We recently started using Redmine as our issue tracking software and we're very pleased with it. I trialled several alternatives, both open source and commercial, including Jira, FogBugz, Mantis and Trac, but decided on Redmine. Jira and FogBugz look like excellent products, but I don't feel we would use the extra functionality that warrants the price tag. Mantis looks a bit dated and although it's been a while, last time I tried to install and configure Trac, it was a bit of a nightmare.
First thing first, here are some of our requirements for an issue tracker:
- Multiple Projects
- Time tracking
- Notifications (email, rss, im etc.)
- SCM integration
Redmine does all of this and a little more, but we haven't used the other features that much. It does what we want really well, so that's good enough for us.
What I like
Editing issues in bulk is fantastic. We deploy our application fairly casually, and when we do we set all the issues that have been deployed as closed and assign them a version number. Highlight the issues, right click and set the version number.
The SCM integration does all we need it to. If we add Fixes #500 or Implements #500 to a commit message, issue 500 will be set to resolved and 100% complete and the revision number and commit message appears on the issue's page. Alternatively, just putting Refs #500 will show the revision number and commit message in the page, without changing the status.
Issues themselves can have custom fields, but we don't use them all that much. We do make lots of use of the descriptions and notes as they both take wiki markup, meaning we can enter rich text including source code highlighting and images, linking to changesets, wiki pages, target versions, source code and other issues. I like the ability to embed screenshots and call graphs in issues.
What I don't like
Here's a couple of things that bother me, if I shift my arse I might look into creating patches for the simple ones.
I often wish a few more items where 'clickable'. For instance when viewing the issue list, I'd like to be able to click the Category name in one of the rows and see a list of issues for that category.
You can save filters on the issue list, which is ace, but it would be nice if you can 'save as new'. I often create lots of very similar queries and have to build up each one from scratch.