Alerts and Alert Fields

Alerts are the main entities for your incident management flow within OpsGenie. Alerts start keeping the information whose content was provided by the triggering event and finalized according to your configuration once they are created. The content of the alerts keeps getting updated as long as there are interactions/updates on them.

The content of alerts consists of both the informational fields whose values are specified by you and the state fields that OpsGenie keeps updating as long as there are interactions with or updates on the alert.

The informational fields and their limitations are:

  • Message: This is the only mandatory informational field. You can also provide HTML formatting for the message values. This field is limited to at most 130 characters. Once the alert was created, the message value can not be updated.
  • Teams: Names of the Teams that were added to the alert to be notified.
  • Recipients: Names of the recipients that were added to the alert to be notified.
  • Alias: The user-defined identifier for the alert which is limited to at most 512 characters. OpsGenie will assign a unique value for this field while the alert is getting created if one is not specified by you.
  • Entity: This field is generally used to specify the domain that the alert is related to, such as name of the server or application which is limited to at most 512 characters.
  • Tags: This field can be used to attach labels to alerts for easier identification and categorization of alerts. Multiple-tags should be provided as comma-separated. At most 20 tags can be specified for a single alert where each tag is limited to at most 50 characters.
  • Actions: List of custom actions that your users can execute on the alert in addition to the default actions that OpsGenie provides. For a single alert, you can define at most 10 custom actions where each action is limited to at most 50 characters.
  • Description: This field is used to keep a long description related with the alert. HTML formatting can also be used for description field. Description is limited to at most 15000 characters.
  • Extra Properties: This field is used to keep additional key-value pairs of your choice related with the alert. Html formatting can be used for extra properties. The number of key-value pairs do not have any limitation; however, total length of the provided values can not exceed 8000 characters.

If the specified value(s) for any field violates its length or number constraint, OpsGenie will automatically truncate the value(s) from end to fit related constraint.

The state fields that OpsGenie keeps updating are:

  • Status: Contains the information of alert state. This field has the value Open/Unacked when the alert is created and OpsGenie keeps updating this field as long as status or acknowledged state of the alert are updated.
  • Recipient states: Shows the last state of the recipient users according to the alert. As long as there is any update for a recipient user like receiving a notification, executing an action, etc., OpsGenie keeps updating their states.
  • Notes: Shows the notes that were added initially or later by users via Add Note action. OpsGenie keeps updating this field as long as there are new nodes. You can provide HTML-formatted texts as notes.
  • Activity Log: OpsGenie provides any user or system activity related with an alert along with their update times on this section with the time sequence. Alert creation, user interactions including actions, notifying or skipping to notify a user, de-duplication events are some of the example activities.

Attachments

Sometimes, additional information is needed for the recipients of the alert to determine the right course of action. You can attach files to alerts to further enrich the alert. For example, when there is an application performance related alert, it may be useful to attach graphs that depict the performance metrics for the application, configuration change history can facilitate rapid triage, etc.

Attachments can be uploaded after the alert was created and the size of the attached file can not exceed 2MB.
Clients for viewing alerts and attachments :
Viewing options per file type and app :
  • Direct Viewing: If your browser is able to view ( mobile app have embedded browser ) the attachment file type it will be directly displayed
  • View after download : If your browser is not able to view the file type the file will be downloaded
  • Desktop computer browser view support : html, txt, image, pdf and similar files
  • iPhone, iPad app view support : html, txt, image, pdf , excel, word and similar files
  • Android app view support : html, txt, image
  • Android app view after download : pdf and similar files will be downloaded to your Android, you need to install suitable apps to your Android device. After download finishes a menu will appear showing the list of available apps installed for that file type, once you select the app you can view the file. Downloaded files are saved to opsGenieAttachments folder.
Zip with html attachment :
  • Zips containing html files are a special attachment type in OpsGenie
  • When a user tries to view a zip attachment with html OpsGenie shows the html file content to the user
  • You can zip a typical static webpage together with its resources, zip might include image files and html might display those images.
  • OpsGenie selects which html to display in the following order :
    • Assuming the zip file name is performanceGraphs.zip
    • performanceGraphs.html or .htm is used
    • index.html or .htm is used
    • the first .html or .htm file is used

How to attach a file

Files can be attached by using the web application or through the API. 

Web application

To attach a file using the web application click on the alert to go to the alert details and click on the Attach File link.

Web API

You can use Lamp Command Line Utility for attaching alerts via API with a simple command like :

lamp attachFile --alertId 44d2e383-df30-49e1-820e-65e8e6e6387f --attachment /tmp/lastHourCPUChart.png

You can also use Web API or Java API for attaching files to alerts.