Quality Tracking / Crash Reporting for Desktop Applications

What are crash reporting services?  Why are they important?  Who the hell makes them for desktop applications?  Read on to find the answers!


BugSplat Software Endorsed by Socrates

Socrates discussing the virtues of integrating crash reporting into software applications.

Crash reporting services integrate with software applications to track and record crashes experienced by users. This allows developers to determine the quality of their application as their customer base uses it.  By capturing user crashes, developers and QA can see exactly how healthy their applications are and which bugs are doing the most damage.  Fixing these bugs first can save teams tons of time.

There are three companies that currently make crash reporting services for desktop applications.  At the end of this post there is a slideshow that outlines these three software application crash reporting options – so just skip to it if you’re impatient! 

Windows Error Reporting vs. Google Breakpad vs. BugSplat Software

Windows Error Reporting (WER) and Google Breakpad both have the advantage of being free to download, however they will cost you time and money to implement  and maintain them as a crash reporting solution.

WER is the most recognizable name in this field,  unfortunately it only works with Windows applications and requires you to debug each crash report individually.  Additionally, it lacks the option for a customizable crash dialogue viewed by your users.  It will always be branded as a Microsoft dialogue box.

Breakpad is the only free, cross-platform crash reporting solution.  However, Breakpad requires each user to email in their crashes and does not come equipped with automated processing of crash reports for your company to view.

Although BugSplat has an upfront cost, it addresses the problems associated with Windows Error Reporting and Breakpad admirably.

With BugSplat you get fully supported, automated, and easy cross-platform ( C++,   .NET, Java, OS X) crash reporting for your software application.  Each crash report is automatically processed and debugged for you, saving your team time and money.  BugSplat is also easy to install and cheap to maintain.

The slideshow below contains a more in depth outline of each service.  Check out the slideshow, implement the services with your application, and share your thoughts in the comment section below!