Trackers

Trackers can be used to manage

  • bugs, tasks, requirements, changes
and it can be configured for other general information management such as
  • Managing IT processes,
  • Managing Requirements,
  • Managing Changes,
  • Managing People, relationships,
  • Managing Innovation,
  • Escalations, SLA

and for other purposes. A tracker has issues. An issue in a tracker can represent a requirement, a bug, a feature request, or a change request. Once an issue is submitted it is followed up in the selected/created development process. History related to all issues are stored for traceability purposes. For different types of issues you can create any number of trackers that you want to track. For each tracker you can customize fields, permissions, default values, layout options, workflows and change notification options.

When an issue is assigned to a parent issue, this creates a Hierarchy. The issue-hierarchy can be unlimited in depth. It can reflect i.e. the relationships between tasks and requirements. There are calculated fields between parent and child issues. A perent issue can i.e. show the sum of all spent hours fields of it's childs.

Associations between issues allow description and maintenance of any kind of relationship e.g. "related", "depends", etc ..., with other issues or with any other kind of artifacts such as documents, wiki pages, code, version control system commits and URLs.

The role-based access control enables control of who can view, submit and edit issues. The role-based access control also enables you to limit which attributes of an issue (field, history data, attachments or comments) users can view and edit. E-mail notifications on changes can be configured and attachments can be added for each issue.

Trackers can be configured individually or they can be configured using templates. When Trackers are configured with templates, the template configuration can be copied or inherited from the template-Tracker. When a Tracker is copied the copy-Tracker will have identical configuration to the copied Tracker, but after the copy there is no configuration dependency between the two Trackers. In contrast when a Template Tracker's configuration is inherited, if the template Tracker configuration changes then so does the inheriting Tracker's configuration. Inheritance simplifies Tracker configuration when there are many similar Trackers that must be administered.

related information  Reports,
Tracker Workflows,
Creating and Customizing Trackers,
Escalation Management: Service Level Agreements (SLA)

Tracker Summary

On the Tracker Summarypage, a summary of the number and status of all issues is displayed. When you click on a Tracker Name a list of tracker issues will be shown. This list gives a detailed overview of all issues in the tracker.

Different users can see different statistics depending on their roles.

Figure: Project Tracker Summary List

Issue List

The tracker issues list provides detailed information about a tracker.

The heading P refers to Priority. The meaning of the color-coded dots is not editable. The Legend: red is for highest priority issues; orange for high; yellow for normal; green for low; and blue for lowest priority issues.


Figure: Tracker Issue List

Tracker Views

Tracker views provide more flexibility when browsing the issues in a tracker. There are a number of predefined views (not editable) and users can also define, edit and delete custom views, using the New button beside the Tracker View selection box. Views allow customization of column layout, sort criteria and ordering separately for each tracker.

Public Views

Project Administrators can create public views, that are available to all project members. Tracker views support dynamic field references and searches for members by role. All project members can edit public views, but only project administrators can save them again as public views. Other members can only save a personal, private version of this view. If a user has created a private version of a public view, he won’t see the public version until he deletes his private version.

Figure: New Tracker View Edit Window

Tracker View Change using Tracker Customize

Please see information under Tracker Customize

Searching for Issues

Use full text search in the Filter field to find tracker issues. Enter the search text pattern and click on GO.


Submitting a New Issue

To submit a new issue:

  1. Click on New,
  2. Provide a one line summary for the Issue in the mandatory Summary field
  3. Enter a more detailed explanation in the mandatory Description field,
  4. Set the values of the other non-mandatory fields, as required,
  5. Click on Submit.

The required fields are marked by red color, fields with view-only permissions are grayed (marked by gray color). After submitting the new issue, you can follow up using attachments, associations or in other ways using the options described below.


Figure: Submit a New Issue.




Adding Details, such as Comments, Attachments, Associations and Reminders

For each Issue you can assign attachments, comments and associations, and more, using the tabs under Details, near the bottom of the Issue display.

Figure: Issue Details: such as Comments, Attachments, History


Adding Comments

You can add comments to an issue by clicking on the Add Comment link under the Comments tab, under Details. This results in a normal wiki edit pop-up window. Click Add when finished entering the comment.

Adding Private Comments

You can add comments to an issue by clicking on the Add Comment link. You can select a specific role from the Visible for pop-up so that your comment is visible only for the members in the selected role. This feature allows you to designate information as suitable for external or internal users. For example, when a customer submits an issue, developers can discuss an issue internally with private comments and reply to the customer when they come to a common understanding.

Figure: Private Comments

Delete or Edit Comments

Delete or Edit comments by selecting Delete or Edit from the tool-tip menu at the far right of the comment's line. You will be asked to confirm a delete.

Figure: Delete and Edit in Issue Details Comment-Tab Tool-tip

Adding Attachments

Attach screenshots, images and binary documents to an issue using the Attachments tab. Attach up to three documents at one time.

Adding Associations and Dependencies

You can associate tracker issues with other tracker issues, forum topics, documents, source files, commits or external URLs. For example, an association enables you to define relationships between project plan documents and requirements, tasks or bugs.

Figure: Associate Tracker Issues with Other Artifacts

If an association is made, a comment can be added for the association in the comment field below the association definition, and above the attachment selection. Note that this is a comment for the association, not the whole issue, and the text is only stored and redisplayed if an association is made.

Find artifacts to associate using the tabs:

  • history artifacts from your recent activities,
  • search results from the search tab or
  • URLs.

The following artifact types can be associated:

  • Tracker Issues,
  • Forum topics,
  • Source Files,
  • Documents,
  • URLs (CodeBeamer internal or external).

The association type can be:

  • depends
  • parent
  • child or
  • related
Using configuration files new association types can be added.

Select the check box of a document, Tracker Issue, URL, Forum topic or Source File to be associated. Add a comment. Then click the blue Add button to add the new association. If a related-type issue association has been made, it will appear under the Related Issues tab in the details of the issue.

However, selecting a association-type of parent, child or depends will not change any of the Children tab contents in any of the associated issues. Instead, please use the Children tab to define dependencies.


History

Since release 6.0, codeBeamer issues are versioned. Every change (editing, commenting, workflow transition) results in a new issue version, identified by a unique version number.

The History tab now does not longer show the change history, but the version history of the issue.
By clicking on a version number, you can display this historic version.




Only the current version (head revision) of an issue is editable (depending on issue status and user permissions).
Concurrent editing operations are now detected, only the first user to commit his changes will succeed, all other users editing the same revision will be rejected ("Attempt to update non-head revision").


Reminders

When viewing an issue, the more menu tooltip makes it easier to add comments, attachments, associations, tags and children, but you can also create a 'Reminder' of the issue, using the tooltip's link.

Figure: more Tooltip Menu with Reminder Selection

When Reminder is selected, the following pop-up window appears:

Figure: Reminder Pop-up Window

In the pop-up, you select the amount of delay before you receive an email reminder of the issue. The Reminder function is dependent on having the Escalation Module. Other types of notifications can be sent based on complex conditions of the issue: see Escalation Management: Service Level Agreements (SLA) for more details. A Reminder is also dependent on how your project calendar is defined in the project's Admin area. For example, if your Project Calendar's Default Business hours end on Friday at 17:00, and you make a Reminder with a delay of 1 hour, you won't see the reminder until the Default Business Hours start again, typically on Monday morning. See Administering Projects for more information.

Editing Issues

Issues are typically updated during the project's lifetime. Users with different roles like project manager, architect, developer or contractor can change the status, priority and severity of issues based on their roles and permissions. For example a customer can submit a bug, but he or she can view only the bugs that were submitted by him or her. A support engineer can view and edit all bug submissions, then assign them to one or more developers, and later a test engineer can close the Issue.

Figure: Edit an Issue.

If you assign an issue to members, they will be notified about the assignment action as well as about all the changes that will be made to the issue in the future by other users.

You are not notified about your own changes.

Using Cut, Copy, and Paste (Move and Duplicate)

With cut, copy and paste you can easily duplicate and move issues across trackers and projects.

Copying Issues With Copy/Paste

Copy existing issues into a different tracker in either the same project or in a different project. When the source and the destination tracker have different fields, a field mapping wizard helps associate the different fields. When the copy or paste commands are used, the duplicate issues are dependent upon the source issue. The Mass Edit feature enables deleting this dependency.

Copy and Move Issues Between Trackers

Reorganizing projects may require moving issues into different trackers. For example, move a change request entry into a task tracker. When the source and the destination trackers are different, the field-mapping wizard allows easy mapping of the source and destination fields.

The actions Copy to and Move to allow the selected issues to be copied or moved from one tracker to another tracker. Under the Children tab of an issue, children of an issue can be selected and similarly copied or moved, using the tab's More Actions... pull down menu.

Figure: Tracker Actions Copy, Paste and Move

The destination chooser dialog only shows those trackers into which the user is permitted to add issues.

The possible target trackers are grouped by project and can be optionally filtered by type.

In a Move to operation only a single destination can be selected. Multiple destinations can be selected with Copy to . Each target tracker will receive its own copy of the selected issues.

Copy or Move Issue Children

By default, in status Closed an issue's children and associations cannot be changed.

Parent permission and status are both used to decide whether a descendant (child) issue can be moved.

The actions Cut and Move to ... for issues are only enabled if the user has Edit permission for the issue's Parent in the current issue status. If the issue is the child of a parent issue, then "Edit" permission for the parent's Children (according to the parent's status) is also required.

Issues can be copied and moved using Cut, Copy and Paste and Copy to... or Move to ... functions.

This will also copy/move the descendants of the issues recursively.

Issues can not only be moved between trackers but can also be copied or moved within the issue's hierarchy. Descendants of an issue can be copied or moved to a tracker or to another issue.

In issue lists you can see the children of an issue in the Summary column. The child is shown as a folder, with another child-issue number and summary shown beside the folder, in the parent issue's Summary column. Navigate directly to the "Children" tab of the current (parent) issue by clicking on the directory icon, or navigate to the child issue, by clicking on its link.

Mass Editing

Mass editing can change multiple issues in a tracker, e.g. close all selected issues or change the value of the Target Release field from V1 to V2.

However, mass edit will leave the following fields intact:

  • Summary,
  • Description,
  • Attachment,
  • Dependency.

Figure: Mass Edit: Change Multiple Issues.

Deleting Issues

You can select one or more issues and then delete them all at once.

Workflows

Workflows provide better control for critical tasks or requirements where the change has strong impact on resources or deliverables. CodeBeamer trackers integrate a simple and flexible process engine to model business process workflows.

Trackers can be used with or without workflows. Trackers can "inherit" a workflow from other trackers or use their own workflows. Workflows can be customized. See Tracker Workflows.

Hierarchical Issues' Field Value Dependencies

If you have parent/child hierarchies of configuration items or issues, you can now define dependencies between parent field values and the appropriate child field values recursively.  If, for example, you wish to ensure that a parent issue is not closed until all the child-issues (children) are closed, then this dependency can be managed using one of the distribution rules defined in the following linked document.  Similarly if you wish to define the parent issue's "Spent Hours" as the sum of the children's "Spent Hours" you can define this aggregation rule, too.  For more information, please see Issue Field Value Dependencies .

Tagging Issues

Issues can be categorized using tags, see Taxonomy: Categorizing Content with Tags.

Tracker Dashboards

CodeBeamer provides visibility and control on project status and progress. Since actions such as task completions, bug submissions, program downloads and SCM check-in actions are all captured in the CodeBeamer repository, accurate and real-time project status reports are provided at any time and from anywhere. Reports are provided on a single-project or on a multi-project level for project managers, developers and stakeholders.

The dashboard is visible only to users that have the Tracker - Report permission activated. Use the Members Tab, Roles, tool tip edit to change Tracker Report permissions for a member.

Visualization Trends and Statistics

For visualization purposes different customizable Wiki plugins are provided. You can use combinations of these plugins in different Wiki pages to build project specific or user specific dashboards. The following Wiki plugin
[{PieChart title='Open Tracker Issues by Severity' legend='false'

[{DataSet data='trackerItemsByLabel' label='severities' projectId='37' format='pieChart'}]
}]
will result in the chart:

See Data Set Plugin in Wiki Markup and Plugins There must be a blank line between the chart definition and the dataset definition, otherwise a JSPWiki 'no body text' error will result

Create or Customize Trackers

The project administrator or a user with sufficient permissions can create, delete and customize trackers. To give the entire set of users in the Project Admin role the permission required to customize a tracker, the Project Administrator can select the Member tab, then the Accounts and Roles Tab, then under the Project Admin role, select the tool-tip edit function. In the resulting chart, click the check-box for the Tracker-Admin function. This enables all users in the Project Admin role to customize the tracker. See Creating and Customizing Trackers for information on tracker administration and customization.

Subscribe Notifications

Tracker Subscriptions

Email notification subscriptions to the whole tracker result in e-mail notification when any issue is submitted to or modified in the tracker. Select email notifications for the whole tracker by clicking on the envelope icon in the upper right corner of the Tracker's Issues List view. Figure: Subscribe Tracker Notifications

If this doesn't work, it is because the appropriate permissions are not set up. Contact your Project Administrator for help, or if you are the Project Administrator, see Creating and Customizing Trackers

Issue Subscriptions

Subscribe to receive email notifications on one specific issue. To configure issue notifications:
  1. Click on Trackers Tab,
  2. Select the Tracker,
  3. In the Issue list, find the Issue for which you wish notification,
  4. Click on the envelope icon beside the issue. A green arrow should appear.

In the following figure, the Gas Energy for Transportation issue has an email notifications subscription icon displayed for the current user.

Figure: E-mail Notification Subscriptions on an Issue

Unsubscribe Notifications

Click on the Issues's or Tracker's envelope icon, to remove the green arrow. When a plain envelope displays, with no green arrow, you are unsubscribed from that Tracker or Issue. If you cannot unsubscribe, it is because your role in the project is set as subscribed. Several people may be in the same role as you, and unsubscribing all of the members in the role may not be desireable. Contact your Project Administrator for more help.

Import Data into a Tracker

See different import options in:

Customize Tracker

See customization on Creating and Customizing Trackers