Crash Reporting: What Is It? Why Is It Useful?

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Joey P.

For most people, crashing means either an application has frozen or entirely disappeared. Sometimes, this is followed by a dialog box asking “Would you like to send a crash report?” Users hit “Send” and move on with their lives, and, most of the time, never think about that moment again.

But there is an entire world behind that interaction which is key to driving technology forward.

To break it down into layman’s terms, a crash happens when a computer program fails to function properly and shuts down unexpectedly. Crashes happen for all kinds of reasons, but the main idea is that a program crashes when its code runs into a problem. In order to fix a crash, the code must be debugged, which is the process of finding and fixing the faulty code which caused the crash so the program can run smoothly again.

So back to the original question: what is crash reporting?

If a software program doesn’t have crash reporting you lose the opportunity to log why each crash occurs. This makes it very difficult to fix the problem as you neither know when the crash occurred nor what happened during the crash. Cue crash reporters, which are programs that help figure out what is going on while a crash is occurring. The information they collect is broken down so it’s easier to spot what went wrong and where. Think of it as a receipt that details out the entire transaction of the crash; with it, you can see what happened, and fix it fast. This entire process is crash reporting.

Here’s why we think using a crash reporter is the bee’s knees:

  • The feedback from users is greatly improved. You get access to the nitty-gritty details of what went wrong so you can work out that bug ASAP.

  • The entire process is built into your program’s code and automated, meaning the job is done for you. DIY crash reporting is hard work - and you've got plenty of that already.

  • You can hone in on the bugs that are wreaking the most havoc and exterminate them quickly. There’s no need to reproduce a crash, meaning no guessing games and no time wasted.

  • The process of fixing crashes is standardized, so everything will run like a well-oiled machine. You can automatically view the precise line of code that caused the crash, including data like symbolic call stacks, function names, line numbers, and a user description.

Enter BugSplat. We believe that reporting crashes and hunting down those bugs should be easy and affordable. By integrating our crash reporting tool into your program, your team works more efficiently, saving time and money. We know that customers want a flawless experience and developers want to spend more time building software rather than supporting it. With BugSplat, everyone gets what they want. BugSplat's crash reporter works on multiple platforms which popular software and video games are built on. Our code is installed on +100 million desktops around the planet.

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