Two key settings for the Omnilert Desktop Alert (ODA) are the Polling Interval as well as Display Duration.
- Polling Interval: How often each client PC (or Mac) will check in with Omnilert to retrieve active alerts for the desktop.
- Display Duration: How long an alert will be available for display. Once the duration is up, the message is "expired" and will stop being active, playing on PCs, etc.
What should you set these settings to?
The shorter the interval, the more quickly desktop alerts will start to play on computers when an Omnilert message is sent. The minimum interval is 30 seconds, with each PC checking in twice per minute.
You may be asking "Why would anyone ever use a longer interval?"
Web traffic. Each PC will generate a very small amount of traffic when it checks for new messages. If you have a very congested network, adjusting the polling interval can help alleviate that traffic a little bit, at the expense of slightly slower delivery of desktop alerts, of course.
This setting really controls 2 things: How long the message plays and how long it's available to play on PCs. Typically, we recommend setting this to twice your polling interval (or longer) to give PCs enough time to display the alert across your whole network.
The Display Duration must always be greater than the Polling Interval or some PCs won't get the alert at all.
For example, if you were to set the polling interval to 60 seconds, but then post a message with a duration of only 30 seconds, many of your PCs would never get the message.
Why? Because they are only checking every 60 seconds, there's a strong chance that the message would expire before a given PC's next polling time!
To avoid that, set the "duration" to 120 seconds and you should have no problems.
That's why as a general rule, we recommend that your Display Duration be set to at least 2x the Polling Interval.