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Archive-name: sw-config-mgmt/prob-mgt-tools
Last-modified: 2002/09/10
Version: 9.0
Posting-Frequency: monthly

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
                      Problem Management Tools Summary


   This is the newsgroup "Frequently Asked
   Questions" (FAQ) posting of a Software Problem Management tools
   summary. This is part 3 of the 3 part FAQ. Please review all parts
   before submitting suggestions or questions to the FAQ editor.

   The information contained in this summary is a consolidation of data
   obtained from a variety of sources around the Internet, but primarily
   from articles and comments posted on the
   newsgroup. Additional information occasionally is emailed directly to
   the author. Check the date above to see how recent the information you
   are reading might be.

  Sharing Of Information

   This document, as a collection of information, is Copyright 1995-2001
   by Dave Eaton. It may be freely redistributed in its entirety provided
   that this copyright notice is not removed. It may not be sold for
   profit or incorporated in commercial documents without the written
   permission of the copyright holder. This article is provided as is
   without any express or implied warranty. The content is the sole
   responsibility of the author and contributors, and does not
   necessarily represent the position of their employers nor an official
   position or opinion of any company. Please contact the FAQ editor
   regarding changes.

  Other Information

   Various products mentioned in this FAQ are the trademarks of their
   respective companies.

   All parts of this FAQ are posted to this newsgroup on or about the
   22nd of each month. (This is done manually and sometimes work
   interferes with this posting, please excuse any delays.)

   Like most FAQ lists, these parts are archived at (and
   various other sites which archive FAQs.) The parts are named:
     * cm-tools = Configuration Management Tools Summary
     * faq = General Questions
     * prob-mgt-tools = Problem Management Tools Summary (this document)

   and may be found in directory
   pub/usenet-by-group/comp.answers/sw-config-mgmt. Those new to the
   newsgroups should read news.announce.newusers for general information.

   For those with World Wide Web access, hyperlinked HTML versions of
   these documents are available via:
   (If you type in this URL, remember that it is case sensitive.) These
   are updated throughout the month as changes come in. A letter is added
   to the version number and the date is changed with each edit to help
   you determine if you've already seen it.

  What this is not.

   If you are not sure what we mean by CM (or SCM), please see our
   definition in question [1.2] of FAQ section 1. If you still think this
   will help you with your PC hardware or application configuration, you
   are mistaken. Please see question [1.10] of FAQ section 1 for some
   suggestions of other more appropriate newsgroups for your question --
   do not post it to Thank you.

   Similarly, this FAQ is intended for tools which address the problem
   management needs of the software development process. While some of
   these products also may be used to perform "Help Desk" and other
   activities, that is not the focus of this group or this FAQ. For "Help
   Desk" tools, refer the Help Desk FAQ posted by Phil Verghis at

   This is not a definitive list of all available tools, nor is it
   intended to be. It is not a recommendation or endorsement of any of
   the tools mentioned. As noted above, it is a composit of opinions from
   the newsgroup. If you have a tool you would
   like others to know about, please join the discussion.

  ** What's New this Month? **

   1. Updates to TeamTrack info

  Still Needed

   Some tools have been mentioned in the newsgroups, but contact
   information (company name, address and phone or ftp location) as well
   as user comments are needed so they may be included in the report
   below. If you are a user of such a tool, please send a paragraph or
   two containing your comments and experiences as well as supplier
   contact information to the FAQ editor.

Table of Contents

   1. Summary
   2. Problem Management Overview
   3. Commercial Vendor Contact List
   4. Problem Management Tools Generally Available Free
   5. Commercial Problem Management Tools
   6. Other Tools
   Appendix A. References and Sources of Information
   Appendix B. Prob. Mgmt. Tools with World Wide Web sites

1. Summary


   The first posting of this FAQ was in April, 1994. Since the newsgroup
   was relatively new at that time, the early FAQ was 'jump started' with
   information obtained from the following sources:
     * the Usenet newsgroups,,, and comp.databases.sybase
     * the ClearCase International User Group mail list
     * the InterWorks (HP Workstation Users Group) CASE SIG mailing list
     * the Lotus Notes Users mailing list

   Since then, it has been updated and changed substantially as readers
   have supplied additional information to the
   newsgroup and directly to the editor.


   In addition to some of the vendors themselves, most information
   summarized here comes from newsgroup posts and email received from end
   users. Our gratitude is been extended to all who have contributed.

   Instructions for adding or changing information in this FAQ may be
   found in section 1.8 of part 1, the general FAQ for the newsgroup.

  Not Official Statements

   Please use the summary below in the spirit with which it has been
   supplied: for information only. These statements are composites and do
   not represent official positions by any particular responder's
   company. Remember that these users may not be commenting on the
   current version of a product. It is recommended that you do your own
   research before making a tool decision for your company.

2. Problem Management Overview

  Tool Capabilities

   Tools marketed as problem management tools may fulfill different
   functions. While not a comprehensive list, some common of the common
   capabilities are:
     * Call Tracking:
          + targeted towards problems reported by customers often over
            telephone lines
          + input from variety of geographically disperse locations
          + assignment to responsible person
          + status monitoring and reporting
     * Problem Tracking
          + development process management and change management
          + work (task) management (who, what, when, due date, status)
          + statistics and metrics gathering and reporting
          + historical records and facilitation of understanding
          + integration with configuration management and test tools

   Some organizations only need one of these functions, while others need
   both. Many organizations choose to integrate their problem management
   and configuration management tools to gain better control of their
   development activities and to improve quality.

  Tool Packaging

   Problem management tools may be purchased in any of at least three
   distinct packaging methods:
     * Stand-alone, no integration with other tools
     * Purchased separately, but integrated with one or more companion
       software engineering tools such as configuration management and
       test tools - may be from the same or from different vendors
     * Bundled with other software engineering tools, usually a
       configuration management tool from the same vendor

   Be certain you determine your needs and confirm that the tool you
   select fulfills your needs.

  General Advice

   Although the statements below do not relate to a particular tool, they
   may provide valuable ideas for those implementing problem management.
     * Keep it simple. If it gets in the way people won't use it.
     * Make it part of your customer support process.
     * Make it part of your email system.
     * Make problem management a part of the regular information flow.
     * Make it part of your design documentation process.
     * Documentation the original designer supplies seldom meets
       maintenance needs. The change history augments the original
     * Get requirements from the European Computer Manufacturers
       Association (ECMA) reference model.

   If you determine the best tool for your needs is one hosted on UNIX
   systems, but you must have access to it from PCs as well, consider
   using X-Server software on the PCs.

3. Commercial Vendor Contact List


   Platform availability and products are continually changing, please
   check vendors for current information and trade publications for new
   entrants. This should not be considered a complete list of all
   available tools. As of this writing, these vendors could be contacted
   as shown in this table.

   Since vendors are continually changing platform availability and
   upgrading their products, it is suggested you consult with them
   directly for current information before making a tool selection.

                         Commercial Products
 Product                  Vendor Address            Platforms

 +1CR                     +1 Software Engineering   Sun (SunOS and Solaris)
                          2510-G Las Posas Road,
                          Suite 438
                          P.O. Box 6041
                          Camarillo, CA 93011
                          tel.: 805-389-1778

 AccuRev/Dispatch         AccuRev Inc.              Solaris, Compaq Alpha Unix,
                          62 Harvard St.            HP-UX, IRIX, RS/6000, FreeB
                          Brookline, MA 02445       Linux (Intel and PowerPC),
                          tel: 617-566-3914         WinNT Win2K client/server,
                          fax: 617-566-5035         9X clients.
                          Mac, more Unix, Java "soon"

 Aegis                    Abacus Systems Pty Ltd.   PC (MS Windows
                          27 Ellindale Avenue,      variations only)
                          McKinnon VIC 3204
                          tel: +613-9576-7355
                          FAX: +613 9576-7396

 AllChange                Intasoft Ltd.             PC (MS-WFW, MS Windows
                          Tresco House              Win95/98, WinNT), Sun Solar
                          Westpoint Court
                          Exeter EX5 1DJ UK
                          tel.: +44 (0) 1392-447780
                          FAX:  +44 (0) 1392-447781

 Apriori                  Computer Associates       Server: HP-UX,
                          International, Inc.       IBM RS/6000, Sun 4
                          One Computer Associates Plaza
                          Islandia, NY 11749, USA
                          tel.: +1 631 342-5224     Client: MS Windows,
                          FAX:  +1 631 342-5329     X-Windows (Motif, Open
                             Look), character based i/f

 BugBase                  Archimedes Software, Inc. PC (Windows)
                          2159 Union Street
                          San Francisco, CA 94123
                          tel.: 415-567-4010
                          FAX:  415-567-1318

 CCC/Harvest              Computer Associates       HP-UX, IBM RS/6000
                          1 Computer Associates Plaza  OS/2, Win/NT)
                          Islandia, N.Y. 11788      Sun (contact vendor
                          tel.: 1-800-225-5224      about others)
                          FAX:  1-516-342-5224

 Distributed Defect       Rational                  Apollo, HP 9000,
 Tracking System                                    IBM RS/6000,
 (ClearDDTS)              1309 S. Mary Ave          DECstation & VAX
                          Sunnyvale, CA 94087       running Ultrix,
                          tel.: 408-524-3671        Sun (SunOS & Solaris),
                          FAX:  408-720-9200        PC (SCO UNIX)

 ClearQuality             Clarify Inc.              HP-UX, IBM RS/6000
                          2702 Orchard Pkwy.        SGI, Sun
                          San Jose, CA 95134
                          tel.: 408-428-2000        Client on Mac,
                          FAX:  408-428-0633        PC (MS Windows, WinNT,
                                                    and Win95),
                                                    UNIX running Motif

 ClearQuest               Rational                  PC (WinNT, Win95/98/2000)
                          1309 S. Mary Ave
                          Sunnyvale, CA 94087
                          tel.: 408-524-3671
                          FAX:  408-720-9200

 Census                   MetaQuest Software Inc.   Server:
                          416 de Maisonneuve West   PC (WinNT, Win95/98)
                          Suite 401
                          Montreal, Quebec          Client:
                          Canada                    PC (WinNT, Win95/98) and
                          tel: 514-341-9113         Web browser (PC/Mac/UNIX)
                          FAX: 514-341-4757

Change Synergy            Telelogic AB              HP-UX, IBM AIX,
                          (World headquarters)      Linux,
                          PO Box 4128               PC (MS WinNT, Win2K)
                          Kungsgaten 6 SE-203 12
                          Malm, Sweden
                          tel: +46 (40) 174700
                          FAX: +46 (40) 174747

                          US headquarters
                          Telelogic North America Inc.
                          9401 Jeronimo Road
                          Irvine, CA 92618 USA
                          Tel: +1-949-830-8022
                          Fax: +1-949-830-8023

 Control First            Repository Technology     PC (DOS)
                          tel.: 708-515-0780

 Control First is also sold as:
 TRUEtrack                TRUE Software
                          300 Fifth Avenue          PC (DOS)
                          Waltham, MA 02154
                          tel.: 781-890-4450
                          FAX:  781-890-4452

 Defect WorkFlow (DWF)    SoftQuest Systems         PC (MS Win95, WinNT)
                          P.O. Box 1124
                          Rehovot 76267
                          tel.: 972-8-940-9727

 DTS                      Open System Consultants   any UNIX host supported
                          Pty Ltd                   by Perl
                          24 Bateman St
                          Hampton VIC 3188
                          tel.: +61 3 9598 0985
                          Fax:  +61 3 9598 0985

 ExtraView                Sesame Technology         Servers: UNIX, Linux
                          269 Mount Hermon Road     WinNT
                          Suite 100
                          Scotts Valley, CA  95066  Client: Any platform hostin
                          tel: (831) 461-7100       Netscape or MSIE,
                          FAX: (831) 461 7104       PalmOS on Palm VII Wireless

 GLOBETrack               GLOBEtrotter Software     Digital Unix, HP-UX,
                          300 Orchid City Dr. #131  IBM RS/6000, Linux (Intel),
                          Campbell, CA 95008        SGI, Sun (SunOS/Solaris),
                          tel.: 408-370-2800        Web interface for PC/Mac
                          FAX:  408-370-2884

 IssueView                IssueView.Com             PC (Windows)
                          17 El Camino Corto
                          Walnut Creek, CA 94596
                          tel: 510-304-1096

 KeepTrack!               3L Ltd.                   (was PC based, but
                          Peel House                 it appears this
                          Livingstone                product may be
                          EH54 6AG                   no longer
                          Scotland                   available)
                          tel.: +44 506 41 5959

 Lotus Notes              Lotus Development Corp.   PC (DOS, MS Windows,
                          55 Cambridge Parkway      WinNT, OS/2), Macintosh,
                          Cambridge, MA 02142       HP-UX, IBM RS/6000, Sun

 NeumaCM+                 Neuma Technology
                          1730 St. Laurent Blvd.,
                          Suite 200,
                          Ottawa, Ontario,
                          Canada K1G 5L1
                          tel.: 613-738-3156
                          FAX: 613-738-7210

 OmniTracker              OmniNet GmbH              Clients: Win95/98/NT/2K
                          Orchideenstrasse 39,      Web-Front, Java-Frontend
                          90542                     Server: WinNT/2K
                          Eckental, Germany
                          tel.: 011-49-9126-259790

 PR-Tracker               Softwise                  PC (Windows 95, 98,
                          tel.: 425-513-0415        WinNT, 2000, ME)
                          or:   888-324-3988
                          FAX:  425-513-0516
                          or:   888-324-3980

 Problem Tracker          NetResults Corporation    PC (Win95/98/NT)
                          444 High St.
                          PO Box 1238
                          Palo Alto, CA 94302-1238
                          tel.: 650-473-3933
                          FAX:  650-473-3934

PVCS Dimensions           MERANT                    Bull, DEC (VMS, Ultirx,
                          701 East Middlefield Rd   Unix), H-P, ICL, Sequent,
                          Mountain View, CA 94043   Sun, PC (WinNT coming)
                          tel.: 800-872-6265
                          FAX:  650-404-7217

                          Corporate Headquarters:
                          The Lawn
                          22-30 Old Bath Road
                          Berkshire, England RG14 1QN
                          tel.: +1635 32646
                          FAX:  +1635 33966

 PVCS Tracker             MERANT                    PC (Windows)
                          701 East Middlefield Rd
                          Mountain View, CA 94043
                          tel.: 800-872-6265
                          FAX:  650-404-7217

 Qualit Defect Manager    Qualit, Inc.              PC
                          801 W. El Camino Real
                          Suite 359
                          Mountain View, CA. 94040
                          tel.: 415-964-4525
                          FAX:  415-964-4512

 Siebel                   Siebel Systems, Inc.      Server: DEC Ultrix,
                          1855 South Grant Street   HP-UX, IBM RS/6000,
                          San Mateo, CA 94402       Sun, VMS, others
                          tel.: 650-295-5000        Client only: PC
                          or:   800-647-4300        (Windows, WinNT)
                          fax:  650-295-5111        Macintosh, MIPS

 Razor                    Visible Systems           Sun (both Solaris and
                          248 Main Street           SunOS), HP, SGI,
                          Oneida, NY  13421         RS/6000, Digital Unix,
                          tel.: 315-363-8000        Linux, PC(Win95/98,
                          FAX:  315-363-7488        WinNT)

 Remedy Action Request    Remedy Corp.              Server: AT&T, HP-UX,
 System (ARS)             1505 Salado Dr.           IBM RS/6000, Motorola,
                          Mountain View, CA 94043   SGI, Sun
                          tel.: 415-903-5200        Client: Above plus
                          FAX:  415-903-9001        PC(Windows, Mac)

 SWBTracker               Software with Brains, Inc. PC(Windows 95, 98, NT4)
                          649 Branch Dr.
                          Toms River, NJ 08755 USA

 TeamTrack                TeamShare, Inc.           Server: PC (MS WinNT,
                          1975 Research Parkway,   Win2000)
                          Suite #200
                          Colorado Springs, CO 80920
                          tel.: 888-832-6742       Client: Web browsers MSIE &
                          FAX:  719-599-4498

 Track for Windows        Soffront                  PC (Windows, soon a 32
                          1806 Milmont Drive        bit version for WinNT
                          Suite 169                 and OS/2)
                          Milpitas, CA 95035
                          tel.: 408-263-2703

 TrackRecord              Compuware Corporation     PC (MS Windows, WinNT,
                         31440 Northwestern Highway and OS/2)
                         Farmington Hills, MI 48334
                         tel.: 248-737-7300

                         marketed by
                         Compuware NuMega Lab
                         9 Townsend West
                         Nashua, NH 03063

 TrackWise                Sparta Systems, Inc.      PC (MS Windows)
                         1 Bethany Road, Suite 90
                         Hazlet, NJ 07730
                         tel.: 888-261-5948
                         FAX:  732-203-0375

 Vantive Quality          Vantive Corp.             HP-UX, IBM RS/6000
                         1890 N. Shoreline Blvd.   Sun
                         Mountain View, CA 94043
                         tel.: 415-691-1500        Client on Windows
                                                   PC (WinNT Planned)

 Visual Intercept         Elsinore Technologies,    PC (MS Windows 3.x,
                         Inc.                      Win95, WinNT)
                         7200 Falls of the Neuse Road
                         Suite 302
                         Raleigh, NC 27615
                         tel.: 919-532-0022 ext.408
                         FAX:  919-532-0023


4. Problem Management Tools Generally Available Free

  Free But Perhaps Not Fully Supported

   There are a few freely available (Open Source) problem management
   tools. Generally you must transfer it from an archive site on the
   Internet using a tool such as FTP or a Web browser. In some cases the
   tool will need to be compiled at your site and in some cases there is
   a license fee. Most come bundled with adequate documentation. Such
   tools generally are provided without support, so it may not be
   advisable to use them on some projects.


   Bugzilla is the problem management tool used by the Netscape Mozilla
   team. and available from It is Web-based, flexible,
   written in Perl and uses MySQL as its database back-end. Bugzilla is
   Open-Source software. Updates are available via CVS. See for download information. Other tools
   available through the Mozilla project include LXR which lets you
   browse the latest version of the source code, Bonsai for tree control
   (smile), and Tinderbox for knowing when the tree is in flames. More
   information concerning these tools may be found at

  Debian Bug Tracking System

   The Debian Bug Tracking System (debbugs) is a set of scripts which
   maintain a database of problem reports. Key features include complete
   input and manipulation of bugs by email. Various lists of bugs are
   available via email or the Web. The system runs on Unix and expects to
   have its own (possibly `virtual') mail domain. It is available at: Information may be
   found on the Web at:


   GNU GNATS (GNU Problem Report Management System) is copyrighted by the
   Free Software Foundation and freely available according to the terms
   of the GNU General Public License.

   This product which helps track software problems or change-requests.
   Some of its features include:
     * problems submitted via email
     * uses a file system based database
     * each problem identified by a unique key
     * querying possible
     * can maintain audit trail of all activities concerning a specific
     * a GUI interface (via tkgnats)

   Responders believed that linking GNATS and the ClearCase task examples
   (/usr/atria/examples/task) should not be too difficult, though no
   responders seem to have tried this.

   GNATS can be obtained from one of the GNU mirrors or from Cygnus

   For example, GNATS may be found via anonymous FTP at or A web interface to gnats,
   gnatsweb, is distributed with gnats itself.

   TkGnats information and the latest version of TkGnats may be found at


   JitterBug, developed for managing the samba-bugs bug reports and now
   used on other projects, is web based and written in C. It is released
   as free software under the GPL. Information may be found at and a guest interface to the
   rsync JitterBug provides a reasonable demo at The non-guest interface has many
   more features, of course. A french version of JitterBug may be found


   OpenTrack (OT) began as a UNIX-based tracking system used to manage
   defect reports and enhancement requests filed against offerings,
   tools, or projects. Each report is stored as a Change Request (CR) in
   a plain file containing project-chosen fields that describe the defect
   or enhancement. The user interface is text-based and presented through
   the user's standard editor. Each project established in OT is
   configurable through definitions files and TCL procedures. There is an
   MS Windows NT port available which uses the Sleepycat database and is
   web-based. Additional information and download may be found at:

  PTS, XPTS, and Web/PTS

   Problem Tracking System (PTS, XPTS, and Web/PTS) by Dean Collins
   provides an easy way to report problems, and is oriented towards
   system administration, though it is no longer under active
   developemnt. It consists primarily of an X application. There is a
   simple text-mode and command-line interface for reporting problems.
   Latest information is available on the WWW at or by anonymous ftp at


   PTS is a web-based project/problem management system which uses a SQL
   server back end. PTS has been rewritten into Keystone, a far more
   flexible and powerful ticketing / project management system. Both are
   available at PTS is free, and Keystone is
   free for up to 10 concurrent users, after which there is a small fee


   Wrek is written in perl 5 and uses your your Web server and browser as
   its interface and offers an email connection. It is simple,
   functional, and Y2k Compliant. Additinal information may be found at: Its "cookie based" authentication
   system may be the best, but .htaccess and UNIX passwd authentication
   options are also supported. Most aspects of a support group can be
   configured from a web page with its own group password.

5. Commercial Problem Management Tools

  Growing Number On Market

   It is impossible to provide user's comments concerning all the
   available tools. A brief summary of the tools mentioned most
   frequently on the Usenet newsgroup is
   provided below so that your site may decide if it would be appropriate
   to consider one of these tools. These comments do not necessarily
   reflect the opinion or experiences of the author of this document.

   Contact information such as address and phone number may be found in
   the Commercial Vendor Contact List, elsewhere in this document.


   +1CR from +1 Software Engineering allows you to submit, list, view,
   query, print, and administer problem reports. +1CR supports process
   management, which ensures that when a file is checked in using +1CM,
   the problem report number exists and its status allows for check ins.
   It runs on any Sun supporting an OpenWindows, Motif, or CDE windowing
   environment. User comments are requested. Please send them to the FAQ
   editor. (see bottom of this FAQ). A supplier WWW site is available at


   AccuRev(tm), from AccuRev Inc. is client/server, built on top of
   AccuRev/CM (shares the same database), integrated with AccuRev, runs
   on all of the same platforms as AccuRev/CM, and is completely


   Aegis from Abacus Systems is an affordable and easy to use help desk
   and incident management system. It will help you organize client
   requests, change requests, and product defects. Aegis friendly,
   intuitive user interface makes it a painless approach to providing a
   high level of support and service to your clients. It provides a
   history of precisely what's been done.

   Its features include:
     * Ability to change the screen layout.
     * Powerful filters, view and user define sort options.
     * Full notifications facility.
     * Graphical Reporting.
     * Estimation and Costing.
     * Integrated contact management system.
     * Auditing.
     * Incident ageing.

   A supplier WWW site is available at


   AllChange from Intasoft is a configuration management system including
   integrated problem management and change requests (known as CRs). Its
   features include:
     * Different classes of CR
     * Any CR Numbering scheme
     * Different life-cycles depending on class
     * Full link to configuration items and baselines
     * Hierarchical CRs supported
     * Site definable fields
     * Full search and query support
     * Metrics generation and graphical reporting
     * User assignment
     * Full audit trail
     * Automatic mailing

   A supplier WWW site is available at


   Apriori by Computer Associates (formerly Platinum Technology, formerly
   Answer Systems, Inc.) is a family of integrated applications to
   improve performance of support and help desk teams. Newsgroup chatter
   has been very light. A supplier WWW site is available at


   BugBase is a PC-only tool which keeps track of problems and provides
   on-screen reports as text, pie charts or bar graphs. The database
   tracks the status, severity, urgency, and type of the defect, as well
   as providing for a brief description of the problem. Other fields
   allow additional information to be included. Sorts may be based on any
   field. A supplier WWW site is available at


   CCC/Harvest provides problem management as a stand-alone tool or in
   conjunction with other software development tools from Computer
   Associates (formerly from Platinum Technology). Electronic review and
   notification of status changes is part of the problem life cycle
   management provided. A supplier WWW site is available at


   ClearDDTS (formerly DDTs by QualTrak) from Rational (formerly Pure
   Atria) may be used as a stand alone product or in conjunction with the
   ClearCase SCM tool. Some of the DDTS advocates had been using the tool
   for several years and claimed they could not imagine functioning
   without it. While "call tracking" is a form of problem management, the
   manufacturer says it is not designed to provide sophisticated call
   tracking. It does do a very good job of problem management and metrics
   gathering. The email interface allows notification of new problems and
   changes of status as well as submission of defects from email.

   The tool's character-based terminal interface origins is still evident
   even in the newer X-Windows version, causing some users to find it
   harder to use than a full GUI tool. Despite that drawback, it has many
   strong supporters.

   The product includes a Web-based interface called WebTracker which
   allows for submission and querying of records in the ClearDDTS
   database. It provides most of the functionality of the native
   ClearDDTS client, including the ability to modify a recorf and
   generate management reports.

   One popular feature of ClearDDTS is its distributed nature. ClearDDTS
   supports the sharing of information between project teams located at
   different locations. With ClearDDTS' subscription feature, a remote
   location can subscribe to a local project and maintain a copy of all
   records associated with that project in a remote database. The
   information is kept in-sync through an email interface.

   ClearDDTS is integrated with Purify. A developer who finds a run-time
   error can submit that error directly into ClearDDTS. The Purify output
   will be included as part of the record in ClearDDTS.

   The ClearDDTS and ClearCase configuration management integration has
   been shipping for a while and seems to be very popular. A number of
   users report a high degree of satisfaction with this integration.

   There is a simple "query language" that allows extracting "all bugs
   submitted against product-x by person-y between date-1 and date-2 that
   have priority greater than z." Beginning in Nov. 1995, ClearDDTS began
   including an SQL database as part of the product. It also provides an
   SQL interface to the Oracle database.

     * very easy to use platform
     * very flexible tool
     * good integration with ClearCase
     * offers the most benefit for the dollar
     * references check out well
     * good support
     * ability to link problem reports in parent-child relationships
     * allows some rather complex searches
     * very nice metrics shipped and setup with the tool
     * engineer can get email with change-request number

     * user interface is too character-based
     * only available on UNIX platforms today

   Summarizing their installation, one person said, "ClearCase is truly a
   productivity tool for the engineer/programmer and DDTS is a
   productivity tool for the project manager."

   A supplier WWW site is available at MS Windows users may want
   to look into ClearQuest at


   ClearQuality is part of Clarify Inc.'s Service Management System.
   While ClearSupport provides high volume call tracking, ClearQuality
   provides defect tracking. Information it keeps includes priority,
   severity, module and description. It allows related information to be
   attached by the user. In addition to Motif on UNIX platforms,
   ClearQuality's client may be run from PCs and Macintosh machines. A
   supplier WWW site is available at


   ClearQuest from Rational may be used as a stand alone product or in
   conjunction with the Rational Suite toolkit. It is also integrated
   with a variety of other tools from Rational, including ClearCase,
   Purify, Quantify, PureCoverage, TeamTest, and PerformanceStudio.

   ClearQuest is a flexible system, allowing the designer to create data
   fields, forms, life cycles (i.e. state machines), and process rules
   via either Perl or VBScript. ClearQuest uses a RDBMs as the back-end
   datastore, supporting Sybase SQL/Anywhere, Microsoft Access, Microsoft
   SQL Server and Oracle.

   ClearQuest provides the end-user with both a Win32 and Web interface.
   Customizations and administration are done on via a Win32 interface. A
   supplier WWW site is available at


   ClearTrack was Rational's (actually Atria's) change request managemen
   (CRM) system that tracked defects and enhancement requests throughout
   the entire software development and maintenance process. It could be
   used as a standalone system or in conjunction with Rational's
   ClearCase software configuration management product. Used together,
   ClearCase and ClearTrack provided a change management solution. Over
   time, this product has been replaced by Rational's ClearDDTS and
   ClearQuest and is noted here only for historical reference.


   The MetaQuest Software Inc. product Census is an MS Windows-based
   issue tracking system that can track defects, enhancement requests,
   test cases, timesheets, support calls, and more. Some of its features
     * Customizable without programming but can be extended using VBA
     * Includes e-mail integration and notification
     * Tracks revision history
     * Full reporting and query capabilities including ad-hoc queries
     * Interactive tutorial included
     * Windows client interface and a Web-based interface via Census Web
     * Automatically generates Web Views for different classes of users

   A supplier WWW site is available at

  Change Synergy

   The Change Synergy problem tracking tool from Telelogic (which
   acquired Continuus Software Corp., formerly CaseWare, Inc.) is
   excellent and is integrated with their CM Synergy tool, providing a
   tightly integrated package.

   The system supports problem submission (either through a graphical
   user interface or electronic mail), on-line queries, problem
   reporting, and correlation of change requests to project components. A
   supplier WWW site is available at

  Control First



   TRUEtrack, sold by TRUE Software provides an interface to TRUEchange.
   This product is also sold as Control First by Repository Technology
   and provides problem tracking capability for the configuration
   management product PVCS.

  Defect WorkFlow (DWF)

   Defect WorkFlow (DWF) from SoftQuest Systems is a PC-based defect
   tracking and change management system for software systems. A web
   interface permits reporting defects and changes over the Internet. DWF
   contains a process based workflow for recording defects and changes,
   analyzing them, fixing them and testing them. The testing phase
   supports testing of multiple software releases before closing the
   defect/change. Documentation updates are linked to the defect and
   change that has to be handled. An evaluation copy can be downloaded
   from the supplier WWW site at


   DTS is a commercial web-based defect and trouble tracking system from
   Open System Consultants. It is suitable for use by ISPs and software
   developers and includes email gateways, management statistics and
   reporting. DTS runs on any Unix host supported by Perl, including
   Solaris, SunOS, Linux, FreeBSD, Digital Unix and many others. It with
   any SQL database supported by Perl DBD/DBI, including Oracle, Sybase,
   Informix, Microsoft SQL, Ingres, mSQL, mysql etc. Full source code is
   included. A full working demo and product details are available on the
   supplier WWW site at


   ExtraView by Sesame Technology is a completely Web-based issue
   tracking and workflow management system designed for ease of setup,
   configuration, and customization. ExtraView conforms to the
   installer's processes and workflow requirements, helping a company to
   provide a better product to its customers.

   Features include:
     * Unlimited scalability of cases, groups, users, fields, rules,
       reports, and attachments
     * Automatic email notification, threaded email discussions, and
       dynamic interest lists
     * Queries with simple or complex filters, custom statistical and
       summary reports exported from the browser to HTML, MS Word, Excel,
       or text
     * Complete audit trails on all updates and workflow transitions
     * Integrated knowledge base
     * Command Line Interface and open API for easy integration with SCM
       and CRM products
     * Wireless PDA support

   A supplier WWW site is available at and


   GLOBEtrack by GLOBEtrotter Software is an integrated Web-based bug and
   customer support tracking system providing a complete set of
   high-quality product defect and customer support management solutions.
   GLOBEtrack is easily installed and designed to be used immediately
   after installation with predefined bug and support tracking templates
   and reports. Also, it is customizable, you can make simple changes
   quickly, or you can implement extensive changes to tailor GLOBEtrack
   to fit your specific needs. It runs on several Unix platforms and a
   Web based interface makes the product available to users running
   X-Windows servers on other platforms. A supplier WWW site is available


   IssueView by IssueView.Com is customizable Windows based bug tracking
   software. It has a multi-project Explorer style interface. Tracking
   projects are displayed in a Tree on the left, and issues within the
   selected project are displayed in a powerful datagrid. IssueView
   supports custom Filters, Reports, Attachments, Drag-and-Drop, and much
   more. Both Microsoft Access and SQL Server databases are supported. A
   supplier WWW site is available at,


   Consensus of responders was that KeepTrack! was rather restrictive and
   that it is no longer available on the market.

  Lotus Notes

   Not surprisingly, a Lotus representative replied that they use Lotus
   Notes for Tech Support Calls. All customer incidents are tracked from
   phone call through world-wide escalation. (Although Lotus claimed to
   market the application and customization they use, there was no
   response to an email request for more information.)

   Others using Lotus Notes admitted they had not tried a commercial
   system built specifically for problem management. Most used email
   and/or automatic email from Lotus Notes as part of their
   implementation. Depending upon how each site builds the database and
   forms, a Lotus Notes form may include version, client, module,
   priority, status, additional text, and more. Prioritization and review
   can be handled, though the descriptions of some implementations
   sounded awkward.

     * tailored to local process and style
     * better than lots of Post-It notes and yelling
     * tool already in use for other communication reasons
     * good means for wide area distribution and replication

     * difficult to extract metrics reports
     * performance issues (see below)
     * lack of integration with rest of development system

   Although reliability and up-time seems adequate, performance and
   scalability tended to be a problem when using Lotus Notes as a problem
   tracking system. Even on 50 MHz 486 machines, several users reported
   situations such as:
     * 20 second searches with fewer than 2000 records
     * over 5 minutes with 65000 records and two users
     * search time doubling with each new user added


   NeumaCM+ from Neuma Technology Corporation provides a comprehensive
   problem reporting and tracking system. This problem tracking
   application may be used as a standalone system, or it may be fully
   integrated with your complete NeumaCM+ application suite. A problem
   can be defined as a deficiency in a product or process that represents
   a deviation from the product, requirement or specification. For any
   problem entered in NeumaCM+, the system tracks critical information
   such as who originated the problem, the status and priority of the
   problem, and the description. NeumaCM+ maintains a full audit trail of
   all actions relates or associated to that problem report. It can be
   highly customized by the user. A web interface is also available. A
   supplier WWW site is available at


   OmniTracker by OmniNet GmbH is a professional action and request
   management and tracking system available for a broad spectrum of
   service delivery organizations and application areas such as:
   Help-Desks and Call-Center, Quality-Management, Service-Management,
   SLA-Management, Activity-Management, Problem- and Bug-Management,
   Change-Management. A supplier WWW site is available at


   PR-Tracker by Softwise includes features such as customizable data
   entry, workflow, views and queries; one click queries; reports; email
   notification and attachments. PR-Tracker Web implements problem
   tracking over the internet or an intranet with the same user interface
   as PR-Tracker. PR-Tracker and PR-Tracker Web can be integrated so that
   data collected from both products can be stored in the same database.

   More information and downloads are available on the supplier WWW site

  Problem Tracker

   ProblemTracker by NetResults is a Web-based tool for bug tracking and
   change management. Some of the features include
     * A user-definable workflow system that helps manage the process of
       getting bugs fixed
     * Email integration and notification
     * Full query and reporting capabilities
     * Summary reports
     * Customer bug reporting that allows your customers to submit
       problem reports over the Internet to ProblemTracker
     * Web-based file attachments
     * Full HTML online help

   A supplier WWW site is available at

  PVCS Dimensions

   The configuration management tool PCMS Dimensions PVCS by MERANT
   (formed by the combination of Micro Focus and Intersolv) includes an
   embedded software development process management capability which can
   be used for problem management. Based on an Oracle database engine, it
   is SQL compliant. Reports are that the system as a whole is very
   bureaucratic and time-consuming, adding a lot of overhead to the
   development process that couldn't be justified by the rewards. These
   comments have been disputed by several others in the newsgroup who
   claim PVCS Dimensions imposes no more process overhead than the
   user/organization has itself chosen to use. The organizational
   policies are definable within the PVCS Dimensions "control plan".

   Interactions with other tools is limited but being improved. It is
   integrated with a graphical desktop in Digital's COHESION Team/SEE.

  PVCS Tracker

   The PC Windows-only tool PVCS Tracker (formerly DCS) came highly
   recommended by those who responded. It may be used in stand alone mode
   or may be networked. UNIX systems may access the database via lan
   manager and PC/NFS.

   The integration with PVCS provides a development platform for PC
   users. Tracker has been improved for use on large projects/large
   development groups and the product can now use the major client/server
   DBMSs as the backend database engine. Alternatively, you can use the
   integrated dBASE 5.0 as the backend.

   A supplier WWW site is available at


   The former Siebel/Scopus Technology products QualTEAM and ProTEAM have
   been replaced with a new offering combining features from Siebel's
   product and these, which Siebel acquired.

   A user writeup and description of the new product is needed. Please
   submit comments to the newsgroup and directly to the FAQ editor.

   A supplier WWW site is available at


   Razor, from Visible Systems Corporation (formerly from Tower Concepts)
   is a highly configurable problem tracking system, which comes complete
   with an integrated file version control package.

   Issue form templates are defined and tailored by each work group to
   contain information that will meet their needs. These forms present
   themselves on screen as Motif windows, employing text fields, check
   boxes, choices etc, for such information as...
     * The estimated effort/cost involved
     * Whether the issue is approved for resolution
     * The systems to be affected by the proposed change
     * Which product release it relates to
     * Its priority and phase in schedule
     * None, all, others, or variations of the above

   Each new form is automatically numbered and entered into the Razor
   database. These forms can then be edited and routed to team members
   electronically, avoiding the clumsy paper and homegrown systems that
   have become the norm in many companies. Every change to the form is
   recorded and time stamped with the user's login name, providing
   complete accountability for changes. Approval and signature lists can
   be configured into the system to make the package as open or
   restrictive as each site deems necessary for their process.

   The product is also takes advantage of email connectivity. Users are
   able to submit new issues to the database through email messages, and
   to use email to configure queries and reports which are generated and
   returned by email. Their database synchronization capability provides
   automatic coordination of multiple databases at remote sites. Razor's
   easily parsed ASCII database allows users to generate their own
   scripts for report generation and process control.

   A company representative stressed that it is extremely easy to try out
   their product. Both documentation and a full copy of the product for
   evaluation are available by FTP. New releases and patches are handled
   in the same manner. A supplier WWW site is available at

  Remedy ARS

   The Action Request System (ARS) by Remedy Corp. is a flexible
   client/server solution which is available on a wide variety of

   Users report that the system is effective and very flexible. Its 'help
   desk software' is but one of the functions available in this vertical
   application builder oriented toward business process management. The
   AR System is not an out of box solution but rather one for which
   effective deployment requires careful process analysis and at least
   tailoring of the sample application schemas provided with the product.

   The rich set of active link (client side, not supported by ARWeb) and
   filters (server side) provide extensive opportunities for validating
   inputs, triggering external events, computing defaults based on other
   input fields, etc.

   Remedy offers the ARWeb product for WWW access to Action Request
   System installations. An on-line demo is available from the Remedy web
   server. Via the WWW, users can submit new Action Requests (what ever
   they are called in the local context, .... help requests, bug reports,
   etc.) and they can perform QBE searches of the data base. Using the
   search facilities, they can check the status of prior requests as well
   as look for similar problems from other users. Other ARSystem
   facilities require an actual AR System client for access (modify,
   delete, etc.).

   A supplier WWW site is available at


   Software with Brains, Inc.'s SWBTracker is bug tracking and release
   management software for small- to medium-sized software development
   companies. It supports multiple users, customizable defect
   classifications, automatic e-mail notifications, customizable reports
   and queries, and defect submissions by remote users. A supplier WWW
   site is available at


   TeamShare's TeamTrack Workgroup is a secure and configurable solution,
   created to map, track and enforce the life of development projects.
   Like our enterprise solution TeamTrack, TeamTrack Workgroup uses the
   same technology to provide a solution for professional product
   development, quality assurance, technical support, and help desk
   teams. A supplier WWW site is available at

  Track for Windows

   Track for Windows by Soffrontis a customizable Defect Tracking and
   Technical Support database, designed to help deliver quality products
   on time by tracking and automatically informing of the defects in the
   product, the project completion time, the system configuration and
   other related information to everyone who must be informed. TRACKWeb
   is server software that enables you to interact with a Track Database
   using standard Web browsers. TRACKRules is a rule definition system
   which allows a systems administrator to define complex conditions
   which activate both mail notifications and field updates, thereby
   ensuring proper maintenance and execution of business rules, process
   flow, and communication. A supplier WWW site is available at


   TrackRecord by Compuware Corporation (who acquired UnderWare, Inc.) is
   a fully configurable client/server change request management system
   integrated with Visual SourceSafe Safe, PVCS and others. It has
   dynamic reports keeping each user on the system up to date with the
   information they are interested in. It also has full web client
   capability and email integration for remote users. TrackRecord is
   extensible through its Active X automation interfaces.


   TrackWise from Sparta Systems, Inc., is a highly customizable and
   powerful tracking tool for PCs running MS Windows. It can implement
   defect tracking, change request management (CRM), customer complaints,
   and many others. It uses standard SQL relational database systems
   (RDBMS). Querying, performing quick searches and report generation is
   performed via point-and-click. No formal "query language" is required.
   A supplier WWW site is available at

  Vantive Quality

   Vantive Quality by Vantive Corporation is an integrated change
   management system with links to several configuration management
   systems. In addition to status tracking, it integrates with popular
   email packages, providing automatic routing of problems. Vantive
   Quality is integrated with other Vantive tools to provide such
   features as Help Desk support.

  Visual Intercept

   Visual Intercept by Elsinore Technologies, Inc. is a problem
   management tool which is integrated with Microsoft's Visual
   SourceSafe. The company was formed by some former leaders of One Tree
   Software, the original authors of SourceSafe before it was purchased
   by Microsoft. A supplier WWW site is available at

6. Other Tools

   There are other such tools available today as well as new ones
   entering the market. Check the appropriate industry periodicals for
   additional listings.

Appendix A. References and Sources of Information

   For additional information about the topic discussed here, consider
   the following sources of information in addition to various industry
   periodicals and new data from the vendors themselves.

   Usenet Newsgroup
          [1] The Usenet newsgroup articles and
          associated Frequently asked Questions (FAQ) lists comments on
          software tools from newsgroup readers world-wide. That FAQ is
          archived at site in the directory
          pub/usenet/news.answers/software-eng under the names part0
          through part3. Instructions for finding the other parts of the
          FAQ for this newsgroup,, are provided
          in the section 'Other Information' above.

   Windows NT Tools
          [2] Microsoft Win32 Products & Services Catalog. Published in
          1993 by Microsoft Corporation as part number 098-5230. Copies
          may be requested from Microsoft Corporation; Systems Marketing;
          One Microsoft Way; Redmond, WA 98052 or email:

   Open Systems Tools
          [3] 1994 Open Systems Products Directory. Published in 1994 by
          UniForum for their members. ISBN: 0-936593-28-8. Uniforum; 2901
          Tasman Dr., Suite 205; Santa Clara, CA 95054-1100.

   Various products mentioned in this message are the trademarks of their
   respective companies.

Appendix B. Problem Management Tools With World Wide Web Sites

   As the popularity and accessibility of the World Wide Web (WWW) has
   grown, tool vendors and dedicated users have begun providing tool
   information on their WWW servers. The content may vary widely, and
   some will contain significant marketing information, rather than
   technical details. On any particular attempt, network traffic, server
   traffic, or server outages may prevent access to the information. All
   servers may not be accessible from all sites. The related WWW servers
   which have been reported to this FAQ editor are:
     * Vendor/Supplier WWW Servers
          + +1CR information from +1 Software Engineering at
          + Aegis from Abacus Systems Pty Ltd. at
          + Apriori information from Computer Associates at
          + AllChange information from Intasoft at
          + BugBase information from Archimedes at
          + Track information from Soffront at
          + CCC/Harvest information from Computer Asociates at
          + Clarify, makers of ClearQuality, at
          + ClearTrack information from Rational at
          + Census information from MetaQuest Software Inc. at
          + Change Synergy information from Telelogic at
          + Defect WorkFlow (DWF) from SoftQuest Systems at
          + DTS by Open System Consultants at
          + ExtraView information from Sesame Technology at
          + GLOBETrack information from GLOBEtrotter Software at
          + IssueView information from IssueView.Com at
          + Neuma Technology Corporation information about NeumaCM+ at
          + OmniTracker information from OmniNet GmbH at
          + PR-Tracker at
          + Dean Collins' information about PTS, XPTS, and Web/PTS at
          + PTS information at
          + Rational's product ClearDDTS at
          + Rational's product ClearQuest at
          + MERANT makers of PVCS Tracker, at
          + NetResults info about Problem Tracker at
          + Qualit, Inc. at
          + Siebel Systems, Inc., makers of QualTEAM and ProTEAM at
          + Software with Brains, Inc. makers of SWBTracker at
          + Sparta Systems, Inc., makers of TrackWise at
          + Remedy Corp. makers of ARS at
          + TeamShare makers of TeamTrack at
          + Visible Systems makers of Razor, at
          + Visual Intercept by Elsinore Technologies, Inc. at
     * User Information WWW Servers
          + (None at this time)
     * Other Related WWW Servers
          + Phil Verghis' Help Desk FAQ, at

   Additional CM related information available on the WWW is listed in
   section 1.7, Where else can I look for configuration management
   information?, in the "General Questions" portion (a separate posting)
   of this FAQ.

   If you are aware of other WWW Servers which should be added to this
   list (or any which should be retired), please notify the FAQ editor.

         --------------- End Of FAQ Part

   (This message does not represent an official position of any company.)
 Dave Eaton
 FAQ editor

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Last Update March 27 2014 @ 02:12 PM