What’s new in Version 2
Sonar Version 2.0 is a complete reimagining of the content contained in Sonar v1. Everything you thought you once knew has been changed or replaced for the better. Because of the substantial changes made to 2.0, the release notes will be categorized in to 3 groups:
- New Features introduced in 2.0
- Changes & Modifications to existing features
- Future Features & Looking Forward
New & Revamped features
The first and most prominent thing you’ll see when you load in to 2.0 is the User Interface. Across every section of your Sonar Instance, the UI has been refined, changed, and updated.
- All new views for Tickets, Accounts, Billing, Jobs, Network Sites, IPAM, and Mapping
- These new views place relevant information upfront – Activation, Status, ID, Tasks, Attachments, Jobs, Inventory – these can be seen at a glance on these new views.
- All categories now share a similar UI, and all fields are searchable.
- Sidebar menu for additional information on all pages on the instance.
- This sidebar provides some additional information, such as attached Inventory items, the physical address of the job or account, and any recent activity.
- Accessible by clicking on the job name, ticket name, account name, Network Site, and Assignee in the case of Inventory Items.
- Revamped Account Management interface
- Revamped Address management
- Addresses are now stored in a persistent database, allowing addresses to be reused as tenants change.
- Part of this persistence is that addresses are now unique, making searching by address much simpler as it will always provide the current active account – among other benefits
- Inventory items now attach to the address rather than the account itself
- Revamped Inventory Model & Inventory Item Management
- Inventory Model addition is now more versatile than ever, allowing freeform model addition, with image addition, and field selection
- Inventory Item management has been revamped, placing item addition on the summary screen separate from the model addition.
- Multi-Company compatibility
- This new feature allows you to add multiple companies to the same instance, segmenting their invoices, emails, and customer portals while retaining roles and settings consistency.
- Increased Consistency across the instance
- With the revamp of the UI, all the pages share similar filters, similar looks, and similar experience. This consistency means you’ll immediately be familiar, and this familiarity will allow new users to quickly learn the instance as well.
Beyond the main UI improvements, you may notice significant performance improvements. These improvements will be more noticeable if your instance was larger in V1.
- Numerous Performance improvements
- Improvements to Netflow data importing, allowing larger amounts of traffic data to be imported in less time than ever before
- Inline Device Improvements – Each inline device now receives its own worker thread. This means performance improvements are linear – 2 devices are now twice as fast, 3 devices are now 3 times as fast, and so on
- Network Data gathering and visualisation has been improved through a combination of revamping how the data is gathered, processed, and graphed
- The API performance has been improved significantly using GraphQL. GraphQL reduces the complexity of the API requests, which in turn reduces the time required to handle the API request.
- GraphQL also has a built-in interface for processing requests directly through the instance, allowing for request creation and formatting without setting up an external application.
And finally, we get to billing, and making money, leading us into one highly asked about feature, and one announcement that we’re introducing with 2.0.
- Billing has had a revamp as well, adding some highly requested features
- With 2.0, we’ve added the ability to apply partial refunds
- We’ve also added the ability to apply partial reversals
- Tracking Parent & Child accounts has been refined
- All transactions show on a single account
- Viewing a Child Account will now show the Parent Payment accounts
- Various Invoice improvements
- Most importantly, although not entirely a feature, Sonar is proud to say that we’re no longer a software company. We’re pivoting and developing towards a partnership business with all of you – our goal is to make you money. This means shared resources for training, shared resources for marketing, and shared resources for determining the best choice of hardware and network infrastructure.
Changes & Modifications made in 2.0
While we did rebuild 2.0 from the ground up, not everything is brand new – there are some things we’ve only covered with a fresh coat of paint. Let’s walk through some of the features that have been modified, but not rebuilt entirely.
We’ll start with changes to Core features things that get used on a routine basis.
- The Billing Engine has had its performance improved, resulting in smoother transaction changes
- This includes the odd visual glitch when transactions were reversed but an unusable credit or an erroneous due balance remained
- Permissions has been given a massive facelift – this means Role creation has been provided greater granularity
- As a result of this face lift, you’ll want to spend some time getting acquainted with the new role system. Things that were previously just “Super-user” have been broken down in to separate components
- Categories no longer have a simple Read/Create/Update/Delete selection, but rather many more precise and descriptive toggles.
- The result may mean more time on initial role creation, but substantially more control with Access Management.
- As a result of the performance enhancements mentioned in New features, Real-Time is now truly instant. This means dashboards on accounts, billable/non-billable usage, and mapping information now update instantly.
Core features aren’t the only thing we’ve updated with Sonar 2.0 – we’ve also gone ahead and restructured the back-end instance hosting. This will give us greater freedom when performing future updates and provide measurable stability and performance improvements. With Sonar 2.0, we’re migrating our infrastructure to Microsoft Azure.
- The switch to Azure allows us to implement a large, scalable infrastructure - a change from the single instance per user that we used in the past.
- This means that larger instances will no longer suffer from performance issues that previously plagued the single instance situations.
- The scalability allows us to dynamically adjust the settings of your instance without causing even a moment of downtime.
- The switch to Azure has also allowed redundancy across multiple data centers, making sure you have access to your instance, when you need it.
- This switch is also enabling CI/CD (Continuous Integration, Continuous Delivery) development.
- Along with the development philosophy, this change also allows automated updates with no downtime
- As part of the automated updates, we implement automated testing to ensure that changes made to the instance during an update don’t break any functionality
And the last major change being brought with Sonar 2.0 affects documentation – we’re relocating, condensing, and updating the documentation and casts.
- Documentation, Casts, and Walkthroughs have been moved and integrated directly into the instance
- Walkthroughs will be created upon request, and will be tailored to your specific instance, for your specific use case
- New documentation will be continuously evaluated and can be added to the instance at any time.
What’s next for Sonar
As exciting as a new product release is, we know that there are features missing. We’re as excited as you are to get everything to feature parity and move forward on new features. In the short term, you have the following to look forward to:
- Bringing Sonar 2.0 to complete feature parity with Sonar v1
- Feature Requests that have been missed will be getting categorized and road mapped
- Customizable dashboards for individual users
- Specific data can be selected for individuals or for teams
- Pulse will be getting completely rebuilt
- UI will be redone
- Complete Vendor Integration
- Customizable and Flexible Report Builder
- Built right into the instance, you can start creating your own reports
- Support can still be contacted to have the report built for you
- Mobile app
- The plan for the app is to be installer focused, providing lighter access to the instance
- Integration with QuickBooks and other accounting platforms
- Quoting tools
- Open Source LTE Core to be integrated
- PowerBi Integration
While there’s no exact timeline for all these features at the moment, these are the short-term goals for Sonar 2.0, and we’ll have lots more exciting news to share with you over the coming weeks.