The following are some useful concepts to understand when working with Emcee.

Select services

Select services that are affected by this maintenance event. Users/contacts of both directly affected services and other services affected will be notified. It is up to your interpretation what these mean, but here is a suggestion:

  • Directly affected services are subject of the maintenance, these will be down
  • Other services affected are experiencing degraded performance as a side-effect

Enter start date

Select the actual start date of the maintenance event. This is not exactly when notifications are to be sent, although the notification schedule may contain notifications relative to this start date. Times are in 24-hour notation

Also see: Time zones

Reason

Enter the reason for this maintenance, just in natural language

Maintenance events

Maintenance events are the main thing to organize around. It represents a single maintenance occurrence and its associated notifications

Also see: Status of an event

Additional properties

Additional properties are maintenance event-specific and needed to fill out the notification template(s) selected for scheduled notification(s)

Scheduled notifications

Scheduled notifications define when to send a notification, and what notification template to use

Also see: Scheduled notification types

Add notification schedule

Select the type of scheduled notification, and add a notification schedule of that type. Next, you will be able to parameters specific for that type like date/time or relative time, and what notification template to use. Times are in 24-hour notation

Also see: Time zones

Scheduled notification types

The type of scheduled notification indicates when the notification is sent: immediately, relative to start or at specified date/time

Time relative to start date of event

The notification of this type is sent a specified number of minutes/hours before or after the start date (time) of the maintenance event. If the start date (time) of the maintenance event were to be changed, these notifications would be rescheduled accordingly (if still to be sent)

At specified date/time

The notification of this type is sent at the specified date (time). Times are in 24-hour notation

Also see: Time zones

Immediately when scheduling the event

The notification of this type is sent as soon as the maintenance event is scheduled (when it is saved)

Line item types

Line item types are part of a notification template, and define a piece of information to be included in notifications (e-mails). A line item type is really just a placeholder/template that is being merged with maintenance event information at the time the notifications are created

Also see: Entered line items, Derived line items

Select line item type

Select the type of line item, add add it to the notification template. Next, you will be able to specify the description as it shows up in the notification template

Also see: Entered line items, Derived line items

Entered line items

Some line items are entered when creating a maintenance event

Also see: Derived line items

Derived line items

Some line items are automatically derived from the maintenance event and other information, and don't need to be entered when creating a maintenance event

Also see: Entered line items

Contacts

Contacts are addressees to send notifications to. At the moment, these are e-mail addresses. In the future, expect phone numbers (text messaging), contacts on your favorite chat network (e.g. Slack), and the option to link contacts to users (that can login to Emcee). Contacts can be organized in teams, although that is entirely optional. Contacts can be associated with services and service groups, so that the right contacts are known when a service is selected

Also see: Bulk import contacts

Bulk import contacts

Bulk import of contacts is not yet supported, but check back soon. Alternatively, consider using a mailing list. Since organizations typically already have established processes to make sure co-workers are a member of the correct groups in the company directory (like Active Directory or Exchange), and these groups can often be addressed through a group e-mail address, which can be added in Emcee as a contact, this is a reliable way of addressing contacts without a lot of ongoing administrative overhead

Services

Services are any sort of server or system, group of servers, website, database or application; anything that requires maintenance that you would want to manage here. Services can be organized in service groups, although that is entirely optional. Services can be associated with contacts and teams, so that the right contacts are known when a service is selected. Services and service groups are selected when creating an event, to indicate what the maintenance event is about

Service groups

Service groups are a way to organize services. Service groups can be associated with contacts and teams, so that the right contacts are known when a service is selected. Services and service groups are selected when creating a maintenance event, to indicate what the maintenance event is about

Teams

Teams are a way to organize contacts and in the future also users. Teams can be associated with services and service groups, so that the right contacts are known when a service is selected

Notification templates

Notification templates define what notifications (e-mails) look like. Notification templates contain a number of line item types that are merged with maintenance event information at the time the notifications are created

Time zones

Times are initially shown in your local time (that of your browser). Wherever possible, an overview is given of times in UTC, local for you, and in a relative interpretation ("This is 10 days from now"). When selecting date/time the input can be toggled to show your time zone (default), or in UTC. Times are in 24-hour notation

 

This information is extracted from the online help in Emcee, and is also available here.