Monitor product defects with this bug-tracking software

If you produce and sell software, you know the importance of tracking product defects. You must have a comprehensive technical support database so that your customers have a reliable defect support system. Soffront Software's Track 5.0, a bug-tracking system, provides that database.

Track is a client/server-based defect tracking and technical support database that includes a Windows 95 interface. You can create custom screens and views to tailor Track to your environment.

Setup Time
Track's client and server components are simple to install and set up. I installed the client component for my test version on a Windows NT workstation and the server component on a dual-processor NT server.

When you run Track's setup program, you have three options for installation. You can install the client and server components in one directory, the server component on a network drive and the client component on a local drive, or the client component (only) on a local drive. I selected the second option and fed my system the two 3.5" installation disks. The installation completed in a few minutes.

To ensure that Track is functioning correctly, you must perform several postinstallation steps. These steps include adding users, creating user groups, and creating subforms.

Track's Features
Using Track's default screens, you enter information about a particular defect, such as the name of the defective product, the name of the module in which the defect is located (if applicable), and the name of the person assigned to fix the problem. You also enter specifics about the customer (e.g., personal information and the customer's system configuration).

Track's automatic notification feature lets you specify users or groups to email when someone submits a new record or modifies an existing record. Track has a built-in email system, but the software also integrates other systems (e.g., Microsoft Exchange or Lotus Notes) through Messaging API (MAPI). I used Microsoft Exchange, and Track automatically sent me a message when I made a record change.

You can use Track to create three types of complex reports: text, graphical, and comprehensive. Text reports come in tabular, two-line, and detailed formats to let you review information in your defect database. Two types of graphical reports--distribution and trend--provide information about the database by type of activity and by time period, respectively. If Track's reporting options aren't sufficient for your system needs, the software integrates with Seagate Software's Crystal Reports so that you can build your own comprehensive reports.

Track acts as a version control system manager and integrates with Intersolv Professional Version Control Systems (PVCS), Microsoft SourceSafe, and Mortice Kern Systems (MKS) Source Integrity. This management feature lets you associate files with particular defects. For example, if a customer submits a database file that causes a software crash, you can associate the file with a defect report. The version control feature ensures that the software properly checks the file in the future.

Your company's Help desk personnel can use Track to monitor technical support activity. Track manages user support problems and generates reports that help you determine how well your staff assists your customers. Screen 1 shows Track's Query Builder Dialog window. From this window, you create queries and use them to generate reports.

Track includes a dBaseIV database. For better performance, you can upgrade this database to SQL Server. If you distribute software, Track is a worthwhile investment.

Track 5.0
Contact: Soffront Software * 408-934-7970 or 800-763-3766
Web: http://www.soffront.com
Price: $599 for a fixed license; $1499 for a floating license
System Requirements: Windows 3.1 or later, 16MB of RAM