Partner TechTip: Get the Message to the Right Expert PDF Print E-mail
Tips & Techniques - System Administration
Written by Tom Huntington   
Friday, 02 July 2010 00:00

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Notify the correct person, fast!


The battle of escalating issues quickly for resolution has two parts. Half of the battle is getting the message to the correct person to handle the issue: Who should you notify? Who is responsible for the problem? Who is the expert? The other half of the battle is solving the issue as quickly as possible: Who knows the right answer? Who has the authority to handle the issue? Who is available?


When you start setting up your escalation process for resolving computer-related problems, you have to think about who is going to respond to the events that are critical to maintaining your service-level agreements (SLAs). Your escalation lists need to account for who is on call, what method they use to respond, and what to do if they are unavailable.


The QSYSOPR message queue is filled with event-related information. You can see information about applications, security, high availability (HA), backups, hardware, systems management, and storage?related issues. And each area may require a different expert. For example, for big applications like EnterpriseOne (JDE), Lawson, Infor ERP XA (MAPICS), JDA, and Island Pacific, you might have multiple teams that are responsible for handling errors. Wouldn't it be nice to categorize the information and send it to the correct expert, automatically?

Redefine Your Escalation

Robot/CONSOLE has the perfect combination of features to ensure that your messages are escalated to the right team. It can group messages by user, message file source, program, or job. That means you can send all messages of a certain type to a specific expert group. For example, you could send all security?related messages to your security group. By creating an Expert Message Center, you can set up your notification process—including pop?up windows, email, paging, text messaging, consolidation, and SNMP (see Figure 1)—based on the source or subject of the message.



Figure 1: Message Groups can sort messages automatically. Here, we sort for Vision's Mimix events. (Click images to enlarge.)

Handle Hard-to-Categorize Messages

Some messages are difficult to categorize because an application team sends all the important messages to QSYSOPR using the same message ID. Over the years, we have seen CPF9898 and CPF9897 messages overused and abused by application teams that didn't think about the ramifications of their programming techniques. Robot/CONSOLE offers OPerator Assistance Language (OPAL), a powerful, yet easy?to?use programming language that can test for strings of data in message text and review message data to make logical decisions. For example, OPAL can read every CPF9897 message and send different messages to different Expert Message Centers, each with different sets of escalations and notifications based on the message content (see Figure 2). You also can use OPAL to upgrade an informational message, email a message, redirect a message to an Expert Message Center, or convert a message to an SNMP trap.



Figure 2: OPAL uses the Contains (CT) operation to sort your messages by text

Learn More

If you want to automate the process of notifying experts and reducing your message response time, you need Robot/CONSOLE. It's flexible and powerful, and it helps you maintain your service-level agreements. And check out Help/Systems' other offerings in the MC Showcase Buyer's Guide.



Tom Huntington
About the Author:

Tom Huntington is Vice President of Technical Services for Help/Systems, Inc. Contact Tom at 952.563.1606 or at


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Last Updated on Friday, 02 July 2010 00:00
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