used Qualify.

Qualify was far pricier than Jira and so I have been told and it also had quite a few limitations as to what we could get it to do.

Jira I would say is fit for purpose (I mean it does the job) however the way the defects are displayed I personally don’t feel that this is clear enough for the quick navigation needed in defect management- to update a large number of defects at any one time. I have found it very busy to look at when viewing issues and the display to be a bit sporadic.

I’m old school If I had it my way we would all be using Excel Spreadsheets allowing all the information to be stored within the same document.

  • Far easier to add in requirement references
  • Locate defects
  • Update assigned defect owners
  • Paste issues into emails for correspondence
  • Cheaper as this is likely already to be installed on the PC
  • Gives testers more freedom to add extra details
  • Defects can be stored on internal drives and accessed by other areas of the business rather than the cost for other users

Just my personal preference. I have used Trello before for documentation testing- might be worth taking a look found it a really good tool for working on cross site projects.

Ramble over…

Jacqui :smiley:

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It was a business decision, not a personal one, so unfortunately I have no control over it. I think it has to do with we can’t get everyone to use it in the same way and we ended up going into so much detail with requirements and changes that we got lost. It worked for me just fine, but as I say, I have no control over it.

I think what I’m looking to achieve is to find something that only logs defects, where we can track and manage those defects through the lifecycle and maybe in the future, configure so we can engage our clients in logging the bugs they find and getting them more involved in the overall quality of the projects.

Thanks for your thoughts Jaqui, really useful.
I think what we might end up doing is building our own software that does exactly what we want it to and captures all the relevant information needed for a defect. :slight_smile:

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Used bugzilla in the past but I wouldn’t recomend to use it as a customer facing tool as it’s not pretty.
Jira is the industry’s standard and it sounds like it meets all of the requirements you mentioned. Unless there is a cost factor for the company, the only reason I see for moving away is the lack of configuration knowledge. If that is the case maybe it’s something you could help them with.


I’d be extremely wary of writing your own software to do “exactly” what you want it to do as you’ll still have the split in the team, some will like the new tool and some will want something else.

The horse may have bolted already on JIRA, but quite often it is the workflow setup that teams dislike when it comes to using JIRA. One client I went to a while back used a spreadsheet to track their defects because JIRA was so unusable!
So, part of your research may be well spent examining why your clients / colleagues dislike submitting defects to JIRA. It may be something as simple as having fewer fields to complete that will get people back on side with submitting via JIRA

For alternative tools, here is a decent list of trackers:

I’ve used Mantis before. It’s OK.
Redmine iirc I’ve used it one and it was ok too.
YouTrack by JetBrains looks good. Might be worth a try, particularly if you use IntelliJ as your in-house IDE.


Thank you for your suggestions.
I will have a look at some you have mentioned. :slight_smile:

I strongly agree with Shey’s advice. Been there, done that. My managers wanted a simple tracking tool, not the tool we had that did everything for everybody and required a small team for its care and feeding. I was charged with doing something quick and simple for the project. As Shey suggests, I found members of our team had requirements I could not know in advance. The tool was under construction as it was being used. And the platform had issues. So no, it wasn’t quick or simple. I made it work and learned a lot. One of the lessons was not to do that again.

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We use Jira and combine that with TestRail to provide both test management and issue tracking. From a managerial perspective it also provides me with great reporting features that you simply don’t have without a huge amount of manual work using something like spreadsheets. I have a team of 25 testers across two locations, so manually doing this without tools is just plain foolhardy…especially on a pipeline of more than 40 test projects (although not all in test at once :slight_smile: )

It helps remain organised in a very complex environment.

I have used a few tools in my time…spreadsheets, Qualify, Polarion, HPQC etc…but for the cost v out the box features I have not yet found something to rival a Jira / TestRail combo (

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If people aren’t using this tool properly then why would they use another tool properly (where “properly” is a subjective abstract)? I can give lists of tools like Trello and Bugzilla and Pivotal so on, but going into too much detail is usually a process problem, not a tool problem.

The decision on tools depends on what you want to achieve (what you want to track, what data you want to mine, having an API and so on). The worst thing to do is to make a tool decision based on what you think will change when you’ve got it. People will do what they always have done with the new tool instead.


For internal use I enjoy working with Waffle, Github and Pivotal Tracker. Trello can also be a good option.
Now if you want something simple for client-facing, the easiest and most cost effective tools I know are: DoneDone (https://www.getdonedone.com/plans-pricing/) or Lighthouse (lighthouseapp.com). Another option is Redmine (someone else mentioned that in the answers), you can customize it and use it both internally and externally. The UI is intuitive and overall it’s easy to use.

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We’re a big fan of Mantis BT for it’s simplicity and ease of use, but it has it limits in comparison to Jira. A similar project management tool like Atlassian Suite is Phabricator which was original build in-house at Facebook. It requires a bit more technical assistance to set it up, but once implemented correctly it offers a full suite of tools aimed at testing, analysing and deploying projects with command-line tools to automate processes and workflows. Learning how to use it might take some time, but once you understand how all things are working together it’s a true powerhouse wiping the whole Atlassian Suite of the table. If you don’t want to bother manage it yourself, you can use their paid service Falicity.

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We have a list of bug tracking tools here - https://dojo.ministryoftesting.com/dojo/lessons/bug-management-tools

I will see if any are missing from the list and get it updated.


I cant ser Redmine on the list.

What features do you need to externally expose? Is it just initial ticket creation, or are you hoping to expose workflow, responses, etc? Put another way, are you looking for a bug tracking system, customer service/helpdesk type solution, or some hybrid?

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Moving away from an issue tracker as flexible as Jira and replacing it with defect tracking is a poor business decision in my mind.

If Jira is too expensive look at YouTrack from the JetBrains gang. But if you’re only tracking bugs, where is your traceability?

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Thank you!
We used to use the same combination and I used to be able to handle it really well. But the decision was taken out of my hands unfortunately. We have started to use YouTrack, specifically for tracking bugs and we still use TestRail for capturing test cases etc.
It’s going well for now, but we’ll see how it goes. :slight_smile:

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Thank s for your comments…which I totally agree with! :smile:
I’ve had this exact argument a few times this year already!