Inviting staged users on a site with SSO enabled?

I have a handful of staged users who got deleted (don’t ask) and now am seeking to bring them back. I created them originally by addressing new PMs to them, and thought I could bring them back by inviting them to their message again.

As it turns out, this is not possible now - the invite to message modal only allows entering usernames, not email addresses. I could imagine the ability to invite staged users to a message or topic being a very handy feature to add.

Pretty sure that’s incorrect, we added the ability to invite email addresses a while back.

Specify email address in PM to field

is listed in the #releases notes for the 1.9 release.

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Thanks, Jeff. Looks like you are right! I guess I just didn’t wait that fraction of a second it takes for that blue select to pop up. The language maybe could be updated to reflect that email addresses can be entered into this field.


Hmm yes perhaps we can change the copy there to add

Enter the username or email of the person you’d like to invite to this topic

But I am not sure under what conditions email can be added, this text might be used elsewhere, or email-as-target-of-PM might be conditional to trust level… I can’t remember … can you add this to your plate @jomaxro?


@tobiaseigen, I’m having some trouble reproducing this. Looking at the client.en.yml inviting a user to a private message should use the following text, not what you shared a screenshot of.

Invitee’s Email or Username

Any chance you customized the invite_private.email_or_username key? Here’s what I see here on Meta:

maybe this has already been fixed on meta and try? on my site it still looks like my screenshot.

What version of Discourse are you running? Can you confirm that the text is the default (not customized) in /admin/customize/site_texts?q=invite_private.email_or_username

it is the default - so far I have never changed the default text of discourse.

this is the version according to the dashboard: v2.0.0.beta10 +5


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And you were definitely inviting a user to a PM, not a topic? Does your site use SSO?

yes, our site uses SSO. and we are indeed inviting a user to a PM.

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Ah! You cannot invite a user via email with SSO enabled. That would allow the invited user to bypass SSO.

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hmm… but I am doing it already. :slight_smile: it works.

Now I’m even more confused…

…when you invite these users to PMs, they can only participate as a staged user, right? They can’t actually log into the site?

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Given that, I’m going to have to defer to @gerhard here. We’re getting into the complexities of SSO and staged users, and I don’t have a SSO-enabled site to test with.


I did some more testing here on my own site and see that the message on the screen is actually correct. It is not possible to invite an email address even if it is (incorrectly) offered in the blue select popup.

But given that we have staged users now I think it should be possible to do this even on SSO sites, the same way it is possible to start a new message to a staged user.

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I just came across this issue again now, and had a thought. It’s occurring to me that it’s correct that you cannot invite an email address and create a staged user using the “invite to message” modal. It makes more sense to create the staged user by starting a separate PM to the email address. That way you can give the person some context.

Also, by default it doesn’t make sense to then invite staged user to a message or topic because they are not yet users and so can’t click to accept the invitation. So really this is working as expected.

However, as staff, I often miss the ability to simply add users (staged or not) to existing messages. A staff option on this modal to directly add users to the message, bypassing the invite message and acceptance step, would be handy.

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If I may share a view on this subject, which I see has been kicking around for years

In our system most of our members already have their SSO credentials in place through site cookies from our home site. So if a link to a message were emailed to a member of our group who has not yet entered the community, it would SSO just fine and let them in.

It looks like I can send a link to an email address which is almost as good, but in a perfect world I’d be able to do what @tobiaseigen suggests here and just send the invite without staging a user, at least when SSO is on.

Then it would be up to the SSO to handle the arrival of that user properly. I suppose it might be nice to have a configuration checkbox to disable this capability in case the SSO can’t handle it properly…

We have 3000 members but only about 600 have checked out the community in the first two weeks… it would be nice to invite people we are referencing.

You can just send as your invite URL.


Thanks for the thought! However the problem is not getting an URL to send to people. The main URL works great with SSO… a very nice capability. What I’m trying to do is use the ‘send an invite’ capability of sending to an email address, as shown here:


However I am using SSO, so that capability is turned off. So all I get is this, which only lets me share with usernames, not email addresses:


In my system the SSO would create them and log them in with no problem, but the tool shuts off the ability to send the invitation.

What I’m doing instead, which isn’t too bad, is share a link with their email address. It isn’t an invitation, but does at least launch an email with the link included around which I can build a message. And when they click on that link they should SSO in just fine.


I am a little curious about the ?u=my.userID on the end of the resulting link… I’m hoping it ties back to building share stats and doesn’t try to log them in as me.

Yes, that’s what it does, so you don’t need to worry about it.