Tuleap open source issue tracking: the basics

What Tuleap issue tracker is?

open source tracking tool
 

Tuleap offers a range of open source modules, and one of them is dedicated to issue/artifact/incident tracking. This module lets team members create, update, monitor, and resolve issues and provides features like project report graphs. It is designed to help teams build a large knowledge base of issues, giving everyone access to a complete project history. Tuleap tracking software also offers the advantage of being fully open source.

Who can use Tuleap tracker tool and for what?

Because it is highly configurable, Tuleap tracking is suitable for a broad range of users who need to track many different issues.

open source tracking tool
   

It can be used by:

People Examples of issue tracked
Software developers Releases, bugs
Project managers Tasks, time tracking, resources, budgets
Agile software development teams Sprints, epics, user-stories
Help desk teams Support requests, SLA, enhancements
Quality assurance Requirement, risks, features

In addition, anyone who needs to track constantly-evolving issues can use the Tuleap tracking system. In organizations that use Tuleap, departments other than software development also use Tuleap tracking.

People Examples of issue tracked
Purchasing and accounting Contracts, invoices
Marketing Tasks, events, campaigns
Human resources People, training
Help desk teams Support requests, SLAs, enhancements
Sales Leads, contracts, opportunities
 

This list is far from exhaustive. In reality, there are no limits to what can be tracked.

The difference between "issue", "artifact" and "incident"

When it comes to tracking tools, you will find that different terms—issues, artifacts, and incidents—are used to refer to the same thing. At least, they usually refer to the same thing! In layman’s terms, issues, artifacts, and incidents all refer to something you want to track because it will evolve during the life of a project.

Originally, tracking tools were mainly used to monitor bugs. Which is why the legacy terms have a somewhat negative connotation. However, the new generation of tools, including Tuleap tracking, offers a variety of features that let users configure the items they wish to track.

In Tuleap, the tracking system can save and monitor any type of project item.

Tuleap open source tracking: basic concepts

To understand what a tracking tool is, it is important to understand the tool’s environment. Here are a few basic concepts to keep in mind:

  • A Tuleap instance: the complete Tuleap ALM platform your administrator has installed on a server. It's a (large) collection of projects.
  • A project: the workspace belonging to a software development team, with one or more modules.
  • The tracking tool: a Tuleap module activated in a project area. More than one tracker can be used per project to create issues and save changes to the issues throughout the project lifecycle.
  • One tracker: The tracking tool, such as a bug tracker, request tracker, or task tracker, configured to monitor a specific project item. The tracker is a collection of several issues.
  • An issue or artifact: The type of project item—a specific bug, request, or task, to be tracked.
  • A workflow: a Tuleap workflow is the sequence of statuses and transitions that an issue goes through during its lifecycle. With Tuleap, the sequence of steps in a workflow can be automated to save time and make transitions easier. Each tracker can have a specific workflow.
  • Traceability: one of the most powerful capability of Tuleap tracking system is to provide work item tracking overall the software development lifecycle. Traceability involves defining requirements, capturing those requirements, and following links between requirements and other artifacts such as tasks, tests and defects as well as other work items as source code, documents or deliveries.

With Tuleap, you get full traceability and proof of compliance. Look at this video to see how you can link requirements back to tasks, to source code, to jobs and to any items of your project, etc.

 

Here are some examples of different trackers created in one project workspace

open source tracking tool
 

This is just the beginning. There are no limits to what can be tracked.

An issue in Tuleap typically looks like this. Here a request.

open source issue tracker in Tuleap
 

Your Tuleap issues could look different depending on if and how the project manager has configured the tracker in the project workspace

The most common information used in issues

  • ID:The issue’s unique identification number. No two issues can have the same ID in a single Tuleap instance.
  • Date of creation: the date the issue was created.
  • Last modification: the date of the last change.
  • Description or Summary: a short summary of the issue.
  • Assignee: the person or the group of persons responsible for the issue.
  • Permissions: the persons who have the right to read and modify the issue.
  • References: the other issues and project items (document, source code, test...) linked to this issue.
  • Attachment: a screenshot or any other file whose purpose is to provide additional information about the issue.
  • Follow-up: this is where all changes will be saved. This is the history of the issue. You can track what has been added, removed, or changed, when and by whom.

Types of fields tracked with Tuleap tracker

Tuleap-issue-trackers
 

We'll see in another tutorial how to customize Tuleap tracker software, move existing fields, add new ones, remove old ones and more. But first, let's look at the most common fields that can be tracked.

  • String Field: One-line text, such as RDT 45 ! Examples of one-line text fields are defect summaries or tasks.
  • Text Field: can contain any kind of text, eg. an explanation of the issue.
  • Select Box Field and Multiple Select Box Field: allow users to select one or more entries from a list of pre-set choices, instead of entering them manually.
  • Date Field: a field with a calendar to indicate a date usually in YYYY-MM-DD format. So, 2013-03-21 is March 21st, 2013, 2014-12-05 is Dec 5th, 2014.
  • Integer Field: accepts positive or negative values but not decimals. eg. 5
  • Floating Point Number Field: can contain any real number, including fractions and negative values such as 789.65 or -4.56

Other simple fields and radio buttons  are also possible, as are advanced fields like shared fields. You will find more information in the documentation.

So, those are the basics you need to get started with Tuleap open source tracker module. Stay tuned for the next tutorial, where you will see how to create and customize a tracker.

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