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Bugsnag vs Sentry: What are the differences?

Bugsnag and Sentry are two powerful error monitoring platforms that help developers track, prioritize, and fix software bugs. Let's explore the key differences between them.

  1. Pricing Model: Bugsnag offers a tiered pricing model based on the number of monthly error events, providing different levels of features and support depending on the selected plan. On the other hand, Sentry follows a different approach with a self-hosted option that allows users to host their own instances at no cost, making it a more cost-effective option for larger organizations or budgets.

  2. User Interface and Experience: Bugsnag provides a sleek and modern user interface with an intuitive dashboard that allows users to easily navigate through their error reports and monitor their application's health. In contrast, Sentry offers a more customizable interface that allows users to tailor their error monitoring experience with various plugins, integrations, and custom workflows.

  3. Error Reporting and Alerting: Bugsnag focuses on real-time error reporting and alerting, providing instant notifications whenever a new error occurs within the application. It also allows users to set up intelligent error grouping, which makes it easier to prioritize and identify common issues. On the other hand, Sentry emphasizes error tracking over time, allowing users to explore historical data and trends to better understand the root causes of errors.

  4. Integration Ecosystem: Bugsnag offers a broad range of integrations with popular third-party tools and services, allowing seamless integration into the existing development workflow. It provides integrations with various programming languages, frameworks, deployment platforms, and project management tools. Sentry, while also providing extensive integration options, focuses more on integrations with source control management systems and continuous integration/continuous deployment (CI/CD) pipelines.

  5. Error Context and Metadata: Bugsnag allows developers to attach custom error context and metadata to their error reports, making it easier to understand the specific circumstances and conditions under which an error occurred. This can be particularly useful when dealing with complex or hard-to-reproduce issues. On the other hand, Sentry offers a powerful event search feature that allows users to search and filter error reports based on various attributes, including tags, user feedback, and custom properties.

  6. Community and Support: Bugsnag provides a dedicated community platform where users can share tips, ask questions, and collaborate with other developers facing similar challenges. It also offers comprehensive documentation and tutorials to help users get started quickly. In comparison, Sentry has an active open-source community that contributes to its development. Users can benefit from the community's expertise and contributions to improve the tool's capabilities. The official Sentry documentation is also extensive and offers guidance on various topics.

In summary, Bugsnag provides real-time error monitoring with detailed diagnostics and workflow integrations, while Sentry offers a comprehensive platform for identifying, diagnosing, and fixing errors in applications.

Decisions about Bugsnag and Sentry

I essentially inherited a Shopify theme that was originally created by an agency. After discovering a number of errors being thrown in the Dev Console just by scrolling through the website, I needed more visibility over any errors happening in the field. Having used both Sentry and TrackJS, I always got lost in the TrackJS interface, so I felt more comfortable introducing Sentry. The Sentry free tier is also very generous, although it turns out the theme threw over 15k errors in less than a week.

I highly recommend setting up error tracking from day one. Theoretically, you should never need to upgrade from the free tier if you're keeping on top of the errors...

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