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Nasa Turns to Open-Source Problem-Tracking Databases


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The recent launch of the Space Shuttle Endeavour will involve the first live test of new software that was designed to streamline the process of problem reporting and analysis. The Human-Computer Interaction Group at NASA's Ames Research Center developed the Problem Reporting Analysis and Corrective Action (PRACA) system, which will serve as a single database package for tracking problems with the shuttle and its infrastructure. Engineers attempting to diagnose problems with the shuttle will find previous reports on similar issues and how they were resolved. PRACA will replace more than 40 different database systems that had been used over the past 30 years. The Ames Human-Computer Interaction Group used open source Bugzilla tools to write PRACA, which saved NASA a significant amount of time and money. The use of the open source tools also means technicians can make changes to PRACA anytime.

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