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Bug-tracking service

Developers know that projects -- especially in the early going -- can have a lot of bugs. In that light, bug trackers are, as Martha Stewart might say, "a good thing."

But the work involved in setting up and maintaining a full-fledged bug- tracking system can be arduous, taking time away from other tasks programmers would rather address.

Moreover, some top line bug trackers are just out of the reach of small teams or organizations because of cost.

This situation looks like an opening to at least one company, elementool of New York City. The company this week introduced the latest upgrade to its bug-tracking services. Taking a page out of the book of late 1990s application service providers, elementool manages bug tracking via a sophisticated reporting system for projects or companies.

Customers open accounts that allow access to elementools' Web server operation. Monthly fees for single accounts start at $39.99, with reduced fees for multiple accounts. "Bug tracking can be a service you rent," said Yaron Sinai, elementool founder and CEO. He touts his solution as easier to use than other products because "you don't need to install."

Programmers Report asked elementool user Nick Vitovitch, program manager at Hewlett-Packard, if he had any reservations about employing a Web service to track project bugs. No, he replied, adding that "given the distributed nature of the project, the fact that we had several outside vendors involved in a Web service made a lot of sense. "Elementool was always up when we needed it," added Vitovitch, "and it offered the flexibility we needed to create records and reports that met our needs."

Just-released Bug Tracking 4.0 has enhancements that allow developers to set up a report template that incorporates specific data into every report. Single sign-on for multiple projects is also new.

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About the Author

Jack Vaughan is former Editor-at-Large at Application Development Trends magazine.

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