Whats in This Book

My goal in this book is to take you from the very basics of FogBugz through all the details of managing and administering a complex FogBugz installation. Depending on your role—developer, tester, manager, system administrator, or (as with many of us) jack-of-all-trades—you may want to read some portions of the book more closely than others. Here's a roadmap of what you'll find inside:

In Chapter 1, you'll learn about the overall philosophy of FogBugz (yes, software applications have philosophies) and get an introduction to how FogBugz works in practice. I'll take you through the lifecycle of several cases so that you can get a feel for how the pieces fit together.

Chapter 2 concentrates on the actual process of case management with FogBugz. You'll learn how cases get into the system and how to deal with them once they've been entered. This chapter covers taking screenshots and attaching files, as well as filtering and sorting to find the cases that you need.

Chapter 3 is directed mainly at the FogBugz administrator. While many organizations will be able to use FogBugz productively right out of the box, there are quite a few pieces of the program that you can customize. If you're the one responsible for fine-tuning FogBugz where you work, this is the chapter for you. You'll learn how to set up projects, areas, clients, departments, and much more.

Chapter 4 looks at FogBugz from the perspective of the software manager. This is the chapter that covers estimating techniques, due dates, the proper way to resolve cases, and release notes. I'll also dip a little bit into using external tools such as Microsoft Access and Microsoft Excel to create custom reports from your FogBugz data.

Chapter 5 covers customer communication via e-mail and discussion groups. Some of the most innovative and exciting features of version 4.0 are in this area, and you'll want to read this chapter closely. These features let you connect your FogBugz database directly with your customers, tapping their collective intelligence and excitement.

Finally, in Chapter 6, I cover the integration of FogBugz with your source code control system. You'll learn why you might want to do this, and how to set it up if you're using CVS, Perforce, Subversion, Vault, or Visual SourceSafe.

The book wraps up with two appendixes. Appendix A reviews the instructions for installing FogBugz on Windows, Linux, or Mac OS X servers. Appendix B shows how you can write code to integrate your own applications directly with FogBugz for automatic bug reporting.

I hope that by the end of the book you'll consider yourself a serious FogBugz user, and that you'll find this program as useful and well designed as I do.

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