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The Sonar Community Forum

Mitchell Paul-Soumis Updated by Mitchell Paul-Soumis

Read Time: 9 mins

The Sonar Community Forum is one of the ways you're able to interact with other users of the software, in addition to viewing posts and details shared by Sonar staff members. While the Community Forum is not an official source for support, posting your questions and tricky issues is a good way to gather opinions from others. Getting a second look might even help you discover ways you can refine your workload to improve efficiency.

You must have an active Sonar V2 instance in order to access the Sonar Community Forum.

When Not to Use the Forum (i.e., when to engage support)

The Sonar Community Forum can be an amazing resource for enhancing your experience and your knowledge of the Sonar application. However, there are some scenarios where using the forum isn't the best way forward. This is because, due to the community focus of the forum, Sonar employees don't often review forum topics.

When you're wondering whether it's best to use the forum or to contact support, ask yourself the following:

  1. Is my workflow significantly blocked?
  2. Is there an urgent need for support?
  3. Is my Sonar service being affected?
  4. Will it stop me from benefitting from Sonar?

If you answered yes to any of the above, then reach out to support directly via, and they'll be able to assist you with your issue. The forum is best used for questions and procedures that your peers may be able to provide additional insight into.

How to Access the Forum

Access to the Sonar Community Forum is restricted to active subscribers of Sonar Software. While this is primarily to ensure the conversation is kept relevant to the software, it also allows a convenient means of authentication. You can gain access to the forum in 2 ways:

  1. The first method is by entering the URL directly in your browser's address bar:
    The Sonar Community Forum is available from
    1. Next, you'll need to provide your instance URL in order to authenticate with the forum:
    2. If you aren't already logged in to your Sonar instance at this point, you'll be redirected to your instance's login page first. Then you'll need to navigate back to the forum URL and re-enter your instance URL:
      In order to avoid this process, logging in before you try to access the forum is easiest.
  2. The second method is by accessing the Resource Center and scrolling down until you see the “User Community Forum” entry:
    1. Next, click on the link to the forum contained in the tooltip.
    2. Next, you'll need to provide your instance URL, which will give you access to the forum.
      Even though you're accessing the forum through your instance, you'll still need to authenticate by entering your instance URL.

First Time Login

The first time you log in to the forum, you'll be greeted by the “Welcome Wizard” which is designed to take you through your first basic navigation steps in the forum. You'll be guided through your first notification, your first message, and through reviewing the forum's community guidelines.

The Welcome Wizard appears based on the email address attached to your forum account. This means that you won't be able to see the wizard again once dismissed until you create a new account with a new email address.
  1. The first step to the Welcome Wizard simply draws your attention to your notification beacon, and allows you to suppress the wizard temporarily, or dismiss it entirely:
  2. The second step occurs when you click on the notification beacon, showing you a new message notification from the forum's bot, discobot:
  3. The third step has you view the message from discobot, introducing you to the messaging feature and providing links to the community guidelines for the Sonar Forum:

With the Welcome Wizard out of the way, you can immediately start using the forum. Categories, messages, notifications, and topics are all contained in their own section.

The Main Page

The landing page of the forum is where you'll start when you first log in to the forum. This page displays most of what you'll need to navigate through and use the forum:

  1. The Control Bar allows you to search for specific topics, control your user settings, or view notifications and messages.
    The Control Bar details
    The Control Bar is broken down into 3 sections.

    The first is the search function, allowing you to quickly find topics based on text contained in the topic title or topic replies. Clicking on the settings slider on the search bar takes you to the advanced search page, where you can add various filters to refine results:

    The second section section provides a series of forum controls, accessible by clicking on the hamburger menu. This menu lets you quickly sort forum topics, or jump to specific categories:

    The third section contains your notifications, including messages and replies to your forum topics. This menu is also where you can access your user settings and where you can log out from the forum:

    This section also contains your bookmarked topics, which will be covered in more detail once navigation is explored.
  2. The Navigation header allows you to filter your view of the forum to certain presets, which will show:
    1. Categories (the default view)
    2. Latest, which shows all conversations, sorted by most recent activity.
    3. New, which will show topics considered “New”, which will vary based on your user preferences.
      1. By default, this will show topics created in the last two days.
    4. Unread, which will show topics that you've previously interacted with that have new responses.
      In order to show as unread, topics need to meet the following criteria:

      1. You created the topic and a new reply is posted
      2. You've replied to a topic and a new response is posted
      3. You've read the topic for more than 4 minutes.
  3. The New Topic button, which will open the post creation modal along the bottom-third of your screen.
    1. The modal will prompt you to provide a title for your topic, usually a brief description of your question or issue.
    2. Next, you need to select a category that your topic fall under.
      Only the 3 pre-defined categories can be selected.
    3. Finally, provide details for your topic. The text editor supports rich text formatting directly, along with Markdown, BBCode, and HTML formatting.
  4. The Topic Categories section, which shows you the 3 available categories you can view. Clicking on a category will filter the topics to only show topics specific to that category.
  5. The Topics view shows all topics in the forums, sorted by latest reply in a topic.

Using Bookmarks and Alerts

Once you've explored the forum, you may find topics that you'd like to keep track of without having to reply. There are 2 ways to monitor threads, each providing slightly different twists on the same key function.

  1. Bookmarks are a great way to keep track of a topic you're interested in. You can use this feature to set reminders for, or simply track, specific topics, or sub-comments within the topic. Clicking the bookmark button on a message or post will open the following modal:
    To monitor all your set bookmarks, you can open the Notification Menu, and navigate to the bookmarks tab.
  2. Alerts let you receive notifications each time a topic is updated with a new reply.
    By default, all topics have a “Normal” alert priority, which will only notify you when you're directly mentioned.

Messaging and Replying to Users

During the Welcome Wizard, the messaging feature was featured briefly, under the context of a welcome message. This feature can also be used to message others forums users directly, allowing you to communicate without the use of threads.

Accessing Messages

Your conversation history is accessible from your Notification Menu, located in the top-right corner of the forum:

  1. With the Notification Menu open, navigate to the “Messages” tab, then click on the expansion arrow:
  2. This will take you to the message center, where you can find all your existing message conversations. To create a new message, click on the "New Message" button, then fill in the user and message details:
    Creating new messages, and messaging forum users, is restricted to users with the "Basic" trust level. For more information on how the Sonar Forum implements trust levels, check out this blog | Understanding Discourse Trust Levels
  3. Creating the message is easy. One dropdown allows you to define a user, the next text entry field defines the message subject, and the final field allows you to enter the message content:
Managing Conversations

Every message chain allows you to perform the same management actions on it. By clicking on the message from the main messages page, you'll be taken into the conversation view:

Here, you'll find the message management tools:

These tools allow you to:

  • Share a link to the conversation,
  • Bookmark the conversation,
  • Archive the conversation, which will remove it from the conversation list,
  • Reply to the message, opening the text editor,
  • And modify your watch status, which controls how you receive notifications.

You can also Edit, Flag, or Delete specific messages in the conversation, using the 3 dot menu on any message:

Flagging messages will alert the Sonar staff moderating the forum that the content of the message may be problematic.
Replying to an Open Topic

Replying to a conversation in an existing topic follows a similar process as the messaging functionality. In any topic, you'll find the same message management tools below the latest reply:

The “Reply” button will open the text editor, providing the same commands as the forum messaging feature.

Modifying User Preferences and Forum Settings

The last section of the forum you should familiarize yourself with are your user preferences, accessible by clicking on the Notifications Menu, followed by the User tab, then Preferences:

This page allows you to modify your account settings, security settings, profile settings, and notification preferences. Use this page to fine tune your experience with the Sonar Community Forum.

While Sonar staff may be present within the forum, they may not be able to respond in a timely fashion. For this reason, any issues that arise should still be escalated through the existing support path via

How did we do?

Submitting Bugs vs. Feature Requests

The Sonar Status Page