The Whisker.io® cloud platform includes a sophisticated alert system that can be used to send text and email notifications when user-specified conditions exist.
Each time a new value is reported by a device to the Whisker.io® cloud platform, it is checked to determine if an alert condition exists.
The alerting system supports escalation and repetition, allowing you to customize alerts to meet your requirements.
In this article, we will explain how to use the alert system, but before we get started, there are a few concepts that you need to understand:
|Channel (Tag)||A channel (also referred to as a tag) represents a single value that is measured by a sensor or Smart.Hub in the field. Alerts are configured on the channel.|
|Device||A Device is any device in the field that can report sensor values to the Whisker.io™ cloud. (e.g. Whisker.Block or Smart.Hub). Every Device has one or more channels.|
|User||A User has access to the Whisker.io™ cloud platform via the web portal. Every user has a separate account with unique login credentials.|
|Alert Contact||An alert contact can receive alert notifications from the cloud platform. Users can also be alert contacts, but if an alert contact is not also a user, the alert contact cannot log into the web portal to view data.|
Alert Contacts must be added to the account before they can be assigned to alerts. In the next section, we will explain how to create Alert Contacts.
To manage Alert Contacts, you need to first log into your account at www.whisker.io. Then, click on "Control Panel" to access the account settings.
There are two ways to add Alert Contacts to an account:
1. When creating a new user
2. Manually adding to Alert Contact list
To create an Alert Contact when creating a new user, click on the "Account Users" tab and click "New User".
This will bring up the "Create New User" dialog.
Complete the dialog and click "Create" to bring up the "Set User Alerts Dialog":
This dialog lists all alerts that are defined for the account, allowing you to assign the user to any alerts for which the user should get notification. This automatically adds the user as an alert contact.
You can also manually add Alert Contacts to the account by clicking "Alert Contacts" on the Control Panel, and then clicking "Create New Contact". This will bring up the "New Alert Contact" dialog:
You can create a new Alert Contact from an existing user by checking "Import Information from Account User":
Once you have either created a new Alert Contact from an existing user or by entering the contact's information manually, click "Save". This will bring up the "Set User Alerts" dialog so you can assign the new contact to one or more alerts.
Creating a New Alert
There are few important facts you should know about alerts:
1. Alerts are defined on device channels.
2. Each channel can have one or more alerts, allowing you to build an escalation system
3. Each alert can notify one or more alert contacts
4. Alerts are triggered differently depending on the channel type.
5. Alerts can be configured to trigger only when the trigger condition exists for a period of time
6. Alerts can be configured to notify alert contacts once per event, or repeatedly so long as the alert condition persists
To access channels, click the "gear" icon next to a device in the Configured Products panel on the Location View:
For Whisker.Blocks, this will bring up the "Edit Whisker.Block" dialog:
Click the "gear" icon to bring up the "Edit Channel" dialog:
Click "View alerts for this channel" to open the "Channel Alerts" dialog:
This dialog displays all current alerts for the selected channel. From this dialog, you can edit existing alerts or add new alerts. To edit an alert, select the alert in the list and click "Edit Selected Alert". To add an alert, click "Create New Alert". Both actions will open the "New/Edit Alert" Dialog:
This dialog contains all of the information needed for an alert definition.
|Name||A descriptive name for this alert|
|Contacts||A list of Alert Contacts that will receive notifications when this alert triggered|
|Active||Only active alerts are processed. If an alert is no longer needed, we de-activate it instead of deleting it. This keeps the integrity of the alert history intact.|
|Repeat||Determines whether the notification is sent once or repeatedly while the alert logic is triggered.|
|Send Via||Choose text, email or both|
|Message||This is the text that is sent to the alert contact(s) when the alert triggers. Variable tags can be included in the message to substitute in the name of the device or location, time, etc.|
|Trigger||This is the logic that triggers the alert. It varies based on the type of channel that this alert is assigned to.|
Message text can include variables which are substituted with actual values when the alert notification is sent. The following table describes the message variables that are available for alerts.
|%val%||Actual value at the time the alert was triggered|
|%timestamp%||Date and time that the alert was triggered|
|%devname%||Name of alerting device|
|%channame%||Name of alerting channel|
|%locname%||Name of location where alert took place|
For all channels, an alert can be triggered when the channel has stopped reporting values; this is called an Inactivity Alert. To create an Inactivity Alert, select "OnInactivity" for the trigger logic.
For digital channels, alerts can be triggered when the input goes high or low.
The following picture shows the available trigger logic for a digital channel:
For analog channels, alerts are triggered when a threshold is crossed:
Alerts can be triggered immediately or after the alert trigger condition has been met for a specified period of time. This is configured in section 1 in the New/Edit Alert dialog.
Analog alerts are triggered based on a threshold which is configured in section 2 of the picture above. When "OnThreshold" is selected as the alert trigger, you can specify how to test the threshold (> or <), the threshold value and a hysteresis. For example, with the configuration above, the alert will trigger when the tank level exceeds 75 and will clear when it goes below 73.5. The hysteresis provides a band-gap to ensure that the alert doesn't cycle when the value is close to the trigger level.
Alerts for Smart.Hubs
When the Modbus Client is configured on a Smart.Hub, the Modbus Slots are used to create value channels that can each have an alert. To access alerts for these channels:
1. Navigate to the Location View that contains the Smart.Hub you want to configure.
2. Open the Smart.Hub's configuration dialog by clicking its "gear" icon.
3. Click on the Modbus Client tab to show the available slots.
4. Select a slot and click its "gear" icon to edit the slot configuration.
5. This will provide access to the alerts for that channel.
For more information about configuring a Smart.Hub Modbus Client, see this article: