Table of Contents
Updated by Rick Seemann
Read Time: 7 mins
Integrated into the Resource Center of Sonar is a link to our user Feedback Portal. Although the concept of submitting a feature request may seem self-explanatory, we strongly encourage you to read on to familiarize yourself with the process we have defined, and the advantage it provides to you and your business.
The above flowchart illustrates the end-to-end Feature Suggestion process.
Less of a Suggestion Box, More of a Democracy
Once you have integrated Sonar into your business’ technical systems and operational processes, it becomes more than just a software platform. Sonar is a part of your world, woven in and out of your daily tasks, both big and small. As time goes on, your business is in a perpetual state of evolution. To keep up, Sonar must do the same. We are sincere in our commitment to bringing you the features and functionalities that best support your business as it changes over time, and as the world changes around it. Some of our best features and integrations were born from conversations with our customers, and so, we took the step to build this concept into a fully fledged and openly documented process.
To be a true democracy, you (the people) need a voice, and we (the Republic of Sonar) must be transparent about our plans for the future. The Feedback Portal is where these two concepts meet.
Submitting a Request to Sonar
You’ve got great ideas, and we want to hear them. From the Feedback Portal, click on the “Make a Suggestion” button to reveal the Submit a Request form. When filling out this form, take time to be as descriptive as possible, so our team can best understand the need you have, and the way in which you envision our platform can help to solve it.
- What is your problem or request?
Describe briefly the root of your issue, or the idea for your proposed feature/integration.
- What are you trying to achieve?
Go into detail about your request. Describe how you envision the new solution functioning, share the advantage or efficiency a new solution would offer as compared to the way things are without this feature being present.
- If applicable, what is your current work around?
Is there a way you are achieving this today? Maybe it’s outside of Sonar, or maybe it’s using Sonar, but the process can be streamlined. By understanding how you currently address this need, it will help us to optimize the proposed feature/integration.
- Upload Files
Upload screenshots, screen recordings, data exports, etc. that help us to better understand your request.
- Product Area
Select the area of Sonar that your request best relates to.
Suggested by Others
We strongly encourage that you make a habit of checking the “Suggested by Others” section regularly. This is where you can not only see the latest feature suggestions from fellow Sonar users, but also vote on the ones that matter to you most.
Once you have voted in favor of a suggested feature, you can rank your personal list of priorities. This further helps us to prioritize the most important features for release.
This section lists all suggested features you have submitted/supported, and displays their current stats.
This section lists all suggested features that have been released.
What’s Coming? (aka Roadmap)
This section lists all suggested features that have been approved for development.
Approved: These items have met approval criteria, and have been added to Sonar's internal project list. These items have not yet entered the development process.
In Progress: These items are actively in development! This status encompasses all stages of development- from Research & Design, to programming, and Quality Assurance/beta testing. You can consider these listed items as our Roadmap, as they will be the next features released to the software.
“Alright I told you what I want, so what happens next?”
Whether it’s a feature that you suggested yourself, or one that you voted in support of, we will make sure you are kept up-to-date on its progress. Once our team has approved a suggested feature for development, you will receive an email with the latest details. When that feature goes live in Sonar, you will receive another email sharing the good news. We will also let you know if one of your suggested/supported features has been determined ineligible for development. Read on to understand the factors that determine which fate a feature request sees.
In order for a feature to be considered for development, it must first meet the below criteria:
- This feature does not yet exist in Sonar, and is not already planned for development. If it already exists, our support team will be in touch to show you how it works, and make sure that it best meets your needs. If it’s already approved for development, your request will be merged with the existing feature request, and you will be informed as to development progress as it is made.
- This feature will benefit others. In Sonar, all features are rolled out to all users as they are released. If a new feature is too niche, introducing it could potentially have a subtractive impact for most users, while benefiting only a few. This does not mean that there isn’t opportunity for Sonar to address the unique needs of your business! Our fully-documented API can be leveraged to bring third-party systems together with Sonar, allowing for one-off solutions to be implemented that meet your exacting requirements.
- This feature is technically possible. At its root, this is all just 1s and 0s, and our developers seem to take it personally when they’re told something isn’t possible… so it’s unlikely that a feature request will be declined for this reason. However, sometimes introducing a proposed solution can mean negatively impacting existing functionality within Sonar. As we evolve our platform, we are very careful to consider the overall impact of any changes made, so protecting the integrity and functionality of our existing features must take priority over any potential additions.
New feedback requests are evaluated on a weekly basis. Your request will not be visible in the user portal until this step has been completed by Sonar.
Power to the People
After a feature request passes Initial Eligibility, you and your fellow Sonar users help us to decide what features to build next by voting on and prioritizing open feature requests. This is done by visiting the Suggested by Others section of the Feedback Portal dashboard. Hit the thumbs up button ( 👍 ) if you support the feature request, or click the zzz button (💤 ) if this feature does not interest or apply to you. Clicking zzz does not 'downvote' the feature request, it merely tells us that it isn't relevant to you, so the next time you visit we won't bother displaying it in your personalized portal.
There is an internal quarterly audit process in place that evaluates pending feedback requests for community support and overall viability. If after 2 consecutive audits, a request is found to have not garnered any community support, it will be declined. Keeping irrelevant requests from piling up is important, otherwise over time it will be impossible for users to easily participate in the suggestion review process due to the sheer bulk of pending requests.
Depending on its known relevancy/benefit, our team may choose to approve a feature request immediately after passing Initial Eligibility. If this happens, the request submission will bypass the voting process, and its progress can be tracked in the “What’s Coming?” section of the portal.