What if badges could optionally synchronize group membership?

I was looking at this topic today:

Thinking through the problem one area Discourse is a bit weak is around defining “dynamic” groups of users.

Give me a group of users that signed up more than 1 month ago

Give me a group of users that posted at least 10 times

And so on.

Badges on the other hand have very rich support for this “dynamic” nature once the fancy SQL is enabled.

Having an “extra” tick box on badges to bridge a badge to a group would add a lot of power. We have no way of assigning permissions to badge holders as it stands cause there is no backing group. Only the trust level badges have this special behavior (which we could port to this new system)

So my proposal here is for:

[ ]  mirror badge members in a group

Once this is ticked on a specific badge a “group” would be either automatically created or looked up based on name and the members of the group would be kept in sync as the badge membership changes.



Because the group membership management UI is so rich these days, changes should at least attempt to flow in the opposite direction as well (e.g. approving a Request to Join turns into a badge grant from the group manager; which wouldn’t normally happen as they aren’t staff).


I feel like this has massive overlap with trust levels; it’s building a parallel system for… well, I’m not sure why. In the quote you posted, that is literally the reason we have trust levels in the first place. So tying content unlock to

  • trust level 1 (a tiny bit of reading)
  • trust level 2 (a fair bit more reading)

should cover this scenario.

There are many many things I’d rather we work on than this.

I definitely do not see this as an urgent change, we lock out badge sql anyway out-of-the-box. However I do see this as something I would like to get to eventually.

It is a simple generalization of the “automatic group” system that now exists.

This does simplify workflows as well, you can grant a badge to a user and then you do not need to go to the group and also grant membership. For example: “Customer champion” badge that grants access to “champions” group and “champion discussion” category on the site. Having the bridge also means you only need to remove membership in 1 spot to have both badge and group change.

Nothing urgent to change here, its just that there are tons of parallels between groups and badges so having a bridge helps get automatic feature parity on both sides.


Prior requests:

I know that just tying this up to the a badge re-uses a bunch of code, and simplifies a lot, but ideally this would be an option in the Groups UI, to have an option query that returns the user_id of members.

When you tie this to SSO and custom user fields, you get a very powerful system, where you can manage groups using queries on those custom fields + all the info Discourse already have.


I have a client who wants just this. He wants to encourage people to fill in custom user fields after sign up and give them flair if they do it.

It’s easy enough to enable badge sql to find them a badge but we need to assign them to a group for flair.

How hard is a plugin to assign a user to a group of they have earned a badge?


Did you manage to solve this, @pfaffman? I’m exploring a similar scenario myself.

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I did not, but I think that I now know how to develop such a plugin. Ping me with your budget and I’ll see what I can do for you.

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I have no budget for this one, I think it can also (less elegantly) be achieved with an Integromat or Zapier script.

Well, maybe I could get you enough coffee code that you could tweak it yourself. I’m pretty busy right now, but I’ll see what I can do.

EDIT: Well, it’s not going to work how I thought it would. It’ll take me some time to figure out how to go about doing it.


I am very interested in this topic. I would like to ask if anyone has developed a corresponding plugin? If not, I’ll develop one

Easiest way to land this would be by using Discourse automation, a special “synchronize badge to group” custom script, should be reasonably easy to build.

Or add users to groups using reports from Discourse Data Explorer?
It would be awesome if this could be done.

This is now possible using the Automation plugin: :tada: