Hot on the heels of v2019.1, FrameFlow version 2019.2 is now in testing and due for release on April 11th. This new release brings significant new features as well as some changes that you should review before upgrading so read on to get the scoop on this new release.
Version 2019.2 adds a new top-level menu section called Headquarters. The Headquarters section gives you the "single pane of glass" view that you need to keep on top of all current alerts and statuses. In one place, you can see which alerts have triggered for which devices and how long they've been in that state.
In earlier versions, you had the option to pause a device or pause an event monitor. Sometimes deciding which option to use could lead to a bit of a dilemma. Pausing the device would stop the alerts not only for the current condition but for anything else that might come up while it was paused. Pausing the event monitor would pause the alerts for all other devices being checked by the event monitor.
FrameFlow 2019.2 add the new ability to suppressed alerting for individual device/monitor combinations. What's the difference between "pausing" and "suppressing"? When you pause a monitor or device FrameFlow no longer runs against it. When you suppress a device/monitor combination, the event monitor continues to check it but won't generate alerts. For example, if you suppress a CPU alert, FrameFlow will continue to collect the results but it will not send email, write to the event history or perform any other notification actions. But it will still record the CPU graph data point on each run so that you still get insight into the current condition.
There are two alert suppression options. You can suppress the alert "Once" which tells FrameFlow to not send any alerts until the next time it is checked. This gets the alert off your dashboards and status lists while you focus on other tasks. You can also suppress the alert "Always" which means the alert remains suppressed until you choose to unsuppress it.
Previous FrameFlow releases included a basic option for acknowledging that an alert had been viewed, completed or otherwise handled and could now be disregarded. This had a few drawbacks, especially in environments with multiple admins where one admin might view an event (intentionally or sometimes by accident) and then it would drop off the radar for all other admins. In FrameFlow v2019.2 we've replaced this model with a new one that offers the same abilities of the viewed/unviewed model but enhances it with new options.
Now, instead of marking an event as viewed you can track the progression of its status using Logbook entries. With the default settings, new event history records for non-success events will appear with a star beside them, indicating that they are new. Clicking on the star will bring up a window which allows you to add notes to the event and change its status to "Assigned", "In Progress" or "Closed". You can even change the names of the status levels or add your own to fit the way your organization prefers to work.
With this release the Logbook feature graduates to its own top-level menu item. You'll find it directly under the Event History section and can use it to view all Logbook entries, update individual entries or filter by status. It's also a great place to see who is working on what, as well as which new alerts need to be assigned to a staff member.
While working in FrameFlow have you ever asked yourself "Why is this item bold but that other one isn't?" Or have you wondered why there's a warning in the event history but the lightboard panel shows success? Both of these are related to the concept of viewed and unviewed events, a design model that we introduced in the very early days of FrameFlow.
The idea was that by viewing an event you acknowledged it and therefore its status shouldn't be counted anymore. This worked well in early releases but as FrameFlow evolved, and especially after we added multi-user support, it became less and less viable.
Brace yourself: In the next major update, we're retiring the concept of viewed and unviewed events. In their place you're going to get an improved logbook module where you'll be able to attach progress indicators to events. Are you working on that critical low disk space event that showed up 5 minutes ago? Attach a logbook entry to it and select "In Progress" to tell everyone that you're on it. When you've freed up space or extended the partition, change the logbook status to "Closed" so everyone knows it's been handled and maybe enter a few notes describing the corrective action you took.
All that and more is coming soon. We don't have a firm release date for this update yet but we expect that the first beta releases will be available in mid-March. When they are available, betas will be found in the Download sections of our updated support portal.
Version 2019.1 will be released on April 11th so be sure to log into your portal account on that day to take advantage of our latest and greatest offering. If you're eager to see it sooner, drop us a note and we'll get you access to a pre-release build so you can check out the new features before the official launch date.
The FrameFlow Support Team
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