This chapter describes various delivery mechanisms for Web-Based Bug Tracker and provides various criteria considered for the selection of the appropriate Issue Tracking Software for your organization.
Stand-Alone Systems mostly work on a Single Machine. Some products allow Data Sharing between different installations by selling additional licenses. The advantages of such a system are its ability to work without any (or limited) connection to the network. Also, due to this reason, they may be faster than other solutions. The Disadvantages of a stand-alone system are its Inability to Share Information easily across different users in the organization, Difficulty in Managing Data and Security in various systems and Maintenance of the software itself.
Web-Based systems work on the Web-Server (and sometimes on an application server) and provide access to clients on Compatible Browsers. It does not suffer the disadvantages of a stand-alone system as the software can be theoretically accessed anytime and anywhere. Web-based systems allow Maintenance and Management of the Software from one place. Client-side software does not need much maintenance as browsers are bundled with the operating systems nowadays. The Web-Based Systems sometimes suffer from security problems as they have a good chance of being infected by a virus that targets Web-Servers. Also, the web-based system can be slower than its stand-alone counterpart because every request needs to go through the web-server. Faster Hardware and Networks have mitigated this problem to a great extent.
Application Service Provider (ASP) model for software use is becoming popular nowadays. It works on the basis that the vendor hosts the application and the customer uses the application for a Fixed Fee per month. The advantage of this kind of Software Delivery is that the customer does not have to install sophisticated software. The disadvantage is that customer will have to depend on the vendor for security, integrity, and maintenance of the data. Server-Based Software on the other hand allows customers to install the software at their own server and thus the customer has More control of the information. Another factor to consider is the Cost of the Software. Cost of the ASP-based software sometimes goes high over a period of time if the monthly fees are substantial. Usually, the customer gets locked into the vendor and cannot migrate to a different system in such cases.
Installation and support issues are sometimes ignored by the evaluators until the time comes to deploy the software when it may be too late to change. There are several factors to be considered for installation like skill level requirement for the installer, time for installation and support provided by the vendor. Nowadays most software is available as evaluation version, so this helps the evaluators to test the ease of installation of the software. Often vendors charge a fee for assisted installation.