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Security is more important than ever

This is why the asitrack website is now using the HTTPS protocol.

It’s only a small step, but we are just getting the ball rolling. Soon more encryption will follow. I can’t say much for now because we like to offer surprises instead of promises. But we are planning to make asitrack the most secure bug tracker on the market.

Anyway, happy browsing. 🙂

December 2nd, 2014|Comments Off on Security is more important than ever

asitrack – Native Subversion issue tracker

Starting with version v1.1 the asitrack issue tracker provides built-in Subversion integration. And it all works out of the box with no additional plugins, installations or special configurations. Simply install and select your Subversion checkout folder and repository. Then watch how your commits instantly become available in your issue tracker. No waiting times and no pain. Only instant satisfaction. Maybe this should become the new asitrack motto.

asitrack Bug Tracker Subversion Integrations

It all starts with an awesome detection algorithm. When firing up the issue tracker for the first time, it will automatically find all your Subversion checkouts. Then it filters the ones not using a bug tracker and presents them in a simple dialog.

After you select the checkouts you want, asitrack will automatically configure them to use the issue tracker. This is done only once for each checkout. After the new settings are committed, every user in your issue tracker will use them automatically. So with just a couple of mouse clicks your Subversion repository now links commits with specific issues. You can see them in your Subversion logs and click on them to show the issue information in the asitrack UI.

With the checkouts out of the way, asitrack will then handle the repositories. Installing a post-commit hook allows it to process commits and display them in your issue tracker. Instantly. Each issue will then display its Subversion commits with the revision number, commit message, author, date and even the changed files log.

And clicking a committed file in the asitrack UI is where the magic happens. The issue tracker will automatically use your favorite Subversion merge tool to display the file changes. Just like you see them when doing commits. No custom UIs, no web forms and no special plugins. Only an unified and consistent version control experience.

This is only the beginning. A taste of what’s to come. Creating a Subversion issue tracker is just the first step towards an awesome software development environment. Next on the list is your IDE. So you will be able to manage issues, commits and your code from a single place. All done with native integration and built inside your issue tracker. Just install and magically use it with everything.

As a side note, all the features currently available in asitrack are just a base we build upon. Every single aspect of the issue tracker is constantly improved and expanded. Including version control support and integration. We already have everything planned and prepared. And we are continuously working on implementing them.

Our end-goal is a native issue tracker that directly integrates with your entire development environment. Everything working out of the box with an user interface focused on minimalism and efficiency.

If you see the same potential we do, grab a license now. All proceeds go directly to the research and development department.
Help us improve the way professional software is created. And together we just might make history.

August 4th, 2014|Comments Off on asitrack – Native Subversion issue tracker

The best bug tracker for .NET software development

While .NET is continuously gaining popularity among software developers, there aren’t many dedicated software development tools for it. One area which is severely lacking is also bug tracking software. Not only for .NET development, but for the entire Microsoft Windows environment.

Although we love Windows software development, we are not experts in everything. Microsoft offers so many programming languages and frameworks that you need an entire division just to cover them all. But we do know that C# and .NET framework are extremely important. So we want to make sure that asitrack is the best bug tracker for .NET software development.

We have many features on our to-do list designed exclusively for .NET. All of them are being discussed and analyzed by our experts in order to create the best bug tracking experience. But we also need you to voice your views and opinions. We can design the perfect bug tracker for .NET, but real-life usage can always inspire an even better experience.

So if you’re a .NET developer, we would love to hear your thoughts about .NET bug tracking. What you need, what you would love, what would be cool and what would make your life easier. Together, I’m pretty sure that we can create the best bug tracker for .NET software development.

July 14th, 2014|Comments Off on The best bug tracker for .NET software development

Advantages of a desktop bug tracker

We all have a love-hate relationship with desktop applications. On one side they are extremely powerful and efficient. On the other side they usually have an awful user experience and complicated UI. But if you thoroughly compare desktop applications with web apps, you can easily notice how similar they are. Web apps are just as complicated and badly designed as desktop apps. We just never notice it because everything is bigger and content is paginated using browser tabs. Instead of 50 neatly packed UI elements web apps use 5 different forms, each with 10 scattered controls. It’s a nice trick, but the users still end up frustrated.

The user interface depends entirely on the team behind the bug tracking software. So it’s not a great comparison criterion between desktop bug trackers and web apps. But there are many other criteria which give a clear advantage to desktop applications. Here are some of them:

1. A desktop bug tracker offers maximum performance.

Nobody can deny that desktop applications are faster and more efficient than any web app. And this also applies to desktop bug trackers. Practically no loading times, snappy actions, responsive UI and just plain immediacy. Some people, including me, will always have a thing for instant satisfaction while handling a huge block of raw power.

2. A desktop bug tracker is more secure than any web application.

With the recent scandals regarding cloud data and privacy, it’s easy to see how insecure web applications are. A simple bug report for your software goes through the browser, it’s extensions or plugins and maybe even the Internet. And all of them can easily intercept it and send it to an undisclosed server.

Desktop bug trackers don’t have this problem. Everything is contained inside your personal computer or local network. Nothing goes out. When a bug is reported, nobody outside your bug tracking system can see it. While security may not matter for hobby or open-source projects, it will always be important for commercial or sensitive software. After all, you don’t want the competition, or worse, to see your bug tracking data.

3. Desktop bug trackers can easily increase the power of your IDE.

A native application is not constrained by a web browser. It can easily work together with any other desktop application you use, including your favorite IDE. Tracking bugs from Visual Studio, Xcode or Eclipse. Seeing issue information regarding a specific chunk of code. Updating bug reports and issues without leaving your IDE. All of this is possible only with a desktop bug tracker.

4. Only a desktop application can integrate with development tools.

Web applications can interact with development tools only through plugins, usually developed by third-party teams. But desktop bug trackers interact with them directly. There is no intermediary layer. Version control software, testing tools, non-technical collaboration products, chat software. All of them can work directly with your desktop bug tracker out of the box.

5. Desktop bug trackers can be certified by Microsoft and Apple.

Both Microsoft and Apple offer security and guarantees through their public app stores. Only applications that follow their strict rules and guidelines are accepted. So when you get something from the official store, you know that it was designed and tested specifically for your machine.

July 7th, 2014|Comments Off on Advantages of a desktop bug tracker

Bug trackers are software testing tools

Any member of the quality assurance team can easily explain how software testing revolves around the bug tracker. All software testing tools are useless without it. They are just an add-on to the basic functionality provided by bug tracking. But what if this functionality would be more than basic? Would you really need other software testing tools?

We are trying to answer these questions with the first ever bug tracker that provides a special interface just for software testers. Instead of the same generic UI shown to both developers and the QA team, asitrack uses separate designs and functionality. While developers can focus on writing code and fixing bugs, testers can now focus on testing issues.

It all starts with the issues list. In asitrack a tester user account sees issues differently from developers and project managers. We implemented special built-in filters which show only what needs to be tested and what is already approved. So you don’t need to always search for something to test. The bug tracker does it for you automatically.

As a tester you can also check your personal activity in the bug tracker. How many issues you tested, the percentage for each version and project, how many more issues you have to test and so on. We are not just trying to make your life easier. We also want to help you see the big picture. How your work affects the team and the evolution of your projects.

And because nobody likes spam, as a tester you receive notifications only related to your testing activity. Issues you work on, issues you must test or tested in the past, bugs that are fixed and need to be tested, etc. We worked really hard to shield the QA department from the software development and management aspects. Only like this can testers focus on actual software testing.

asitrack is still young and this is only the beginning. It may not seem like much now, even though it’s more than any other bug tracker currently offers. But we have big plans for the future. We want asitrack to be on the software testing tools list of any self-respectable tester. Because we understand why testers are one of the most important parts in bug tracking. Without them you cannot ship a quality product, no matter how good your developers are.

We are working close with our QA team to design the next features for testers. I cannot reveal our plans for now, but it’s going to be awesome. Think about all the software testing tools you use now, but better and inside your bug tracker. While others use hundreds of internet browser tabs, we created a clean and simple bug tracking experience. Imagine what we can do with software testing.

For now all you need to do is use asitrack and let us know what you feel. What works, what doesn’t, how we can improve it and how we can make your experience more pleasant. Feedback is very important to us. And even if you don’t have something to report, we always enjoy a good chat about software testing and its tools.

New ideas are always welcomed.

June 30th, 2014|Comments Off on Bug trackers are software testing tools

Refining a bug tracking tool takes time

We all know how easy it is to create bug tracking tools from scratch. Any junior developer can throw together some web forms with a database and call it an issue tracking system. But in the real world bug tracking is more than that. Much more.

Software companies are always focused on efficiency and productivity. So it only makes sense to make their bug tracking tools as efficient as possible. After all, if you use it every day the dead times will add up. One second here, one second there and in a year your team loses weeks of work.

A classic PHP bug tracking tool may work at first. But in the long run it is simply not enough. It’s easy to start with. But it doesn’t have the efficiency and power required by the evolution of software projects. This is why software teams usually end up splitting their efforts between developing their bug tracking tools and working on their actual software.

While an in-house bug tracking tool seems ideal to companies that like to squander resources, agile software development is built on existing software. You take what you have and build on it. Because creating everything from scratch just to be yours takes time and resources away from your actual goal. So when deciding on a bug tracking tool, agile development teams choose an existing solution and adapt it to their needs. After all, there is plenty of issue tracking and project management software on the market. Why create yet another one which is just slightly different from the dozens of other web-based bug trackers.

Unlike in-house or heavily modified bug tracking tools, asitrack was designed from the start for agile software development. While most web-based issue trackers use a generic approach, asitrack is constantly being improved for efficiency. And this is where the real fun starts.

With a web-based bug tracker you usually have only two things to work on: the web forms and the scripting behind them. There is not much to improve or optimize. So customization and obscure features are the only improvements possible. Maybe a nicer UI, some SCRUM details or even a complete web app for version control features already available as native software. Either way, you need a lot of wild imagination to keep releasing new versions for a web issue tracker. Nothing actually improves. It just changes form.

But with a native bug tracking tool there is always room for improvement. You can always optimize code even further. You can always redesign the back-end to be even more powerful. And the user interface is even more open-ended. Anything can be improved, redesigned or rebuilt. While a web app is limited to more or less static forms, a desktop application doesn’t have any limits. Anything goes.

This is why refining a native bug tracker takes time. At every step we take we stop and think ahead. How will this feature be used? How can we make it faster? How can we make it intuitive? Every little bit of asitrack goes through this. Because you cannot create the best bug tracker for agile software development without constantly delivering efficiency.

While a web app simply puts up a form for each individual aspect of bug tracking, we create something that works together with the entire system. Everything in asitrack is completely connected. Because this is the only way to provide a seamless experience. Instead of jumping from tab to tab, in asitrack you get everything in one place.

And we all know how hard it is to make a complex software seem easy. We did manage to reduce hundreds of online bug tracking browser tabs to a simple and clean user interface. But it took us a lot of time and resources. And we are just beginning. There are many features required for a complete bug tracking experience. But each and every one of them must be designed in a certain way. Just shoveling functionality isn’t enough. It needs to be intuitive and efficient.

Creating the best bug tracking tool does take a lot of time. But good things come to those who wait.

June 23rd, 2014|Comments Off on Refining a bug tracking tool takes time

Free bug trackers are free for a reason

Like you we also tried the free bug trackers at first. When money is tight you can’t really afford to pay for something as simple as issue tracking. After all, creating the software is much more important and deserves all your resources. However, we noticed a pattern that also occurs in real life. Free things are free for a reason. If something is valuable, somebody will ask money for it.

With free bug trackers we found that the “free” aspect was a necessity, not a feature. They are free because nobody is willing to pay for them. Some are unusually complex, some have erratic open source development and pretty much all of them have a lousy user experience. Simple tasks like installing them for the first time and creating your first bug ever takes at least half an hour. And that happens only if you manage to get them working in the first place.

There is also the purpose of free bug trackers. Most of them are being developed as a hobby, either open source or by small teams. The people behind then usually have full time jobs doing something else. They work on the free bug tracker in their free time. And it really shows in the end product. There is no vision. No plan to make the issue tracking system better. You get only the heat of the moment. What a developer feels like doing that week.

For a commercial bug tracker the team is always fully dedicated. The bug tracker is their full time job. They constantly work on it, improving it according to a clear and precise vision and strategy. You get not only the current state, but also the future ones. Because the current iteration is just one small step in making your issue tracking system better.

And there is also the necessity to live. A commercial bug tracker needs to stay relevant and fulfill your needs and desires. Otherwise it will fail. So any feedback you provide will always be listened by the entire development team. Because there is nothing else for us. We live and breathe issue tracking. We don’t do it as a hobby, we do it as a purpose.

And we feel that the efforts behind commercial bug trackers are much more visible than the ones behind free ones. Not just with asitrack. But with any commercial issue tracking software. You simply get a better experience. A more professional one. Like things make sense somehow. You really feel that somebody worked pretty hard to design that small bit in a specific way so it fits together with everything else.

I could ramble for days with all the small and big differences between free bug trackers and commercial ones. When you’re involved in issue tracking software development you notice a lot of stuff. Things you didn’t notice while using some bug tracker you found online. The devil is in the detail.

And this created a very interesting problem for us. How do we price all these details? How much do we ask for subtly resolving incredibly annoying and time consuming bug tracking problems? What is the cost of the best bug tracker for agile software development? After all, we all have to afford rent and food at the end of the day. Nothing good ever comes easy because creating good stuff is hard.

So after endless meetings and future projections, we finally decided. The asitrack prices are exactly what we need to perfect the most efficient and easy bug tracker ever. Nothing more, nothing less. We have a specific vision and strategy for the future and our prices reflect it.

And because we know what’s it like to start from scratch without any money, we support small teams. Single developers can use asitrack for free. And small teams of 10 people can get the best bug tracker for only $12.

We believe that using an incredibly cheap commercial solution is infinitely better than a free bug tracker. Professionalism will always trump community content.

June 18th, 2014|Comments Off on Free bug trackers are free for a reason

Microsoft Windows bug tracker

Although Microsoft offers an extremely powerful development environment, it does not offer a very exciting Windows bug tracker. As a developer you rarely see the Microsoft bug tracking system because it’s actually bundled together with Team Foundation Server. So you either purchase TFS as a bug tracker, or you use a more professional and dedicated solution. But which issue tracking system is best for Windows software development?

The Microsoft development environment contains only native and desktop applications. This is probably because web apps may offer some convenience, but they lack efficiency and professionalism. Experts love performance and control. Using an offline desktop tool and accessing the raw power of your machine makes much more sense than firing up a browser and using a web page. So it’s pretty easy to realize that only a desktop bug tracker can offer the same experience as your IDE, compiler or development tools.

Sure, web applications can easily use desktop clients or plugins. But instead of using the Microsoft environment, web apps use a virtual one. So you end up with a layer of interpretation between your actions and the web code. With a web app your issue tracking experience becomes dependent on the browser and plugins you are using. Changing one detail can easily disturb the way bug tracking feels. Change your machine and you’re in even greater trouble. Either you spend all day configuring everything just the way you like it or just accept the sloppy default configuration of the web app.

While web apps may offer customization, they also add unnecessary complexity. With a native Windows bug tracker you don’t have these problems. You always get the same bug tracking experience on any machine. And the best part is that there is no intermediary layer. You get direct control over everything. Just like with any other Microsoft development tool.

There is also the security aspect. Websites and web apps are notorious for their low security. The website administrators can easily access your data and use it however they want. Desktop applications don’t have this problems. They function in the closed environment provided by your machine. So if you’re working on a commercial product, storing your issue tracking data on a local machine make much more sense than storing it in the cloud.

So a native Windows bug tracker is much more suitable for software development. Visual Studio, Eclipse and any other Windows IDE or RAD tool are all desktop applications. Your bug tracker is part of your development environment. It should be a desktop app too, not put away separately in a web browser.

June 12th, 2014|Comments Off on Microsoft Windows bug tracker

Creating an easy bug tracker is not easy

Like all software development teams we wanted an easy bug tracker. Something that doesn’t get in the way and doesn’t steal a lot of our time. So we started researching and trying. Bug trackers, issue tracking systems, project management software, task management and all kinds of to-do lists. But nothing satisfied us. We always seemed to revert to the same old emails and hand-written notes. Nothing made issue tracking easier. It only made it worse.

Between all the chaos created by the current solutions, we noticed a very annoying pattern: the generic issues list. All easy bug trackers use it. And we hate it so much. Sure, it looks nice and fancy to have issues in a table with various columns. But it’s an usability nightmare. Tables are good for presentations, but extremely bad for managing bugs and issues.

Our brains love order and organization. They always try to arrange stuff and always try to find patterns. Make sense out of things in order to use them efficiently. This is why an easy bug tracker should do all the work the brain would do.

So when we decided to create a truly easy bug tracker, we started from scratch. We ignored what everybody else was doing and refined our own design until it was perfect. We wanted order and efficiency. A clean and simple look that hides an immense amount of power. Do more with less so the issue tracking system doesn’t get in the way of actual work.

While we couldn’t be happier with the result, achieving perfection with a bug tracker is extremely hard work. Anybody can create a complex user interface. It takes skill, work and a lot of patience to create something clean and sleek. Minimalism does not come naturally. Refinement and constant improvement are always required. And patience. A lot of patience.

First we started with an idea, the perfect way to display an issue and its information. And we listed all that needs to be shown in order to grasp everything with just a glance. The project, its versions, the sub-tasks and the issue details. It all had to be visible at once and it also had to be easy to notice.

After trying endless amounts of designs, we found the perfect one: a tree control with a properties pane. It was elusive, but stupidly obvious. As software developers we are constantly surrounded by trees and properties panes. But we didn’t understand the reason until now. It’s all about organization and efficiency. Exactly what we were chasing for our easy bug tracker.

The tree control is always visible and displays the issue tracking context. Where you are in the grand scheme of things. It offers the easiest navigation because it contains endless reference points. It shows everything at once so you don’t have to search for things. And it even offers management operations, including drag and drop. A multi-level hierarchy is always the perfect way of managing tasks, bugs and issues.

To the right we use an extremely dynamic information pane. Something that shows you details in a highly organized and easy to read format. Although it’s by far the most powerful and complex element in our easy bug tracker, we spent a lot of time refining it into the beautiful interface you see now. Every little bit of information shown in this pane is exactly what you need to see. Nothing more, nothing less. Just the perfect amount of details.

When it all comes together, you get the single most powerful issue tracking design. Everything is visible and ready at your fingertips. Just one click and you’re there. You always go directly to what interests you. No intermediary forms, no special queries, no lists that need to be sorted or scanned. Only instant satisfaction.

While it doesn’t use a fancy user interface or elaborate graphic elements, asitrack does offer true usability. Ease of use does not come from a beautiful UI. It comes from the ability to easily handle a lot of power. It’s all about control and getting things done.

This is the essence of asitrack. This is what makes it an easy bug tracker. Not a simple interface and definitely not convenience. Only pure and easy power.

May 30th, 2014|Comments Off on Creating an easy bug tracker is not easy

Lightweight bug tracker vs Project Management behemoth

The biggest problem in choosing a lightweight bug tracker is diversity. Or more exactly, the lack of it. If you do a search for an issue tracking system you will find all types of project management software. Everything from simple to-do lists and virtual post-its to complex kaiju that eat you alive.

The diversity would be great if it wouldn’t be so bland and disheartening. One of the first things you can notice is the similar design amongst current issue trackers. It’s like they’re skinned clones of the same base web app. A dashboard with some useless information that needs to be customized in order to show something of value. An issues list with no hierarchy which is more or less just a database dump. And an issue editing form that asks everything from a simple bug name to your grandma’s favorite dessert. All clumped together and called “issue tracking and project management software”.

To us at least it seems like everybody is just copying things from everybody else. Shoving things into their project management software just because. Especially niche features that most people never use. And the result is a strange conglomerate of endless forms and fields scattered all over the place.

Even software advertised as a lightweight bug tracker is complex. We seem to have different definitions for lightweight. Instead of something clean and to the point you find only sluggish web apps filled with all kinds of useless features and unnecessary complexity. Even current SaaS solutions are pretty bad. A simple task like finding a specific issue usually becomes a frustrating and time consuming navigation problem.

This is one of the many reasons we created asitrack. We wanted a truly lightweight bug tracker focused on the user experience. And since you cannot master everything, we chose to master only agile software development. Only with a clear goal like this can a team achieve perfection.

First we tackled speed and somehow managed to create the fastest issue tracking software ever. Everything is snappy and immediate. It’s was actually a bit strange at first, even for us. When you’re used with web page loading times, instant gratification is a bit eerie. In a way it’s like you’re using something from the future, something unexpectedly present. Like it’s alive somehow and instantly reacts to everything you do.

Minimalism is also one of the main targets. Do more with less. Everything is designed to be as simple as possible. In asitrack there are no useless intermediary steps. You always go directly to the source with just one click. And the information pages are simply amazing. Easy to read, clean and succinct. We never cut corners when it comes to your bug tracking experience.

Last but not least, a natural and intuitive design is paramount. Because flat issue lists don’t make much sense, asitrack is using trees. Only with a tree hierarchy you can see the big picture. How everything fits together. Your projects, their versions, the issues in each version, the tasks in each issue and the issue information, everything visible at the same time. And it is all displayed in the cleanest user interface you can find.

While asitrack may not take the shotgun approach and spray features at everybody, it definitely is an amazing sniper rifle. It uses finesse and surgical precision to handle everything fast and clean. No complexity and no bloated features. Only an immense amount of power wrapped in a smooth and elegant user experience.

This is just one of the many reasons why asitrack the best lightweight bug tracker for software development. Anybody can create powerful software. It takes skill and passion to make that power easy to use.

May 21st, 2014|Comments Off on Lightweight bug tracker vs Project Management behemoth