Breakout (Aug/Sept) 2018 Release Overview

The information in this article is the intellectual property of xMatters 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.

What do you get when you combine Chuck E. Cheese's, Pong, and the co-founders of Apple? The sweet, sweet video arcade game Breakout, that's what! A big shout out to Nolan Bushnell, The Woz, Steve Jobs, and Steve Bristow for being the (big) brains behind this Pong-inspired classic, which we've chosen to celebrate with our latest quarterly release. Got a minute to reminisce? Check out this fun little Google Easter egg...

While Temporary Absences and a new monthly view in the mobile app steal the show for on-call scheduling, this release also includes great enhancements to our integration platform, including a new outbound integration trigger, additional flexibility for authenticating inbound integrations, and a load of new improvements to the xMatters REST API. Read on for all the details and for a couple of sneak peeks that are not to be missed!

Before you dive in to learn about all of these improvements, here are some important dates:

  • Non-production environment access: Tuesday, August 21
  • Production environment access: Tuesday, September 4 (triggered between 10-10:30am Pacific)

Sneak Peek

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

  • Event flood control - Suppress duplicate events during event storms.
  • 'All Events' report - View archival data of your events in a separate report.

Jump ahead

In a hurry? Here's an overview of this doc if you want to skip ahead to something awesome:

Quick Note on Images

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On-Call Scheduling

Nobody does on-call scheduling like xMatters. We've long had the most advanced on-call schedule system on the market, with schedule recurrences, escalations, holiday schedules, automated rotations, temporary replacements, drag-and-drop functionality, and other key features to run your enterprise smoothly.

To keep on top of our game, we're continually looking for ways that we can improve and update our scheduling platform based on customer feedback, usability studies, and trends in technology and the marketplace. In this release, we extended the functionality of our temporary replacement feature, enhanced the on-call scheduling capabilities of our mobile app, and provided additional metrics to examine the efficiencies of your on-call resources.

End-user controlled temporary absence

Our Temporary Replacement feature gets a major overhaul this release. If you're not familiar with this feature, it's important because it gives users the ability to adjust their on-call responsibilities. If a user is unable to receive notifications for an extended period - for example, if they're on vacation or ill - they can appoint one or more users to receive notifications on their behalf for particular groups, or for all of their notifications.

One of the most notable updates is that we've changed this feature's name to Temporary Absences. This renaming reflects a change of behavior that selecting someone to replace you while you're away is now optional. This is useful for those times when it's not actually necessary to name a replacement because your team or the next person in the on-call schedule will cover for you.

You can add a Temporary Absence the same way that you would have previously added a Temporary Replacement from the Schedule tab of the user profile:

upcoming-absences.png

Configuring absences
As you can see in the animated GIF below, there's a new configuration screen for adding a Temporary Absence. This is where you'll specify when you're going be away and select the groups that are affected - and then you'll have the option to add a replacement... or not! To add a replacement, begin typing in the search bar, or use the new drop-down to scroll through a list of the users you have permission to select:

temporary-absences.gif

A few of things to note:

  • Notifications that target you based on your group membership will be sent to your replacement during your absence - this includes any subscription notifications that target you as part of those groups.
  • If you didn't set a replacement, these messages will be discarded. You'll still be listed in the event log though, as an absent recipient:

temporary-absence-log-message.png

  • If you selected 'All Groups', notifications that directly target you as a user will be sent to your replacement; if you selected specific groups, then you'll still receive notifications that target your user directly.
  • You'll always receive notifications that directly target your devices.
  • Any Temporary Replacements that previously existed in your system will automagically be converted to temporary absences (with replacements) when this feature is released.

Viewing your absences
When you view the list of your Temporary Absences, you'll be able to see if the absence affects all groups, specific groups (each group has its own entry in the table), and whether there's a replacement. If a replacement was not selected the table will indicate No Replacement:

temporary-absences.png

Getting notified about absences
Our work on this feature also included updating the notifications that xMatters sends out when a Temporary Absence is added to a user's schedule. Since it's now optional to select a user to replace you while you're away, we've created a version of the notification to reflect when you don't set a replacement.

This lets your supervisor - and now also the supervisors of any affected groups - know when you'll be gone and, more importantly, informs them that you haven't set a replacement (because other group members will cover for you while you're away):

temporary-absence-no-replacement.png

While we're on this, when you select your absence to apply to All Groups, does this mean 7, 17, or 77 groups? And, exactly which groups are we talking about?

To address those (very fine) questions, Temporary Absence notifications now list all affected groups. This gives your designated replacement (if you've set one) and your supervisor greater clarity about the transfer of responsibilities that will occur while you're away:

temporary-absence-emails-groups.png

That's not all!
This is just the first wave of updates related to Temporary Absences. We're in the process of adding additional functionality to this feature, including the ability to:

  • View Temporary Absences in groups and the Who's On Call report. It's important for group supervisors to have an accurate representation of who's on call, so we're updating shift information on the Groups tab and Who's On Call report to label when a user is absent and who their replacement is (if they have one). (Estimated availability: Sept.13th)
  • Notify supervisors when no one is left on call. What happens if a user schedules an absence and they're the last person on-call in a shift? You get an empty shift! Yeah, that could be a problem, so if this happens we'll display a warning message in the web user interface when the absence is scheduled and we'll also send a notification to the group supervisor to let them know. (Estimated availability: Sept.13th)
  • Modify Temporary Absences. Just like the previous Temporary Replacement feature, it'll soon be possible to adjust the timing, groups, and replacement user for an absence. In the meantime, if you need to make an adjustment, just delete the absence and create a new one. (Estimated availability: Centipede Quarterly Release)
  • Include Direct Notifications. An additional setting will allow you to send notifications that target you directly (not as part of a group) to your replacement during an absence, or discard them if you don't set a replacement. This is handy if you don't need to review the messages you would have received while away, and don't want them cluttering up your Inbox when you get back. (Estimated availability: Centipede Quarterly Release)

Note: We're also currently in the process of removing any escalation delays that are displayed on the Groups screen and Who's On Call report for an absent user. As you'll see when you use this feature, the functionality of xMatters has already been updated to skip any delays associated with an absent user and automatically continue to the next on-call user - we just need to remove this text from the web user interface. We estimate this update will be released on October 11th.

Mobile monthly 'My Schedule' view

We've introduced a new monthly view to My Schedule in the iOS mobile app. Now instead of scrolling, scrolling... and scrolling through your shifts to view when you'll be on call in a few weeks, or a couple of months from now, you can just click the calendar icon in the top left corner of the screen to view a monthly summary of your on-call status:

mobile-monthly.png

This new monthly view displays up to 90 days of your on-call schedule. As shown in the screenshots above, a green dot on the calendar indicates a day where you're scheduled to be on call. You can tap on any day to view your on-call schedule in more detail.

As with the previous daily My Schedule view, you can also use the shift filter to show only the shifts that are most important to you (Primary On-Call, Primary and Secondary On-Call, or All Shifts).

Availability: You can expect to see the new monthly My Schedule view in an upcoming release of the xMatters iOS app (scheduled for later in September).

User and Group Performance reports new 'first time to respond' metric

Our User and Group Performance reports allow supervisors and administrators to view stats about how recipients have responded to their notifications, such as the number and contribution of responses, how long it takes to respond, and if there are escalations. These metrics are useful for assessing if users and groups are performing as expected.

We've had feedback that in addition to average and maximum 'Time to Respond' (TTR) metrics, you'd also like FTTR - that is, first time to respond - stats so that you can see how quickly notifications are responded to.

That sounds like something useful to know - thanks for the request! Now when you export your User and Group Performance reports you'll see the following new columns:

FTTR.png

  • Average FTTR. The average time across the counted events from the first time a recipient was scheduled to be notified and the time of their first response (in other words, the average time for a user or group's first response).
  • Maximum FTTR. The maximum first time to respond, calculated as the time between when the recipient was scheduled to respond and the time the first response was received by xMatters (or, the longest time taken for a user or group to first respond).

Note: Average and maximum FTTR statistics are generated based on events occurring after the release of this feature; events existing before version 5.5.220 of xMatters are not included.

Permissions to edit or delete groups

In xMatters, the default Group Supervisor role has permissions to edit and maintain groups, which also includes the power to rename and delete them. Of course, with great power comes the ability to make not-so-great mistakes - it's possible for a group supervisor to unintentionally break an integration or data sync process by deleting or changing the name of a group. Oops.

To address these types of situations, we've made the permissions for managing groups more granular, with two new permissions specifically for renaming and deleting groups:

  • ability.act.EditGroupName. Allows a user to modify the names of groups.
  • ability.act.DeleteGroup. Allows a user to delete groups.

This means that if an xMatters administrator wants to restrict the ability of Group Supervisors - or any other role with the ability to edit or delete a group - they can remove one or both of these permissions from that role. (Likewise, it's also possible to add these permissions to a role.) We've received a number of requests from enterprise customers to add this feature, and we think it is the sort of special touch that big companies need to exactly dial-in their security model.

Integrations and Development

We mean business when it comes to integrations. In this release we make updates to several different components of our integration platform, including a new type of outbound integration trigger, enhancements to inbound integration authentication, new additions to the Integration Directory, and a boatload of updates to the xMatters REST API.

Integration Builder

The Integration Builder creates integrations between xMatters and other products or systems, letting you easily add an automated, closed-loop communication plan linking these systems. The main enhancements to the Integration Builder this release include a 'Targeted Recipient Failures' outbound integration trigger, updates to inbound integration authentication, and usability improvements to the script editor and Activity Stream.

Outbound integration 'Targeted Recipient Failures' trigger

Availability: This feature is scheduled to be available in non-production environments on October 2 and in production environments on October 4.

A new Targeted Recipient Failures trigger will soon be available for outbound integrations. When you select this option for your integration, it'll be triggered whenever xMatters is unable to immediately notify anyone for an event associated with the selected form:

targeted-recipient-failures.png

This is useful if you'd like to be alerted when an event fails to notify any recipients due to group coverage or scheduling issues, or if there's a configuration problem that needs attention. The payload for the targeted recipient failures webhook includes the following information:

  • The total number of targeted recipients. The exact number of targeted recipients that could not be notified.
  • The identity of the targeted recipients. The target name, UUID, and type (for example, if they're a user, device, group, or dynamic team) for the first 100 recipients.
  • The type of failure. Whether the initial event failed to notify anyone immediately, or if the failure occurred during the escalation process.

We've also updated the Run a script outbound integration default script to demonstrate how you can access information from this new trigger type:

targeted-recipient-failures-script-editor.png

Phased feature roll-out
To help speed accessibility and adoption of the new targeted recipient failures trigger for outbound integrations, we’ll be implementing it in phases. Part of the event resolution process that the trigger uses to calculate available recipients relies on the improvements we’re making to our hosting services, which means that customers will experience different behavior based on their hosting region.

If you’re hosted in a region where we’ve already updated our service, the trigger will fire whenever xMatters determines that there are no available recipients to notify at any time in the targeting and escalation process. By contrast, if we haven’t completed the upgrades in your region yet, the trigger fires only when xMatters determines that there are no available recipients to notify during the initial targeted notification.

An example would be good right about now...
Imagine you have set up an outbound integration with a targeted recipient failures trigger. A notification targets a group with two users (separated by a five minute delay), but neither user has a notifiable device. xMatters cannot notify the first user so it triggers the outbound integration. That instance of the trigger will fire for customers in all regions and will show a triggerType of 'INITIAL_EVENT'.

After five minutes, xMatters attempts to notify the second user – and here’s where the behavior is a little different. If you’re in an area where the hosting service has already been upgraded, xMatters will trigger the outbound integration again. If your instance has not been updated, xMatters will not trigger the outbound integration because the user was not one of the initial targets. This same behavior would also apply if the first user did have a notifiable device, but they either ignored the notification until it timed out or escalated it to the second user. The triggerType in these cases would be 'TIMED_ESCALATION' or 'MANUAL_ESCALATION'.

Allow all inbound integration authentication methods

Previously, when you'd select an authentication method for your inbound integration, only that specific method could be used to authenticate requests - all other methods would receive a 401 Unauthorized error.

In this quarterly release you'll see a new Allow all methods option when you select which authentication method to use for your inbound integrations:

select-all-methods.png

This option gives integrators greater flexibility as it allows any of the four authentication methods to trigger integrations. For example, you can configure your automated system to use API Key Authentication, while also allowing someone to manually initiate the integration using their Basic Authentication credentials.

Select one, or select them ALL
The authentication method for new inbound integrations now defaults to 'Allow all methods'. You can leave this option selected, or choose a single mode of authentication for your integration (we recommend choosing the most secure option your calling system allows).

As shown in the animated screenshot below, if 'Allow all methods' is selected, the How to trigger the integration section of the configuration screen displays a selector that you can use to view instructions on how to trigger the integration using any of the available authentication methods:

inbound_authentication.gif

Usability improvements

Usability is always a major theme for many features in our quarterly releases, and this release is no exception. In this section, we'll review several nifty usability improvements that we made to the Integration Builder.

Improved transition to authenticated inbound integrations

In our Galaxity Quarterly Release, we introduced improved methods for authenticating inbound integrations. After that release, we received feedback from some of you that the process of transitioning existing integrations to use these new authentication methods could result in a temporary outage in your toolchain between the time the integration was saved with its new authentication settings, and when the calling system was updated with the integration's new trigger and credentials.

That's great feedback - and to prevent any unnecessary downtime in your systems during the transition, we've now introduced a 72-hour grace period during which xMatters will accept both the previous trigger for your integration and new authenticated requests. This means that after you select one of the four available authentication methods for your integration, you'll have up to three days to update your other systems without worrying about a break in your toolchains.

72 hours and counting...
When you select a new authentication type for your integration, you'll receive instructions for using the new trigger for your integration and a countdown reminding you to update your calling systems:

how-to-trigger-timer.png

You can keep on top of the authentication status of all the inbound integrations in your communication plan from the main Integration Builder screen:

expiry-warnings2.png

As shown above, this screen displays how long the previously unauthenticated versions of your integrations will continue to be accepted by the Integration Builder, as well as which of your integrations you still need to update with a supported authentication method. Once you've updated your calling system scripts you can ignore these warnings - they'll disappear once the 72-hour period has passed.

For more information about recent security enhancements to the Integration Builder and detailed instructions on how to update your integrations, see our knowledge base article Integration Builder security enhancements.

Script editor shows relevant integrations & JavaScript version

Even if you're an integration superhero, it's still possible to configure only one type of outbound integration at a time. Soooo... why clutter up the script editor with properties and code samples that don't apply to your current configuration?

To simplify things, we've streamlined the information displayed in the Transformation Script Editor to show only the script components and properties that are relevant to the type of integration you're currently working on. Here's what this looks like for an 'Event Comments' integration:

script-editor-updates.png

Need to know more?
Since our de-cluttering of the script editor freed up some screen real estate, we figured there was room to add a couple of links to resources you'll appreciate while building your scripts:

  • Help. Access to online documentation about building transformation scripts and using the script editor.
  • Supported JavaScript Version. Details about the JavaScript version the Integration Builder currently supports.

Look for these new links at the top and bottom of the script editor's sidebar:

script-editor-sidebar.png

Display authenticating user for API Key in Activity Stream

We've updated the Activity Stream to identify the authenticating user whose credentials were used to run an inbound integration using URL authentication:

sneak-peek-api-user.png

Now instead of pulling out your hair to debug a "NON AUTHORIZED" integration error, you can just check the logs to see who the authenticating user was, then assign them the permissions they need to run the integration. Yeah, we figured you'd love that one.

Integration Directory

The Integration Directory streamlines the work required to integrate your tools with pre-built integrations that are easy to find, configure, and manage. In this release we continue to enhance our ever-expanding list of packaged and built-in integrations and maintain their required certifications.

New and updated integrations

This quarterly release adds the following new and updated integrations to the Integration Directory:

new-integrations.png

New Integrations

  • Dynatrace. Dynatrace is a leading performance and application monitoring application. This integration lets you incorporate Dynatrace Problem alerts into your toolchain by sending alerts using xMatters and updating the Dynatrace Problem with event status, device delivery, and response information.
  • Stackdriver. Stackdriver delivers software for monitoring and managing networks and systems. When events meet predetermined criteria, this xMatters integration relays critical Stackdriver insight data to the correct people and systems to help them coordinate and resolve incidents faster.

Updated Integrations

  • ServiceNow 5.0. This latest version of the xMatters application for ServiceNow is certified for Helsinki, Istabul, Jakarta, and Kingston. Notable updates to this integration include:
    • Updated data sync components to avoid hitting progress worker quota limits introduced in ServiceNow Jakarta.
    • Added initiator to the “Engage with xMatters” form.
    • Added targeted recipient and ServiceNow initiator information to the event notification (requires the 5.0 communication plan).
  • Cisco Webex. If you're looking for the "Cisco Spark" integration, it's now listed as Cisco Webex Teams in the Integration Directory:

cisco-webex.png

#letschat

The Slack Bot integration we told you about in our Asteroids Release Overview became available this release. This built-in integration lets Slack users leverage the xMatters Slackbot to find xMatters groups, see who's on call, and instantly invite on-call members to a Slack channel using an xMatters notification to their preferred devices:

slack-example.png

This new Slack integration is one of several chat integrations we offer that allows users to engage with a chatbot to perform queries and take actions in xMatters. Other integrations with this functionality include Stride and Hipchat - and we're currently in the process of building a chatbot integration for MS Teams. Stay tuned.

xMatters REST API

We continually enhance our xMatters REST API calls to replace existing SOAP and older REST methods. These calls not only support customer integration needs, they're also the foundation for data access by our mobile clients, the web user interface, and other key xMatters services.

xMatters REST API enhancements

In this release, we've made enhancements to the following endpoints (click the name of a method to see its detailed online help):

GET /events

  • Get events by communication plan or form. You can now retrieve events initiated by a particular communication plan or form. This is useful if you'd like to be able to monitor events associated with a specific integration. To retrieve these events, use the GET /events endpoint and include the ?plan query parameter with the id or name of the plan or form, as shown in the following examples:
    • GET /events?plan=<planId>
    • GET /events?plan=<plan Name>
    • GET /events?plan=<planId>&form=<formId>
    • GET /events?plan=<plan Name>&form=<form Name>
  • Get a communication plan's name in the response. When you use GET /events to retrieve a list of events (or GET /event for a single event), the xMatters REST API now returns the 'human readable' name for a communication plan in addition to its ID. This is great for adding context to your monitoring dashboards, since it's a lot more meaningful to view events and statistics by plan names rather than by IDs!
  • Search for events based on event type. We've enhanced the GET /events endpoint to let you search for events based on event type (USER or SYSTEM) using the eventType query parameter. Here are a couple of examples to give you the flavor:
    • GET /events?eventType=USER includes events initiated by integrations, and events from the Messaging tab in the web user interface, triggered manually or using a POST /triggers request.
    • GET /events?eventType=SYSTEM returns events initiated by xMatters such as device validations, SMS confirmations and deactivations, Temporary Replacement notifications, or issues with integrations.
  • Look up who initiated an event. Have you ever wanted to look up which events were initiated by a particular user? If so, you're in luck! It's now possible to search for events initiated by a user using the ?submitterId query parameter and the user's unique identifier: GET /events?submitterId=<personId>

GET/ groups

  • Get shift members. Group supervisors and group observers can now use the GET /groups endpoint to query the members of specific shifts, or all shifts within a group, as shown in the following examples:
    • GET /groups/{groupId}/shifts/{shiftId}/members
    • GET /groups/{groupId}/shifts?embed=members

GET /plans

Communication plans are the foundation of integrations in xMatters. The ability to search for and access information from communication plans can be used to enrich existing integrations, and improve reporting and data chaining between integrations. To support this functionality, we've just added two new endpoints to the xMatters REST API:

  • Get communication plans. You can use the GET /plans endpoint to return a list of communication plans in your xMatters instance. This includes built-in, custom, and packaged integrations, as well as any built-in integrations that have been converted to communication plans. You can use query parameters to:
    • Limit your search by plan type ("PLAN" or "BUILT_IN")
    • Search for a keyword in the name or description of a plan
    • Request more detailed information on the user that created the plan (for built-in integrations)
  • Get a communication plan. If it's not a list of plans you're after, but a specific communication plan or built-in integration, you can provide its unique identifier to retrieve information just for that plan using GET /plans/{planId}.

POST /events/{eventId}/annotations

  • Add a comment to an event. You now programatically add a comment (AKA anotation to an event). Your comment will appear in the event's Tracking report and be returned when you request comments using the GET /audits, GET /event/annotation, and GET /event/annotations endpoints. A couple of things to note:
    • xMatters considers the authenticating user who posts the request as the author of the comment.
    • Comments added using this endpoint will not initiate outbound integrations configured with the Event Comments trigger.

GET /sites

  • Get a list of sites. We've added a new GET /sites endpoint to the xMatters REST API that returns a paginated list of all sites in the system. The ability to get a list of all sites can enrich integrations and improve the data syncing process.

POST /sites

  • Create or update a site. On the flip side, we've also added a new POST /sites endpoint that supports creating and updating sites. This is useful if you have a large number of sites to manage and would like to do tasks - like geo-locating them - programmatically rather than individually through the web user interface.

GET /people

  • Find people by site. Interested in looking up which users are associated with a specific site? The GET /people endpoint now includes a ?site query parameter that you can use to retrieve a list of the users that are at a specified site. For example: GET /people?site={siteId}

Over the next quarter you can expect to see additional REST web services that provide access to more information about communication plans, like integration constants, integration endpoints, and shared libraries.

You can learn more about the xMatters REST API in our online help.

Sneak Peeks

This release overview just wouldn't be complete without one or two sneak peeks at some of the features and functionality we're working on for an upcoming release. We've been beefing up our services to provide some amazing new features and we just can't keep quiet about them! One of the major themes of our next release is noise reduction - limiting the number of duplicate event alerts that you receive, and being able to streamline event information that's displayed in the web user interface to what's most relevant to you.

Noise reduction: Event flood control

One of the major themes of our next release is noise reduction - limiting the number of duplicate event alerts that you receive, and being able to streamline event information that's displayed in the web user interface to what's most relevant to you.

Just like you hate getting notified 100 times about the same event, your system hates getting bombarded with events about the same problem. We're currently working on new Event Flood Control features to help your system withstand event storms even better by suppressing events that closely mimic or duplicate events already in the system.

As you can see in the following screen, you'll be able to monitor and track all of these suppressed events from a new Suppression tab on the Events report:

event-flood-contrl.png

The tab gives you an overview of how many events were suppressed along with the values of relevant properties. You'll be able to use this report to easily tell why the events were suppressed and if you have to take any additional action.

Enhanced data retention: 'All Events' report

When you're reviewing recent events in your system, you don't want to be sifting through archival data in the Events report. Likewise, if it's the historical data that you're after (such as for auditing purposes) then you probably want more of it, and you probably don't need what's going on in the system right now in your report.

We're in the process of removing archival data from the current Events report and moving it to a new All Events report. The All Events report has a greater data retention time, allowing you to search for events occurring in the last 30, 60, or 90 days, or during a specified date and time range. We will retain all customers' event data, but the visibility of your event data will be limited by your license level. We are currently sorting through the actual options, but the easy change is our IT Advanced license will retain unlimited event data.

We think you're really going to like the usability improvements we've implemented in this new report:

  • The table columns are moveable, so you can order them in the way that works best for you.
  • You can expand and shrink columns to see the information you need most.
  • You can horizontally scroll if your columns are bigger than your viewport and the first column remains locked when you scroll to the right, keeping your most important information visible at all times.

You can see a preview of the new All Events report in action in the animated screenshot below:

all-events-report.gif

Other Product Updates

In case all the above wasn't enough for you, this section includes some other great product updates that we think you're going to find very useful.

EPIC allows deletion of users with self-managed subscriptions

Based on feedback from customers we've updated the EPIC data sync process to delete users that are owners of self-managed subscriptions - that is, subscriptions a user has created only for themselves, which are not shared.

This is useful for companies that run EPIC daily to reflect the frequent changes to users in their source system. Previously, EPIC would fail to remove the users with self-managed subscriptions, and these companies would have to manually find and delete those users...which is a very time-consuming process to perform for every update.

Note: This change deletes only users that have self-managed subscriptions. Users with shared subscriptions are not deleted and will continue to generate an EPIC error.

Unique 'from' email addresses

We received feedback from some of our customers that they'd like to be able to easily distinguish between emails from their different xMatters companies (like their BCM & IT instances, or their production & non-production environments). The ability to identify an email's source at-a-glance from their inbox lets users more efficiently prioritize which of their emails need attention.

Instead of a single 'from' address for your companies, you now have the option to configure the 'address' prefix (the part before the '@' symbol) so you can tell them apart. Here's what this looks like for the Happy Cats company:

Production: notifications@happycats.xmatters.com
Non-Production: testing@happycats.xmatters.com

Want this?
If you'd like to customize the 'from' email addresses for your companies, contact xMatters Client Assistance.

Updated wording in groups

We've added and updated labels on the Groups tab to make shift scheduling more intuitive:

  • New labels for Recurrence and Member Rotation provide greater clarity about what these two links at the top of the Shifts tab summarize - and what you're able to configure when you click them:

group-labels.gif

  • An Edit Escalations link (previously "Edit Members") more accurately describes the on-call scheduling capabilities of the Shifts tab (that is, beyond just adding and removing shift members). We've updated this text on the "On Call Right Now" section of the Overview tab and when you click on a shift on the calendar:

edit-escalations-new.gif

Note: If a user doesn't have permission to edit escalations, the language of these labels reads "Show Escalations" instead.

Invite Users & Add to Group usability improvements

In our last quarterly release, we told you about some usability updates we've made to the 'Invite Users' workflow that's in the trial and free versions of xMatters. In this release, we've continued our work on this feature with updates to the 'Add to Group' component of the workflow:

  • Prettification. We've modified the styling to match the latest look and feel of our web user interface.
  • Search list. While you can type two spaces into the search bar to get an alphabetical list of your company's groups, not everyone is aware of that kewl shortcut. So, we've made a tweak so that you can click the drop-down arrow on the right side of the search bar to display the same list, as shown in action here:

add-to-group.gif

Early Access Program & Feature Delivery Updates

The goal of our current delivery model for xMatters On-Demand 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 that are 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 communication plan. 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 two weeks prior to 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 a number of other small changes and enhancements we are delivering to keep xMatters On-Demand looking sharp.

Detailed information and instructions for using these new features will be available in our online documentation. We hope you enjoy the new release! We're already hard at work on your next release...

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3 Comments

  • 0
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    Karla Poplawski

    The Breakout Quarterly Release is now available in all production environments.

  • 0
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    Karla Poplawski

    We've had reports of an issue with our new Temporary Absence feature. We've rolled it back to make some updates and you can expect to see it back in action early next week.

  • 0
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    Karla Poplawski

    We're happy to report that after some fine-tuning, we've re-enabled Temporary Absences in production environments - sorry for the delay!

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