Defender Development Highlights

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.

Defender Quarterly Release Details

Defender was released on February 12th, 2019. The Defender release includes new features and enhancements for event management, the xMatters mobile app, integrations, and more.

For all the details, see the Defender (Jan/Feb) 2019 Release Overview.

Next Release: Enduro (Apr/May 2019)

We've already started working on our next quarterly release, which we've named Enduro. Follow the Enduro Development Highlights page so that you receive updates throughout the quarter on all of the fun and functionality we're working on.

Introduction

We're hard at work on our next quarterly release, Defender, which will be rolling out in the Jan/Feb 2019 time frame. Please follow this article and its comments to receive updates throughout the quarter about new features and functionality that we're working on for the Defender release.

Customers interested in previewing new features before they're released can opt into our Early Access Program (EAP), which delivers new features into non-production environments as they're rolled off the assembly line.

We'll also use this document to capture highlights of additions and updates to our mobile platforms and the xMatters REST API.

Deployment Details

For more information on how a feature in this article works, click the online help links which are embedded in each topic. As with any of our Community articles, you can click any image or animated GIF to see a larger version.

Support Notes

For a list of additional changes made in each deployment that are not covered in the Development Highlights, see the On-Demand support notes. While most features will be added to production environments as part of our quarterly releases, the support notes typically describe fixes, which can sometimes affect product behavior.

5.5.244

Next Release: Enduro (May 2019)

This release marks the start of our work on our next quarterly release, which we've code-named Enduro. Follow the Enduro Development Highlights page to receive updates throughout the quarter on all the fun and functionality we're working on.

Note: The features and functionality of the Defender release of xMatters On-Demand will be toggled 'on' in non-production environments on Tuesday, January 29 at 10:00 am Pacific. Our non-feature updates and fixes will continue to be released according to our normal delivery process, meaning that they will be deployed before the Defender release is available in production environments on Tuesday, February 12 at 10:00 am Pacific.

5.5.243

xMatters On-Demand: Two-hour SMS validity period

Availability: Now in On-Demand

We've just implemented a new two-hour validity period for SMS messages. If xMatters is unable to deliver an SMS message to your device for two hours because it's unreachable (maybe your phone is turned off, in airplane mode, there's a provider error, or for some other reason), the message will expire and be discarded. That means you won't receive the message when your phone becomes available again.

Why are we doing this?

Recent experiences (such as during the California wildfires) have shown that untimely SMS messages can be misinterpreted and cause confusion - exactly what you don't want during a crisis.

We've consulted with providers and customers to find a solution that best addresses this issue, and also continues to provide reliable service that SMS users can depend on for their day-to-day activities. For full details about this change to our SMS service, see Helping SMS stink less.

As always, if SMS is your preferred notification method, we recommend that you add a backup device like the xMatters mobile app, available for Android and iOS.

5.5.242

xMatters REST API: Historical timeframe-based queries

Availability: Now in the xMatters REST API

We've extended the functionality of the xMatters REST API's new "at" parameter to include timeframe-based queries, starting with Audits and Events. To query these endpoints for historical data, you'll need to specify the timeframe you're interested in using the from and to parameters.

For example, you could use GET /events?at={timestamp}?from={timestamp}&to={timestamp} to return all the events created in your system from 00:00 on Oct 1, 2018 to 23:59 Oct 31, 2018. In the response payload returned by the REST API, the status and details of each event match the state of your system at the time specified by thetoparameter - 23:59 on Oct 31, in this example. So you'll still see all the events that entered your system in October, but any events that were in progress at 23:59 on Oct 31 would still have a status of "ACTIVE".

Note: For timeframe-based queries, even though the values for from and to are used to define your request, you're still required to specify the at parameter - that's what tells xMatters to retrieve historical instead of runtime data. As a best practice, you can simply set the value of the at parameter to match the to parameter.

New permission for accessing historical data

We've also just updated the xMatters REST API to require a new permission (ability.act.HistoricalDataAccess) to access historical data. You can contact xMatters Client Assistance for help adding this permission to your user roles.

For more information about these updates to the at parameter, check out this brief article (with obligatory GoT meme) or go directly to the related online API documentation.

5.5.241

xMatters REST API: Access to historical data

Availability: Now in the xMatters REST API

We've just enhanced the xMatters REST API with an "at" parameter that lets you step into a time machine to view your historical data.

The way it works is pretty simple: if you specify the at parameter when you query an endpoint, the xMatters REST API returns the data in your system as it was at that point in time, rather than current data. For example, you could use GET /people?at={timestamp} to return all the users in your system at a specific date and time, such as 9:00 am on October 8, 2018.

By including the at parameter here, you're telling xMatters to query historical data about users in your system at a specific moment, instead of returning runtime data (users in your system right now).

The at parameter is currently available with the following endpoints:

You can read all about this new enhancement under Accessing Data in our online API documentation.

A note about data access and availability

The ability to access historical data via the xMatters REST API requires a new permission (ability.act.HistoricalDataAccess). Contact xMatters Client Assistance for more information about data access considerations and how to add this permission your user roles.

Like the All Events report, which allows you to look up historical event data via the web user interface, you're able to use the at parameter to view data as far back as your pricing plan allows. For more information about the data retention limits, see our support article Extended data retention.

Mobile: Recent iOS updates

Availability: Now from the App Store

The xMatters elves were busy over the holiday season, and they've gifted you several great usability updates to our iOS mobile app:

  • Improved My Schedule experience. You'll notice smoother transitions when switching from month to month, or between monthly and weekly views, and better visibility across multiple weeks or months.
  • Support for large screens. Did you get a new phone as a gift? Great! We've added support for those nice, big, beautiful screens on iPhone X and newer devices.
  • Styling updates. We've also made the app easier on the eyes - literally - by updating the styling to have larger headers and a better scrolling function.

iPhone_X.png

5.5.240

On-Demand: All Events report data availability warning

Availability: Now in On-Demand

In this release, we've added a warning to the All Events report to let you know when you've hit the data visibility limit of your pricing plan. This notice appears at the top of the report when you select a date range that exceeds your limit:

all-events-report-data-visibility-warning.png

Need to see more?

The All Events report can return all your event data starting from the time the report was enabled in your company. As you use xMatters and generate months and years worth of data, you'll always have the option to upgrade if you ever need to see more event data than your current pricing plan allows.

5.5.239

xMatters Agent: More detailed agent information

Availability: Now in On-Demand

We've updated and added fields in the Details section of xMatters Agents to give you and other people in your organization greater insight into your agents' configuration information:

  • OS Name: If your integration is running on Linux, this field now displays full flavor & version info, such as "Ubuntu 18.10".
  • Address: We've renamed the "URL" label to "Address" to better describe that this field displays the IP address of the server your agent is running on.
  • Last seen (new!): Need to know when your agent went offline? The "Last seen" field displays the date and time an agent was last connected to xMatters (if it's online the status will be "currently connected").
  • Port (new!): By default, the xMatters Agent is installed using port 8081. If you configured your agent to use a different port, it's now easy to identify it.

xmAgent-details.png

Note: You'll see the new and updated labels for these fields appear in the web user interface in 5.5.239. Their values will be populated once you update to version 1.3.1 of the xMatters Agent (which should be available later this week).

5.5.238

xMatters On-Demand: All Events report

Availability: Now in On-Demand

The new All Events report retains your event data - indefinitely:

all-events-report.gif

The pretty awesome result is that we've greatly expanded data retention for customers across the board while keeping the data visibility window for each license level dead simple:

  • Free: 90 days
  • Starter: 1 year
  • Base: 1 year
  • Advanced: Unlimited!

For more information about using this new report, see our online help topic for the All Events report.

Integrations: SignalFx updates

Availability: Now in SignalFx

It just got a little easier to configure a built-in integration with SignalFx. Now when you're setting things up on the SignalFx side of things, instead of using a generic webhook you can select the xMatters tile from the available notification services:

SignalFx-xMatters-tile.png

This brings up a customized configuration screen where you can paste the URL that SignalFx can use to send requests to your xMatters integration:

SignalFx-xMatters-config.png

The latter screen also keeps all your xMatters integrations in one place in SignalFx so you don't have to search through a list of webhooks if you need to update one of your xMatters integration URLs. We salute SingleFx for the tidy design here!

Note: The xMatters side of the configuration process for a built-in SignalFx integration remains unchanged.

5.5.237

Mobile: iOS Temporary Absence updates

Availability: Now from the App Store

In our last quarterly release, we made it possible to add a temporary absence to your on-call schedule using the xMatters iOS app. To provide you even greater visibility, we've just updated the group timeline view to display these temporary absences.

Now when you view a group's on-call schedule, you'll see when a user is absent and who their replacement is - and whether they have 'No replacement' for all or part of their shift:

ios-temp-abscenes-group-view.png

What about Android?

Don't worry, we haven't forgotten about our Android users! You'll see temporary absences make an appearance in the Android app in early 2019.

5.5.236

xMatters REST API: Get integrations

Availability: Now in the xMatters REST API

Over time, we've enhanced the xMatters REST API with the ability to get information about integrations. The first endpoints we added allowed you to retrieve the shared libraries available to the integrations in your communication plans. In this release, we're rolling out endpoints to look up information about your inbound and outbound integrations:

xMatters On-Demand: Updates to SMS invalid response message

Availability: Now in On-Demand

Sometimes a user will respond to an SMS message with a word the carrier is unable to interpret because it doesn't correspond to any known keywords (like STOP or HELP). This most commonly occurs when a user types out their response choice (e.g., "ACCEPT") instead of replying with the number associated with the response choice.

When this happens, we send back an error message letting the user know that we couldn't process their response. We've had feedback that the existing message, "xMatters Alerts: invalid keyword. Please try again. Std msg rates apply", could be improved to help the user identify how to properly submit their response.

We're always happy to make things easier for our users to understand, so we've updated the message to clarify what they should do:

SMS-response-msg-updates.png

5.5.235

xMatters REST API: Get subscription forms

Availability: Now in the xMatters REST API

You can use subscriptions to stay informed about certain types of events that occur in your system, even if you're not included as a recipient. In this release, we've enhanced the xMatters REST API with the following new endpoints, which let you to search and retrieve information about the subscription forms available in your company (click an endpoint for more information):

xMatters Agent: Manage scripts without restarting the Agent

Availability: Defender Quarterly Release & Early Access Program

Previously, when you'd assign (or reassign) a script to an xMatters Agent in the Integration Builder, the web user interface would prompt you to restart the Agent. Well, now you don't have to! If you make edits to your script or reassign them to different Agents, the changes take effect automatically - no restart required.

5.5.234

xMatters REST API: Temporary Absences

Availability: Now in the xMatters REST API

We've made a lot of updates to Temporary Absences over the last few months, including allowing replacements to be optional, and being able to configure absences from the xMatters mobile app. And, we didn't stop there...

It's now also possible to create and manage temporary absences programmatically using the xMatters REST API. Here are the new endpoints:

xMatters REST API: Create shared libraries

Availability: Now in the xMatters REST API

We recently added the ability to get shared libraries to the xMatters REST API. In this release, we've followed that up with the ability to POST shared libraries:

  • POST /shared-libraries - creates a new shared library, or updates the name or script of an existing library.

xMatters On-Demand: Dismiss DST warnings

Availability: Now in On-Demand

In our Centipede Quarterly Release, we introduced a new Daylight Saving Time warning into xMatters On-Demand. This feature warns you when you've got shifts in different time zones so that you can prepare for coverage gaps (or overlaps) that might occur in your schedule.

Now we've added the ability to dismiss these warnings from the group schedule and shift details screen:

DST-warning-dismiss.png

That's great news, especially now that we've just finished coming out of Daylight Saving Time!

About the early access delivery process

As of December 2015, we no longer support delivery of new features into production environments using continuous delivery; instead, new features are delivered on a quarterly basis.

Our customers can choose to opt their non-production environments into an Early Access Program (EAP) to see new functionality before it's released. If you're considering signing up for the early access program, there are a couple of important things to know:

  • Enrollment in EAP can be turned on any time through a support request.
  • Exiting EAP can only be done on quarterly boundaries (you cannot opt in and out between quarterly releases).

For full details, refer to the official On-Demand Deployment Process & Early Access article.

Have more questions? Submit a request

10 Comments

  • 0
    Avatar
    Karla Poplawski

    5.5.243 highlight added

    We've just implemented a new two-hour validity period for SMS messages.

  • 0
    Avatar
    Karla Poplawski

    5.5.236 highlight added.

    In this release:

    • xMatters REST API: Get integrations
    • Updates to SMS invalid response message
  • 0
    Avatar
    Karla Poplawski

    5.5.241 highlight added

    In this release:

    • xMatters REST API access to historical data
    • recent iOS updates
  • 0
    Avatar
    Karla Poplawski

    5.5.239 highlight added

    In this release, we've updated the Details section of xMatters Agents to give you greater insight into your agents' configuration information.

  • 0
    Avatar
    Karla Poplawski

    The 5.5.244 release marks the start of our work on our next quarterly release, which we've code-named Enduro. Follow the Enduro Development Highlights page to receive updates throughout the quarter on all the fun and functionality we're working on.

    The features and functionality of the Defender release of xMatters On-Demand will be toggled 'on' in non-production environments on Tuesday, January 29 at 10:00 am Pacific. Our non-feature updates and fixes will continue to be released according to our normal delivery process, meaning that they will be deployed before the Defender release is available in production environments on Tuesday, February 12 at 10:00 am Pacific.

  • 0
    Avatar
    Don Clark

    5.5.237 highlight added

    In this release, we've updated the group timeline view in the iOS mobile app to display temporary absences.

  • 0
    Avatar
    Christine Astle

    5.5.240 release highlight added

    In this release, we've added a warning to the All Events report to let you know when you've hit the data visibility limit of your pricing plan.

  • 0
    Avatar
    Karla Poplawski

    5.5.242 highlight added

    In this release, we've extended the functionality of the xMatters REST API's new "at" parameter to include timeframe-based queries.

  • 0
    Avatar
    Karla Poplawski

    5.5.235 highlight added.

    In this release:

    • xMatters REST API: Get subscription forms
    • xMatters Agent: Manage scripts without restarting the Agent
    Edited by Karla Poplawski
  • 0
    Avatar
    Karla Poplawski

    5.5.238 highlight added

    In this release:

    • All Events report
    • SignalFx integration updates
Article is closed for comments.
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