Notifications: Best Practices

Discussion created by TimCarmichael Champion on Sep 22, 2017

In our production AF system, we have over 7200 notifications, most, if not all, are based on templates.

The notification base has been built over a number of years, and, as with most items, we have learned how to make it better, but we are not necessarily going to go back and change what it in place.


So.. here are some observations that will hopefully help others:


1. Use templates for notifications - always. While it may look like a one-time occurrence, it will grow like mold in the dark; if you use a template, you make changes in one area that affects all of the subject notifications.


2. In the notification template, put the templates name in the text. We have 'generic' templates for unit start/stop, etc. The condition is something like: 'Value > Setpoint'. And the text is very simple; it is designed to be sent to cell phones as well, so space is limited. This morning, I received a request to determine why a notification wasn't being sent. The text didn't specify the template, so it was a search mission.


3.In the notification, put the element path. I just randomly checked to notifications that don't use templates: one has the element path, one does not.


4. Always. ALWAYS! test the notification. Repeatedly, I've typed in the recipient list, only to find a misplaced character that renders it useless or the e-mail address is incorrect. Especially when sending e-mail to a cell phone; each carrier has a different address format.


At some point in time, probably within the next year, we will start using Event Frame based notifications. I will press our team to learn from the past and not repeat our missteps.