HelpDesk Notification Profiles and Email Alert Customization

This article explains the special support to integrate Viakoo Tickets with help-desk systems using Viakoo email alerting. This is done through the Notification Profiles which allow for customizing the contents and conditions when alert emails are sent. These are useful in initiating and updating corresponding cases (tickets) in help-desk systems.

 

Notification Profiles

Notification profiles are assigned when new account invitations are created in Viakoo and can be reassigned by the user in their "My Profiles" page.

The default notification profile setting turns off email & push notifications for the user, sets alert-level as any ticket CRITICAL or above, and combines all tickets that are opened or changed simultaneously into a single email.  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 these notification settings.

1.png

While these settings are convenient for human users, they are problematic for help-desk systems. To better support help-desk integration, there are six built-in profiles you could assign a new user instead:

  • HelpDesk (HTML)
  • HelpDesk (PlainText)
  • HelpDesk (PlainText-All)
  • HelpDesk (JSON)
  • HelpDesk (JSON-All)
  • HelpDesk (Member)

These profiles are explicitly designed for creating an account to route Viakoo generated tickets to the email input for your help desk system, allowing a 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 to make it easier to create or associate with a single case in the help-desk system.
  2. They send the message formatted for easier consumption by the helpdesk system.
  3. They can be selective about what ticket status changes they send emails. 

Though there are predefined profiles, they can be customized by Viakoo to better fit your situation. Details about the pre-defined HelpDesk profiles are as follows:

HelpDesk (HTML|PlainText|JSON)

These notification profiles are useful for automatically generating a helpdesk case in your helpdesk system when problems occur (i.e., the Viakoo Ticket OPENS). They default to alerting on all tickets, though this can be customized to alert on only those category of tickets and severity levels you wish. Each profile uses the associated format for the body of the email message. Choose the format most easily accommodated by your helpdesk system.  

To use one of these profiles, create a new user with a STAFF-level role and the email address of your helpdesk system. Select HelpDesk (HTML), HelpDesk (PlainText), or HelpDesk (JSON) 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
  • Alert Level set to ADVISORY (MINOR) priority tickets and above
  • Alert on OPEN ticket status only

This means this user will get an email when any 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 to be used with an account set to the role, MEMBER. MEMBERs are users 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.

An 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
  • Alert Level set to ADVISORY (MINOR) priority tickets and above
  • Alert on ASSIGNED ticket status only

This means this user will get an email on any ticket that is ASSIGNED to that user 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 (JSON-All|PlainText-All)

These notification profiles are for more sophisticated help-desk integrations. They extend HelpDesk[JSON] and HelpDesk[PlainText] by sending tickets in the respective format for all status updates. Specifically,

  • Alert on OPEN, ASSIGN, ACCEPT, RESOLVED and CLOSED ticket statuses changes

As with the other help-desk notification profiles, 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. 

This is useful for more sophisticated HelpDesk integrations, choose HelpDesk[JSON-All] or HelpDesk[PlainText-All] to have separate emails sent whenever a ticket status changes (i.e., when it is opened, assigned, accepted, resolved or closed).

For these integrations, new help-desk cases should be created only when the Viakoo ticket status is OPEN. Additionally, you must store the Viakoo ticket id in a searchable field in the new help-desk ticket. Then, for subsequent Viakoo emails associated with the same ticket, use the Viakoo ticket id to search for the corresponding case in your help-desk system so you can update its status accordingly.

For detail on the format of the related emails, see below:

 

PlainText Email Format

Helpdesk email 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 for a "Plain Text" email is as follows:

Ticket:<ticket id> 

Status:[OPEN|ASSIGNED|ACCEPTED|RESOLVED|CLOSED]

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.
  • <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"

--------------------------

JSON Email Format

JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) is a format that is very easy for programs to parse. Ticket email bodies using JSON format will have the following structure:

{

"ticket": <ticket id>,

"status": "OPEN",

"priority": <ticket priority>,

"category": <ticket category>,

"location":

{

"id": <component id>,

"name": <component name>

},

"ipAddress": <ip address>,

"problem": <problem string>,

"recommendation": <recommendation string>,

"site":

{

"id": <site id>,

"name": <site name>

},

"company":

{

"id": <company id>,

"name": <company name>

},

"url": <ticket url>

}

Example of JSON email

An example of what this might look like the following:

{"ticket": 64489403821, "status": "OPEN", "priority": "ELEVATED", "category": "CAMERA_MISSING", "location": {"id": 23808720703, "name": "North Lobby"}, "ipAddress": "10.151.10.103", "problem": "Camera device \"North Lobby (10.151.10.103)\" is missing from configuration.", "recommendation": "Check VMS configuration and delete camera from this service if it has been removed from the network", "site": {"id": 23488568099, "name": "SJC-San Jose"}, "company": {"id": 23771971477, "name": "Acme Sprocket"}, "url": "https://vk1.viakoo.com/#/dashboard/23488568099/overview/64489403821/ticket"}

Embedded quotes

Note: If a quote occurs within a problem or recommendation string, it is preceded by a backslash ('\') character to help parsers identify it as a character embedded in the string and not the termination of the string.

Profile Customization

Template 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.

Ticket State Customization

The pre-defined HelpDesk Profiles alert on a single ticket status event (e.g., ticket "OPENED"). However, it is possible to have the alert email sent on other status events instead or in addition to (e.g., when the ticket is "RESOLVED").

 If you need specific customization to a helpdesk notification profile, contact your Viakoo representative for more details.

Administering User Preferences

For administrators who are trying to assist their users with notification settings, you can find a sub-tab in the User Administration pane labeled “Preferences” 

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

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

Preferences_Tab_1.png

Preferences_Tab_2.png

 

 

 

 

Have more questions? Submit a request

Comments

Powered by Zendesk