Issue-tracking systems for Agile development

On the right Trac

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I have never felt comfortable using Microsoft’s Project Server despite using it for many software projects. I don't think Project Server is suited for software development, but is more a general purpose project management tool.

Software projects are not like building an apartment or making a road. Agile development, in particular, is different to regular projects. We build something first, and then add new features and change modules to make a better product - but not a final one.

I gave up my .NET job a month ago and now I plan to migrate back to PHP development with Zend Framework and AJAX technology, which I believe can absolutely be called an "Agile development environment".

So, I needed issue-tracking or project management software that I could use to track my project's progress, roadmap and bugs. I found Trac, which adopts a minimalist approach to web-based software project management, is integrated with Subversion, and has a built-in Wiki system and detailed reporting tools.

Trac is mostly used for Agile web development projects, and was exactly what I was looking for. There are alternatives to Trac, though, and during my research I compiled a list of a dozen open source bug-tracking systems, most of which are minimalist and simple to use, and suited to Agile, web-based software projects.

Here, then, is my list:

  • Trac is a web-based software project management and bug/issue tracking system. It provides an interface to Subversion and an integrated wiki.
  • Roundup is a simple to use and install issue-tracking system with command-line, web and email interfaces.
  • Mantis is a free and popular web-based bug-tracking system, written in PHP and that works with MySQL, Microsoft's SQL Server, and PostgreSQL and a web server.
  • Flyspray is a simple, web-based bug-tracking system written in PHP for assisting with software development.
  • Whups is Horde's bug-tracking and ticketing system, designed to be extremely flexible in the way users define different kinds of tickets, different lifecycles (sets of states) and priorities for each kind of ticket, and for mixing types of tickets into sets of queues.
  • EZ-Ticket is a PHP/SQL web based ticket system, built with simplicity in mind. This has the same functionality others have but without the complexity, making it efficient and effective.
  • Eventum is a user-friendly and flexible issue-tracking system that can be used by a support department to track incoming technical support requests, or by a software development team to quickly organize tasks and bugs.
  • BugTracker.NET is a free, open-source, web-based bug- or customer support issue-tracker written using ASP.NET, C#, and Microsoft's SQL Server.
  • phpBugTracker is a web-based bug-tracker with functionality similar to other issue-tracking systems, such as Bugzilla. Its design focuses on separating the presentation, application, and database layers.
  • Zwiki Tracker is a simple issue-tracking system which can be enabled in any zwiki. Issues can be created via web form, by mail-in, or by renaming an ordinary wiki page.
  • BUGS - the Bug Genie is an open source enterprise level issue-tracking system, built on open source technology. BUGS offers an advanced tool to manage bug reports, feature requests and user feedback for your products.
  • JTrac is an open source and highly customisable issue-tracking web-application written in Java.

Copyright © Bayarsaikhan Volodya. Originally published at

A specialist in Java, .NET and open source for distributed online development, Bayarsaikhan Volodya blogs frequently about his experiences while providing comparative analysis at

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