tip This documentation is for the old interface of AlertSite. If you use the new interface (AlertSite UXM), please see Alerts.

Manage Notifiers and Notifier Groups

Notifiers must be configured in order to receive alerts, or notifications, when a device is in error or when the error clears. There is a wide variety of notification methods to meet your needs. Navigate to the Configure Notifiers screen by clicking on Notifiers in the Control Menu. This displays a table of currently configured notifiers with the following information:

  • Availability - box is checked when the notifier is configured to receive error alerts.
  • Performance - box is checked when the notifier is configured to receive performance alerts.
  • Notifier - E-mail address, phone number, pager number, etc., that correlates to the Notification Method.
  • Description - A name, department, or other text describing the notifier.
  • Notification Method - Type of notifier, e.g., E-mail in HTML format, Text Message, VoIP phone call, etc.
  • Notify After # Error(s)? - Number of errors to wait until sending alerts; used for escalation.
  • Stop Notify After # Notification(s) - Limits the number of error alerts sent to the notifier.
  • Notify When All Clear? - Select whether or not the notifier is informed when the error has cleared.
  • Performance Alert Type - When Performance Alerts are enabled for this notifier, it displays the selected alert type, errors only or warnings and errors.

The sections below describe how to Add or Modify your Notifier configurations.

Add Notifier

Click the Add Notifier button in the upper right to create a new notifier and supply information in each section as required.

Configure Notifier Type/Destination

  • Description - Enter a some text describing the notifier (optional).
  • Send a(n) - Click in the field to select the Notification Method from the dropdown.
  • To - Provide the appropriate recipient information, e.g., if you selected an E-mail notification method, this must be an E-mail address,
    See Notification Methods - Details below for more information.

Configure Standard (Availability) Notifications

  • Enable availability notifications - Check this box to enable this notifier to receive alerts (can be enabled from the Configure Notifier screen Availability checkbox).
  • Notify me after N consecutive error(s) - Select from 1 to a maximum of 25 from the dropdown to send a notification only after an error has been detected the configured number of times. For example, if you set this to 2 and we detect only one error, this notifier will not be sent an alert. Only when an error is detected on the next consecutive check will the alert be sent.
  • Stop notifying me after N consecutive notification(s) - Select from 1 to a maximum of 125 from the dropdown to stop alerts after the configured number of consecutive alerts has been sent.*
  • Attach server response to E-mail alert - If this option is selected, e-mail alerts will have additional information attached, depending on the device type:
    • For site devices and DéjàClick transactions – the HTML source code of the web page where the test failed.
    • For API transactions – the SoapUI log of the failed test step.
    • For Perfecto Mobile monitors – a Perfecto execution report.
  • Attach screen capture to E-mail alert – If this option is selected, e-mail alerts will include a screenshot of the failed step of a DéjàClick transaction. The DéjàClick transaction must have the Capture Level option set for this to work.
  • Notify me when the error has cleared - Check this box if you want an "all clear" notification once we've detected that an error has cleared.
  • Notify me when a security hole is detected - Check this box if you want to receive a notification when we detect a change in the security status of any of your enabled security devices. To receive notifications, this option must be checked and your security device must have Notify? set to Yes.
    Note: This option applies only to accounts with enabled security devices.
  • Enable Remote Commands - Check this box to enable remote commands on E-mail alerts or text messages. You must have a valid AlertSite Account Login or sufficient privileges, or the remote commands will be rejected. This feature allows you to reply to an E-mail or text message alert to enable or disable devices or notifiers. Subsequent replies to alerts sent to that notifier may contain one of the Remote Commands:
    • Disable the device: disdev or any of the characters 2, a, b, c
    • Enable the device: endev or any of the characters 3, d, e, f
    • Disable the notifier: disnot or any of the characters 4, g, h, i *
    • Enable the notifier: ennot or any of the characters 5, j, k, l *
    • Help: help or any of the characters 9,w,x,y,z

* Note: the consecutive-notification counter continues to increment while errors are occurring even if Notify on Error is set to No in the Manage Site or Manage Transaction screen. If the maximum number of consecutive errors is reached before Notify on Error is set back to Yes, no further error notifications will be sent. For example:
1. A notifier is set to receive 10 consecutive alerts and "all-clear" notification.
2. After 3 alerts, Notify on Error is set to No.
3. Twelve more errors occur.
4. Notify on Error is set back to Yes.
5. No further error alerts are received since 15 consecutive errors occurred and the maximum for alerts was 10.
6. The error clears.
7. The notifier receives the "all-clear" notification.

Configure Performance Alerts

  • Enable performance alerts - Check this box to send Performance Alert notifications to this notifier.
  • Send performance alerts of type - Select warnings and errors or errors only from the dropdown to control which types of notifications are received by this notifier.
  • Repeat successive performance alerts - Check this box to continue receiving notifications while a device is in warning or error. Otherwise, send only one notification when the device exceeds set thresholds. No other notifications will be sent until the device's average response time returns below the set thresholds and a clear notification has been issued.
  • Click Submit after completing configuration to save the notifier.

Notification Methods - Details

Availability notifications are supported by all notifier methods. Content change notifications (devices configured with Notify on Content Change set to Yes) are limited to E-mail notifier methods (E-mail, E-mail to wireless device) and AOL Instant Message. Performance Alerts are limited to E-mail notification methods.

AlertSite currently supports the following types of notifiers (notification methods):

E-mail: Standard notification message is sent to any standard E-mail address. Please enter a valid e-mail address in the To field.

E-mail to wireless device (cell phone, pager, Blackberry, etc.): Compact notification message is sent to an E-mail gateway. Typical uses would include sending a message to a cell phone via an E-mail address provided with your cell phone by your cell phone company. Enter the recipient's mobile device E-mail address in the To field. In the US, UK and Canada, many of the cellular carriers support this method of receiving messages on your cellular phone. There are NO additional charges from AlertSite for using this method.

Here are some examples of different cellular providers:

AllTel AreaCodePhoneNumber@message.alltel.com
AT&T AreaCodePhoneNumber@txt.att.net
Verizon AreaCodePhoneNumber@vtext.com
Sprint AreaCodePhoneNumber@messaging.sprintpcs.com
Nextel AreaCodePhoneNumber@messaging.nextel.com
T-Mobile AreaCodePhoneNumber@tmomail.net
O2 YourEmailAddress@o2.co.uk
Orange YourEmailAddress@orange.net
US Cellular AreaCodePhoneNumber@email.uscc.net
Examples of paging carriers:
Skytel Accessnumber@skytel.com

AIM (AOL Instant Message): AIM, which stands for AOL Instant Message is a very fast but less reliable method of sending short messages to Instant Message clients, programs such as AOL Instant Messenger, pidgin, trillian, and many others.

AlertSite recommends configuring an additional notification method in conjunction with an AIM notifier. Message delivery via the AIM network is not guaranteed.

To configure an AIM notifier, first launch your AIM client and add the Screen Name AlertSite to your buddy list. Then, on the Add Notifier page enter your AIM Screen Name in the To field and click Submit. Once submitted, use the Test Notifier feature to verify your settings. AIM version 6 or greater is recommended for proper message formatting.

SMS: SMS, which stands for Short Message Service, is a very reliable method of sending short messages to wireless devices, such as cellphones or PDAs (check with your mobile provider to see if they support SMS).

To configure your SMS notifier, enter your phone number in the To field, formatted as follows:

Region Format Example
United States and Canada 1 area-code number 12125551212
International country-code number 493206922000

Note: There are additional charges for sending SMS messages.

AlphaNumeric (text) pager: Compact notification message is sent to an AlphaNumeric (text) pager using a special protocol. You must contact AlertSite Support to fully configure and utilize this contact method. We'll need the phone number of your paging company's Central Office facility. This is basically the phone number of a modem that we call and request that a page be dispatched to your pager. If your service is not listed here, then please contact your paging company and request that they provide that information. If it is listed then enter your pager ID in the To field and select the CO number from the Send Alpha pager messages to list. Finally, send us an an E-mail and we'll complete the setup.

Numeric pager (pause after dial method): Numeric message is sent to a numeric pager. We currently support two methods of message delivery. The "pause after dial method" will dial your pager number and wait 10 seconds before delivering the numeric message. Enter your pager's phone number in the To field as follows:

Region Format Example
United States and Canada 1 area-code number 12125551212
International 011 country-code number 011493206922000

Numeric pager (wait for quiet method): The "wait for quiet method" is a newer and somewhat more reliable method than the aforementioned "pause after dial method". It waits for a "quiet" period after dialing before sending the numeric message. Enter your pager's phone number in the To field as follows:

Region Format Example
United States and Canada 1 area-code number 12125551212
International 011 country-code number 011493206922000

AlertSite does not recommend the use of numeric pagers for automated notifications. They provide little or no error-detection or recovery capability and are best left for human-only use.

Telephone message (VoIP): The "Telephone message" method offers the ability to receive a telephone call that will announce the Alert condition if the phone is answered, otherwise a voice message is left. There are NO additional charges from AlertSite for using this method, but there may be additional charges from your telephone service provider.

To configure your VoIP notifier, enter your phone number in the To field, formatted as follows:

Region Format Example
United States and Canada 1 area-code number 12125551212
International 011 country-code number 011493206922000

Customers can identify all calls from 561-880-6695 and 954-312-0188 as AlertSite telephone (VoIP) notification.

POST request to web server: The data from a standard notification message can be sent to your web server via the HTTP POST method. This allows you to automatically receive alert notifications to your own computer and process the same data that we would email to your account. The data includes the following information provided in field=value pairs:

Field Name Description Sample Value
custid AlertSite customer id C12345
company AlertSite customer name Boca Internet Technologies
device_id AlertSite device id 2468
device_name Your name for the device Home Page
device_type Device type Web Site
device_typecode Device type code w
errcount Number of consecutive errors 3
http_status HTTP Status HTTP/1.1 200 OK
location AlertSite Monitoring Location Name Boca Raton, Florida
location_num AlertSite Monitoring Location Number
See Monitoring Locations
source Source of POST, always AlertSite AlertSite
status Standard AlertSite status code
see Status Codes
status_text Text version of status code Keyword(s) not found within page that was returned.
timestamp Date and time of alert 2006-08-18 13:33:06
transaction Transaction flag (1 = transaction, 0 = not) 0
Transaction Devices
step_name Your name of the Transaction Step Customer Login
step_num The number of the Transaction Step 3
ServerAgent Devices
(Tab delimited values, if more than one)
key_names Name of the server measurement DISK_INFO->DRIVE_C_USAGE
key_thresholds Your specified threshold limit 95
key_values Actual value 98

SNMP trap: The SNMP trap method offers the ability to send an SNMP trap to a specific IP address with a trap listener. A MIB has been defined in ASN1 notation and is available here.

Note: SNMP traps use UDP packets which can sometimes be unreliable across public networks. Our engineers are researching possible enhancements. One alternative solution is to POST the notification to your own web server and then send the trap through your local network, which is more reliable.

For further information and an example CGI that takes POST data and converts it into a local SNMP trap, please go to the on-line help page SNMP Alert Notifier.

Manage Notifier

After a notifier has been configured, it will appear in the table in the Configure Notifiers screen. To update a notifier, click on the entry in the Notifier column to display the Manage Notifiers screen. This screen is identical to the Add Notifier screen with the addition of:

  • Blackouts button - Click this button in the upper right to configure persistent or one-time blackouts for this notifier. The notifier will not get availability alerts during these periods. Note: Blackouts affect only availability alerts, not performance alerts.
  • Delete button - Click this button in the upper right to delete this notifier entirely. This action cannot be undone.
  • Test Notifier section - This section appears below the Configure Performance Alerts section. Select a location from which to send a test notification, then click the button labeled Send a test notification from.

Notifier Groups

By default, newly added devices send alerts to all configured notifiers. To limit notifiers for a device, you can use Notifier Groups. Notifier Groups route alerts for a group of monitored devices, and (optionally) selected error types to specific notifiers.

Note: If a device is included in a Notifier Group, only notifiers from that group will receive alerts. Devices not included in any group send alerts to all notifiers.

Devices that are part of a notifier group will have the folder icon next to their names in the following screens:

  • Configuration: Sites
  • Configuration: Transactions
  • Configure Notifiers

Add a Notifier Group

To create a new Notifier Group:

  • From the top menu, select Notifiers > Notifier Groups.
  • Click Add a New Group in the top right.
  • Enter a name for the group.
  • Select the Sites to be included in this group. For DéjàClick transactions with ContentViews, you can select individual ContentViews (they appear in teal font).
    To include items in the group, select them in the Available list on the right, then click << to move them to the Included list on the left.
  • In a similar way, select the Notifiers who will get alerts from these Sites.
  • (Optional.) To receive alerts only for specific errors (like only HTTP errors or only keyword validations) rather than all errors, select the errors to be included. No selection means all errors, that is, the recipients will get alerts for any errors in the selected monitors.
  • (Optional.) Select custom templates that will be used to format the alerts. The templates must be created beforehand in Notifiers > Notifiers > Manage Notification Templates.
  • Click Submit in the top right.

Important: If you create an error-specific notifier group for a device, you should also add groups for other errors of the same device. Errors not included in any groups will not trigger alerts and may go unnoticed. For example, if you have only one group for device A with error 5, no one will get alerts about any other errors for that device. See notes below.

Edit a Notifier Group

To modify an existing Notifier Group:

  • In the list of groups, click the group name after the GROUP: label in the gray banner.
  • Make your changes:
    • Change the group name.
    • Add more Sites, Notifiers, Errors or Templates: Select the items in the Available list and click << to move them to the Included list.
    • Remove Sites, Notifiers, Errors or Templates: Select the items in the Included list and click >> to move them to the Available list.
  • Click Submit.

To change another group, choose one from the Select Notifier Group dropdown list.

To delete a group:

  • Select a group from the Configure Notifier Groups screen.
  • Click Delete in the top right.

Alert Routing by Error Type

Notifier Groups let you route different error types to different team members. For example, if monitor A fails with error 5, send an alert to Alice and Bob, and send all other errors to IT team. There are two modes for error routing:
  • All Errors (default) – Notifiers get alerts for any errors in the selected devices. "Clear" notifications are sent when the device is back to OK status (status 0).
  • Specific errors – Notifiers get alerts only for the selected errors, but no other errors. "Clear" notifications are sent when these specific errors stop – even if another error occurs instead.
Note that groups work independently. For example, groups configured to receive all errors will get all errors, including specific errors other groups are subscribed to. If two groups are set to receive the same error, both will get this error.

Suppose you have one Notifier Group with this configuration:

  • Site A
  • Notifier Bob
  • Errors:
    • 1 - TCP connection failed
    • 6 - No response from server

Site A sends alerts only to Bob and only for errors 1 and 6, plus an optional "clear" notification if errors 1 and 6 stop – even if another error occurs:

  • Error 1 - Bob gets an alert about error 1.
  • Error 1 - Bob gets an alert about error 1.
  • Error 5 - Bob gets a "clear" notification saying site A is now having error 5.
  • Error 6 - Bob gets an alert for error 6.
  • OK (status 0) - Bob gets a "clear" notification saying site A is OK.

But if the device runs as follows:

  1. Error 5
  2. Error 7
  3. OK (status 0)
neither Bob nor anyone else gets alerts, because errors 5 and 7 are not included in the Notifier Group configuration for site A.

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