Product Reviews

Track the Software Lifecycle

DevTrack 3.5 and ServiceWise 1.1 integrate development with technical support.

DevTrack 3.5 and ServiceWise 1.1 are a pair of applications that work from a single database. DevTrack is designed to help you get a product through the development cycle by tracking work items and defects together with their status and the actions taken by developers. ServiceWise then extends the same database to handle customer support issues, helping you manage support proactively by making a knowledge base available over the web.

The products work with any ODBC database to help everyone involved with a product—developers, testers, and managers—keep an eye both on the overall status and their own particular job. DevTrack keeps track of issue priority and helps managers quickly identify overdue work items or overloaded workers with a large stable of built-in reports. It features a flexible search interface that can find text in any field in the database. DevTrack also comes with a Web interface, so it can be easily used by off-site developers as well as those on the corporate LAN.

ServiceWise then lets users submit support requests via a Web interface. It can automatically assign these incidents to support personnel based on skills and workloads. As incidents are resolved, it builds a knowledge base of support ideas that your customers can query themselves over the Web, reducing costs for direct support.

In combo, DevTrack and ServiceWise can break down tasks into seemingly manageable components.

While DevTrack and ServiceWise sport a good set of features, I wish there had been a bit more attention paid to fit and finish issues. The manuals and help files in particular are marred by numerous editing mistakes—it appears that the company needs to hire a good technical writer or two. I’d want to use the software for a month or two before committing to it for a major project. Fortunately, you can download a trial version or test-drive the Web version on the company’s Web site.

About the Author

Mike Gunderloy, MCSE, MCSD, MCDBA, is a former MCP columnist and the author of numerous development books.


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