User Access and Team Collaboration in MantisHub

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You will rarely be using MantisHub issue tracker in isolation. As long as you have an internet connection you can be on a remote island connected to MantisHub but I bet you won’t be the only one on. Hopefully you have a whole team of users, reporters, managers, stakeholders, collaborators that you can bring together to make your visions a reality. That’s the goal right?

So lots of users with different roles and different access. Some sensitive data you don’t want everyone to see. Actions and functionality you only want specific users to perform. Does this sound like you? 

User access options within MantisHub are quite extensive and you’ll find there is so much you can do in this space. Let’s go through what functionality you’ll come across. 

Inviting Users, Access Levels and Workflow thresholds

First of all let’s assume you want to give users login access to your MantisHub. For these users your first step is to invite them to create a password and login. To create a user account you just need to enter a username, email address and a real name. These all should be unique. You will also need to define their access level. You have 6 to choose from. As usual with access levels the higher levels inherit the functionality of the lower level with some additional permissions. You can head to ManageManage ConfigurationPermissions Report and Workflow Thresholds to see exactly what each access level can do but here is a brief summary below:

  • Viewer – this is for someone who has read-only access to view the issue details.
  • Reporter – these are users that will create issues, add notes and view issue details after creation but cannot handle (be assigned) or update issues.
  • Updater – adds the ability to update issue details.
  • Developer – adds the ability to handle (be assigned) issues and view private notes.
  • Manager – can also manage projects including adding users to a project and creating categories, versions and linking to custom fields. They also get access to reporting.
  • Administrator – full system access to all projects and issues as administrative functions.

Users accounts are created by administrators via the ManageManager Users section. When creating a user you are defining their global access for public projects. You can define a different access level for the same user at a project level which will override their global access level for that project. So for example someone can have reporter global access but for a specific project they can have developer access.

While the above listed user access levels are the default settings and should make sense for most setups (that’s kinda why we made them that way :)) you can tailor what functionality these access level have via Workflow Thresholds. Head to ManageManage ConfigurationWorkflow Thresholds and you can tweak it. Perhaps for example you want a reporter to be able to close the issue once it’s complete or move it to another project.

When a user becomes inactive, MantisHub recommends you disable users rather than deleting them. This way they no longer have access to your system but you retain your user history as well as saving a user license.

 

Public or Private

If you want any control over who sees what in your MantisHub you need to consider making your projects private. Public projects will be available to all users in your MantisHub according to their access level. If you wish to set up MantisHub such that users can only see the projects you specify, then you should make projects private, only administrators will have access to these projects by default. You can then go in and specifically add the users to the projects that they need access to. Projects are public by default on creation but within MantisHub you can also configure the system so that the default for new projects is private.

You can add further restrictions by making use of private issues or private notes within your issues. This allows you to have your developers, managers and administrators collaborate on issues without exposing your internal conversation to the viewers, reporters and updaters. By default only developers and above can see all private notes and issues or change the view status. Reporters and updaters can only see their own private issues and notes. This is configurable in your Workflow Thresholdsas well as whether your users are able to see the option to set an issue or note to private. You can also define whether they are public or private by default through configuration options.

Alternatives to creating accounts. 

There are a few alternative to having your administrators create a heap of user accounts to allow others to submit or view issues in your MantisHub.

1. Self Sign-up

Some companies may want to open up their tracker to allow users to sign up and create Reporter accounts themselves within their system. This is particularly common with open-source software projects and other wide-spread software. This way your users can sign up themselves whenever they wish to submit issues to your tracker. Administrators will get notifications of all new signups.

In these cases, companies may also pair this up with a simpler option for Viewer accounts by enabling anonymous access. This makes your MantisHub public projects viewable without requiring a customer to login. This can also enable search engines to index your MantisHub issues.

2. MantisHub Helpdesk

Another option for companies, is to use MantisHub Helpdesk to allow customers to email in issues. This is typically used as a customer support or service desk solution. Customer can email your MantisHub email address (or you can re-direct your company support email address) to automatically create issues within your MantisHub tracker. Your internal team can respond to issues by adding public notes that will trigger responses to the customer. You can also still collaborate internally with your team behind the scenes using private notes. Your email reporter (and any cc’d parties) will get notifications of creation, public note additions and closure of their email submitted MantisHub issues. All without needing direct access to your system.

 

Team Collaboration

Your MantisHub users can tap into a few other features when collaborating as a team.

Notifications

It’s a delicate balance knowing what to notify the team of in your system. You want to avoid having users filter out any MantisHub communications or just deleting them. Have a think about all the ways you can keep your team across what’s happening including those mentioned below to keep from spamming the team. Don’t forget you also have the timeline in your My View dashboard.

  1. @mentions – This feature is a particular favorite of mine. We use it to death and it’s super handy. Pull other users into issue for comment by @ mentioning their username within the issue. They will get an email notification with your note and a link to the issue so that they can respond or take action as requested. This way you can retain ownership of the ticket and still have advise or help from a colleague as needed. @mention emails avoid duplication, so if you are have been mentioned in a note and receive an @mentions email you will not received the ‘Note added’ email notification as this is now redundant.
  2. Email notification settings – You can set what activity your team gets notified of in MantisHub. This can be set quite flexibly for the system as a whole, or for specific projects and access levels. Users can even override the system settings in their own personal account preferences. MantisHub also provides a way for you to turn on logging for email notifications to help you troubleshoot any issues you might have if it’s not working as you expect. Again, have a good think of what you want to turn on here as the last thing you need is inbox overflow. You may even want to consider saving users from unnecessary emails but not adding them to a project they wont be using or changing their access level for the project. Last things to note here is that you can turn verbose or non-verbose notifications depending on if you want to get just the updated content or all the issue details.
  3. Monitoring – if you don’t necessarily want notifications for all issues within a project and so have only default or limited notifications set but are particularly interested in one issue, you can add yourself as a monitor of an issue to receive all notifications relating to it. Another use-case is that perhaps you have reported an issue and as reporter are notified of all status changes and updates and yet you have a college also needing to keep across the issue, you can add them as a monitor of the issue.

Project Management

Your managers and team can keep track of project version/release progress and updates  using the Changelog and also project roadmap goals using the Roadmap page. These pages are available to all users by default but this again is configurable via workflow thresholds and configuration options.

The summary page for statistical information and graphs on your MantisHub usage is initially only available to managers and admins but can also be tailored via configuration option view_summary_threshold and using the user access level codes to set the minimum.

So you can see there is so much you can do with MantisHub to manage you users. Just taking a bit of time to plan out how you set up the team and your customers interactions will make things run that little more smoothly for you. Jump onto our knowledge base here or follow the links in this article to find out about even more options that we didn’t get a chance to tell you about as well as specific step by step instructions. And you can always reach out to the support team with any questions.

May your team grow and prosper ;).

 

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