Basics of Tuleap Tracker : open source issue tracking and project management

What kind of tool is Tuleap issue tracking and project management software?

Among the different modules that Tuleap offers, one is dedicated to issue tracking and project reporting. It is a tool for issue/artifact/incident tracking that provides additional functionality such as creating project reporting graphs. Tuleap tracking software has the advantages of open source and libre software.
It is an issue tracking tool that enables team members to create, update, monitor and resolve artifacts. It is designed to help teams to form an important knowledge base of issues, allowing others to understand the history of the project.

 

What is the difference between an issue, an artifact and incident tracking?

When talking about tracking tools, you will find on the web different terms to talk about the same thing. You can read about "issues", "artifacts" or "incident" tracking. Usually, it means the same thing. They are generic terms that mean "something you want to track because it will evolve during the life of the project."

Originally, tracking tools were mainly used to monitor bugs. That's why the legacy term has a "negative" connotation. But the new generation of tools such as the Tuleap tracking module, offer many ways to tailor the item to be tracked.

In Tuleap, the tracking system can store and follow any type of project item.

Basic concepts of Tuleap open source tracking tool

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

  • A Tuleap instance: the ALM platform your administrator 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. To create issues and save their modifications throughout the project lifecycle, there could be one or more trackers for a project.
  • A tracker: the tracking tool tailored to monitor a specific project item: bug tracker, request tracker, task tracker. It is a collection of several issues.
  • An issue or artifact: the type of project item that the team wants to track: one bug, one request, one task.
  • 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.

A bug in Tuleap typically looks like this:

artifact

Obviously, your Tuleap issues may look different to this if the project manager has customized the tracker in the project workspace.
These are the most common fields used for issues:

  • ID: this is the unique identification number of the artifact. In one Tuleap instance, no two issues have the same ID.
  • Date of creation: the date when 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 who are responsible for the artifact.
  • Permissions: the persons who have the right to read the artifact and modify it.
  • References: the other artifacts and project items (document, source code, test...) linked to this issue.
  • Attachment: a screenshot or any file whose purpose is to provide additional information about the issue.
  • Follow-up: this is where all changes will be stored. This is the history of the issue. You can follow what has been added, removed or changed, when and by whom.

who-use-tuleap-trackers

Who uses the Tuleap tracker tool and for what purposes?

Different organizations use the Tuleap tracker to track different kinds of issues. Thanks to its focus on being highly configurable, the Tuleap tracking tool can be used by people with many different profiles, dealing with many different things. 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

But anyone who wants to track something that will evolve can also use the Tuleap tracking system.

At Enalean for example, we use the Tuleap tracking module for following staff vacations.
In our customers' organizations, other departments in addition to software development, are using the Tuleap tracker:

People Examples of issue tracked
Purchasing and accounting services  contracts, invoices, bills
Marketing tasks, events, campaigns
Human resources people, training courses
Help desk teams support requests, SLA, enhancements
Sales companies, contacts, opportunities

Here are some examples of different trackers created in a project workspace:

Tuleap-list-trackers

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

 

How does the Tuleap tracking system provide project management features?

The Tuleap tracking tool stores large amounts of valuable information. To be easy to use on a day-to-day basis, an efficient tracker has:

  • first, to store all changes made on the project issues,
  • and secondly, to provide searches, features and graphs to make this information clear and concise.

In order to make project teams more effective, the Tuleap tracking system comes with searches, graphs and reporting capabilities:

  • running customized searches on the issues
  • creating accurate tables, graphs (Gantt chart, bars, pies, cumulative charts) as well as card views,
  • saving reports for individual use or public reports to share with the whole team

Example of a Gantt chart created using a Task tracker:

Tuleap-gantt-chart

Example of project management graphs created using a Bug tracker:

graph-reports

 

What type of fields can be tracked with Tuleap tracking?

We'll see in another tutorial how to customize Tuleap tracking software, move existing fields in the form, adding new ones, removing old ones and so one, but first, let's look at the most common fields that can be monitored.

  • Select Box Field and Multiple Select Box Field: they allow users to select one or more entries from a list of pre-set choices, instead of entering them manually.
  • Text Field: it can contain any kind of text, eg. an explanation of the issue.
  • Date Field: a field with a small calendar to specify a date. A date is usually written as: YYYY-MM-DD where YYYY is the year, MM is the month and DD is the day. Examples: 2013-03-21 is March 21st, 2013, 2014-12-05 is Dec 5th, 2014.
  • Integer Field: it can take positive or negative values but it has no decimal. eg. 5
  • Floating Point Number Field: it can hold a real number, that is, a number that can contain a fraction eg. 789,65 or -4,56

And, that's it for now! We have seen the basics you need to go forward with the Tuleap open source tracking tool and project management software. See you in the next tutorial to go forward in to create and customize a Tuleap open source tracker.

About the Author

How great is the challenge of creating economic value for a company with a libre software. I enjoy this! It encourages me to think business and communication in a disruptive way. I believe in the core value of FLOSS and agile spirit: open minded listening, transparency and co-creation. I'm Marketing Manager at Enalean.

Write Your Comment

6 + sixteen =

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Websites located at enalean.com and other enalean.com subdomains need to store and access cookies on your device. We need your acceptance. Get more information.

Yes, I agree No, I disagree