It is often seen that a large number of reported bugs get rejected due to duplicate entry. Lack of interest/skill to search for a similar bug in the bug tracking system before reporting it results in a lot of efforts spent (read wasted) in both reporting and rejecting a tons of duplicate bugs. A little care to check whether a similar bug has already been reported can save lot of efforts and time to go in waste. This can be achieved by a quick and effective search for duplicate bugs.
A tester can look for duplicate bugs from known issues list or list of bugs previously submitted in the same test cycle. Sometime reported bugs from previous test cycle can also be counted as duplicate bug.
Following are few tips on how to quick search for a duplicate bug. These techniques are independent of any bug tracking or test management tools because all the tools provide more or less the same mechanism to handle bug reporting.
1. Analyze your bug and identify few unique keywords that describe the bug best. For example if you are getting the internal error message like “404 error on Page” then the keyword could be ‘404 error’. Before submitting the bug you can also search for similar kind of bugs in your own defect tracking tool. In search results you may find many bugs related to the specific keyword that you used in your search criteria. Then you can always go through the bug of your interest to review its profile in full (Product version and build in which bug was reported, environment, full path to reproduce the bug etc).
2. Although it is very easy to search bug using specific keyword, still it is not so much effective as you may not find the clone/duplicate issues due to the mistakes done by the tester. For instance bug summary of duplicate bug may have Keywords like ‘internal error’, ‘Crasher’, ’Error on Page’ etc. So it is advisable when you are searching for duplicate issues use the correlated keywords.
3. If you want to optimize your search to its best then you can search using some other filter criteria. Because it is seen that the tester reported a bug using good formatted structure but used the direct path of bug like Server Admin > Utilities > Server Tools – Page on Error’. In this case you can use the section name/Page name to find the duplicate issue.