Omnilert's Scenarios feature includes the ability to launch a series of alerts at the press of a button, either from the web portal's Dashboard page or via the Scenarios app for iPhone/Android. If you're unfamiliar with Scenarios, check out this video first.
However, if you're already familiar with Scenarios, what if you want to automate the launch?
For example, imagine this situation:
You have an environmental monitoring system that monitors your server room's temperature for spikes or moisture levels. It can send an email out with an "Email Me" feature, but you want that monitoring system to set off an Omnilert text message if/when there's a problem.
Well, if that alarm system can send an email, then it can send one to Omnilert and you can use Scenario Triggers to relay that message out to your whole team.
Let's walk through how to accomplish this:
- Log into Omnilert as a Super Admin
- Go to the Tools >> Scenarios page and create your Scenario. (See "How to Create a Scenario" [VIDEO])
- Once your scenario is ready, we can create a Scenario Trigger (see below).
For this example situation, we need to use the "SMTP Trigger", which is an email-based trigger for a Scenario. An SMTP Trigger sets up a special email address. If/when Omnilert receives an email at that address, the associated Scenario will launch.
So, this capability is perfect for automating and relaying alerts from external systems.
Creating a Scenario Action to use SMTP Triggers
In this example, I've already created a Scenario that I've called "Server Room Automated Alert".
This simple Scenario has one "Action" that I called "SMS". It will send out SMS (texts) to my "IT Maintenance" group in Omnilert.
Here's what's in the SMS action:
For the message content, I want to relay info from my enviromental alarm message.
I'm taking advantage of a feature in Scenarios that allows me to use a "custom text" variable which will insert the email subject line into my message as the text content with
Why did I use the subject?
Since SMS is a short-format media (160 characters max), the email subject from my automated emails is just right to pass along. I could also use other variables to pull different pieces of the email into my alert, such as the body of the email or the sender's info.
Sure, I could also use other variables to pull different pieces of the email into my alert, such as the body of the email or the sender's info. In my case, that'd just be too long, so I went with the subject line.
The use of the incoming email content is really optional. I could just hard code the content of the Omnilert message if that were more appropriate.
Ok, now that our message is composed, we need to create a trigger...
Creating the Trigger Email Address
Edit your Scenario by clicking the "Add New" link to add a new SMTP Trigger.
A window will pop up. This is where we configure our SMTP (email) trigger.
You'll assign the trigger a name and a description. Additionally, there are several filters to prevent spam or unauthorized email from causing your scenario to launch.
- Virus Scan: Scan the incoming email for viruses and malicious code.
- Spam Detection: As the name implies, check if the email coming in detects as "spam".
- SPF Validation: Check the Sender Policy Framework (SPF) record for the incoming email.
- DKIM Validation: Check the DKIM signature for email.
- Allowed Sources: List out the email address(es) allowed to set off this triggered scenario.
Most settings can be set to either "OFF" (no check), "GRAY" (allows "unknown" responses to go through), or "PASS" (only those that expressly pass the test go through).
As you can imagine, "PASS" is the most strict setting.
At a minimum, we recommend filtering on the sending email address. Otherwise, ANY email that Omnilert receives at your trigger's address will set off the scenario.
When you're ready, just click Save.
Your new SMTP trigger will generate a special email address, shown below the trigger configuration:
The address will be a unique key to your Scenario. It's designed to be used by automated systems, not hand-typed. Copy and paste that email address into your external system's email setting.
In our example, that's our environmental alarm system's "email me" function.
End Result: Whenever that environmental alarm sends Omnilert an email, Omnilert will relay that email's subject line out as a text to the IT Maintenance team.
You can use this same technique automate all kinds of alerts. Examples:
- Weather alerts from weather subscription services.
- Door/Alarm entry systems
- Financial or other email-based notices
Anything that you can imagine would send you a critical email notice can be relayed out using this SMTP trigger function.
Remember, this is just one small example of how to use this technique.
A Scenario can send more than just SMS. You could trigger emails, phone calls, or any other endpoint connected to your Omnilert system.