FlowWorks' ability to trigger alarms and notifications lets you alert those who need to know when data from channel (or more) falls outside specific bounds. This permits you to respond to an adverse situation in a timely manner.
FlowWorks supports two 'levels' of data-based warnings: Alarms and Notifications. Both are user programmable and can be configured to trigger on any measurement or combination of measures the site is capable of collecting. While the setup, triggering and functionality of alarms and notifications are the same, when an alarm is triggered, the site's icon in Map View will turn red and any email or text messages to be sent will say "Alarm"; when a notification is triggered, the site's icon in Map View will turn orange and any email or text messages to be sent will say "Notification". Hence, when this topic speaks of 'alarm' you may substitute for 'notification'.
FlowWorks provides a 'quick view' of an active alarm, right from the Map; you can also see an 'expanded view' of any active alarm by referring to the Alarm Status page. This topic describes how to check an alarm's status by using both methods.
You can quickly view basic details of an active alarm or notification, right from your Map in FlowWorks:
- Open the Network Map.
Click Monitor from the main toolbar, then click Network Map.
- Locate the site you wish to investigate.
You can do this in one of three ways: a) locate the site in the site Directory (left panel of the page); b) use the Search/Organize Sites function to search based on all or part of the site's name; c) manually locate the site directly from your map.
- Click the site's icon. A summary box is revealed over the map, next to your chosen site.
Referring to the examle above, the site we've chosen is in an 'Alarm' state - we can tell because the icon is colored red (sites in a 'Notification' state will be colored orange). When we click the site's map icon, the summary box expands and immediately tells us that the ongoing alarm pertains to high flow at the site.
As a side note, we can also see that the arrival of the next data packet is late. The system determines whether the next packet of data is late by comparing the site's call-in schedule with the arrival time of the most recent data. Stations that call-in to FlowWorks but are late are automatically shown in yellow; however this color will be overridden if an alarm / notification is triggered. In such cases, FlowWorks will indicate that data is late via the site's summary box. It is important to note that this is a separate issue from that being indicated by the alarm / notification.
From here, clicking the alarm (in this case Hi Flow) will take us to the 'Alarm Status' page, where we can view a detailed status report for this active alarm. To learn more about this report, continue to the next section in this article.
After an alarm is triggered, it is automatically added to the 'List of Current Notifications & Alarms', in the 'Alarm Status' page. It is from there that you can view a full list of your network's active alarms. Each alarm can be expanded to show details, including when the most recent actions were deployed; you also have options for quickly graphing a site's data, viewing alarm history, and reconfiguring an alarm's settings.
To review an active alarm from the 'Alarm Status' Page:
- Open the Alarm Status page.
Click Monitor from the main toolbar, then click Alarm Status.
- Click an active alarm entry from the list. The list item expands to display a detailed description of the alarm.
The image below shows a sample Alarm Status page. We seem to have a couple of active alarms - let's review the details of our first 'Hi Flow' alarm.
- The Condition tells us that the alarm is set to trigger if / when Flow OR Level exceeds zero.
- The table next to Current Values displays the most recent data we have from our Flow and Level channels. This allows us to compare the most recent reading against the values that triggered the alarm. Based on the most recent data, we see that both channels are reading above zero, thus we know that the issue still exists.
- Starting Data Point refers to the first data point where the alarm condition was met. In the example above, it means that 2016-12-29 00:00 was when either Flow and / or Level was greater than zero, thus triggering the alarm.
Found At refers to the specific time that FlowWorks detected the alarm condition. This is important because data arrives periodically - even though the alarm condition was met at 00:00, we didn't see it until 1:15. Typically, this is due to the call-in schedule - this Site didn't send us that 00:00 datapoint until sometime after 1:00. Additionally, it usually takes between 1-2 minutes from the time the data hits FlowWorks' servers for the system to detect the alarm and deploy any set 'actions'.
- To learn more about how a Site's call-in schedule affects when your alarms are triggered, see article About Alarm Timing and Activation.
- The Actions Taken list shows us the notifications that have already been pushed out, and how many times. 'Web' tells us that the alarm is currently visible in Map View; we also see that an e-mail notification was sent to recipient 'email@example.com' twice so far, and that the system has deployed the SMS/Text action twice to recipient 'firstname.lastname@example.org'. First Action At tells us that the first round of actions were deployed at 1:15am (the same time that FlowWorks first detected the alarm condition). Next Action At tells us the system is scheduled to resend the e-mail and text message alerts at 1:15pm on the same day (repeat interval is configured in the alarm's settings). These actions will keep repeating until the condition has ended, or the user has acknowledged the alarm (this too is configured in the alarm's settings).
Each alarm listed on the 'Alarm Status' page provides three useful links across the top:
- Graph this Data instantly redirects you to Graphing, where data collected over the last 24 hours is automatically plotted in a time-series graph to provide you with a quick visualization of what is happening at your site.
- View Alarm History allows you to quickly see whether this alarm has happened before. Clicking the link automatically takes you to the 'Notification & Alarm History' portion of the 'Alarm Status' page, where an expanded historical account of your selected alarm is automatically displayed.
- Configure This Alarm provides a quick way to edit the settings of the respective alarm. Clicking the link will first automatically display the alarm's settings - you can then click Edit/Delete to be taken to the Alarm Configuration page, where you can either reconfigure or delete the alarm. Alternatively, you can click Disable to 'turn off' the alarm, without actually deleting it. In this case, the alarm will remain disabled until you (or another user in your enterprise) manually re-enables the alarm.