Release Notes 2.23 (December 3rd, 2019)

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Viakoo Release Notes 2.23

(December 3rd, 2019)

Viakoo Release 2.23 is an incremental step forward for the Viakoo Service. Improvements are made to custom notifications, including mechanisms to better integrate with helpdesk systems via email, as well as managing user preferences. 

Additionally, Release 2.23 includes additional convenience features, bug fixes and performance enhancements. For more information, please read below for details.

Context-Specific Notification Settings

Release 2.23 now provides the capability to customize your notification settings in more local contexts than just at your top-level domain. This allows you to create notification settings or status reports that might apply for a single site or region. 

“Settings” Subtab

Starting in Release 2.23, what was labeled the “Admin” tab, is now the “Settings” tab.

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This is because this control not only supports administrative settings, but also personal settings for notifications in the “Notification Settings” subtab.

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If you navigate to the “Notification Settings” subtab, you see the same controls you have in My Profiles to change your notification settings like enabling or disabling email alerts, push notifications or daily status. Clicking on the “Modify” button allows you to adjust ticket alert priority as well as to customize alerting for specific groups or individual tickets. 

Viewing Custom Settings in My Profiles

You can view, modify or remove any of these notification settings in your “My Profiles” page off the administration menu. To do so, click on “My Profiles” in the upper-right menu:

Select_My_Profile.png

 

In “My Profile” should see all your current custom notification settings and for which context. In the example below, the top-level setting has email alerts for all alert-level tickets with his company and no daily status. However, in one of the regions of his company, he gets a daily status report issued at 4:00pm every day, but only for that region of his company.

Notifications_in_MyProfiles.png

From this display, a user can further modify, reset or remove settings they may have.

HelpDesk Notification Profiles

As part of Release 2.23, you will have the ability to assign notification profiles to a user when you invite them into a Viakoo context. Doing nothing (i.e., not changing this setting) will assign the “Default” notification profile to your new user. 

The default setting gives your new user the same default notification settings as before. Specifically, this means email or push notifications off (disabled) as an initial state, alert-level is defined as any ticket CRITICAL or above, and daily status reports are disabled.  That user can log into Viakoo and navigate to their “My Profiles” window from the pull down menu or to the “Notifications” subtab of the “Settings” tab to customize their notifications.

Invite_User_w_Profile.png

HelpDesk Notification Profiles

There are two built-in profiles you could assign a new user instead:

  • HelpDesk (Default)
  • HelpDesk (Member)

These two profiles are explicitly designed for creating an account to route Viakoo generated tickets to the email input for your help desk system, allowing at case (ticket) to be open in these other systems.

These notification profiles do three things that make them better suited for integrating with helpdesk systems:

  1. They send separate emails for each ticket (problem).
  2. They send only one email in the lifetime of a problem.
  3. They send the message formatted for easier consumption by the helpdesk system.

For a user, getting a collection of tickets in one email is more efficient. However, this is problematic for helpdesk systems. By sending separate emails for each ticket for HelpDesk profiles is important so that the helpdesk system receiving the email alerats can open separate cases (tickets) for each Viakoo discovered problem (e.g., each failed device would get their own helpdesk ticket) which allows them to be processed separately.

Second, the helpdesk profiles only send one email per alert. With Viakoo’s default notification profile, a user could get an email when an alert level ticket opens, assigned, accepted, and then a final one when it is resolved or closed. If sent to a helpdesk system, each one of these separate emails would generate separate helpdesk tickets (cases). Helpdesk profiles, by sending only one email in the lifetime of the ticket, prevent multiple helpdesk cases (tickets) opening for the same problem.  

Lastly, the format of the alerts to users with a helpdesk profile is designed to be easily parsed over read by a human being. Both the subject and body text of help desk emails contain important values associated with a Viakoo ticket  in the form of <name>:<value> pairs. In this way, parsers in your helpdesk system can more easily parse emails to store in important fields in the new helpdesk case. To review the specific format of these emails, check out the section below.

HelpDesk (Default)

This notification profile is useful for automatically generating a helpdesk case in your helpdesk system when an urgent problem occurs. 

To use this profile, create a new user with a STAFF-level role and the email address of your helpdesk system. Make sure to select HelpDesk (Default) as this user’s notification profile. When created this way, the account will be given the following initial notification settings:

  • Email Alerts is ON
  • Push Notifications is OFF
  • Daily Status is DISABLED
  • Alert Level set to CRITICAL priority tickets and above
  • Alert on OPEN ticket status only

This means this user will get an alert email on CRITICAL and FAILURE tickets only when the ticket is created (OPENED) in the single ticket email format detailed below.

You can customize what kinds of tickets or the priority level that generate alert emails by logging into Viakoo with this new user’s account and manually customizing from there. 

HelpDesk (Member)

This notification profile is useful when an administrative user wants to curate what Viakoo tickets are given helpdesk cases (tickets) in your helpdesk system. This can be useful in situations where you have a lot of tickets and want to be selective about which ones get the focus of the team operating from the helpdesk system. It is intended for accounts with the role, MEMBER, which defines a user that cannot change the configuration and cannot see any ticket that it hasn’t been assigned to it. This means that it will only get email alerts on tickets that are assigned to this account and not tickets assigned to other users.

For example where this might be useful is if you have a local service provider with on-demand charging. You don’t want the system to automatically give them tickets as each one they work on costs you money. In this situation, you can merely assign the Viakoo tickets to the local service provider’s helpdesk account. Only then will the system send them an alert email to their helpdesk system.

To create such an account, invite a new user with the helpdesk system’s email account. Set the role to MEMBER and assign them the HelpDesk (Member) notification profile. This creates an account will be given the following initial notification settings:

  • Email Alerts is ON
  • Push Notifications is OFF
  • Daily Status Report is DISABLED
  • Alert Level set to ADVISORY (MINOR) priority tickets and above
  • Alert on ASSIGNED ticket status only

This means this user will get an alert email on CRITICAL and FAILURE tickets only when the ticket is created (OPENED) in the single ticket email format detailed below.

You can customize what kinds of tickets or the priority level that generate alert emails by logging into Viakoo with this new user’s account and manually customizing from there. 

Email Format

In this release, the helpdesk emails have the following format:

Subject Format:

“Ticket: <ticket id> Status: [OPEN|ASSIGNED] of Priority: <ticket priority> at Site: <site name> of Company: <company name>”

  • <ticket id> is a number that uniquely identifies the ticket in the Viakoo system. 
  • status will be OPEN for HelpDesk (Default) and ASSIGNED on HelpDesk (Member) profiles
  • <site name> allows your helpdesk system to associate the case with the correct location
  • <company name> is useful if you are an integrator servicing multiple customers

Body Format:

The body of the helpdesk email is a sequence of attribute <name>:<value> pairs; one pair on a line and a simple parser can scan for attributes that correspond to important fields in your helpdesk case record. The format of the email body is as follows:

Ticket:<ticket id> 

Status:[OPEN|ASSIGNED]

Priority:[FAILURE|CRITICAL|ELEVATED|MINOR]

Category:<ticket category>

LocationId:<device id>

Location:<device name>

IPAddress:<ip address>

Problem:<root cause>

Recommendation:<recommended action>

SiteId:<site id>

Site:<sitename>

CompanyId:<company id>

Company:<company name>

URL:<url link to ticket in Viakoo dashboard>

 

The meaning of these are as follows:

  • <ticket id> is a number that uniquely identifies the ticket in the Viakoo system. 
  • status will be OPEN for HelpDesk (Default) and ASSIGNED on HelpDesk (Member) profiles
  • <ticket priority> is one of FAILURE, CRITICAL, ELEVATED (Warning), MINOR (Advisory)
  • <ticket category> refer to Ticket Categories KB article.
  • <device id> number which is unique for the device or component that had the problem
  • <device name> name for the device or component that had the problem
  • <root cause> string that summarizes the core problem associated with the ticket.
  • <recommended action> string that provides useful hints or instructions as to possible response.
  • <site id> number that is unique to the place/location of the problem
  • <site name> allows your helpdesk system to associate the case with the correct location
  • <company id> number that is unique for the company where the problem occurred
  • <company name> is useful if you are an integrator servicing multiple customers

By providing unique identifiers for devices, sites and companies, it is possible to track how many issues you might be receiving from a specific device or location. This information also allows you to automate routing to appropriate teams as well as generating charge-backs for services.

Example email

To: support@mycompany.com

Subject: Ticket: 2922883 Status: ASSIGNED of Priority: ELEVATED at Site: MtViewHQ for Company: AcmeCo 

Message Body: 

Ticket:2922883

Status:ASSIGNED

Priority:ELEVATED

Category:STREAM_SYSTEM_DRIVE

LocationId:2921056

Location:Arecont

IPAddress:172.30.1.245

Problem:MTV12-Lobby (172.30.1.245) is recording to the System Partition.

Recommendation:Configure MTV12-Lobby to record to another partition.

SiteId:2920789

Site:Lenel

CompanyId:13

Company:AcmeCo

URL:"https://vk1.viakoo.com/#/dashboard//overview/2922883/ticket"

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Profile Customization

Different helpdesk systems may have different parsers. If you have specific formats needed for your helpdesk system, Viakoo offers professional services to customize these profiles and email templates. Contact your Viakoo sales representative for more details.

Administering User Preferences

For administrators who are trying to assist their users with notification settings, Release 2.23 now provides a “Preferences” sub-tab in the User Administration pane.

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From the “Preferences” subtab, administrators can view their users current settings and do the following for their users:

  • Adjust their Notification Profile
  • Change email alert or push notification settings
  • Set or modify the daily status report 
  • Customize their notifications

Preferences_Tab_2.png

Non-Administrative users can view their own settings but cannot view or modify settings of other users.

New Help Pop-Up

Starting in November 2019, we’ve modernized the help/chat widget. Beyond just being able to message the Viakoo support team, the new widget combines self-help with the ability to communicate with us directly. 

Look for the “(?) Help” button in the lower right corner of the Viakoo console.

HelpWidget_1.png

Now, when you click on this widget, you are prompted for a question. You can type in something you would like to know and immediately be offered a set of useful links in our knowledge base for relevant documentation. 

HelpWidget_2.png

Miscellaneous Fixes and Improvements

  • “Sites Report” now exports to “Sites.csv” file by default
  • Deleting a server now performs much more efficiently
  • OIDs used for IoT devices are now processed correctly, even if they have a trailing space character when they are defined.

More information

If you have any questions, comments, bug reports, or suggestions, please reach out to us through the live-chat feature or contact us at feedback@viakoo.com.

We love hearing from you!

-Team Viakoo

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