There are two types of web-based bug tracking systems: open source systems whose unprotected source code allows the user to configure tracking price tracker options, and closed source systems (a.k.a proprietary systems) whose proprietary source code is tailored by the service provider to meet the needs of the user. Both types of systems have distinct advantages. To determine which system is right for your needs, it helps to compare them in terms of price, security, configurability, and customer support.


If you choose an open source system, getting a bug tracker online will not cost a dime. At a time when web-based software is increasingly available for free, some companies choose to save money by implementing an open source tracker instead of a closed source one. A closed source system requires a monthly fee because it uses proprietary software. Although the fee is sensibly priced for all user levels, it still costs the user money. Open source software is the better financial choice over proprietary software.


At a time when business data is one of the primary targets of online theft, using an open source system is risky. The open source code that allows users to configure tracking options also gives hackers the opportunity to break into the system without breaking its source code. If proprietary data is the most valuable asset of your business, choosing a proprietary system that offers multi-level data encryption is the best option.


Configurability is one of the primary concerns of choosing a bug tracker online. When the options of a bug tracking system are difficult to configure, properly categorizing a defect and labeling its threat level become difficult. Open source tracking software is typically designed as a one size fits all tracking tool. If the user has unique tracking needs, the chance of the software having the configurability to accommodate them is slim. Conversely, proprietary software possesses excellent configurability. The service provider configures the tracking options to meet the needs of the user.

Customer Support

Open source tracking software has an obvious downside for fist-time users: it does not come with a customer support plan. Instead of talking or chatting with live service representatives, the user seeks technical support from other users of the system, who form online communities to exchange tips on troubleshooting and configuration. When a software release date is just weeks away, resolving a tracking issue by consulting fellow system users can be a nightmare, especially when your tracking needs are unique. Using an open system that offers a customer support plan prevents this from happening.