Mantis Bug Tracker Ported to i5/OS
October 30, 2007 Alex Woodie
Interested in catching some bugs? Then you might want to check out Mantis/400, a new bug tracking and help desk application for the System i. Originally developed in PHP for the MySQL database, Mantis was recently ported to run under i5/OS and DB2/400 by a group of individuals from the System i community, the open source community, and IBM and Zend Technologies.
Mantis is a free Web-based bug tracking system and help desk application that was created in 2000 by a group of PHP developers for an internal project. The group sought to create a bug tracking application that had all the basic functionality covered and was simple to use. That meant ease of navigation, a minimum of graphics, no clutter, and a relatively simple path to customization.
Over the years, thousands of commercial and open source software developers have adopted Mantis to streamline various aspects of the software development business, including everything from alerting developers to the presence of a bug and submitting software change requests, to managing contributors and tracking the resolution of the problem in a change log.
During that span, the application has been ported to run on SQL Server and PostgreSQL databases; Linux, Windows, OS/2, MacOS, Solaris, and BSD operating systems; and Apache and IIS Web servers. It’s been localized into dozens of languages and integrated with other programmer utilities, such as the open source CVS and Subversion change management systems.
One customer that’s taken the use of Mantis to heart is Curbstone, the Atlanta, Georgia, developer of credit card processing software for i5/OS. Curbstone has used Mantis for years to run its online issue tracker for customers, as a customer implementation tracker, and to manage internal software development.
At some point, several System i enthusiasts decided Mantis was worth porting to run natively under i5/OS. A project was started, and eventually several people were involved with the work, including Ira Chandler of Curbstone, System i PHP developer Alan Seiden from Strategic Business Systems, John Rush from IBM, and Ed Kietlinski and Jim Dillard from Zend. And of course Victor Boctor, lead project manager of Mantis, was involved in the port, too.
Today, Curbstone is running www.mantis400.com, the Web site where anybody can request a free CD containing the Mantis/400 issue tracking and help desk application. Curbstone is also providing free support for System i customers using Mantis/400. Of course, much of this support is automated through Mantis/400 running on a System i Model 520.
Mantis/400 runs on i5/OS V5R3 and V5R4. The software utilizes the server’s native DB2/400 database, the Apache Web server, and the Zend Core for i5/OS components that are needed to run PHP applications (such as Mantis/400) on the System i server. According to Curbstone, the software doesn’t require any server sessions or user profiles to provide users with access to Mantis/400. The Mantis/400 database can also be accessed using native RPG, Cobol, Query, or SQL techniques, the company says.
To download a free copy of Mantis/400, go to www.mantis400.com.