if you use a bug tracking system that you can extend to customers, can you share some experiences?
What is good?
What is bad?
What do you recommend?
I’m at the point where I have enough new customers and live projects that I really need to move it out of email!
Use one YOU dont have to support, write, fix, etc
DO NOT WRITE YOUR OWN - this will suck up your time fixing bugs in the software you’re trying to use to track bugs
Get one that is widely used and supported & fixed by folks whose ONLY job is the bug tracking software
Hosted is nice as long as you’re ok with who hosts it
That may play into your final choice - as some are hosted only.
There are of course bugzilla mantis redmine etc
They work well for lots of big projects
But they dont tend to have anything that helps you spot trends or get better at estimating or other tasks around delivering software
Fogbugz has some of these and they are nice capabilities.
BUT it also can lead to a flood of reports that you cant do anything with because their philosophy is “any report is valuable”. THe problem there is ones that arent actionable just pile up. So you either close them and piss off users or do nothing with them because they dont have enough details and piss off users because “you’re not fixing my bug”
I rather liked it because of the other aspects besides bug tracking that it did
oh, I don’t want to support it or host it myself. I want to pay as little as I can, but as much as I need to, to get something that works.
I am not looking for trends or anything to help me estimate better at this time. Just to aggregate and not lose reports.
I agree any report is important, but I’d be happier if I could hide the ones that are crap.
Low cost would be to host it on your own machine(s)
I’d go for Bugzilla, Mantis, or Red Mine - probably in that order
Those are the three I have used in the past
I use a hosted Redmine for internal bugs. Installing Redmine is simple, but updating was pretty bad. 9 a month and I don’t have any headaches.
For external facing bugs I use UserVoice. The UserVoice and the Redmine tickets have an m:n relationship.
Mantis has too many fields.
I highly recommend Freshdesk or secondarily Zendesk or Teamwork Desk. They allow your customers to email into the tool just through a standard support@ email address. You then can communicate back and forth through that tool, capturing all the details needed and tagging them into the correct statuses. You can merge and split tickets, etc.
Congrats on being busy! And please reach out if you want to talk about those options in more detail.
I use my own application, because I don’t need multi user access. My application App Release Tracker is currently not available on the MAS, but it’s planned to be available within the next few months.
I use Freshdesk on free plan.
Their free plan is not bad. Only thing that is bad is their App for mobile devices, best to stay away from that until they get the spam under control there.
gitea SCM has a built in one which I use for Softare Issues only.
For general customer support I am using Zammad.
I strongly suggest GPL open source software running on your own hardware if you rely your business on these.
I am running my Zammad instance for many years because of Privacy and digital sovereignty, making me fully independent of any data collecting and surveilling big techs. With pride I can say: Your valueable data is not shared with anybody else.
I’ve looked at all of these.
Considering the number of projects I have and the workflow I believe my customers will accept, Mantis seems to be the front runner. I’m going to try the trial.
Thank you to everyone for the input.
Good luck getting clients to use it. Some just…won’t…as it’s too much work for them. They’d rather fire off 20 emails and complain when you didn’t get number 14 fixed. Or they send all 20 in a single email with the same result.
I just signed up for a trial, asked a current customer to try it, and he said he found it easier just to email me whenever anything went wrong.
Maybe I need to charge by the hour for bug / feature reviews if they aren’t entered through a system that I can easily use.
a few weeks ago I asked a client to take on the task of giving me a single email with all their issues concatenated.
They did it and ended up saying that the process actually helped them in their own evaluation.
it’s just hard to get people to change behavior.
I offer more value when I’m writing code than trying to organize email.
well that’s exactly why I’ve chosen Zammad
I would say 60% of my tickets came in via email. But there is no problem with Email integration, if the customer is not writing his issue to the right email address I forward it. Zammad has multiple channels (Web, Form, Mail, SMS, Chat and even the so called “social” media though I don’t use them.
Here’s the Chat integration module you can enable on your website if you like . Kinda like Freshdesk, but free and on your own hardware
P.S. On BOSS-Level your customers are sending you an email with .docx Word-Document. with screenshots and description there…