Monday, July 6, 2009

Foxhound Sends Email Alerts

Fans of Foxhound will appreciate that the next beta of the database monitor will be getting "Email Alerts".

That's where you tell Foxhound what worries you the most about your SQL Anywhere server, and Foxhound tells you when your worst fears come true.

By email.

Like when your database goes offline.

Or the CPU goes above 90% for an hour.

Or when fifty users can't get any work done because their database connections are all blocked.

Here's an example of an alert email:

It's been surprisingly difficult to implement email alerts in a useful way; there's more to it than detecting anomalies and sending emails:

  • Letting the administrator specify criteria for each different alert condition.

  • Specifying how soon to actually issue an alert after the condition is first detected.

  • Deciding how soon to issue an "all clear" after the condition is no longer detected.

  • Deciding what to do when the administrator changes the criteria while an alert is in effect.

  • Displaying the alerts and all clears on the Database Monitor page, when email isn't enough.

  • Displaying an error message when Foxhound can't send an email.

  • Doing all this without making the administrator fill in endless forms.
Here's an example of an alert, followed by an all clear, displayed on the Foxhound Database Monitor page:

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