I love fixing bugs – turning up to work each day and finding that I have a new bug to investigate is like a gift to me. I have the opportunity to investigate something that could be likened to a puzzle, and the satisfaction of solving bugs gives me a “drug-like” high. In addition to this, there is a deep satisfaction that comes from the customer being able to work in a more efficient way after a bug has been resolved.
Bugs are a fact of life, especially where complex systems are involved.
There are things that get in the way of fixing a bug in a timely manner though. Not describing the bug clearly enough is probably one of the biggest obstacles to solving it efficiently.
Here are some suggestions for improving bug documentation
Here are two examples of screenshots that I frequently see in bug reports:
1. Overly cropped screenshots. Cropping screenshots removes information that could prove useful when diagnosing issues including the url of the environment, the company and the form that is being used as well as other information.
2. Screenshots that are unreadable – I hope this speaks for itself!
Fortunately there is an easy solution. Firstly, don’t crop the screenshot. Instead, annotate a full screenshot – I personally use Greenshot (getgreenshot.org) which is free, but any screen capture software that allows annotation can be used.
Secondly, check that the screenshots are readable – if you can’t read them, then this will be an issue for whoever is going to be reviewing and fixing the bug. Dedicated screen capture software will help with this as well.
Ideally a bug report should contain the following:
- A description of the issue – including reproduction steps.
- A description of the desired behaviour.
- If the bug is a result of a customisation, then the original FDD and the names of the developers is very useful.
It is essential that the consultant that is diagnosing the bug can reproduce the problematic behaviour, and to do this they need to have an accurate and detailed description of how to reproduce the bug.
I appreciate that producing a detailed description of bug is often time consuming and for busy professionals to repeatedly describe the bug can be tiresome. Fortunately, there is an feature in Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations that can alleviate this pain. This feature is the task recorder which is the second option in the settings menu:
Opening the task recorder allows a user to create and edit a recording:
Click on “Create recording” and give the recording a name and an optional description:
Once the recording has started, a new bar will appear across the top that shows that a recording is in process and each step of the recording will show on the right hand side of the screen.
After the bug has been reproduced, click on the “Stop button”. The recording can then be saved to the user’s PC or LCS. It can also be exported as a Word document. A more detailed article on using the task recorder can be found here: Task recorder resources – Finance & Operations | Dynamics 365 | Microsoft Learn – this also includes a link to a Microsoft Edge browser extension for automatically capturing screenshots and adding them to the recording steps.
Once the Word document has been downloaded and annotated with a description of what the intended behaviour should be, it is ready to be sent to a consultant to review.
Having the task recorder do the heavy lifting of the main bulk of the documenting of any bug saves time and gives the consultant an excellent chance of being able to start diagnosing the issue straight away.