Tetris (Sep/Oct 2023) Release Overview

The information in this article is the intellectual property of xMatters, an Everbridge Company, and is intended only for use with xMatters products by xMatters customers and their employees. Further, this intellectual property is proprietary and must not be reused or resold.


We celebrate this release with Tetris, one of the greatest, best-selling, and most well-known video games ever made! Just like the beloved arcade game, our release introduces enhancements designed to make your incident management processes fall neatly into place.

This release includes enhancements for optimizing your incident response, from customizable incident types to improved Incident Console usability, redesigned on-call shift management to streamlined messaging forms—plus an audit report for tracking workflow updates. Our Tetris release is all about fitting the pieces together seamlessly!

Before you dive in to learn about all the improvements included in this release, here are some important dates:

  • Non-production environment access: Tuesday, September 26
  • Production environment access: Tuesday, October 24 (enabled between 10:00-10:30am Pacific)

Future feature release

As a special bonus, we'll also give you a sneak peek at an enhancement we're working on for a future release:

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Jump ahead

In a hurry? Here's an overview of this doc if you want to skip ahead to something awesome (top headings are also clickable!):

Incident Response & Service Intelligence

On-Call Management


Reporting & Analytics


Early Access Program & Feature Delivery Update

Incident response & service intelligence

The combined incident management capabilities and service intelligence insights of xMatters enable you to successfully respond to digital service interruptions, proactively minimize their occurrence, and continually provide value to your customers. In this release, we introduce enhancements designed to empower resolvers by providing streamlined access to the precise tasks, processes, and information essential for addressing the current incident effectively.

Incident types & properties

Availability: Non-Production Oct.17; Production Oct.24

Different types of incidents require a different response, and the information that's helpful to diagnose, mitigate, and resolve incidents also varies by type. Recognizing these unique needs, we're introducing new customization enhancements to optimize your incident resolution and empower your teams to focus on what truly matters for each specific incident. 

With this release, we're adding a new section to the Incidents menu where you can define different Incident Types. For each type, you can tailor which sections are displayed in the Incident Console and create specific incident properties to capture information that's essential for that type of incident.


If you've specified different incident types, when you configure an Initiate Incident step as part of your flow, you'll be asked to specify the type you want to use. Selecting a type automatically adds the corresponding incident properties as input fields to the Initiate Incident step and as outputs to any of the triggers included in the Initiate Incident step. You can then integrate this information into your workflows and incorporate it into your resolver notifications and stakeholder updates.


The resulting incident that's initiated will use the customized console layout specified for that incident type and include the incident properties and values defined for them.


Coming soon...

For our initial release of this feature, incident properties are limited to text properties. We're currently evaluating other property types, which we'll be adding in future releases. You'll also soon be able to edit incident properties in the Incident Console and they'll eventually be available in the Get Incident and Update Incident steps in Flow Designer. 

Incident task lists

Estimated availability: Non-production Oct.17; Production Oct.24

During an incident, it's crucial to keep track of who's doing what, which tasks have been completed, and what's still outstanding. To help with this, our previous release introduced a Tasks section to the Incident Console. While capturing tasks during an incident is helpful, how do you ensure steps in your response process aren't missing in the heat of an active incident?

Introducing Task Lists

The best time to prepare a task list for an incident is before an incident occurs, when stress is low, and you can focus attention on ensuring you capture all the steps in your process. By preparing a list of tasks ahead of time instead of during an incident, incident commanders can focus their efforts on resolving the issue that much faster.

The Incidents menu in Base and Advanced xMatters plans now includes a Task Lists section where your resolution team can build out lists of tasks for different incident types or uses cases. For example, SREs may define a list of failover tasks, service teams may document how to perform a deployment rollback, or support managers may specify the customer communication process. Incident commanders can simply select the task lists that apply to the incident, and the list of tasks will be dropped into the Tasks section of the console.


Relative due dates

Typically, an organization's incident response process defines certain tasks that need to be completed within set timeframes—such as 5 minutes, 15 minutes, or 30 minutes—after the incident starts. To facilitate this, you can now schedule tasks to be due relative to incident initiation. Task lists with these predefined timings can also be added to the incident, making it easier to manage your response efforts from the outset.

During active incidents, resolvers often identify tasks for post-resolution actions to prevent recurrences or improve future responses. To streamline this process and allow resolvers to focus on the incident, we've also introduced tasks that become due after a specified time following incident resolution. These tasks remain inactive during the incident and start their countdown only after resolution.


Other updates

Sometimes the little things make all the difference! The Tasks section of the Incident Console now auto-updates for new tasks, task status, and due/overdue states, you can delete tasks, and edits to tasks are recorded in the incident Timeline.

Incident Console usability improvements

While the Incident Console acts as your intuitive command center for incident management, we're constantly striving to enhance it and incorporate your feedback. In this release, we make the following usability improvements to support your incident management processes:

Services as incident stakeholders

Availability: Now in xMatters

Keep service owners informed about incident progress without involving them directly in the immediate resolution team—simply add them as stakeholders instead. You can now search and select services in the Add Stakeholders modal of the Incident Console and the corresponding owner group is added to the stakeholder list.


Remove resolvers from an incident

Availability: Now in xMatters

The prompt response of some resolvers to incident notifications is impressive. However, there are instances where notified resolvers do not engage. To reduce clutter on the Incident Console, we've introduced the ability to remove unresponsive resolvers from the Resolvers section. For transparency and tracking purposes, each removal is recorded in the incident Timeline.


Trigger flows without recipients

Availability: Now in xMatters

Your automations don't need to have recipients—unless you want them to. You now have the option to remove the Recipients section from Flow Trigger forms. This means when you run an automation that doesn't require recipients, you won't be presented with the option to add them or be warned that you haven't added any.


Enhanced control in the Incident Console

Availability: Tetris Release

We've introduced a new incident editing permission to give you more control over who can make changes in the Incident Console. This is helpful if you want to designate particular people to have editing privileges, while providing other team members and stakeholders read-only access. Even with read-only access, users can still actively contribute by adding notes and working on tasks.

Specify impacted services when you initiate an incident

Availability: Tetris Release

We've updated our customizable Incident Resolution workflow template to include the services property introduced last release. With new installations of this workflow, you'll now be able to specify which services are impacted when you initiate an incident.

Services you specify when initiating the incident are automatically added to the Impacted Services section of the Incident Console and they're included in incident notifications. By adding known impacted services when you initiate an incident, you can more quickly engage service owners or run service-centric automations like updating a status page, rolling back a deployment, running a health check, or performing a rolling restart. 


View impacted services on mobile (Android & iOS)

Availability: Now in Android & iOS

Viewing affected services is critical for assessing the impact of an incident, identifying its root cause, and empowering you to act. The xMatters mobile app now gives you tools to monitor the status of your services when you're on the go.

When you view the Incidents list on the mobile app, you can see all the services impacted by the incident, with services color-coded by the highest severity incident affecting them.


Groups also include a new 'Services' tab where you can view all the services owned by the group, identify those that are impacted, and assess the severity of the impact.


On-call management

Over our past few releases, we've focused on redesigning and optimizing the groups experience across xMatters. This time around, we're pleased to introduce improvements for managing your on-call shifts, and we've upgraded dynamic teams to an official group type.

Redesigned on-call shift management

Availability: Tetris Release

In this release, we redesigned the Shifts section of the Calendar tab, which group admins use to review and audit all the shifts for an on-call group. Highlights of the redesign include:

  • Search functionality and filters to narrow down the list to shifts that meet certain criteria, such as 'Shifts with No Members' and 'Unscheduled (Past Shifts)'.


  • Better at-a-glance visibility of shift configuration and details, including counts of different member types (users, groups, and devices).


  • A new side panel to simultaneously view shift details and how members are notified when on-call.


  • A more user-friendly interface for editing recurrence rules, membership, escalations, rotations, and more.


Edit escalations for shift occurrences

We've also added enhancements to the group Calendar for editing the escalations in a single shift occurrence, without affecting the rest of the series. Now when you want to override a single shift—for example, if someone calls in sick and you want to make a one-time exception to take them out of today's escalation—you can simply click the shift in the calendar and edit escalations for Just This Occurrence.


Dynamic groups

Availability: Tetris Release

Dynamic teams undergo a transformation this release—into dynamic groups! We've seamlessly upgraded all your existing teams into groups, and they'll continue to operate as usual while gaining access to group interface capabilities.

The core purpose of dynamic groups remains unchanged: they're designed to assemble the right team based on defined criteria at the time of an alert. You can now conveniently access dynamic groups alongside your on-call and broadcast groups, enabling you to search, filter, and manage all of your groups from a single groups list.


And to simplify the process of creating dynamic groups, you can now create them in the Add Group modal, just like any other group type.


We've also updated the interface for viewing dynamic groups to match the user-friendly design for accessing critical information that you've become accustomed to from our other group types.


Coming soon...

By popular request, we'll soon be introducing a 'not' criteria to give you more control over who's notified. This operator will include built-in protection to help prevent unintentional targeting.


Messaging is an integral part of our platform, and we love to add improvements based on customer feedback and best practices we observe. In this release, we're finally ready to reveal a sneak peek—and early access—to a major overhaul we're been working on for our messaging screens!

Sneak peek: Redesigned send message forms

Availability: While this feature will be officially included in the upcoming Ultima Release, we're releasing it to non-production instances now, and to Free and EAP instances with the Tetris production release. This gives you plenty of time to play with it while we finish up adding support for scenarios and integrated properties. If you'd like production access for redesigned forms sooner, reach out to Support.

We're making significant enhancements to our message forms so they're more efficient and user-friendly, providing senders with better control over their messaging processes. 

Here's what's new:

Improved screen real estate

  • Clicking on a form opens the form in a convenient side panel, optimizing usage of your screen.
  • You can view the list of forms and the selected form simultaneously, allowing quick form previews so you can easily find the form you're looking to use.
  • Text properties are now wider than before, improving readability.


Site recipient search

  • One of our most requested features: a unified Recipients selector that you can now use to search for sites, just like your other recipient types.


  • If you prefer the map view, you can access it in the 'Advanced' Recipients selector.


  • For clustered sites, simply click a cluster to reveal a list of grouped sites for easy selection.


  • To include sites in the Recipients selector, add the Site Recipients section to the form layout; sites won't appear unless you choose to include them.
  • Conversely, if you only want to target sites, add the Site Recipients section to the form layout and hide the recipients section; message senders can then exclusively select sites as recipients.

Recipient counts & validation

  • Updated selected recipient counts and estimates of the number of people who may be notified help message senders understand the scope of their message, ensuring they target the intended audience. For example, did you really want to notify a thousand people by selecting that site?


  • The ability to quickly 'Remove all' recipients using the Advanced recipient selector.


  • Improved validation for required properties, and clearer identification of where properties missing values are located on the form.


Reporting & analytics

The reporting capabilities of xMatters give you greater visibility and insight across your business to help identify opportunities for continuous improvement and more effective incident response. In this release, we enhance the compliance auditing and troubleshooting capabilities of our reporting platform with a highly requested feature: an audit report for tracking updates to your workflows.

Workflows Audit Report

Availability: Tetris Release

xMatters workflows provide a powerful way to automate your incident response. If something unexpected occurs, troubleshooting changes to your workflows and their components can provide transparency into what went wrong. In this release, we bring you a new Workflows Audit Report to review when workflows are added, modified, or deleted.

The Workflows Audit Report includes records of which workflow changed, when the change occurred, what was changed (with before and after values, where available), and who made the change. You can also search, filter by timeframe, and export the report.



Our main focus for this release was to provide new and secure endpoint authentication options, and upgrade some of our existing steps and workflows to take advantage of new features and functionality in xMatters and the external products we integrate with.

Flow Designer

Flow Designer is the user interface for our integration platform. Its goal is to provide an all-inclusive visual canvas that allows users of any technical ability across the enterprise to integrate and create incident resolution workflows with ease.

New & updated endpoints


Availability: Tetris Release

The Token endpoint enables integration with systems using a static token or API key for authentication. This improves security by eliminating the need for individual steps to manage authentication processes. It also supports configuration of authentication and custom headers, including a token header and additional headers such as account or organization IDs when required.

OAuth 2.0 (Authorization Code)

Availability: Tetris Release

This enhancement enables seamless integration with Authorization Code Flow, a widely recognized and secure method for user, application, and system authentication. In addition to simplifying integrations with new systems, it empowers users to craft custom versions of built-in endpoints such as Microsoft Graph API with custom permission scopes for enhanced security.

ServiceNow OAuth 2.0 (Authorization Code)

Availability: Tetris Release

The ServiceNow endpoint now supports OAuth 2.0 (Authorization Code) authentication. This allows a more secure authentication method when integrating with ServiceNow than using the standard Basic Authentication or OAuth 2.0 (Password) endpoint.

New & updated steps

Launch an Ansible job template

Availability: Now in xMatters

You can now use the Ansible Launch Job Template step to launch a job template in Ansible automation controller. For example, if you want to add an incident automation that lets you run an Ansible playbook as part of your response actions, add a Flow Trigger form to your workflow, then add an incident automation trigger to your canvas, and then connect this step.


Add a comment to any ServiceNow record type

Availability: Tetris Release

We've released an updated version of the ServiceNow Add Comment step. You can use this step to add a comment to any existing ServiceNow record type that supports comments. Simply configure the 'Table' and 'Record ID' input to specify where you want to add the comment.


If adding the comment isn't successful, rest assured that the step won't fail and stop the flow—instead, the flow will continue, and a new 'Add Comment' output will indicate if adding the comment was successful (true) or unsuccessful (false).

New & updated workflows


Availability: Now in xMatters

Want to post to a Slack channel or spin up a Microsoft Teams meeting based on activity in Zendesk? With our updated Zendesk workflow, it's now simpler to set things up. We've improved the installation process and moved all the flows onto one canvas in Flow Designer, making it easier to drop in steps and customize the automation for your use case. 



Availability: Late October/Early November

We've released a new HaloITSM workflow that you can use to trigger actions in xMatters when there's an incident in HaloITSM. You can also add write back to HaloITSM incidents, updating values and adding comments based on activity in xMatters.

AWS automatic subscription confirmation

Availability: Now in xMatters

You no longer need to wait for an email to get an AWS CloudWatch workflow up and running—instead of confirming your SNS topic subscription by clicking an email link, confirmation now happens automagically.

ServiceNow Vancouver

Availability: Now in xMatters

If you're using the latest version of ServiceNow, then you'll be happy to hear that Version 5.7 of the xMatters application for ServiceNow is certified with San Diego, Tokyo, Utah, and now Vancouver.

For more information about getting integrated with ServiceNow, see our integration guide.

Early Access Program & feature delivery update

The goal of our current delivery model is to balance feature delivery with customer change management processes. This means providing visibility into upcoming changes for customers that want it, while allowing other customers to have a more standard non-production environment that matches production.

If you aren't familiar with the current model, we release features only visible to admins/developers at a faster pace than the quarterly release process. These features should not impact end users until a customer provisions them into their workflow. Customers can opt their non-production environments into the Early Access Program to see features and functionality enhancements that impact end users before they're released on a quarterly basis. All customer non-production environments are updated four weeks prior to an official quarterly production release to allow for testing and training on new features.

We regularly reevaluate and improve our deployment processes to ensure they reflect industry best practices and customer feedback. For more information about our deployment process, see our On-Demand Deployment Process and Early Access article. We'll update that document whenever we make a change, and let you know about the change through other appropriate channels.

Learn more

These are the main features for this release but be aware that there are several other small changes and enhancements we're delivering to keep xMatters looking sharp. Detailed information and instructions for using these new features will be available in our online documentation.

See you at the Ultima release!

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