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issue tracker

Inspired by Jira, GitHub Issues, Redmine, Mantis, and similar applications, this is an experiment into creating my own alternative, while also exploring a number of technologies I haven't yet tried out (most notably TypeScript, Koa, and GraphQL).

This project is NOT production ready! It's still very much in the proof of concept / experimentation phase.

App Preview




Testing & other tools

  • Jest (Unit tests)
  • Cypress (Integration & E2E Tests)
  • stmux (Display the output from several node commands in one window)

Development Setup


Dev Database

At this stage of development, the application relies on a MongoDB database to be running on port 27017, accessible with the credentials admin:admin, as well as a Redis instance on its default port of 6379. While any running MongoDB instance will work, a simple solution using Docker is included in the project (docker is required, and docker-compose is suggested).

Under the directory server/ you'll find a docker-compose.yml file to start Docker containers for these required tools automatically, with the database peristing to a local path of server/db/. Also included is mongo express, allowing basic control over the database through an interface served on http://localhost:8081.

The compose file can be used manually, or by using the provided bash scripts - from the server/ directory, you can run ./start-db and ./stop-db to start and stop respectively. Of course, you can alternatively start the docker containers manually through the command line.

Keys file for koa-session

koa-session relies on a keys file, located at server/src/keys.json. The file should contain an array of key strings (at least 1). This file is excluded from the git index, so you'll have to create your own.

A Python script is provided to automatically generate a basic keys file for you - From the server/src/ directory, simply run python

Running in dev mode

Run yarn start or npm start to run the app in dev mode. This will run several commands through stmux and give you a "dashboard" view of the following processes;

  • [Top left] create-react-app in dev mode serving the app frontend on http://localhost:3000 (requests inside the app are proxied along to localhost:4769)
  • [Top right] Jest running unit tests in watch mode
  • [Bottom left] Parcel build on backend Koa server
  • [Bottom right] Nodemon instance to auto-restart the server on compilation (server runs on port 4769)

Dev mode preview


Unit tests are automatically run during dev mode, but can also be executed using the command yarn app:test (or npm run app:test).

End to end tests are handled by Cypress. Run the command yarn stmux:test to start the issue tracker server, serve the app frontend, and open the Cypress UI. Run the entire e2e test suite by clicking the "Run all specs".

Project Structure

Frontend (src/)

index.tsx does some initial setup of Apollo (notably apollo-link-state), sends some initial server requests, and renders LayoutRoutes.tsx inside all necessary app-level providers.

LayoutRoutes.tsx is stateless, and simply routes all necessary top-level routes to the appropriate Layout components.


Layouts are stateless components that define different ways of organizing the various pieces (or "slots") of the page, and render them with the styles necessary to place them where they belong. Currently there are two layouts; one standard "page" layout, and one "split" layout where a sidebar is rendered next to the content area.

Common slots like the site navigation bar or main content area might be placed or rendered differently between certain layouts. Some elements, such as a sidebar, may only exist in some layouts and completely ignored in others. Layouts render divs representing the slots that make up the page, each one containing react-router routes that decide which components should be rendered.


Views are what (usually) get rendered into layout slots. They are stateless, and present all the components relevant to a certain piece of the page (eg. Login view, project list view, project details view, issue details view, etc), and wrap these components in the necessary Apollo queries/mutations.


Containers are re-usable bits of the interface that do something "extra"; they might be stateful, or interact with Apollo queries and mutations.


Standard stateless components that simply render markup. Most (though not all) components accept CSS-related props and pass them down to their root element, allowing parents to properly style their children. Some components have their own styles, independent from the rest of the site's control.

Backend (server/)

server/index.ts sets up a Koa server that serves REST endpoints for authentication (auth/register, auth/login, auth/logout, auth/status), and a /graphql endpoint for GraphQL requests. A GET to /graphql will serve the GraphiQL IDE interface for playing around with the server's GQL API.

Currently data is stored using MongoDB (via mongoose), but the plan is to switch to PostgreSQL at some point. User authentication is handled by Passport, bcrypt is used on passwords, and user session management is handled using redis via koa-session.


Unit tests live inside Component directories along with their implementation files, usually named either test.tsx or ComponentName.test.tsx. These get picked up by Jest and executed.

Cypress is used for integration and end-to-end tests. Integration tests live in cypress/integration/, and E2E tests live in a sub-directory, cypress/integration/e2e. Cypress picks up test files in these locations and allows them to be run from the Cypress UI.


(2018) An issue tracker built using React and GraphQL







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