Bug Tracking Should Be Elemental - InformationWeek

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Software // Enterprise Applications
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Bug Tracking Should Be Elemental

New service lets companies manage software bugs online

Undetected software bugs are a drain on business productivity. The National Institute of Standards and Technology estimated in The Economic Impacts of Inadequate Software Testing a year ago that failure to catch software glitches and bugs resulted in an annual productivity loss of $22.2 billion to $59.5 billion.

Now a company has launched a low-cost, online service to help stem the losses. Elementool Inc.'s Web-based bug storage and reporting service helps software testers track bugs more effectively than in-house software tools. With it, a development team can store thousands of bugs and related information. Pricing ranges from $19.99 to $59.99 per month for unlimited use.

Hewlett-Packard's Service Provider program, which supports third-party service suppliers, tracks software glitches that arise as suppliers and HP products interoperate. Using Elementool, the group has improved its ability to categorize and filter bugs for quick reference, IT project manager Nick Vitovitch says. Vitovitch considered an in-house bug tracking program, but after looking at cost "and the amount of time and energy we would need to spend to manage a tracking application, Elementool was a clear choice," he says.

WorkForce OS, a supplier of TheSkillsMatch human-resource management software, has used Bug Tracking for 18 months to capture bugs in its own software and record complaints, suggestions, and proposed enhancements from customers. The simplicity and Web-based nature of the software makes handling customer complaints easier, says Edward Huser, VP of development. "If a call comes through customer care and can't be answered, the question can be forwarded to a developer," he says. "If somebody handling the call in New Jersey doesn't know the answer, a product manager in California can handle it."

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