Update to the messsage monitoring Application

In a previous post we mention that we were working on a new message monitoring tool that could monitor for messages on message queues and within joblogs, it could also send a request to the users via Email or SMS to get a response to the messages. While testing we noticed that the messages did not always turn up or turned up after a significant delay.

The problem was mainly caused by the Email to SMS services that the cell providers allow via server they run specifically for that purpose, they tend to set a pretty low priority to sending out the messages or silently drop the request with no reason code. Even Email messages sometimes get blocked by the email server or firewall due to the content having links embedded into them. This meant we needed to find an alternative and as we had previously not added any additional cost to the service it needed to be affordable.

This is where Pushover came in, Pushover is an application that runs on most phones and PC’s that provides a messaging service directly to the user with lots of bells and whistles. We were only interested in sending notifications so a lot of the bells and whistles are not needed , but as we add more functionality we should be able to take advantage of them.

A lost of the work we did on the Email and SMS delivery came in handy for building the Pushover code although we did have a number of issues around sending embedded links in the messages so they could respond to messages via a web browser. After some work we are now able to send automated messages to Pushover and respond to them on the device. Just to make it more useful we have also added the ability to send messages to the pushover devices via a command which might be useful for adding some messaging to other applications y customers.

The interfaces are similar to the ones described in the previous Blog posting with a few notable improvements such as being able to send via a distribution list instead of a single user plus the additional of a new message type to support Pushover.

Here are a few screens showing the new Pushover interface with messages. The messages turn up with a few seconds of being sent, this includes the messages we are monitoring within the application on the IBM i.

sending a pushover message by command
User Message received
Message received on the iPhone
In Pushover App
Message in the Pushover App
Message open
Message opened in the App

Next we forced a test message to be sent to QSYSOPR that we are monitoring for which would require a response to be taken. It will also send out messages that do not need a response but we wanted to show the embeded link working.

*INQ Message
Inquiry message received on the phone
*INQ Message in Pushover
Message as shown in the application

You can see in the image above that the user is requested to acknowledge the message back to Pushover. Also there is a link to respond to the message, clicking the link will show the following.

Response page with response selected.
Response page shown with response selected
Response taken
Response has been sent

We can see when we checked the QSYSOPR queue on the IBM i that the response had been correctly sent for the message

Message answered from web

The product will be going into customer testing shortly and should be ready for general availability sometime before the 4th quarter. If you are interested in trying it out prior to GA let us know and we will see if we can provide a beta copy for testing.

We have lots of options to add to the new software and one of those will be a Twillo option so users can also send SMS text without the trauma associated with the current Email to SMS services.

If you are interested in knowing more about the product please get in touch.

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