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MantisBT is a web-based issue tracking system. It is written in the PHP scripting language and requires the MySQL database and a webserver. MantisBT can be installed on Windows, Mac OS, OS/2, and a variety of Unix operating systems. Almost any web browser should be able to function as a client. It is released under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL).

BigSoft Limited has been using MantisBT for a couple of years to help prioritise the support calls that come in from our customers.

Database Tweaker

We need to be flexible when it comes to updating this resource and as a result we need to tweak the database to do tasks that are not available using the MantisBT's front end.

The trouble with editing the issues on the system, is that for each change you make an email notification gets sent to all the people “interested” in the issue. But if I’m correcting spelling mistakes or updating forgotten time tracking information then I don’t want them to be bombarded with emails.

In order to help with tweaking the MantisBT database I’ve written an interactive Python application.

The trouble with editing the database is that once you’ve done it, it’s not easy to un-doit. The MantisBT Database Tweaker asks you if you’re sure with a helpful message. If you say yes then the SQL command will be applied to the database. MantisBT Database Tweaker will also write out the SQL to put the data back into the database.

Quite often my customers will send me an email because they don’t have access to the MantisBT server, so I have to cut and paste their text into a bugnote and then change the owner of the bugnote so that it doesn’t look like it came from me!

For more information please visit the page: MantisBT Database Tweaker


BigSoft Limited needed to associate time measurements to issue updates and so we wrote a time tracking extension to MantisBT. BigSoft Limited firmly believes in giving back to the community and so started a "campaign" to get our work included in the main source of the MantisBT project.

Our professional approach was noted by the MantisBT's project leader:

David Newcomb has contributed a patch that is updated to integrate with Mantis 1.0.0a2 which is our latest release. I haven't reviewed the implementation of the patch, but I have to admit that I like the way the patch is 'campaigned' and presented. Thanks David for that.

Victor Boctor, Project Leader of MantisBT

After a successful campaign the time tracking patch was included in the main source of MantisBT for everyone to make use of.

If you would like to read the history and decisions surrounding the creation of this feature then you may follow these links: