You can communicate with project members via discussion forums. Discussions provide workspaces where project members can discuss project-related topics online or by email. Forum administrators create forums and do what is needed to keep them on track, such as editing or moderating forum posts.

What is a Discussion Forum?

TeamForge discussions provide workspaces where project members can work together online or by email.

Discussion forums and mailing lists are closely integrated. Forum administrators can choose to enable a mailing list for each project forum. A mailing list extends the discussion forum functionality to allow project members to post messages to the forum using email.

Discussion forums can be public or private, depending on the forum’s objective and desired level of access into the forum. Private discussion forums restrict anyone without specific access permissions from viewing or posting into the forum.

In a moderated discussion, messages from anyone except “trusted” users are screened by a moderator before they are posted. Messages posted by trusted users do not require the moderator’s approval.

It’s a good idea to use a discussion forum instead of direct personal email whenever privacy or security concerns don’t prevent it, even when the communication only involves two project members.

  • Members not directly involved often can make unexpected contributions if they are aware of the discussion.

  • TeamForge archives all news items, forum posts, and mailing list communications, so you can go back and find valuable information later.

Encourage project members to work together by creating discussion forums to which project members with the appropriate permissions can post messages.

Discussion forums can also function as mailing lists.

You can choose to make a discussion forum either public or private.

You can be a forum or mailing list administrator without being a project administrator. Ask your project administrator or site administrator to grant you forum administration permissions.

Forum administrators can enable or disable forum moderation and add or remove moderators and trusted users. Any project member with forum post permissions can be a moderator.

Forum administrators can also make forums work like mailing lists.

Guest users can monitor a forum if email monitoring is set to Allow all site users and guests.

Additionally, guest users can email-post or subscribe to a forum if the mailing list is enabled and Email Posting is set to Allow all site users and guests from the discussion settings.

Create/Rename/Edit a Discussion Forum

Create a Discussion Forum

  1. Click DISCUSSIONS from the Project Home menu.
  2. On the Forum Summary page, click Create.
  3. On the Create Discussion Forum page, enter a title and description for the forum.
  4. To make it a private discussion forum, set the TYPE to Private.
    Private discussion forums restrict anyone without specific access permissions from posting to the forum. For example, you may want to restrict a preliminary planning discussion to your project’s core team before sharing it more widely.
  5. If you want the forum to work as a mailing list, select Enable Mailing List.
    1. Provide a name for the mailing list in the EMAIL ADDRESS field.
      The mailing list name must be unique within a project.
    2. Set who can post to the forum via emails.
      Choose either User with Roles and Permissions (default) or Allow only forum admins from the Email Posting drop-down list.
    3. Set who can subscribe to monitoring via emails.
      Choose either User with Roles and Permissions (default) or Allow only forum admins from the Email Monitoring drop-down list. Selecting Allow only forum admins for Email Monitoring will not restrict users with Discussion-View permission from getting monitoring emails in case they choose to monitor the forum via the web UI.
    4. Choose how replies to posts are handled by setting the REPLY BEHAVIOR.
    5. Specify a prefix for the subject lines of messages from this list. This can help users sort their incoming messages, if they are subscribed to multiple lists.
    6. You may limit the size of emails (including attachments, if any). Enter the size (in MB) in the MESSAGESIZE field.
    7. Under FOOTER TEXT, provide any information you want to show up at the bottom of each email that subscribers receive. For example, you may want to offer useful web locations or email addresses.
  6. To make this a moderated forum, select ENABLE MODERATION.
  7. Click the Search icon to add moderators.
    A moderated discussion must have at least one moderator. If your project includes members of a parent project, you can select those members too.
  8. Click the Search icon to add trusted users. Posts by trusted users do not need moderator approval.
  9. Click Save.

If you set your forum to work as a mailing list, all project members monitoring the forum will receive notifications whenever a new topic or message is posted.

Rename or Edit a Discussion Forum

To help keep a forum or mailing list focused, try updating its title.

As a forum administrator, you can enable/disable mailing list or moderation features or just update their settings for the discussion forum.

  1. Click DISCUSSIONS from the Project Home menu.
  2. On the Forum Summary page, select the forum you want to change, and click Edit.
  3. On the Edit Discussion Forum page, make your changes.
  4. Click Save.

Subscribe to a Discussion Forum or Mailing List

When you monitor a discussion forum, you are notified of contributions to the forum by email. Monitoring a forum is the same thing as subscribing to a mailing list.

A bell icon in the Monitoring column indicates that you are subscribed to a forum.

  • If you prefer to do it by email:
    1. To subscribe in message by message type subscription, send an email to <Email address name in Mailing list>-<project name>-subscribe@<domain name>
    2. To subscribe in digest type, send an email to <Email address name in Mailing list>-<project name>-digest-subscribe@<domain name>
    3. You can also change the subscription type from message by message to digest and vice versa.
  • If you prefer to do it through the web interface:
    1. Click Discussions from the Project Home menu.
    2. Click Monitor. Set the notification frequency using Monitoring Preference as it suits you.

Subscribe Others to a Discussion Forum or Mailing List

You can add other users to a discussion.

If you are a forum administrator, you can also add users to the discussion as a group.

  1. Click DISCUSSIONS from the Project Home menu.
  2. Select the forums that you want to add users to.
  3. In the Monitor list, click Users Monitoring Selected.
  4. On the USERS tab, Click Add.
  5. On the Find a User window, move the users you want into the USERS TO ADD column.

Create a Discussion Forum Topic

Create a new forum topic to begin discussion of a new subject.

A topic starts a message thread to which other users can reply. A forum can have any number of topics.

A forum topic is similar to an email, in that you can use it communicate with other people subscribed to the forum, as if it were an email list. If the forum owner has enabled the forum to work as a mailing list, then you can post to the forum by email as well.

  1. Click DISCUSSIONS from the Project Home menu.
  2. On the Forum Summary page, click the title of the forum in which you want to create a topic.
  3. On the Topic Summary page, click Create.
  4. On the Create a Topic page, describe the topic in the Subject field.
  5. Type the message in the Message field. After the topic is created, other users can reply to this message.
  6. If you want the message sent by email to people who are not members of the forum, add their email addresses to the Other Recipients field. If there is more than one, put commas, semicolons or spaces between them.
  7. To add an attachment to the topic, click CHOOSE FILE and select the file.
  8. Click Save.

Reply to a Discussion Forum Message

You can post a message in any topic in any forum you have access to. You can also post a message in reply to another message.

If the forum is moderated, you must have posting permission. Contact the forum moderator.

Tip: If you are getting your forum messages delivered as email, you can reply to a post by email too.

  1. Click DISCUSSIONS from the Project Home menu.
  2. On the Forum Summary page, find the topic in which you want to post a message.
  3. In the section containing the message to which you want to respond, do one of the following:
    • Click Quote to quote the original message in your response message.
    • Click Reply to omit the original message from your response message.
  4. Write the message.
  5. To add an attachment to the message, click CHOOSE FILE and select the file.
  6. Click Save.

The forum message is posted. Other project members can reply to it using the same process.

Moderate Discussion Forum Posts

A message to a moderated discussion forum is held until a moderator acts on it. (Except if it is from a trusted user. These messages don’t require moderation.)

As a moderator, you get an email when a message is awaiting moderation. The email contains the URL where you can approve or reject the message.

Add or Modify Moderators

As a forum administrator, you can add or remove forum moderators.

If a forum is moderated, it must have at least one moderator.

When you designate a forum moderator, you also become a moderator yourself.
  1. Click DISCUSSIONS from the Project Home menu.
  2. On the Forum Summary page, select the forum for which you want to add or modify the moderators.
  3. On the Topic Summary page, click Edit.
  4. On the Edit Discussion Forum page, add or modify the forum moderators.
  5. Click the Search icon to add or remove forum moderators. You can select one or more moderators.
  6. To add moderators, select the required users, click Add and click OK.
  7. To remove moderators, select the required users, click Remove and click OK.
  8. On the Edit Discussion Forum page, click Save.

Moderate a Discussion Forum by Email

If your discussion forum is also a mailing list, you can approve or reject the post by email.

See the notification email for your options.

Option Description
To accept the message Send an email to <postId>-accept@<domain>, or just click Reply.
To accept the message and add the sender to the “Trusted Users” list Send an email to <postId>-allow@<domain>, or click Reply-to-All.
To reject the message Send an email to <postId>-reject@<domain>.
To add your comments to the message Include your comments in the Start Comment and End Comment blocks in your response email. Your comments will appear in the approved post.

Approve a Forum Post

If a post is appropriate, you can add it to the forum by approving it.

If your discussion forum is also a mailing list, you can approve or reject the post by email. See the options in the notification email.

If the sender consistently contributes useful and appropriate input, you can save the moderation time by designating that user as a trusted user. Posts from trusted users don’t have to be moderated.
  1. On My Page, click the ITEMS AWAITING MY APPROVAL tab. The number of posts awaiting approval are displayed against the project names.
  2. To view forum details, click the hyperlinked Number of Posts for your project.
  3. Click the Number of posts awaiting approval link on the Forum Summary page.
  4. Select either of the three approval techniques in the Posts Awaiting Approval tab.

    As the moderator of the post, you will be able to view the topic title in the All Topics tab; and post title in the Posts Awaiting Approval tab on the Topic Summary page.

    Option Description
    To approve posts and senders individually Select the post and click Approve or Approve and Trust.
    To approve multiple posts and senders at once Select all the posts to be approved and click Approve or Approve and Trust below the post details.
    To view the post details and approve Click the post title and click Approve or Approve and Trust on the Review Post Awaiting Approval page after reading the details.

Reject a Forum Post

If a proposed message is not appropriate or does not contribute to the goals of your discussion forum, you can reject it.

If your discussion forum is also a mailing list, you can approve or reject the post by email. See the options in the notification email.

You can reject posts with or without comments or reasons for rejection.
  1. On My Page, go to ITEMS AWAITING MY APPROVAL tab.
  2. On the Forum Summary page, click Number of posts awaiting approval. Topics that contain posts awaiting approval have an hourglass icon.
  3. On the Posts Awaiting Approval tab, choose your method of rejection.
Option Description
To reject the posts individually Select the each post, then click Reject at the end of the post.
To bulk-reject the posts Select all the posts you want to reject, then click Reject below the post details table.
To view the post details and reject Click the hyperlinked post title, then click Reject on the Review Post Awaiting Approval page.
To explain your rejection with a comment Click Reject With Comment instead of Reject.

Rejected messages are deleted from the posts awaiting approval list and the message senders are notified by email.

Stop Moderating a Forum

If a moderated discussion forum does not require posts to be moderated anymore, moderation can be disabled.

To change a moderated discussion forum to unmoderated discussion forum in CollabNet TeamForge, select the forum and turn off its moderation feature.

  • Users with forum admin permissions only can enable/disable moderation.
  • On disabling moderation on a moderated forum, the posts awaiting approval are automatically approved.
  1. Click DISCUSSIONS from the Project Home menu.
  2. On the Forum Summary page, select the moderated forum that does not require moderation anymore.
  3. On the Topic Summary page, click Edit.
  4. On the Edit Discussion Forum page, to disable moderation, de-select the ENABLE MODERATION check box. The following message is displayed:

    Any post awaiting moderation will be approved automatically.
    
  5. Click Save to turn off the moderation. To keep moderation enabled, select Cancel.

    The moderated discussion forum changes to an unmoderated discussion forum and any posts sent to the forum will be displayed without any restrictions.

Post to a Forum by Email

If the forum also works as a mailing list, you can create a forum topic by sending an email message to the forum. You can also reply to a post by replying to the email.

If the forum is moderated, you must have posting permission. Contact the forum moderator.

The forum’s email address, if it has one, appears on the Topic Summary page.

  1. Click DISCUSSIONS from the Project Home menu.
  2. On the Forum Summary page, click the forum in which you want to create a topic.
  3. On the Topic Summary page, find the email address in the Mailing List field. Send your email message to that address. CollabNet TeamForge maps your email to the forum topic like this:

    Email Field Forum Topic Field
    To Forum email address
    Subject Title of forum topic
    Body Text of forum topic
    Attachments Attachments

Emails from the forum can be read in RTF (Rich Text Format) or HTML format. The format of the message is delivered as an attachment to the post. Embedded attachments, such as text or images, are also delivered.

In a moderated discussion forum, if you add other addresses in the cc: field of your email, those addresses get your email only after the moderator approves the message.

Search for Posts

Search for a post by using keywords, specifying the forum it belongs to, selecting the sender of the post or entering relative date or date range.

You can search for posts either across all forums or within specific forums.

  1. Click DISCUSSIONS from the Project Home menu.
  2. On the Forum Summary page, click Search Posts.
  3. On the Post Search Criteria page, enter the desired search criteria.
    • To search by subject, body or attachments, enter the text in the Search Text field and select Subject, Body and/or Attachments options.
    • To search by forum name, select the forum in the Forum field.
    • To search by post-sender, select the user name in the Posted By field.
    • To search by time span, specify relative dates such as “Within the last 7 days”.
    • To search by date range, enter the start and end dates for the search. Click the Calender icon to select dates from a calendar.
  4. Click Search.

All posts matching your search criteria are displayed in the Search Results page.

Associate Forum Messages with Other Items

When a forum message concerns some other CollabNet TeamForge items, such as a document, a tracker artifact, a file release, a code commit, or a task, link the message to the item under discussion by creating an association.

Creating association between items enables you to define relationships, track dependencies, and enforce workflow rules.

  1. Click DISCUSSIONS from the Project Home menu.
  2. On the Forum Summary page, find the forum message with which you want to create an association. Any existing associations are displayed in the Associations section.
  3. Click Associate.
  4. In the Add Association Wizard window, select the items with which you want to associate the artifact:
    • ENTER ITEM ID - If you know the item’s ID, you can enter it directly.

      To associate an object in an integrated application from within TeamForge, use the [<prefix_objectid>] format. Successful associations appear hyperlinked.

      Each integrated application displays its prefix on moving the mouse over the application name in the tool bar.
    • ADD FROM RECENTLY VIEWED - Select one of the last ten items you looked at during this session.
    • ADD FROM RECENTLY EDITED - Select one of the last ten items you changed.
  5. Click Next.
  6. You may add a comment in the ASSOCIATION COMMENT text box.
  7. Save your work.
    • Click Finish and Add Another to add additional associations.
    • Click Finish to return to the Details page.
    When an association is added to or removed from TeamForge objects such as tracker artifacts, tasks, documents, discussions, and file releases, a notification mail is sent to users monitoring these objects.

    An option is provided at site level and user level to make sure whether the notification mail has to be sent or not. For more information on this, see Configure your Site’s Settings.

Delete Forum Messages and Topics

Delete a Forum Message

When a message in a forum is off topic or potentially harmful, you may want to delete it.

Before deleting a forum message, consider leaving it in place so that future users can consult it if they need to. Consider this even if the message does not seem very useful right now.

{include important.html content=”You cannot delete the topic starter’s original message without deleting the entire topic.” %}

  1. Click DISCUSSIONS from the Project Home menu.
  2. On the Forum Summary page, find the forum message that you want to delete.
  3. Click Delete and confirm that you want to delete the forum message.

The forum message is deleted.

Delete a Forum Topic

If you no longer want a forum topic in your project, you can delete it.

  1. Click DISCUSSIONS from the Project Home menu.
  2. On the Forum Summary page, click the title of the forum containing the topic that you want to delete.
  3. On the Topic Summary page, select the topic you want to delete.
  4. Click Delete and confirm that you want to delete the topic.

The forum topic is deleted.

Tags for this page: discussion_forums associations