Bug Hunt

Question: When is a bug not a bug? Answer: Before it's a "known bug".

Question: When is a bug not a bug? Answer: Before it's a "known bug".

This week I wrote about Aon Australia's implementation of PeopleSoft HRMS 8.9. The implementation was one of the first of this version in Australia, and so Aon received plenty of close attention from Oracle to ensure the project's success.

As with any purchase of a brand new software package, part of Aon's role was to help Oracle identify bugs in the release through testing.

According to Aon's general manager of corporate planning, Craig Dungey, this was one of the more frustrating parts of the project. Not just because bugs existed, but because of the way he suspected they had been known about all along.

A typical bug discovery would go something like this, according to Dungey.

"Hey, this doesn't add up!" -- Aon user, testing the software.

"Oh yes, that's a bug." -- Oracle.

"We've known about that for some time, but now that you've told us, we can call it a 'known bug'".

It seems "known bug" is the label for a bug you've been caught delivering to customers, as opposed to the bugs yet to be discovered in the software.

"So by the time you implement 8.9, most of our guys would have resolved those problems for you," said Dungey.

Footnote: ZDNet Australia asked Oracle whether it differentiated between bugs and known bugs. The company said it didn't.