Custom Alert Message Service from your SmartPhone or Desktop

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31 comments

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    Robb Price
    Very cool! Thanks for sharing Dave!
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    Toby Higginbotham
    How can we help test this?
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    Dave Soper
    Toby, 

    Any issues or concerns?
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    Toby Higginbotham
    Have not had any issues in my testing. The only concern was with the display time of the alert. I left the default of 60 minutes configured in the risevision config so we just had to wait for it to go away. Hopefully there will be a way in the future to set custom times for each message.
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    Ben Shuman
    Yep! In my early testing months ago, I had set the time to some ridiculously large number assuming there was some override.  I ended up creating a new display ID for that sign.  The old display id would probably still be displaying now!

    I liked Daves idea of setting the default to y-minutes and then his server re-sending the message x number of times every y-minutes
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    Dave Soper
    FYI: I have done nothing since the start of the holiday season ( what with day job and all ). Look for updates to this thread in a week or so.
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    Dave Soper
    In order to test, I just need the Risevision alert Web Service ID you want to test with. You can send your ID to support@6signs.com
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    Dave Soper
    We have a few active testers now so I took the time to create a semi-proper doc on the CAP app.  
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    Wendi Borden
    Hey Dave! We've emailed a few times and I've not had a big chance to tinker, but I took 10 minutes tonight to have a little look at it. I was able to setup Alerts and using your app get a presentation pushed to it in no time. Very fluid and easy to follow. (Granted I have tinkered with the CAP Alerts and server side automated scripts before). Still, I think it would be easy for a beginner to follow, and certainly appreciate the effort you've put in!

    I was curious if you have already, or if you have considered, opening this project on GitHub? :)
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    Dave Soper
    You know, that is an interesting idea.

    I had not considered posting to github or sourceforge simply because I did not think it was ready for public release or documented well enough for anyone to follow.

    I will give this some thought as I brush up the docs and code comment this weekend.

    Also needs a better name. I was considering 'RedCAP'. Just close enough to skirt the lawyers ya think?
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    Nicholas Yoho
    Hey Dave, Works great for me, would love to see this on Github. Minor detail but I'm not seeing a difference in format between the Headline and Description text. 

    Edit: seems that when I only put 'TEST' in both fields they were the same, more text in second field changed format. 

    Also wondering about an input for time?
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    Dave Soper
    I am not sure what the formatting issue could be. It is likely not part of the message the application is sending to the Risevision alert services since the CAP message is just text, wrapped in XML, devoid of any formatting. 

    Formatting is handled by the presentation on Risevision's side, but I would love to see a screenshot of the formatting issue you are encountering. 

    As far as time, the CAP message format used by the Risevision alert service does not support any other fields than what I am working with.
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    Ben Shuman
    FYI - From my understanding, Rise auto adjusts the text to fit the space within certain parameters.
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    Robb Price
    That is correct. The text that is sent for that specific element (Headline, Instruction, Description) as part of the Alert is set to fit the Presentation.
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    Ben Shuman
    Also wondering about an input for time?
    Rise presets all alerts to be displayed for the same amount of time as configured in the display alerts configuration.  You can change it from 1 minute to hundreds.  However, there is no way to override the display, so don't go crazy on a production display our you'll end up with a long wait (ask me how I know).

    At this time, you can not configure the time to change on a per message basis, though I think that would be very handy. (thunderstorm warning until a certain time vs lockdown messages to appear for 30 minutes vs coffee in the cookies in the breakroom for 5 minutes, etc)  This would be a significant change on the Rise end however.
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    Dave Soper
    I assumed that Tri-C Metro wanted an option to actually display the 'msg sent time' as opposed to setting the TTL on the message. If that latter is what we referring to, then Biologyben is correct, the CAP alert message's TTL is set in your Risevision alert service at the company level. 
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    Ben Shuman
    It does seem that 'CAP' is trademarked by Oasis - they say you can use CAP in a name if:
    OASIS welcomes references to, and implementation and use of, its specifications. In cases where there may be some confusion about source or authenticity, such as any incorporation of an OASIS mark or name into some other product, service or organization name, OASIS will ask the user to include a clear acknowledgement notice of the use of OASIS trademarks or names in three places: (1) the primary web page referencing the named item, (2) the principal written promotional collateral about it, (3) and any press release regarding it, each in a form such as the following:

    "OASIS", "CAP" and "Common Alerting Protocol" are trademarks of OASIS, the open standards consortium where the CAP specification is owned and developed. CAP is a copyrighted © work of OASIS Open. All rights reserved.
    Not sure how Rise Vision would feel about "RiseCAP", but legally it appears alright as Rise is not a registered trademake (IANAL) and the Terms of Service do not prevent it.
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    Ben Shuman
    It does seem that 'CAP' is trademarked by Oasis - they say you can use CAP in a name if:
    OASIS welcomes references to, and implementation and use of, its specifications. In cases where there may be some confusion about source or authenticity, such as any incorporation of an OASIS mark or name into some other product, service or organization name, OASIS will ask the user to include a clear acknowledgement notice of the use of OASIS trademarks or names in three places: (1) the primary web page referencing the named item, (2) the principal written promotional collateral about it, (3) and any press release regarding it, each in a form such as the following:

    "OASIS", "CAP" and "Common Alerting Protocol" are trademarks of OASIS, the open standards consortium where the CAP specification is owned and developed. CAP is a copyrighted © work of OASIS Open. All rights reserved.
    Not sure how Rise Vision would feel about "RiseCAP", but legally it appears alright as Rise is not a registered trademake (IANAL) and the Terms of Service do not prevent it.
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    Ben Shuman
    Great Job!  Just got done testing it and it works well!  One item that you might choose to address is to give error on the special characters that are not allowed by CAP these include < and &.  If you submit these to Rise, the message shows sent of but will not display.

    I haven't fully tested all characters as of yet.  I know that ! works however.
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    Dave Soper
    I have been slow to implement a number of functional enhancements but the list and order of precedence looks like this ( see next post);
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    Ben Shuman
    Interesting to note that if you include an ampersand &, the message never appears.  But if you include something silly like $%^*()+=-_{]|\, the message tries to take over, but shows a black screen for the duration.
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    Dave Soper
    Functional enhancements in current/random order:
    1. Input validation and character scrubbing - This is a limited feature right now. As per Biologyben's previous finding, I parse and discard anything but alpha-numerics and one or 2 puntuations points.

    2. SSL implementation. Yep. Could happen.

    3. (re-)Implementation of Access Control - This is implemented but has been disabled while folks test. Sometime in the future, ACL will be turned back on and the user will be required to register their risevision alert ID ( the string at the end of the alert service url) on the server. This allows me to manage performance and user access while also allowing the user to reset and reassign Alert IDs whenever they want.

    4. User account management and activity logging. If you delegate or share the application, you can go back and look at the logs for all of the devices and IP addresses that have sent messages.

    5. Shared account delegation & moderation. If you delegate or share the application, the admin (you) can elect to receive a DM, text or an email that must be "approved" in order for the message to be sent to the displays. Sort of a split 2 factor auth.

    6. Message Persistence. A user selected task queue that sends the message again (X=times) after it has expired. The untested theory is that If you have administratively set your alert messages in Risievision to be displayed for 4 minutes, X=3 will make it appear for 12-ish minutes.
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    Ben Shuman
    Great list! - If you're going to the trouble of having user sign-ins and admin accounts per company and recording activities per user/company, I'd ensure the architecture allows for the possibility of pre-scripted messages that can be created and then selected - (severe weather, tornado, lockdown, etc).  
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    Joe Kirchner
    Hi Dave,
    Is this something you're planning on offering in the Rise Vision Store, once you've completed testing?
    Thank you,
    Joe Kirchner
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    Dave Soper
    Had not been but now that you mention it...

    Any thoughts/suggestions on that?
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    Joe Kirchner
    I could see this potentially being useful to our customers. How would I go about demo'ing the functionality.
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    Wendi Borden
    While I certainly don't want to step on toes here, I'd love to make a push again to release this on Github and contribute to the open source community.

    I will say that I have about a 90% functional version of this myself, but I really don't have the time to fully develop at the current time since it's not a priority for our company right now.

    That said, I wouldn't mind a bit polishing up my own a little and releasing it into the wild (again, not to step on toes, but I'm all for open source).

    And also that's not to say that it would not be valuable in the store. There are certainly people who don't want to host this on their own but might use the functionality.

    Just my two cents on it :) Cheers!
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    Sultan Yassin
    Where can we get this app for testing?
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    Dave Soper
    If you provide your alertID to support@6signs.com, we will set you up to test.
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    Dave Soper
    Service has moved URLs. If you had been testing recently, you have probably noticed the errors.
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