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Question About Bug Tracking Vs. Help Desk Tickets

The company I am currently with uses a Peoplesoft Help Desk application that tracks problem tickets. Currently they are also introducing Test Director a bug tracking system. But, it seems like they are erroneously mixing the two systems.

Peoplesoft is being used to track errors experienced by users and also enchancement requests.

Test Director is only being used to track bugs for a given release as found by testers and programmers during unit testing.

I am confused as to how to use both tools together and have a good work flow.

Any Ideas?

Wednesday, July 23, 2003

Your manager or someone got sold software they do not need. It happens all the time.

Wednesday, July 23, 2003

The Peoplesoft package is used in a corporate environment to track IT issues in production systems. Peoplesoft was not meant as an advanced BTS system, focusing instead of solving issues related to the daily use of a system.

Test Director, on the other hand, is an expensive piece of per seat software created as a development BTS system. It is meant to track development errors when dealing with developing systems and allow development team collaboration to resolve in code errors. This is a much more robust software solution that lacks ticket tracking capabilities, because it provides a different level of functionality.

To summarize, the workflow for these two systems is completely separate. One is used for development, the other for technical support. Now, if the company is using the tech support system for development purposes (such as may be the case with your feature enhancements), then you are misusing the software. It is very common to see both of these packages deployed in a corporate environment.

As a disclaimer, I have limited experience with both of these packages. I have worked in environments where both have been deployed and with team members who used these systems, but have not dealt directly with them.

Dustin Alexander
Wednesday, July 23, 2003

A brief note on my post above: Test Director is less of a BTS than a Test/Use system. It is used during development as a BTS / Internal testing system. Thing JUnit, not Bugzilla.

Dustin Alexander
Wednesday, July 23, 2003

I'm not sure I understand Dustin's explanation of the distinct uses of the two systems. But my experience is that having two places in which a developer has to look to determine what's on their plate yields an inefficient and non-deterministic work flow. Maybe it's appropriate here, but I can't see it.

Thursday, July 24, 2003

The difference is the audience. You are right about having the developer dealing with two systems is a bad idea. The catch is, the systems aren't both targeted at developers. TD targets developers, the other package is used by a help desk to resolve other issues.


TD is used to set up a testing scenario where I can check to make sure that the Full Name field at the bottom of Joel's entry box isn't swearing at me. I then use that entry in TD to make sure that never happens for each version of Joel's software I develop and install !before! I install it.

Then when I install it, and some user in my company can't post a message because his browser settings are wrong, he uses the other system to report that so a helpful tech head can go up and fix it for him.

Dustin Alexander
Thursday, July 24, 2003

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