While many support requests can be resolved through configuration changes, environment setup or education, sometimes we receive reports of bugs in the software you are using that were missed be our internal Quality Assurance team.
This article describes the process that VertiGIS uses when handling a software error (bug), from the support request to the release of software containing a fix.
A behavior in the software is noticed by customers, partners or consultants that is unexpected or incorrect. A request is submitted via the VertiGIS Support Center. A ticket is created and the reporting user immediately receives an automatic response with the ticket number from the VertiGIS Support Center.
The ticket is subjected to an initial analysis by the support team, who will ensure that the information we require has been provided. Furthermore, a search is made for known cases and whether there is already a solution for the reported behavior. If possible, an attempt is made to reproduce the behavior.
If further information is required, it will be requested from the reporting user by the support team. If there is available information on known cases and possible solution options, those will be provided. The reporting user is asked to review this information. The ticket is set to the status "Awaiting reply".
As soon as the reporting user provides requested information by replying, the ticket is automatically set to the status "Open". Support now analyzes the behavior further. If necessary, colleagues from other teams (e.g., Software Development) are also involved in the analysis. This may result in further correspondence with the reporting user, so it's possible that several iterations of the information exchange with the reporting user are needed.
If a reported behavior is classified as a bug in the software by VertiGIS Staff, it is passed on to the responsible VertiGIS Software Development team. For this purpose, a bug item is created in the development platform from the support ticket. If there is already an item in the development platform, the support ticket is linked to it. An item number is returned from the development platform. The Support Team informs the reporting user that the issue has been passed on to development and shares the item number with them. Although the processing of the bug continues in Software Development, the processing of the support ticket itself is concluded. For this reason, the ticket is set to "Solved" in the VertiGIS Support Center.
Processing in development
After a first visual inspection without further analysis, new bug items are published in the VertiGIS Product Change Log and have the state "new".
In development, new bug items are regularly evaluated. An initial preliminary analysis is performed to determine the possible effects of the misbehavior and the effort required to fix it. Bug items relevant for correction are included in the development backlog (prioritized work items for the Software Development team). It is possible that not all reported bug items will be included in the backlog immediately; they may be re-evaluated at a later date. Items that are included in the backlog get the state "accepted" in the VertiGIS Product Change Log.
As part of the planning and scheduling of new releases, the bug items from the backlog are prioritized. Product Managers on the Software Development team determine which bug items should be implemented in an upcoming release. In the VertiGIS Product Change Log, the planned version is specified under Version. This specification can change due to unforeseen events. The availability of the fix for the planned version is not guaranteed; it is our objective to keep the scope and forecasted release dates as stable as possible. The state in the VertiGIS Product Change Log changes to "in Dev.".
In the final phase, the bug is fixed. This includes the actual correction in the source code of the software, the necessary quality assurance measures and the required adjustments to the documentation. Only when all steps have been completed is a correction included in a release. After providing a new release, the state in the VertiGIS Product Change Log changes to "released".