Shane Duffy

Bug Tracking Software Review #1 JIRA

Posted on: July 27, 2007

I’ve been using a product from Atlassian called JIRA for the past couple years to track tasks, bugs, and requests.

I highly highly recommend it – its an amazing product and the team behind it provides great support and rapid response. They’re also highly supportive of charity and open-source organizations – if you ask nicely, they’ll give you an enterprise license to their products for free!

What makes JIRA great?

  • Completely web based
  • Highly customizable, including allowing for custom fields for each task type
  • Configuration notifications via email on changes to tasks. We currently use this to notify the assigned user and the reporter of a task when changes are made to their task.
  • Stupid simple to use – it takes about 30 seconds to create a task and about a minute to train an end user on how to use it.
  • Everything is permission based, so you can allow people to view status of issues but not allow them to change them for example.
  • Java based, runs in Tomcat on just about any kind of machine.
  • The database is flexible. We use SQL Server, but it will support MySQL, Oracle, Postgres, etc.
  • You can use it for everything throughout the development life cycle. We start using JIRA right at the requirements gathering stage to collect user stories and then translate them into functional tasks during development. Then as we transition to QA, we mark each task as resolved and QA tests and closes them. QA can then add bugs as tasks and re-assign them to the developers.
  • From a project management perspective, the tool provides a centralized view of the entire team – its very easy to see all the tasks assigned to a single person, group, component, project, etc. and then re-assign with a few clicks.
  • Its simple enough that non-technical users can benefit from it. We’re currently using it to track marketing tasks, HR requests, IT helpdesk tasks, etc. as well as software changes. It’s that flexible.

I’ve been using JIRA on multiple software projects for a few years now and would highly recommend it as a solution for managing tasks, bugs, features, etc. in a complex environment.

Even if you’re a commercial company, the price for JIRA is totally worth it – licenses are $1200-$4,800US depending on the version you need.


8 Responses to "Bug Tracking Software Review #1 JIRA"

[…] tool for task management. For more details see my review of JIRA from a previous post. It’s bugzilla on steroids and is much better and simpler than most windows based tools. […]

Shameless plug.
If you are using Agile methods and JIRA, you should consider GreenHopper (

The main goals of this plugin are to provide JIRA users with an interactive and simple interface to manage their projects (AJAX-based) and tools to increase the visibility and traceability of ongoing versions. Based on card views, GreenHopper offers a Planning Board that will help you dispatch your issues by version or components, a Task Board that will help you with the workflow of your issues and a Chart Board that will help you track your progression.

There is a two minutes video on the web site that presents an overview of GreenHopper.


Since you have experience with both Mantis and Jira, curious as to how you would compare the two? I run a number of projects in Mantis; wondering if its worth the shift to Jira.

Thanks for this Review. That was very helpful for me.

Keep a good work man!,

Hi Shane,

My name is Vivek and I work for Packt, a UK based publishing company specializing in publishing books based on Information Technology (I.T).

We have recently published a new book titled “JIRA 4 Essentials” by Patrick Li. This book is for readers who want to track bugs and issues and manage their software development projects more efficiently with JIRA. You can read more about this book here:

I came across your blog through a Google search and considering your expertise in JIRA, I feel you’d be one of the best persons to review this book for us. Therefore your thoughts about this book would prove extremely valuable to us and will be very much appreciated.

In case this subject interests you and you’d be interested in writing a review on your website or Amazon, do let me know. I’d be delighted to send you an e-copy of the book on your confirmation.

In case you have any queries, do let me know and I’d be happy to assist.

I look forward to hearing from you.



How do you install the damn thing? The documentation is too dense!

What do you mean completely web based….the download page at atlassian shows mostly standalone versions…the WARs are hidden somewhere as a second thought…

You truly constructed a handful of fantastic ideas inside your article, “Bug Tracking Software Review #1 JIRA Shane
Duffy”. I may become coming back to ur web site shortly.
Many thanks ,Donnie

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