Software maintenance tools are programs used by software engineers to increase their productivity for gathering data, detecting bugs and managing their software. Without these tools, it would be nearly impossible for these engineers to go through thousands of lines of code to find errors or determine why a particular server went down.
This program is used by thousands of software companies as a "defect tracking system." The program keeps track of bugs that crop up in a software product and allows individuals or groups of developers to communicate and solve the problems. Bugzilla allows software engineers to manage quality assurance, track bugs and submit bug-fixing patches to review. The program is technically free, though they charge for extensive support issues. Bugzilla is a secure program that has the ability to scan and correct database inconsistencies.
HP Quality Center
This Web-based application helps software engineers put their programs through the ringer by testing them for various bugs and errors. HP Quality Center has the ability to plan and schedule tests, analyze results and manage issues and defects. There are three versions of the program, the most extensive of which has the ability to deal with hundreds of applications at the same time with management teams distributed throughout the world. The starter edition is available with a free download from the HP website.
IBM Rational Quality Manager
The IBM Rational Quality Manager is similar to the HP Quality Center in that it conducts tests using an Internet-based application. The program lets users customize the way the information is presented through custom-designed dashboards, and it lets them schedule their software tests with the various members of their team. These tests can be automated or done manually if there is a particular area of the software the engineers wish to get a closer look at. The program description states that it will accelerate project schedules and ensure that applications meet the objectives of the company. The express edition is available for download at the IBM site.
Micro Focus SilkPerformer
Micro Focus SilkPerformer is a program that can be used by large enterprise-class companies to develop software applications through extensive testing. The Micro Focus site states that the program can accelerate the resolution of problems by finding them early in development cycles. SilkPerformer has full support for all Web 2.0 applications and efficient test cycles and test creation. The program performs load tests that can be viewed across many environments in an effort to quickly determine if there are conditions that cause it to crash. A trial version of the program is available from the Micro Focus site.