We’ve mentioned Yurbi’s report scheduler frequently in the past, but there’s one use case we haven’t spoken about. Yurbi’s scheduler features notification and alert abilities, which are two different functions. A scheduled notification allows users to set up email notifications for a specific day and time that provide a snapshot into a certain dashboard. An alert is different, and it allows users to receive a notification when a specific activity or event takes place. In this article, we will focus on Yurbi’s alert capabilities in relation to threshold-based queries.
Initially, we didn’t design Yurbi as an alerting engine, but over time Yurbi’s alert feature has become a common use case within Yurbi. Yurbi’s alerting feature is a powerful tool that ensures efficiency and safety within the context of a company’s workflow and data by sending alerts when certain occurrences or events take place within a software solution or database.
For example, if you work in a helpdesk environment and a priority ticket comes in with an SLA to respond within 15 minutes, you would likely want to schedule an alert if the ticket isn’t responded to within that timeframe. Another alert a user may want to set up is if an activity happens within a database five or more times within 30 minutes, whether that activity is login errors or general data access errors. Both scenarios are common use cases for Yurbi’s alerting feature.
Most applications and software will provide some built-in email alert or service level alert capabilities. However, in many cases, the people who can receive those alerts must be licensed users of the application or software. This is can be challenging for IT departments and managers in other departments who need to be aware of certain activities with a software solution, but do not need a login or license to the application. Yurbi enables these departments to receive activity-specific alerts, without requiring login credentials (or paid licenses) from multiple systems.
Another use case of alerting capabilities is for companies that need to link events that happen within multiple systems or software. Admins of each software program will receive alerts about specific occurrences or events within the single software program. Many companies need to receive alerts for multiple systems or programs in one place in order to correlate one event or occurrence in one system to another event or occurrence in another system.
Typically when users set up a report within Yurbi, the user would simply build their report, which Yurbi converts into a live query that runs against a data source. To set up an alert-based schedule in Yurbi it is necessary to set up a threshold-based report. Threshold-based reports have several components that make them unique.
First, a threshold-based report must have some sort of calculation assigned to the report. For example, a user may run a regular report about the number of tickets per ticket status.
Once the user runs that report, he or she may want to know anytime that the number of acknowledged tickets exceeds 10 tickets. This criterion would be the threshold, which means that this criterion must occur. In this example, the only time this report would display results is if the number of acknowledged tickets exceeded 10 tickets. (Note: A threshold does not have to be numeric and is rather an occurrence or a value that has been exceeded for the threshold to be crossed.)
The second component of a threshold-based report is the element of time. In the above example, users would not want to run a report for the entire history of the ticket database. Instead, the user would need to set a time limit of when the threshold was crossed, such as within the last 15 minutes, the last hour, or the last week.
In the above screenshot, we’ve added a field that calculated the elapsed time since a ticket was opened and applied a criteria of showing only tickets where the elapsed time is less than 15 minutes.
After a user has built the threshold-based query, the user should not initially receive any results. This is because the report should only display results when the threshold has been exceeded within the allotted timeframe, which will likely happen in the future. Yurbi’s threshold-based queries become even more powerful because reports can be run against multiple databases among the various software solutions a company uses.
Once the threshold-based query report is built, the report can be scheduled and sent to the appropriate contacts.
Additionally, when users are scheduling reports they have the ability to schedule them at the appropriate frequency (minutes, hours, or days) and can identify the days of each week reports should be run.
When the user scheduling the report selects the contacts to which the report should be sent, Yurbi’s App Shield feature kicks in and applies individual user security and access to the reports.
Users are able to customize the subject and body of the email so they understand the purpose and action needed in response.
Users are also able to determine the format of the reports, including HTML, CSV, Excel, or PDF. Because this is a threshold based report the output or report results should be limited in scope, so inline HTML is a nice format for these types of scheduled notifications.
If the report does not produce results, the system will suppress the alerts and the email alerts will not be sent. However, if the threshold is crossed within the allotted time frame, the scheduler will send the results to each identified contact.
Users have the ability to set threshold-based queries that alert users when thresholds have been breached, which can be complex and translate across multiple databases. Additionally, these reports can be sent to a variety of users internally that are customized via App Shield security, and users who do not have licenses or login access to certain company software solutions can still receive alerts regarding specific occurrences or activity when appropriate.
Because so many users are taking advantage of Yurbi’s alerting and threshold-based query features, we plan to enhance these capabilities and limitations. Over the next few quarters, we plan to enable users to further personalize and customize the email alert body via templated emails, HTML, and email program integrations. We also plan to add a feature that determines the frequency of each alert, whether that is a specific amount of minutes or once per day so that users do not receive an excess number of alerts. Additionally, we will empower Yurbi admin users to determine who has access to the report scheduler and minutes frequency within the scheduler so that it’s not overused in the environment.