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What is a Bug Tracking Report?
Every bug tracking system includes a detailed reporting process. Bug tracking reports are the means by which bugs are identified, defined, recorded, and archived. By following bugs and product glitches from their initiation to their conclusion, these reports become an essential part of maintaining a fully-functioning product.
Think of a bug tracking report as the bug's problem log. In this sense, a bug is like an unruly child. What does a child's mother do when she notices new any unusual negative behavior patterns? She turns to a child psychologist. The psychologist begins by first opening a file on the child. This file includes the following: the child's basic information, observations made by the psychologist, tests run, any diagnosis, and applied solutions. Basically, this report charts the child's path to healthy behavior.
Bug tracking works in much the same way. The business owner with the bug in his product is like the child's worried mother. He turns to the professional bug tracking team to solve the problem and eliminate the bug. Similar to the psychologist, the bug tracking team initiates a report on the new bug. The bug report, like the psychologist’s file, follows the bug from its first disruptive behavior to its final correction.
The bug tracking report contains several categories of information. The basic identifying factors include:
   • The bug's name;
   • Identification number;
   • Which application the bug affected; and
   • Where the bug occurred (i.e. browser, software system).
The next information evaluates the bug's affect:
   • The bug's severity level;
   • An assigned priority level from low to immediate based on severity; and
   • A categorization based on the area endangered (security, a specific function, or a general effect).
Based on this bug tracking report, the bug trackers (software developers) know how to proceed with the case. From here, additional information is added to the report such as the following:
   • Tests that were performed as well as test results;
   • Bug description;
   • How to reproduce the bugs; and
   • The final outcome – was the bug dealt with successfully.
Bug tracking reports effectively document the entire history of a bug's existence. They are essential to understanding and solving current bugs in a system so that they don’t cause havoc again.