Bugify - Bug tracker review

Alongside version control, a bug tracker is the other essential tool for developers of an ongoing project. At Blipfoto, we rolled our own basic bug tracker for a while, but didn't have the time for writing additional features so went looking for an alternative.

The most obvious answer would be something like Bugzilla, but personally I find it awkward to install (every time I'd had dependency issues) and, well, ugly to the point of distraction.

So I decided to try out Bugify. Its feature-list seemed pretty much what I was looking for:

  • user & group permissions
  • email notifications
  • markdown formatting
  • an API
  • Git integration

Bugify is written in PHP and takes a couple of minutes to get up and running (I did have to dig into its Zend libraries to make it play nice with our Redis sessions, but I'd say that's an edge case).

The Bugify design is clear and uncluttered, which really helps when trying to understand what's going on at a glance. The overview shows recent issues you're assigned to as well as those you're following, and from the Issues menu you can create filters. These let you track issues based on criteria (project, category, status etc) which I've already found really useful.

Issues themselves are detailed enough without getting overly complicated - each has a status, priority and optional assignee, plus you can categorise and attach them to milestones. It's also easy to view the history of each issue.

As with any tracker, Bugify emails you when things happen. Each user can customise their settings here, although I'd like an option to be alerted whenever a new issue is created, regardless of the creator.

Each user also has an API key, so it only took a few minutes to allow us to forward emailed support requests directly to the tracker. I'll also be tweaking our Git post-commit hook so issues can be referenced directly from version control.

All in all, Bugify has avoided the common mistake of feature overkill and added a clear design to come up a product with almost zero learning curve - precisely what's needed when you just want to get stuff done. If you have a small team then I'd say it's well worth the $39.