Defect Tracking in Software Testing: An Essential Guide
By Sakshi Pandey, Community Contributor - January 18, 2023
Defect tracking in software testing is the process of identifying, logging, and monitoring defects. This guide explains in detail the entire process of defect tracking.
What is Defect Tracking?
Defects in software arise from flawed designs, assumptions regarding the software’s environment, and miscommunications about the software product. A defect can be defined as a flaw or failure in either the visual, functional, or design aspects. As the complexity of a project increases, it can become very difficult to accurately find and fix defects.
This is why a specialized team for QA and testing is required to manage this defect-tracking process. The main goal for test engineers is to identify, log, and track defects from the inception to the completion of the software project. Engineers take on the responsibility of evaluating the defects found and prioritizing them for the developers, and they manage this process throughout the software development lifecycle. Further, the corrections made are also tested to ensure the defect is fixed, and the fix hasn’t given rise to any other defects.
In order to accomplish all these tasks, an efficient defect tracking system is required to be set up to manage the sprawl that large-scale projects can have with multiple defects. Additionally, defect tracking and logging is tedious work, and a system can help manage this task. This kind of system also makes it easier to gather and log client feedback, and any defect identified by them can be logged and fixed in new product releases.
Why is Defect Tracking required?
Software developers typically make between 100 and 150 mistakes for every thousand lines of code that they write. As IT companies juggle multiple software projects, they also have to deal with finding and fixing defects among hundreds of thousands of lines of code. Missing any of these defects can cause a major loss in revenue; failing tests cost the enterprise software market $61 billion annually.
A Defect Tracker is required because
- It provides a way to remember all the defects found.
- Allows the tester to concisely impart information regarding how they were found and what the issue is.
- Improves efficiency by helping testers prioritize defects based on time, urgency, and various other factors of importance.
- A defect tracker can be helpful in identifying the cause behind defects as well since log files and reports or descriptions are generally included to elaborate on the defect.
- The tracker can also be used to log any updates or changes made to address the defect. This allows testers to keep track of corrections and retest to check whether the defect was fixed or update any additional defects found.
- A tracker also helps the software testing team to gather metrics regarding defects and create preventative measures for avoiding such issues in the future.
- Lastly, the defect tracker creates a well oiled, efficient testing workflow that saves a lot of time.
Software testing is essential for any software development process; software testing teams uncover hundreds of defects, report them, log them, keep track of any changes or updates done to address these defects, and evaluate the solutions. A defect tracker provides a more detailed and organized method to keep track of all defects found in the software. Integrating a defect tracker in the test workflow for a project can greatly improve the efficiency of the testing process.
Also Read: Why integrate with a Bug Tracking System?
How to Design a Defect Tracking System/Process?
A Defect tracking system is a process created to manage and deal with any and all defects found during software development. The process generally consists of the following:
- Defect Detection: Defect detections are the first step to defect tracking. Defects can be found by developers, test engineers, and product testers or during the beta testing phase. Sometimes defects are found following release as well. Once a defect is found, it is logged using a defect tracking tool.
- Defect Categorization and Assessment: A report including the specifics of the defects is provided to the developer once they have been logged. The developer then determines the severity and scale of impact represented by each defect. Following this evaluation, the defects are segmented into categories such as critical, high severity, medium severity, and low severity, helping developers prioritize and fix defects according to this scale.
- Defect Fixing(Developers): Defect resolution is performed by developers, and it is a multi-step process to evaluate and fix defects. First, the defects are assigned to developers with relevant knowledge. Second, the developers then perform a root cause analysis on the defects, according to their priority level, to understand why the defect happened and how it can be addressed. The developer then solves the defect and writes a good defect report explaining the solution and resolution process. This report is once again added to the bug tracker and sent to the software testing team so they can carry out additional testing.
- Verification of Resolution: The software testing team will check the resolution report and retest the solution to ensure that the defect is resolved. If further defects have arisen downstream or the defect is not fixed, then the team would once again share the defects on the defect tracker and share the issues with the developers with relevant knowledge. On the other hand, if the defect is truly resolved, then the defect status will be updated as closed/resolved in the defect tracker.
- Defect Reports: The software testing team creates reports for defects. This report explains the defects found in specific modules, why they happened, how they were fixed, analyzing the trends of the defects, and how they were traced. Test managers then write and deliver defect reports to the management team in order to receive feedback on the defect management procedure and the status of the faults. The management team then goes over the report and provides feedback, assistance, or further instructions as needed.
- End of Project Defect Metrics: The development team learns through the process of tracking defects. Metrics of the defect finding and fixing process are calculated to evaluate performance, and data from the defect tracking process is recorded for future reference and to prevent recurrences.
Defect Tracking Tools in Software Testing
JIRA is a highly popular user-friendly defect-tracking solution. It can be used on Windows, Linux, or macOS platforms and supports several programming languages such as Python, R, HTML, Java, SQL, and C.
Read More: How to integrate Jira with Selenium
It aids in logging, prioritizing, and tracking issues during projects; This tool is not limited to being used for software testing, it can also be used in various other fields for problem tracking, for example, Biological Research. JIRA has several add-ons and can be integrated with tools such as Automation for Jira, Slack, Team Files, and Power BI connector to make the defect tracking process more efficient and generate more detailed defect reports.
It also allows users to create a customized defect-tracking workflow. JIRA includes features that allow teams to send email alerts, share screenshots or videos of the defect, and offers roadmaps, reports, and insights over the course of the project. Additionally, scans can be run regularly, and reports can be exported as Word, PDF, HTML, and XML formats.
This is a defect tracking tool with a tabular format similar to spreadsheets. It offers teams the ability to securely manage software development projects, share files, manage calendars, and track project milestones. SmartSheet offers a range of customizable templates for defect tracking to build a workflow that can be molded to fit any team’s needs.
It supports languages such as HTML and allows integration with various other tools such as Slack, Dropbox, PowerBI, Tableau, Microsoft Teams, and Google Workspace. SmartSheet also supports automation for defect tracking, and files can be exported in PDF, DOC, and CSV formats. This defect tracking tool can be used on the Windows and Linux platforms.
Userback is another tool for tracking defects; the point where it stands out in comparison to the rest is its features which allow users and software teams to easily gather data and create visually annotated reports that allow all parties to easily understand and address the defect. These aesthetic and informational reports allow all users to draw, annotate, and use video recording to accurately outline the defect.
Additionally, Userback provides integration with other tools and software such as JIRA, GitHub, Slack, GitLab, Microsoft Teams, Trello, WordPress, and Teamwork. This tool allows file sharing, with users being able to export files in JPG, GIF, CSV, PDF, and PNG formats. Userback supports languages such as Python and HTML and can be used on Windows, Linux, or macOS platforms.
This tracking tool is a general-purpose, open-source software licensed under Mozilla. It provides features such as reports with visual charts, screenshots, video logging, and scheduled scans.
This tool offers advanced capabilities for searching for defects, filtering duplicate bugs, and more. Bugzilla provides templates with the option to customize them, and it also provides support for its users over email or phone.
It also allows its users to carry out basic tasks such as screenshots and video capture for defects, scheduled reports, prioritize defects, and export files in formats such as HTML and CSV. Lastly, Bugzilla supports languages such as Perl, PHP, and HTML and can be used on Linux, Windows, and macOS.
This is a defect tracking system and project management tool. It utilizes a Scrum planning board and is primarily designed for Scrum teams. This is a highly efficient bug management tool that can be used to visualize data regarding defects, capture screenshots and videos, generate Scrum planning boards and Scrum burn-down charts, and set daily or weekly scans.
Files can be exported in CSV and PDF formats. Additionally, Axosoft provides efficient incident tracking and support via email. This tool can integrate with others such as GitHub, GitLab, Bitbucket, TeamCity, Trello, Microsoft Office 365, and more.
ClickUp is a very popular customizable defect tracking tool that allows users to work with a large range of templates.
It allows for highly efficient task management and can be synced with Google calendar. ClickUp allows for automation and integrates with 1000s of tools such as Discord, Youtube, Tableau, Slack, GitHub, Toggl, Google Drive, Dropbox, and GitLab.
ClickUp also allows for excellent collaboration with instant email and WhatsApp alerts. It can be used on Windows or Android platforms and supports languages such as Python, PHP, and HTML.
Keeping a record of defects and tracking them throughout the process of resolving them is one of the most important facets of any software project. In order to prevent a loss of revenue and customer dissatisfaction, this activity carried out by test engineers to detect flaws early is vital.
BrowserStack’s testing products all offer a range of debugging tools that make it easy for users to identify, debug, and resolve defects. For example, App Automate: This tool allows users to download Appium Logs, Network Logs, Text Logs, Screenshots, and a Video Recording of the test run. Automate, Live, and App Live also offer similar features to aid the user in identifying and clearly defining the defect. Browserstack also offers defect-tracking integrations with JIRA, Trello, Github, and Slack, allowing the user to design efficient workflows.