(NEAR) Notification and Escalation Alert Resource Server

A Notification and Telephone-Voice Interface

One of the many improvements we are currently adding to ACE is the expansion of its communications capabilities. As a part of that, we are introducing a feature that will let ACE call, or page, technical personnel (referred here as the user), present a list of pending problems (notifications), and allow the person called to actually resolve these problems by taking actions using a standard dial-up phone line and DTMF signals. The Notification and Escalation Alert Resource Server (NEAR Server) will work with ACE to provide this feature. This eliminates the need for a user to get a page and dial back into the system, saving critical time when a possible system outage may be occurring.

For each alert situation that can be remotely resolved by technical personnel, ACE will send a message to NEAR. In this message, NEAR will find: a notification identification number, the department it belongs to, the host system where alert occurred, it's severity code, a text description, and up to five action commands with corresponding text descriptions. With this information, NEAR will create a notification record and update the notification database.

The user database will contain: department number, escalation priority, identification number, password, and the information required to contact the user. Based on both user and notification databases, NEAR will start calling and/or paging users. Depending on user preference, NEAR can either call first and page if unsuccessful, or page first and call if no reply is received within a pre-determined time period.

NEAR will always try to first resolve those notifications with higher severity codes, that have been pending for the longest period of time. The user with priority 1, within the responsible department, will be contacted first. If NEAR does not succeed in contacting this user, it will try to contact the user with priority 2, 3, and so on.

In order to establish contact, the user will be prompted for his UserId and Password (via DTMF signals). Upon verification of UserId and Password, NEAR will let the user browse through a list of pending notifications for his department, pick one to take an action on, listen to a list of possible actions, and finally take an action on the chosen notification. The NEAR Server will then send to ACE the action command chosen by the user, so that ACE can execute that action command for the corresponding alert. Next, the user can either go back to the pending notifications list or end the call.

Three standard actions are available (by default) for every notification: take responsibility, call next user, and have 15 minutes to think. These standard actions can be individually turned off for each notification. All actions and steps performed by the NEAR Server are logged to an audit trail log database. Availibility 4th qtr 1995.

ACE Enterprise-wide Scheduler
As ACE (enterprise-wide operator automation) configurations grow in complexity, with a multitude of procedures being created and executed, so does the need for a full function job scheduler. In order to improve control of procedure execution, we are introducing the ACE Enterprise Scheduler (AES). AES requires ACE and can schedule jobs across all platforms to which ACE is attached. AES automates production job streams as well as individual programs that need to be run at certain times based upon certain criteria. Scheduling can be based upon any combination of:

date and time criteria.

the completion of other jobs (chaining).

files being created or modified.

files that are missing.

events occurring outside of the scheduler.

regular interval (seconds, minutes, hours, days or weeks).

custom holiday schedules.

the first business day or last business day of the month.

the last business day before the 15th or the first business day after the 15th.

AES is a fully configurable job scheduler, and its features include:

unlimited number of user defined tasks.

unlimited number of user defined job queues, to control resource utilization.

unlimited number of user defined events (Signal, Job Termination, File Modification, File Missing, or Periodic).

unlimited number of user defined holidays.

repeating holidays (i.e. define January 1 as a holiday each year).

a particular task can be removed from the scheduler once it is initiated.

pass any number of parameters to a program.

priority setting of programs.

complete logging.

insertion of log comments.

console display of Log, Status and Running Tasks information.

complete reporting of tasks, job queues, events and holidays.

re-queuing and re-starting of interrupted tasks.

United States or international date and time formats.

Availability 4th qtr 1995.

Diversified Data Resources, Inc.
7200 Redwood Blvd. # 222
Novato, CA 94945
(415) 898-8282