Pole Position (Jun/Jul 2022) 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.

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You're in the cockpit of a highly-tuned Formula 1 racing machine. You posted the fastest time in qualifying to take pole position on the starting grid. Your breath catches in your chest the starting lights blink to green! You rev the engine, pop the clutch, and lunge ahead! You're racing flat out to take the checkered flag and win the Grand Prix! In case it wasn't already obvious, we're celebrating this release with a tribute to the classic arcade racing game, Pole Position!

Our service intelligence capabilities put you in pole position to ensure your digital services continuously provide value to your customers. In this release, we enhance those capabilities with visibility into recent changes to your service landscape that can help incident resolvers gain greater insight into potential root causes so they can immediately take action to mitigate and resolve issues. We've also got enhancements for customizing your resolver notifications, the ability to use Slack as an xMatters device, a redesigned interface for creating and managing on-call groups, new mobile features for customizing and troubleshooting notification settings, plus tons more!

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

  • Non-production environment access: Tuesday, June 21
  • Production environment access: Tuesday, July 12 (enabled between 10:00-10:30am Pacific)

Pole Position Training Webinars

For a guided Pole Position tour including tips and tricks — sign up for one of our webinars.

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:

  • Services as recipients — notify the right team, even when ownership of a service changes.
  • Linked incidents — associate related incidents to give resolvers insight into the incident landscape.

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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:

Incident response & service intelligence

Our adaptive incident management capabilities help you bridge your tools and teams, facilitate collaboration, and automate manual processes with ease — while intelligently providing insights into the health of your digital services to inform and continuously evolve your incident resolution processes. In this release, we add change intelligence capabilities, Slack as an xMatters device type, the ability to initiate incidents from Microsoft Teams, customizable resolver notifications, and more.

Service intelligence

The xMatters service reliability platform embeds services directly into its incident management capabilities to supercharge your response to digital service interruptions. This release, take advantage of the ability to identify recent changes to your services that may be the true cause of incidents, usability improvements to the service dependencies map, and a new view of impacted services in our mobile apps to monitor the engagement status of service owners.

Change intelligence

Expert agree that change is the most common cause of incidents — so when something breaks, one of the first things to look into is what recently changed. Earlier this month we announced that we're embedding change information directly into the service intelligence capabilities of our incident management platform:

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By providing resolution teams with visibility into relevant changes within the context of incidents, they're better equipped to identify the true causes of incidents and immediately take action to mitigate and resolve issues. For the full details about this feature and its functionality, see our announcement article, Change intelligence for digital services.

How do I get change data into xMatters?

You can automatically feed change data into xMatters in several ways:

We've also added the ability to manually add a change record to a service in the web user interface from the Service Catalog or an incident service dependency map. This is handy to add one-off changes that aren't captured by your automated change feeds:

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Service dependencies map usability improvements

In addition to change intelligence features, we've made some other updates to the service dependencies map to make it more functional and easier to use during an incident.

Notify owners to engage from the service map

Let's say you're reviewing change records in an incident's service dependencies map and you suspect that a recently changed service is the cause of the incident. It would be pretty awesome to engage the owner of that service to investigate without having to navigate back to the Incident Console, right?

You can now Notify to Engage a service owner from the service's info card in the incident service dependencies map — and just like managing resolvers on the Incident Console, you'll also be able to see their engagement status, stop notifying, renotify, and dismiss them.

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Improved navigation

The service dependencies map now includes a mini-map. If you've used Flow Designer before, then you may already be familiar with how the mini-map works:

  • Zoom in or out by clicking the plus (+) and minus (-) icons below the map.
  • Click and drag the mini-map box so it highlights the area you want to show on-screen.
  • Use the 'Auto Layout' button to optimize how the current map is displayed.

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Move services around on the map

You can also move services around as you're viewing the service dependencies map. This can make it easier to see or edit how your services interrelate (note that they'll return to their default position the next time you open the map):

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Styling updates

You may notice the appearance of the service dependency map has improved. We've updated the styling of the dependency arrows between services and the controls for expanding and collapsing branches of the map. But what you'll really be happy about is that it's now less finicky to define dependencies by dragging arrows between your services.

Mobile: Monitor impacted services' incident engagement status

You can now tap the Impacted Services section in the Android and iOS mobile apps to display an incident's impacted services in list view. This new view allows you to monitor the resolver engagement status of each service, such as whether the owner is engaged, if they're currently being notified, if there was no response, or if the notification is escalating.

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Incident response & collaboration

Effective and timely communication is key to successful incident response and collaboration. To support customers that primarily work in popular chat platforms, we've added Slack as a device type in xMatters, and provided Microsoft Teams users with the ability to initiate incidents directly from their chat or Team channel. It's also now possible to customize the notifications sent to resolvers when you notify them to engage in an incident.

Use chat apps as devices (Slack)

xMatters lets you receive notifications on your preferred devices, including Email, Mobile App, SMS, Voice and, more recently, Chat App. This type of device allows you to receive notifications as direct messages in your preferred chat applications: Microsoft Teams (included in our Out Run Release) and now Slack!

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Many organizations use Slack as their internal communication app. By adding Slack as a device, teams won't need to disrupt their workflow to check an email or open xMatters to collaborate. They'll be able to receive xMatters notifications, view incident details, and respond to alerts directly in their Slack channels.

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To get started, go to the new Home tab in the xMatters App and sign into your account — you'll then be able to register Slack as an xMatters device:

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Don't forget!

This new feature is in addition to the existing ways we already integrate Slack into your incident response, including a bot to help you in Slack and Flow Designer steps to create, invite, and post to channels, as well as delete channels that you're not using anymore.

Initiate incidents from Microsoft Teams

Is Microsoft Teams one of your main collaboration tools for working on incident triage and response? If so, you'll be happy to hear you can now initiate incidents right in your chat or Teams channel. This streamlines your team's collaboration process so you no longer have to switch back and forth between xMatters and Microsoft Teams to manage incidents.

In your chat or Teams channel, select the xMatters app icon underneath the chat box to open an Initiate Incident dialog box. Here you can select which incident submission form you want to use to initiate the incident:

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Once you provide details about the incident and fill out any fields on the selected form, you'll be able to review the incident in your chat box and add additional details before sending it to your chat or Teams channel:

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Customize 'Notify to Engage' resolver notifications

We've had customer requests for the ability to modify the default message that's sent to resolvers when you invite them to engage in an incident. To allow this, we've added a new trigger in Flow Designer that you can use to send a custom alert notification to resolvers anytime someone selects 'Notify to Engage' to add resolvers from either the Resolvers section of the Incident Console or service info cards in the console or incident dependencies map.

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This means you can now change how the notification to engage looks (its layout, text, and images) and the information it provides to resolvers. In fact, we've already taken the liberty of updating the custom notification with new outputs that provide context about the incident's current state (rather than details about the incident when it was first initiated).

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To read more about how to set up custom resolver notifications and flows, check out our new 'Notify to Engage' trigger.

Mobile: See group escalation status in Resolvers list

Previously when you'd notify a group to engage in an incident it could look like no one had responded, when in reality the notification was escalating to secondary on-call responders. To provide incident commanders with better clarity on the engagement status of groups they've notified — and to prevent them from unnecessarily renotifying groups to engage — we've added a new 'Escalating' status:

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We'll display this status once the notification escalates to the secondary on-call resource, and we'll continue to display it until someone responds, or for five minutes after the last user in the escalation path gets notified. After this we'll mark the group as 'No Response' and you won't have to worry whether you're spamming the group if you renotify them to engage.

Export incidents in bulk

Wish you could export the Incidents list to a spreadsheet file for your reporting or continuous improvement processes? Maybe you want to calculate cumulative metrics for subsets of incidents, such as the mean time to respond to 'Critical' alerts to improve your incident response strategy? Whatever the reason, you'll be happy to know we've added an Export button to the Incidents list:

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You can use the available filters and columns selector to refine the list to just the timeframe and data you're interested in before you export. This will save you a lot of clean up or manipulation of the downloaded .xlsx file before you analyze or share it.

Sneak peek: Services as recipients

We're in the process of adding services as official recipients in xMatters like users, groups, and dynamic teams. Right now when you search for a service, you can select the group that owns to be a recipient or resolver. By having services as proper recipients, you'll never need to worry about notifying the wrong group if ownership of the service changes.

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Sneak peek: Linked incidents

We're adding a new Linked Incidents section to the Incident Console. Here you'll be able to create associations between existing incidents by adding a link between them. Being able to identify related incidents can help resolvers gain insights into the current incident landscape, determine effective mitigation strategies from similar incidents in the past, and potentially reduce efforts if multiple incidents have the same cause.

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User experience

Usability is a central theme for every new feature or enhancement we add but also for making our existing features even better. In this section, we'll review some major new improvements we've made for creating and managing groups in xMatters, as well as redesigns of our External Conference Bridges and External Data Configuration screens.

Create & manage broadcast groups

We gave you a sneak peek of broadcast groups in our recent article, so we’re really excited to finally bring these groups to production instances with this release! When you next add a group, you'll have the option to choose whether to create an 'On-Call Group' or a 'Broadcast Group'. Broadcast groups notify all group members simultaneously, without the need to configure complex on-call shift schedules.

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The simplified group interface allows you to find, review, and adjust the settings and controls you need to manage these groups. The Overview tab displays important details about the group, any owned services, and the people associated with it. You can drill down from each section to manage and view details about the group’s services, members, admins, and observers.

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Redesigned on-call group interface

With the introduction of broadcast groups, we’ve also enhanced the on-call group page to support service intelligence and to create a more efficient user experience.

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The new overview page now includes useful information about a group’s members, impacted services, on-call shift schedules, and more. From this screen you can also update the group's name, description, time zone, status, if it should allow duplicates (so members can be added to the escalation timeline more than once), and if it should use failsafe devices when targeting members:

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Similar to the previous group’s interface, there are dedicated tabs for the group’s Calendar and Shifts. The new People tab contains information about the Group Admins (formally known as Supervisors), Observers, and Members. The Members section takes the place of the Roster tab and allows you to review and configure shifts for each member.

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And the best part? This redesign is only the start! We’re already working on adding additional features such as information about the active incidents the group is engaged in, and data graphs for monitoring recent incidents and alerts involving the group.

User Profile: Remove a user from a group

Estimated availability: TBD

Group supervisors and admins, rejoice! If you want to remove a user from a group, you no longer need to go into the group and scour the list of sometimes thousands of members to find the user you want. Instead, you can save time by simply going to the user's profile and selecting Remove from group for the group you want to remove the user from:

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Redesigned External Conference Bridges screen

Our External Conference Bridges screen gets a facelift this release, with a new side panel that makes it more convenient to add new external conference bridges and edit the details of existing ones:

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Redesigned External Data Configuration screen

If you have data (such as users, devices, and groups) owned by a management system (i.e., external ownership) you can ‘lock’ that data so it can’t be changed in xMatters. For example, externally owned devices that are managed by an external system can be ‘locked’ so they can’t be modified by users in xMatters.

We’ve enhanced our External Data user interface to make it simpler to review these object types and their properties. Use the drop-down filter to quickly find and sort different Object Types. Then, check the Locked checkbox beside each object type in the list to automatically lock or unlock the data.

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Automation

In this release, our major focus was to continue making it easier to get integrated with xMatters, with more Flow Designer native workflows and new App triggers. We've introduced a new trigger for creating custom resolver notifications, a new step and API call for adding change records to xMatters, plus a bunch of great usability improvements to Flow Designer.

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 workflows

This release we added seven low-code workflows (including four change intelligence workflows), as well as certified the xMatters application for ServiceNow for its San Diego release.

Low-code workflows (& triggers, too)

Our 'low-code' workflows simplify the process for getting integrated with xMatters. You can install these workflows directly from within xMatters just select the workflow from the list of available templates and follow the on-screen steps to set up the connection.

These workflows include new App triggers to accept the incoming signal. The triggers are connected to a pre-built flow that — depending on the type of workflow — either adds change records to xMatters or creates an alert that on-call resources can respond to and have the option to initiate an incident. With all types of workflows, you have the option to use Flow Designer's powerful visual interface to further customize or enhance the workflow's functionality to meet your organization's specific needs.

Change intelligence workflows

This release, we've added the following new low-code workflows that support feeding change data into xMatters:

azure-pipelines.png Azure Pipelines
Create a change record in xMatters for build events, deployments, and code changes in Azure Pipelines. You can build automations to take action in Azure that can help mitigate incidents.
bitbucket-pipelines.png Bitbucket
Create a change record in xMatters for code changes, pull requests, and other events in Bitbucket. You can build automations to respond to Bitbucket events and take action to revert check-ins or perform other tasks.
GitLab-workflow-tile.png GitLab
Create a change record in xMatters so you can monitor how changes impact your service health. You can build automations to respond to events in Gitlab.
launchdarkly-workflow-tile.png LaunchDarkly
Create a change record in xMatters so you can monitor the impact of LaunchDarkly features when they're toggled on or off. You can build automations to update stakeholders or send messages based on feature flag changes.

Other workflows

We also added these additional new and updated low-code workflows to the directory:

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Dynatrace Cloud Automation
Send alerts when xMatters receives a signal from a Dynatrace Cloud Automation sequence, including information about the project, source, stage, and impacted service. With the tap of a button the responder can initiate an incident in xMatters.

everbridge-signal.png Everbridge Signal
Relay key security insights to the right people so they can take action before your company or customers are impacted. Automate responses such as launching critical events, sending updates via ChatOps applications, and creating tickets to prevent future issues.
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Elastic (updated)
Send key insights to the right on-call responders when xMatters receives a signal from Elastic, giving them the information they need to start resolving issues right away.

New App triggers

Our workflows are built using triggers and steps and we also release these for you to use in your workflows. That means you can take advantage of the following new App triggers to build your own custom signal handlers in xMatters:

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ServiceNow San Diego

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

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

New & updated steps

In addition to the new app triggers we discussed above, this release includes a new trigger to create custom resolver notifications, a new step for adding change records into xMatters, as well as several other steps to automate processes, reduce toil, and bring actionable context to your DevOps and service management teams.

Trigger custom 'Notify to Engage' notifications & flows

We've added a new Notify to Engage trigger to the Initiate Incident step. You can use this trigger to run a flow whenever someone selects 'Notify to Engage' to add resolvers to incidents created by the parent Initiate Incident step. The main purpose of this trigger is to allow customization of the notifications sent to resolvers when you notify them to engage in the incident. 

How does it work?

When you add the trigger to the canvas, Flow Designer automatically connects a Create Alert step and populates it with a modified version of the default message that you can customize to suit your organization's needs. The presence of the Notify to Engage trigger on your canvas signals Flow Designer to initiate the trigger and run any flow attached to it instead of sending resolvers the default built-in notification to engage in the incident.

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Outputs of the trigger include the resolvers who were notified to engage, as well as current details about the incident at the time the trigger fired. These outputs are available to the Create Alert step and any additional steps you may choose to add downstream.

Other possibilities

Depending on your process, you may choose to include additional steps before the Create Alert step and include outputs from those steps in your notifications. You could even use a switch step to send different notifications or notify other teams based on the incident's details (such as its current status or severity, for example).

Automatically add change records to xMatters

Want to automatically feed change data into xMatters as part of your new or existing flows? We've released an 'Add Change Record' step that uses our REST API to add change records to xMatters. Don't worry, no coding is required! Simply drop the step into your flow and then drag outputs from previous steps to populate the record with information about the change.

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Delete Microsoft Teams channels

Flow Designer makes it easy to create new Microsoft Teams channels as part of your incident management process and now, using our new Microsoft Teams Delete Channel step, it's also easy to tidy up existing channels that you're not using anymore.

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Note: Deleted channels still count toward your team channel limits until they're permanently deleted by Microsoft Teams after 30 days. For more information, see Microsoft's documentation on Limits and specifications for Microsoft Teams.

Microsoft Teams Create Online Meeting step includes conference outputs

"Does anyone have the dial-in info for this meeting?"

We've all been there but, your teams don't have to be! If an online meeting created with our Microsoft Teams Create Online Meeting step includes audio conferencing, details about the conference are now included as step outputs.

You can include these outputs in subsequent steps of your flow to automatically share the dial-in information and conference ID with your team. We'll also add this information to the Incident Console if your meeting is included as a collaboration channel in an incident.

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Slack Create Channel step includes URL in outputs

Want to include the URLs of channels you create with our Slack Create Channel step in your alerts and other updates? We've added a new Channel URL output that you can include in other steps in your flow to provide users with a direct link to join the channel in Slack:

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Create, update, & add comments in Azure Boards

We've added the following new steps that allow you to take action in Azure Boards as part of your workflow process:

  • Add Comment — Add a comment to an existing issue in Azure Boards.
  • Create Work Item — Create a new issue in Azure Boards, populating it with information from the alert or any previous steps in the flow.
  • Update Work Item — Update an issue as information about the problem or alert changes.

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Create events, add comments, & mute/unmute monitors in Datadog

We've also released four new Datadog steps that you can to automatically create events, add comments, and mute or unmute monitors:

  • Add Comment — Add a comment to an existing Datadog event.
  • Create Event — Create a new event in Datadog, populating it with information from the alert or any previous steps in the flow.
  • Mute Monitor — Mute an entire Datadog monitor, or partially mute it by setting a scope.
  • Unmute Monitor — Unmute an entire Datadog monitor, or partially unmute it by setting a scope.

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Usability improvements

Flow Designer may be the premier low-code automation tool for service reliability, but that doesn't stop us from looking for ways to make it better and more fun for users. In this release, we've added the ability to drag & drop steps right into your flows, provided new options for removing step connections, updated our trigger and workflow installation screens to help you get integrated faster, and more!

Better ways to manage your step connections

You no longer need to manually draw connections between your steps in Flow Designer! Instead, simply bring a step near the one you want to connect it to — or in between two connected steps — and when you see the blue plus ('+') symbol, release the step and it will automatically connect:

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Removing connections
We've also introduced new options to a step's menu to remove step connections:

  • Remove Step from Flow – Extract a step from between two other steps and reconnect the flow.

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  • Delete Connectors – Delete a step's inbound and outbound connectors.

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  • Delete Inbound or Outbound Connector – Delete only a step's inbound or outbound connector (the animated GIF below shows how each is removed separately).

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Activity panel updates

This release brings a couple of great enhancements to the Activity panel that will come in handy if you're troubleshooting your flows.

Resizable Activity panel

We've made it waaaay easier to see all of the relevant information that's available to help you troubleshoot your flows: you can now optimize the Activity panel for your screen width or personal preference!

Hover your cursor at the top of the panel to display drag handles that you can use to increase or decrease the size of the panel. Likewise, you can drag the borders between individual columns of the panel to view more — or less — of the information for individual requests and their steps.

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Filter by request ID

Seeing all the request activity for your flow can be overwhelming, especially if a lot of the data isn’t relevant to the issue you're trying to solve. To help with this, we've added a new Request ID filter that you can use to narrow things down.

If you want to review the activity of a specific request to troubleshoot an issue — like a problem with one of your integrations or alerts — simply enter the full request UUID into the search field of the Request ID filter and click Apply:

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Quickly copy trigger configuration payloads

We've made it more efficient to configure the source systems for App triggers that require a specific payload. Instead of getting an example of the payload from our online help, you can save time and copy the configuration payload directly from the trigger's configuration screen in Flow Designer:

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Initiate Incident triggers include current incident details as outputs

During an incident, it's important to keep resolvers and key stakeholders updated on the current status of the incident and its resolution activities. As part of our work on the new Notify to Engage trigger, we've updated all three of the triggers included in our Initiate Incident step to include outputs with context about the incident at the time the trigger was fired.

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This means that when an incident's status or severity is updated, or you're notifying resolvers to engage with your own custom message, you can now pass current incident details to steps further along in your flow, including:

  • The summary and description of the incident.
  • The incident's severity and status.
  • The date and time the incident was initiated, and who initiated it.
  • The incident commander.
  • Any impacted services.

More convenient step development

When you edit the design of a custom step or trigger, we'll warn you that some changes aren't allowed if the step is currently used in a flow. But what if the step is in development, and you're the only one using it as you test it out? It would be far more convenient to be able to make breaking changes than to create new versions of the step when you want to modify it. To address this, you can now make breaking changes to a step or trigger when it's used only on your current canvas.

xMatters REST API enhancements

We continually enhance our xMatters REST API calls to replace older REST methods and add more endpoints to increase programmatic interaction. 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.

New endpoints

Add and retrieve change records
Want to automatically feed change data into xMatters to enhance your incident resolvers' service intelligence capabilities? We've added new endpoints that you can use to add global or service-specific change records, as well as retrieve them from your instance. (Note that you can't currently modify or delete change records.)

  • POST /changes — Create a new change record in xMatters.
  • GET /changes — Returns a list of all change records.
  • GET /changes/{changeId} — Returns a specific change record, identified by the change's unique identifier.

Create and manage service dependencies
You can now create and remove dependencies between your services using the xMatters REST API, instead of manually drawing them on the service dependency map! Here are the endpoints you'll need to create and manage the dependencies between your services:

  • POST /service-dependencies — Create or modify a dependency between two services.
  • GET /service-dependencies — Returns a list of all service dependencies.
  • GET /service-dependencies/{id} — Returns a specific service dependency, identified by its unique identifier.
  • DELETE /service-dependencies — Delete the dependency between two services.

Updated endpoints

Filter users by device status
Want to search for users based on their device status? For example, maybe you'd like to get a list of users who have inactive devices to help troubleshoot why people aren't receiving notifications.

  • GET /people?devices.status=ACTIVE — Returns a list of active devices for each user.
  • GET /people?devices.status=INACTIVE — Returns a list of inactive devices for each user.

Find users without a failsafe device
It's helpful for users to have a failsafe device to ensure they're still notified if they're on call, even when their devices don't have an active timeframe. You can now use the xMatters REST API to look up which of your users have a failsafe device configured — and more importantly, which ones don't:

  • GET /people?devices.failsafe.exists=true — Returns users that have at least one failsafe device.
  • GET /people?devices.failsafe.exists=false — Returns users with no failsafe device.

Other updates

Search terms can include spaces & other delimiting characters
Wish you could search for a literal string that contains spaces and other delimiting characters? Great news! You can now enclose search terms in double quotes to preserve spaces or other delimiters when you're using the search parameter. Here are a couple of examples:

  • GET /people?search="sue ellen"&fields=FIRST_NAME returns all users that contain "sue ellen" in the first name field.
  • In contrast,  GET /people?search=sue ellen&fields=FIRST_NAME returns all users with with either 'sue' or 'ellen'.

Reporting

Visibility into your incident response landscape is a key aspect of continuous improvement and more efficient incident response. In this release, we redesigned and improved the usability of Group and User Performance reports, made additional enhancements to the Alerts list, and officially retired the Recent Alerts report.

Redesigned Group & User Performance reports

The Group and User Performance reports are vital resources to see how teams responded to incidents. Our newly designed user interface offers an enhanced experience and improved performance, while still including the same critical information you’re used to seeing in our previous reports.

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You can now see the mean time to first response (MTTFR) for users and groups in a line chart and use it to identify potential opportunities to improve operations.

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Columns can be expanded to view additional details (such as the type of responses or escalations), or collapse columns for easier reading. And, to make it even easier to review data, the report can also be viewed in ‘full screen mode’.

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Want to know more about a specific group or user? Click their name in the report to drill down and see the underlying data.

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But that's not all!

To further improve the group performance reporting experience, we’ve also updated the Group Performance widget to give you the option to filter the data to only display selected groups.

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Unified alerts reporting

The time has come! With the Pole Position release, we are officially retiring the Recent Alerts report. You can now review and manage your alerts exclusively from the unified Alerts report:

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Since our last release, we've made a few final updates to the functionality of the Alerts list:

  • Shift-click to bulk select alerts: Select an alert, then hold the 'Shift' key and select another alert in the list to select all the alerts in between.
  • Shortcut to an alert's assets: When available, click icons below an alert ID to view an alert's attachments, comments, conference bridge, or suppressed notifications.
  • Filter alerts with a conference bridge: Use the 'Conference Bridge' filter and column to find alerts with a bridge, or alerts with a particular value in their bridge ID or title.
  • Export all of your alerts: Export more than 100,000 alerts to a .csv file.
  • See how users were notified in the alert export: A 'Notified Groups' column shows whether users received a direct notification, or whether they were notified as a member of a group specified in the column.
  • Find alerts that contain particular terms: The 'Initiator', 'Form', and 'Source' filters include a new option to search for alerts that contain a search phrase.
  • Custom views: Save your current view of the Alerts report to quickly load it again, use it with the Alerts widget on your dashboard, or share the view with other users, roles, or groups.

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Other mobile updates

In addition to mobile enhancements for services and incident response, this release includes new ways to customize and test your notification settings, the ability to sign into the app anytime using a QR code, support for broadcast groups, and various other usability improvements.

Customize notification settings by alert priority

Over the last couple of releases, we've overhauled the Notification Settings screens of our Android and iOS mobile apps so you can customize how you're notified about low, medium, and high priority alerts. You're now able to:

  • Configure different repeat notification settings and custom sounds for each priority level (iOS and Android).
  • Allow high priority alerts to override your device's Do Not Disturb settings and system volume preference (iOS).
  • Allow high, medium, or low priority alerts to override your device's Do Not Disturb settings and system volume preferences (Android).

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Re-log in to the app by scanning a QR code

We know the feeling — you get a new device and have to reconfigure all your apps again, or you get logged out and really don’t want to have to type out all your credentials, again. That’s why we’ve created a quick and safe way to log back into the xMatters app using a generated QR code (just like the first time you logged in)! 

Simply head to your devices page in xMatters, find the app device you want to use to log in and scan the QR code! It’s as simple as that. 

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Run tests to troubleshoot notification issues

Not receiving notifications on the mobile app? Want to pinpoint the exact issue without having to contact Support? Or, maybe you just want to send yourself a test notification to confirm your notification settings are properly set up?

We're adding a new troubleshooting screen to our Android & iOS mobile apps that you can use to run tests to confirm you can receive notifications for low, medium, or high priority alerts. If the test notification is unsuccessful, the app will help you diagnose and resolve the issue.

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View & contact broadcast groups

We've added support for Broadcast groups to our Android and iOS apps. Broadcast groups are a new type of group used to notify all members at the same time. You can view broadcast group details and their members in your contacts and add them as recipients or resolvers.

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Display inactive users & groups in search

Wondering why one of your contacts is missing? In the xMatters web user interface, inactive users and groups are struck through and grayed out, but in our Android and iOS apps they simply don't appear. Since it can be a little confusing when contacts disappear without a trace, we've updated the styling of inactive users and groups to match our web UI, and they'll now appear struck through and grayed out in the mobile apps. We've also added messaging to let you know that you can't select an inactive user as a recipient, resolver, or temporary replacement.

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Prevent the xMatters app from hibernating (Android 12)

In newer versions of the Android operating system, when users don't interact with an app for a few months, the app gets placed into hibernation to save storage space. Since some users may only receive xMatters app notifications on an infrequent basis, it's important they're aware of how to override this setting to continue receiving notifications. To let them know, we'll be adding new messaging and reminders to our Android app:

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Other product updates

With every release, we find a way to pack in a few extra goodies for our customers. We hope you'll find these ones handy:

Add custom values to combo box properties

Combo boxes (also known as drop-down lists), are one of the most powerful properties. They let you pre-define values for message senders to select from, helping ensure resolvers and other recipients get the information they need to resolve an incident.

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But what happens when someone goes to send a message and the value they need isn't an option? For example, what if a new server type or affected area hasn't been added to the list yet? What if the choices are "Yes" or "No" and neither apply?

To address this, we've given message senders the ability to add custom values to combo box properties when they send a form or scenario. They can simply type in a new value and either click Add "[Your Input]" as a value or hit Enter on your keyboard:

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Your new value is now part of the combo box list! You can select this option and have it appear in the notification you send to recipients.

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How to set it up

By default, you can't add custom values to any combo box property. A form designer needs to enable this option for the property in the form layout. We've added a couple of new configuration settings, depending on whether you want custom values permanently added to the list of values, or just available for the current message:

  • Accept Custom Values enables form and scenario senders to add a custom value to the combo box property when they send the message.
  • Save Custom Values permanently includes any added custom values to the combo box property. When you save custom values, they become available on any form or scenario where the property is used.

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Create dynamic teams based on user roles

If you've ever thought it could be useful to notify all the users in your system with a particular role — say, all Incident Managers — then you'll be happy to know we've added Role Name as one of the search criteria fields for dynamic teams:

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That means you can create a specific role-based dynamic team in seconds so it's available to add as an alert recipient. You don't need to keep a list or maintain a group with the users in your system who have the role — with dynamic teams, xMatters checks the database each time you send an alert to determine who currently fits the team's criteria and should get notified.

Change device status from User Upload

You can now perform bulk edits to the status of users' devices using the User Upload tool. This is really helpful when, for example, you're syncing accounts with a tool like ServiceNow and the status of certain devices is mistakenly changed to inactive — you can now simply upload a spreadsheet file and quickly change them all back to active.

Select all users & find users with missing device types

Finally, to wrap things up, we've made a couple of small — but useful! — additions to the Users screen that we think you'll appreciate.

Select all users

Wouldn't it be handy if there was a way you could select all users in the Users list, without having to manually select them one at a time? We thought so too! We've added a new check box to the table header that you can now use to select all displayed entries:

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Find users with missing device types

Want to ensure your users have configured all the device types your organization prefers, such as Email, SMS, or Voice? We've equipped the Devices filter in the Users list with new options you can use to quickly find users missing these device types:

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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 two 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 next time!

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